Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images

The Afghan government will release three high-ranking militants on the condition that the Taliban frees two American University professors, President Ashraf Ghani announced Tuesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The teachers, U.S. citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, were captured by the Taliban outside the American University's Kabul campus in 2016, per AP.

  • Ghani said in a TV address he planned to release the "two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant group" in order to "pave the way for a face-to-face negotiations" with the militant group, Reuters reports.
  • He said he consulted with the "international community" and the U.S. before making the decision, per NBC News.

Go deeper: Trump orders stepped-up military operations in Afghanistan

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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18 mins ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested

Millionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai (C) and other activists outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Court in Hong Kong in July. Photo: Anthony WallaceA/AFP via Getty Images

Leading Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: Lai was charged under the national security law imposed by the Chinese government in late June that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony, per Bloomberg. That makes him the most prominent person arrested under the law that prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.

Go deeper: With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 19,769,560— Total deaths: 729,351 — Total recoveries — 12,030,061Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,041,573 — Total deaths: 162,913 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

Go deeper: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning