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A customer grabs a copy of Apple Daily newspaper at a newsstand in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Photo: Miguel Candela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Apple Daily, Hong Kong's biggest pro-democracy newspaper, announced Wednesday that it will close at the weekend following the freezing of its assets under China's national security law.

Why it matters: It's the latest blow to the Asian financial hub's democracy movement and to free speech. Authorities have used the law that gives the government broad power to limit people's political freedom to arrest several journalists at the news outlet, founded by imprisoned tycoon Jimmy Lai.

  • Authorities used the law to charge Lai and other pro-democracy activists for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in 2019.
  • Hong Kong police cited media articles as potentially violating the law when they arrested five Apple Daily executives last week — the first time the law has been used for this reason in the former British colony.

Of note: The closure announcement comes hours after police arrested an Apple Daily columnist, who's also been accused of "conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security" under the law.

What they're saying: Parent company Next Digital said in a statement that its board "regrets to announce that due to the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong, Apple Daily in its print form will come to an end no later than the last edition" this Saturday.

  • Its website "will no longer be accessible no later than 11:59pm on Saturday," the statement added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Heat dome sends temperatures soaring from Oregon to Louisiana

Forecast maximum temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (WeatherBell)

The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, since extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.

Biden calls on Congress to extend eviction moratorium as deadline looms

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden called on Congress on Thursday to extend the CDC's national eviction moratorium due to the threat of the Delta variant, after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn't extend it past July 31 without specific legislation.

Why it matters: Millions of tenants across the country face the threat of eviction in the coming days. The moratorium was first implemented in September 2020 and extended several times to prevent a wave of evictions caused by pandemic-related economic decline.

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

The mental health deal boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.

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