February 22, 2017 / 12:18 PM / 2 years ago

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Iran ready to give U.S. ‘strong slap in the face’

Head of Iran's Revolutionary guards ground forces Mohammad Pakpour (C) attends a funeral ceremony in Tehran October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

The United States should expect a "strong slap in the face" if it underestimates Iran's defensive capabilities, a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games.

China has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

Digits of the day

$100 million

Swiss engineering group ABB was hit by a $100 million "sophisticated criminal scheme" in its South Korean subsidiary. The alleged theft was limited to South Korea, where it employs around 800 people and generated sales of $525 million in 2015.

Britain's top court backed a government attempt to limit immigration by ruling on Wednesday that an income test for those who want to bring their non-European spouses to the UK is acceptable and does not infringe human rights.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would continue to accept asylum seekers crossing illegally from the United States. The number of crossings has ticked up in recent weeks amid fears that the Trump administration would crack down on illegal immigrants.

Around the country

The Trump administration will leave protections in place for immigrants known as "dreamers" who entered the United States illegally as children, according to official guidelines released on Tuesday. Still, reports reveal that the Trump administration has more aggressive plans for immigration.

Hovercrafts would fix this

Vehicles are seen partially submerged in flood water at William Street Park after heavy rains overflowed nearby Coyote Creek in San Jose, California, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Vehicles are seen partially submerged in flood water at William Street Park after heavy rains overflowed nearby Coyote Creek in San Jose, California, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Authorities in San Jose, California evacuated or issued advisories for more than 1,000 homes after severe flooding swamped neighborhoods along a rain-swollen creek. The pipeline fight moves from North Dakota to the Louisiana bayou.

Around the world

Malaysian police named a North Korean diplomat and a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader. More than a year ago, Mayar and Nawar Ballish escaped car bomb attacks in Damascus. Now the Syrian sisters, both students in their twenties, go to school by train past neat gardens and farms in the quiet hills of Bavaria, southern Germany. Their story highlights the cultural leaps new migrants face, and how hard it can be to match the aspirations of those seeking shelter with Germany's own goals. Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was sentenced to 20 months in jail for misconduct in public office, making him the most senior city official to serve time behind bars in a ruling some said reaffirmed the financial hub's rule of law. "Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height," said High Court justice Andrew Chan in passing sentence. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered a staunch defense of Israel on Wednesday, criticizing the United Nations and vowing never to support "one-sided resolutions" that call for Israel to stop building settlements on occupied land.

Around Wall Street

An association representing major automakers asked new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules through 2025. China's state-run Zhenhua Oil has signed a preliminary deal with Chevron to buy the U.S. oil major's natural gas fields in Bangladesh that are worth about $2 billion, two Beijing-based Chinese oil executives said.

Today’s reason to live

Compiled by Bethel Habte (@bethel_habte)
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