Jan 30 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories from selected Canadian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
** Canada's spy agency will be granted the authority to intervene and disrupt threats to national security in a massive expansion of its powers as the federal government tries to make it easier to thwart terror plots at home and abroad, sources say. (bit.ly/1ETcOLQ)
** Keystone XL backers in the Senate voted decisively Thursday to strip U.S. President Barack Obama of decision-making authority over the controversial Canadian oil sands pipeline, triggering a political confrontation between the Republican-controlled Congress and the Democratic president. (bit.ly/1zcErPD)
** School boards across Ontario are spending C$1 billion a year, 5 percent of their provincial operating budgets, on buildings with an excess of empty space, money that should be used for student programs, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals says. (bit.ly/1zFVsDx)
** The most revealing thing about Thursday's ministerial update on Canada's role in the fight against ISIS was that it took place at all. Rob Nicholson, the defence minister, John Baird, the foreign affairs minister, and General Tom Lawson, the chief of the defence staff, were grilled Thursday on the mission in Iraq by MPs at a joint sitting of the defence and foreign affairs committees. (bit.ly/1Lp6NLs)
** Canadian Oil Sands Ltd slashed its dividend by 75 percent on Thursday, trimmed its capital budget and announced an intensified effort to control costs, as the company reported lower-than-expected year-end results. (bit.ly/1CiJL6b)
** Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to unveil on Friday details of a bill that would provide Canada's government with new powers to fight terrorism, according to several news reports. (bit.ly/1ySZSEQ) (Compiled by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru)