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PRESS DIGEST- Canada - March 7

March 7 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

** Veteran railroader and cost-cutter Hunter Harrison is taking charge at CSX Corp. The Florida-based railway said Monday night Harrison is the company's new chief executive officer, effective immediately. tgam.ca/2mRff2b

** Top North American energy executives made a plea for continued North American free trade at a high-profile conference where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a keynote speech later this week. tgam.ca/2mhoaIG

** The Liberal Party is claiming full discretion to wade into local races and decide who can run for its nominations even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly insists the process is open and in the hands of local members, internal documents show. tgam.ca/2n0GKmR

NATIONAL POST

** Star Wars merchandise continued to dominate Canada's toy industry in 2016. Annual sales of toys in Canada topped C$2 billion ($1.49 billion), up 6 percent from 2015 toy sales of $1.9 billion, according to a recent report by market research firm NPD Group. bit.ly/2mwOZJn

** Canada has been flagged by a global banking body for "vulnerabilities" tied to credit, property prices, and the prospect of rising interest rates. The Bank for International Settlements said Canada is among the jurisdictions showing early warning indicators for financial crises and domestic banking risks. bit.ly/2mwWEYF

** The clock is ticking for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to decide whether to sweeten its offer to acquire PrivateBancorp Inc, as the Chicago-based bank announced the deal will go to a vote before its shareholders in May. bit.ly/2lRTZnZ ($1 = 1.3397 Canadian dollars) (Compiled by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru)

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