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Masked protesters march in Hong Kong, Nov. 5. Photo: Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

China condemned on Tuesday the Hong Kong High Court's decision ruling the city's mask ban "unconstitutional," saying only the Chinese legislature has the power to rule on the constitutionality of legislation, Channel News Asia reports.

No other authority has the right to make judgments and decisions."
— Chinese government statement translated by Channel News Asia

Why it matters: Protesters reacted with outrage when Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam passed the ban last month in an emergency law giving Hong Kong officials more powers. Protesters have constantly defied the ban, which they said was designed to suppress them.

  • China's criticism of the High Court ruling before Hong Kong's government has even lodged an appeal risks worsening the situation in the semiautonomous territory, where protesters remain concerned that Chinese central authorities could suppress the high degree of autonomy they've enjoyed since the former British colony was returned to the country in 1997.

Go deeper: Protests paralyze Hong Kong: What you need to know

Editor's note: This article has been updated with China's reaction to the court ruling.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Several states report zero COVID deaths for the first time in months — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects — 600,000 kids between 12 and 15 have received Pfizer dose since FDA authorization.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: World's largest vaccine maker expects to resume exports by end of 2021 — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Biden to waive sanctions on company in charge of Nord Stream 2

Angela Merkel (left) with Vladimir Putin. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

The Biden administration will waive sanctions on the corporate entity and CEO overseeing the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany, according to two sources briefed on the decision.

Why it matters: The decision indicates the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline, and underscores the difficulties President Biden faces in matching actions to rhetoric on a tougher approach to Russia.

Prosecutor: Fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was "justified"

Khalil Ferebee (C), the son of Andrew Brown Jr., and attorneys Bakari Sellers (L) and Harry Daniel (R) at a May 11 news conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday that the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies last month, was "tragic" but "justified," due to the immediate threat officers believed Brown posed.

Why it matters: The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown's death. Police in Elizabeth City shot him five times, including in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy report released by family attorneys last month.