PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Jan 24

Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:25am EST

Jan 24 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Nigeria, the leading power in West Africa, wants Canada and other western nations to take on the conflict in Mali as an international problem and provide funding and heavy equipment like helicopters. ()

* As Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty prepares the Conservative government's 2013 budget, his main target will be to balance the books by 2015. With that horizon in mind, economists see several reasons for him to be optimistic, including positive signs from the United States and European economies, as well as the country's housing market. ()

Reports in the business section:

* The Bank of Canada is setting aside worries over a housing bust to double down on a broader concern, the country's sputtering economy.

The central bank surprised Bay Street and Wall Street on Wednesday by dropping from its latest policy statement any hint that it would raise interest rates to deter Canadians from bidding up housing prices and adding to record levels of household debt. ()

* RBC Dominion Securities raised its price target for Research In Motion Ltd to C$19 from C$11 ahead of the crucial launch of the smartphone maker's BlackBerry 10 devices, but warned that it is "far too early" to call the company's turnaround a success. ()

NATIONAL POST

* Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was searching for a "consensus" within Canada and the Parliament on how to contribute to stopping the spread of terrorism in Mali, but he would not allow a direct Canadian military mission into the African country. ()

* Manitoba chiefs are not poised to cede from the assembly of First Nations, but leaders gathered in Winnipeg on Wednesday raised questions about the national body's mandate to represent aboriginals on treaty issues. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* Bombardier Inc CEO and President Pierre Beaudoin said he hopes that its CSeries airliners will take its first flight in June, demonstrating that the Quebec transportation giant has learned the lessons from Boeing Co's difficulties with its 787 Dreamliner. ()

* The Canadian and global economies will continue struggling to maintain momentum this year, but in a relatively hopeful new outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it saw light at the end of the tunnel.

The IMF now expects Canada's economy to expand by a modest 1.8 percent this year and by 2.3 percent in 2014. ()

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