Riot police deploy pepper spray as protesters rally against the new national security law in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong police announced on Wednesday their first arrest under the new security law as officers used pepper spray to break up a rally by pro-democracy protesters elsewhere in the city, images from the scene show.

Why it matters: The law, passed by Chinese lawmakers Tuesday, is a further encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system and the autonomy the territory had retained since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.

Per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Dave Lawler, the law "defines crimes such as terrorism and sedition broadly, but mandates harsh sentences — in many cases life imprisonment."

  • It'll be enforced without input from the judiciary.

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Ant Group preps giant IPO amid rising U.S.-China tensions

Chinese financial tech giant Ant Group today filed for what could become the largest initial public offering of all time, with plans to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why this deal is as much about geopolitics as it is about stocks, and why New York got left behind.

House Democrats ask DOJ watchdog to probe Durham's Trump-Russia investigation

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynsky/AFP via Getty Images

Four Democratic House committee chairs on Friday asked the Justice Department's inspector general to launch an "emergency investigation" into whether Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, his appointee, are taking actions that could "improperly influence the upcoming presidential election."

Catch up quick: Last year, Barr tapped Durham to conduct a sweeping investigation into the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia probe, after he and President Trump claimed that it was unjustified and a "hoax."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 30,217,420 — Total deaths: 946,847— Total recoveries: 20,554,349Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 6,677,516 — Total deaths: 197,682 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 91,546,598Map.
  3. Politics: Trump vs. his own administration on virus response.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.