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Local residents celebrate outside a polling station as Junius Ho Kwan-yiu loses in the district council election on Nov. 25. Photo: Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said in a statement Monday her government will "listen" and "reflect" after pro-democracy parties swept pro-Beijing parties aside to triumph in the district council elections amid a record voter turnout.

Why it matters: The results show that many Hong Kong citizens back the pro-democracy protest movement. It's also a stinging rebuke for Lam and the Chinese government, both of whom have denounced activists and their acts of civil disobedience that have forced schools to close, caused transport chaos and disrupted business in the Asian financial hub.

By the numbers: 4.1 million Hong Kongers registered to vote in the elections — "more than half the population of 7.4 million," the BBC notes.

  • Turnout reached 2.94 million — more than 71% of eligible voters.
  • Wu Chi-wai, leader of the Democratic Party, the city's largest pro-democracy bloc, cited official results saying it won 90% of 452 seats that would "help it take unprecedented control of 17 out of 18 district councils," AP reports.
  • Pro-democracy parties won 278 seats to be declared, while pro-Beijing candidates claimed 42 and independents 24, per results cited by the South China Morning Post.

What they're saying: "The high turnout rate did benefit the pro-democracy camp,” South Horizons West seat Kelvin Lam told the SCMP. "The result is like a referendum of the current administration, like a confidence vote."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

49 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.