Former lawmaker and United Democrats party founder Martin Lee (C) leaves the Central District police station in Hong Kong on Saturday. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

15 prominent Hong Kong activists were arrested Saturday on charges of holding illegal assemblies in August and October related to the massive pro-democracy protests that swept the semi-autonomous Chinese territory last year, per AFP. Media tycoon Jimmy Lai and former lawmaker Martin Lee, 81, were among those arrested.

The big picture: Hours before the arrests, a Chinese government office in the Asian financial hub "declared it is not bound by Hong Kong's constitutional restrictions that bar Chinese government from interfering in local affairs," The Guardian notes. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that the arrests were "deeply concerning," noting "politicized law enforcement is inconsistent with universal values of freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly."

Go deeper: Hong Kong protests assert the freedoms China seeks to constrain

Go deeper

How small businesses got stiffed by the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Survey: Fears grow about Social Security’s future

Data: AARP survey of 1,441 U.S. adults conducted July 14–27, 2020 a ±3.4% margin of error at the 95% confidence level; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.

Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.