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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.

By the numbers: About 4,800, or 0.064% of Hong Kong's 7.5 million population, were allowed to vote in Sunday's elections, per AFP.

What they're saying: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters Sunday: "The Election Committee elections are very meaningful as it is the first elections held after we have improved the electoral system to ensure that only patriots can take office."

  • Nathan Law, a leading Hong Kong pro-democracy activist granted asylum in the United Kingdom last year, told AFP the new law ensured candidates would be "puppet showmen under Beijing's entire control ... with no meaningful competition."

Go deeper

Federal law seeks to protect election workers from threats

Fulton County election workers examine ballots. Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP

Federal legislation would clarify who is protected under federal law for threats made against election workers and polling places.

Why it matters: The 2020 election saw a spike in threats directed towards election workers, many of whom are volunteers, across the country.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

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