PRESS DIGEST-Canada-Aug 21

Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:52am EDT

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Aug 21 (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

* Quebec is heading into another fierce debate over the future of religious freedom in the province. A news report suggested that the minority government wants to prohibit public employees from wearing items such as hijabs, turbans and kippa in a broad ban that could extend from elementary and university teachers to nurses and child-care workers. ()

* A new survey commissioned by Bell and Telus suggests Canadians don't want Ottawa to give special treatment to foreign competitors. The Nanos Research telephone survey of 2,000 Canadians found that 81 per cent of Canadians preferred that neither foreign, nor Canadian-owned telecommunications companies are favoured when Ottawa conducts an auction of highly-coveted wireless spectrum in January. ()

Reports in the business section:

* U.S. ice cream company Cold Stone Creamery has been acquired by a group of Canadian entrepreneurs with ambitious plans to double the number of locations with partner Tim Hortons Inc. ()

* Loblaw Cos Ltd, which is offering $61.54 a share to buy Shoppers Drug Mart Corp, initially bid much less - $45 a share - for the drugstore chain in early 2011. The secret takeover talks might have contributed to the delay in Shoppers' process of finding a new CEO, which dragged on that year. ()

NATIONAL POST

* A family friend who kidnapped a 16-year-old girl had a 20-hour jump on authorities, who discovered he used a timer to set fire to his rural home where the girl's mother and younger brother were found dead, a San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said Tuesday. ()

FINANCIAL POST

* The federal government did not court Verizon Communications Inc and Ottawa's policy on the wireless market does not live or die by the U.S. carrier's decision about whether to enter the market, according to Canada's industry minister James Moore. ()

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