Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The deteriorating political situation in Hong Kong threatens to severely muddy the financial gateway between East and West.

The state of play: If the protesters succeed in maintaining, or even furthering, "one country, two systems" governance, then it likely would keep global capital flowing through Hong Kong. But it's unclear how China can possibly allow that to happen without eroding its authoritarian bonafides on the mainland, and almost any crackdown would be viewed as ripping down the legal fabric that made Hong Kong a financial powerhouse in the first place.

What's happening:

  • Alibaba Group, which listed in New York five years ago, may delay a planned Hong Kong float that was set to raise upwards of $20 billion as early as this month.
  • Per Reuters: "The listing was always expected to be a complex affair because of China’s tight control of cross-border share trading, but Hong Kong’s unrest has taken the complexity several notches higher."
  • The Hang Seng Index fell more than 10% between the beginning of August through this past Wednesday. It has since recovered slightly, bringing the monthly loss to 8.6%, but is now the only major developed market index in the red for 2019.

Go deeper ... Pro Rata Podcast: Democracy vs. dictatorship in Hong Kong

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,288,573 — Total deaths: 693,805 — Total recoveries — 10,916,907Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,562 — Total deaths: 155,469 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Education — Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots should remain closed
  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.
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Hurricane Isaias lashes the Carolinas

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities said they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.