Dec 1 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
** Canadian banks' record run of profits is finally showing signs of cooling as the number of high growth businesses dwindles, prompting the country's largest lenders to prepare for a much more challenging year ahead. The Big Six banks report their fourth-quarter earnings this week, starting with Bank of Montreal on Tuesday. (bit.ly/1FHkijW)
** Scientists monitoring Canada's process for identifying and protecting endangered wildlife say the system is floundering because the federal government is taking too long to list species that are deemed at risk while not doing enough to improve the status of those that are already listed. (bit.ly/1v2NawA)
** BCE Inc's Bell has struck a deal to expand and broadcast the third season of "Open Gym", a behind-the-scenes show documenting the Raptors produced by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which owns the team and is 37.5 percent owned by BCE. The deal expands the show's season to 28 episodes (from eight in past years), airs them twice weekly on TSN4, and even adds an "After Show" rehashing each installment. (bit.ly/1z7ElG5)
** Toronto's new mayor, John Tory begins his term Monday repairing a politically divided city, asking council to appoint four deputy mayors, one from each region of the metropolis. The group, combined with the mayor's picks for his cabinet-like executive committee, draws on left, right and centrist voices at city hall, setting a decidedly more collegial tone than the fractious last four years under Rob Ford. (bit.ly/1y75OJR)
** Ottawa is investigating reports that a Canadian-Israeli woman who claims to have joined Kurdish military forces has been captured by ISIS terrorists. Experts, however, are casting doubts on the reports, fearing it amounts to ISIS propaganda. (bit.ly/1vZlujk)
** For years, the federal government's push for creation of a national securities regulator looked like a lost cause. Finance Minister Joe Oliver in July succeeded in bringing two new converts to the fold - Saskatchewan and New Brunswick - continuing the work of the late Jim Flaherty, Canada's federal minister of finance. The Co-operative Capital Markets Regulator System, such as it is, will become a reality - a legal federal entity - in early 2015. Although most other provinces and territories are expected to follow their lead in the next year, Alberta and Quebec remain the most ardent holdouts.(bit.ly/1pG9qR5) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru)