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Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was granted bail on Wednesday, almost two weeks after the pro-democracy activist was charged on suspicion of "colluding with foreign forces" under Hong Kong's draconian national security law, his news outlet Apple Daily reports.

Why it matters: Lai is the most high-profile figure to be charged under the law, and the first to be granted bail, per Apple Daily.

  • Lai had previously been denied bail twice — two weeks ago, after he was charged under the national security law, and earlier this month when he was arrested on allegations of fraud.

The state of play: Lai was freed on a HK$10 million ($1.3 million) bail, per Apple Daily. He will be required to surrender all travel documents and is prohibited from speaking to the press, using social media and meeting with foreign officials.

  • Lai will be placed under house arrest and will have to report to police three times a week.
  • The Hong Kong Department of Justice is appealing the decision, according to Apple Daily.

The big picture: The implementation of the law, under which dozens of people have been charged, has "resulted in a wave of self-censorship," Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian notes.

  • The national security law includes broad definitions of crimes — specifically on secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion — allowing for the Hong Kong government to freely implement the law without any specific oversight.

Go deeper: Hong Kong's worst case scenario is happening

Go deeper

Updated Jan 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

2 Virginia police officers charged over Capitol riots

A photo included in the criminal complaint released by authorities shows two men identified as the off-duty Virginia police officers gesturing in front of a statue in the Capitol. Photo: Department of Justice

Two off-duty Rocky Mount Police, Virginia, police officers have been charged over last week's deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Dozens of people have been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement in the riot by supporters of President Trump. Over 160 case files have been opened, said Michael Sherwin, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Tuesday.

34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.