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Photo: Ason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

China sentenced Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian citizen, to death on drug trafficking charges in a case that has been widely linked to Canada's ongoing detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who could be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Schellenberg's case and death sentence are considered to be a public attempt by China to exert pressure on Canada to release Meng, as it has warned of "severe consequences" should she remain in Canadian custody.

Go deeper: China has detained 13 Canadians since arrest of Huawei CFO

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.

15 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.