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From front left; pro-democracy lawmakers Kenneth Leung, Dennis Kwok, Alvin Yeung and Kwok Ka-ki attend a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on Monday. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong's government said they disqualified four opposition pro-democracy lawmakers on Wednesday for "endangering national security," without specifying how, per Reuters

Why it matters: The ouster of Kenneth Leung, Dennis Kwok, Alvin Yeung and Kwok Ka-ki came moments after China's parliament passed a resolution allowing the city's executive to expel legislators deemed "unpatriotic" without requiring court rulings, per Bloomberg. Opposition members said they'd resign en masse in response.

Go deeper

Jan 6, 2021 - World

Hong Kong police arrest 50 pro-democracy leaders under security law

Hong Kong barrister and former politician Alvin Yeung is among those arrested in the latest crackdown. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A group of former lawmakers were among dozens of pro-democracy activists arrested on Wednesday under the national security law imposed by China, per opposition groups and local media.

Why it matters: Hong Kong had enjoyed a high degree of autonomy, but the passage of the sweeping security law by Chinese lawmakers last June has led to a major crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. It has escalated in recent weeks, with the arrests of activists including media tycoon Jimmy Lai and the imprisonment of other prominent figures like Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow.

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.

60 mins ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

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