Senate Watergate hearing room in 1973 (left). House Ways and Means Committee hearing room (right). Photos: AP (left), Reuters.

The public phase of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump begins Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The big picture: The public phase is arguably the most important part of Democrats' efforts so far, as how the public experiences the hearings will determine how impeachment plays out.

Then: Back in 1973, tens of millions of Americans tuned in to what Variety called "the hottest daytime soap opera" — the Senate Watergate hearings that eventually led to President Nixon's resignation, AP's David Crary writes.

  • It was a communal experience, and by some estimates, more than 80% of Americans watched at least part of the telecasts.
  • Why it matters: Seeing the witnesses lay out the case against the president moved public opinion decidedly in favor of impeachment.

Now ... But this time may be different:

  • Many will watch on more than one screen, with real-time reinforcement of their preexisting views — on platforms that didn't exist during Watergate.

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41 mins ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested

Millionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai (C) and other activists outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Court in Hong Kong in July. Photo: Anthony WallaceA/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time. His son was also arrested, Lai's newspaper Apple Daily reports.

Why it matters: They were arrested under the national security law imposed by China in late June that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony, per Bloomberg. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.

Go deeper: With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 19,769,560— Total deaths: 729,351 — Total recoveries — 12,030,061Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,041,573 — Total deaths: 162,913 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on.

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."

Go deeper: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning