Iran leader: Europe must protect trade with Tehran to save nuclear deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s top leader set out a series of conditions on Wednesday for European powers if they want Tehran to stay in a nuclear deal after the U.S. exit, including steps to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.

Chinese takeover of Aecon blocked on security grounds

The Canadian government has blocked a proposed takeover of construction firm Aecon Group Inc. by a unit of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. on national security grounds.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government announced its decision Wednesday after launching a security review earlier this year, according to a statement from  Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains obtained by Bloomberg News.

Shares of Aecon, which helped build Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, have declined in recent weeks to the lowest since the $1.19 billion deal was announced in October on concern that it would be blocked. Aecon’s construction work includes several sectors that could impact national security, including building out the nation’s telecommunications networks.

The shares ended trading Wednesday at $17.34, up 0.5 per cent, and a day earlier traded at the lowest level since the day the deal was announced. CCCC International Holding Ltd. had agreed to pay $20.37 a share to acquire the construction firm.

“We listened to the advice of our national security agencies throughout the multi-step national security review process under the Investment Canada Act,” Bains said in a statement. “Based on their findings, in order to protect national security, we ordered CCCI not to implement the proposed investment.”

Aecon’s project portfolio includes work in fields such as telecommunications, nuclear power and military housing and training facilities, Anita Anand, a professor of law at the University of Toronto who holds J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance, said in an interview before the decision was announced. She had called for it to be blocked.

“There is clear evidence that there are national security issues at play in this transaction,” she said in an earlier interview. If government sees “reasonable grounds to believe there’s a potential injury to national security, then it should intervene.”

The move comes at a critical point for the future of the country’s trade relationships. Canada is considering launching trade talks with China as it seeks to become less reliant on the U.S. market. It is also haggling with the U.S. and Mexico over how to update the North American Free Trade Agreement as President Donald Trump’s administration spars with China.

Trump may impose tariffs on car imports in latest trade move: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is considering a proposal to impose new tariffs on imported vehicles invoking a national security law that was used to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel, an administration official and three industry officials who had been briefed on the matter said.

House backs measure to clamp down on Myanmar over Rohingya rights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of legislation to pressure Myanmar, also known as Burma, to improve its record on human rights.

Trump threatens aid cut to countries that do not stop MS-13 gang migrants

BETHPAGE, N.Y. (Reuters) – President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday he was working on a plan to reduce U.S. aid to countries he says are doing nothing to stop MS-13 gang members from crossing into the United States illegally.

Hawaii volcano belches new ash plume as geothermal wells secured from harm

VOLCANO, Hawaii (Reuters) – The restive Kilauea Volcano belched clouds of ash into the skies over Hawaii’s Big Island twice more on Wednesday as civil defense authorities reported that pressurized geothermal wells at a nearby power plant had been secured from approaching lava.

Exclusive: Israeli minister says U.S. may soon recognize Israel’s hold on Golan

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is pressing the Trump administration to recognize its sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Wednesday, predicting U.S. assent could come within months.