Photo: Qin Louyue/China News Service via Getty Images

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Friday that she is postponing the city's legislative elections for a year due to rising coronavirus concerns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters, via Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: The move is the latest in a rapid-fire series of measures dismantling Hong Kong's democratic traditions.

  • After the passage of a draconian national security law last month, Hong Kong residents who openly criticize the government face possible arrest, making it difficult to push back against the further erosion of political freedoms

The other side: Lam claimed the move was strictly a health precaution, despite the fact that a number of pro-Beijing politicians had called for the election to be postponed, stating, "There are absolutely no political considerations in these measures. I’ve been so busy tracking the virus situation in recent days, I hardly have time to see how the election competition is going."

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Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

China announces retaliatory sanctions on Rubio, Cruz and other U.S. officials

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it's imposing sanctions on Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with nine other Americans, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: It's a direct response to similar actions by the U.S. that included the Trump administration placing sanctions on officials Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last Friday over Beijing's encroachment of the Asian financial hub's s autonomy.

A quandary for state unemployment agencies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State agencies charged with paying unemployment benefits to jobless residents have their backs against the wall as they rush to parse President Trump's executive actions on coronavirus aid.

Why it matters: States are being asked to pitch in $100 per unemployed resident, but it’s a heavy lift for cash-strapped states that are still unclear about the details and may not opt-in at all. It leaves the states and jobless residents in a state of limbo.

Updated 39 mins ago - Health

New Zealand reports first local coronavirus cases for 102 days

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a press conference at Parliament on July 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Auckland is locking down and the rest of New Zealand faces lesser restrictions for 72 hours after a family of four tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first cases not in managed isolation for 102 days, Ardern said at a news briefing.