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Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy activist and critic of the Chinese Communist Party, has been charged on suspicion of "colluding with foreign forces" under Hong Kong's national security law, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the most high-profile application yet of the draconian new law, which was brought into force over the summer as part of Beijing's crackdown on the city's pro-democracy movement.

The big picture: The 73-year-old founder of Hong Kong's Apple Daily tabloid will appear in court on Saturday and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was arrested and denied bail earlier this month on allegations of fraud.

  • Lai has pushed for other countries to punish China for its abuses and met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the U.S. last year to discuss Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill, which was later withdrawn after it sparked mass protests and unrest.
  • Apple Daily described the national security law on July 1 as the “final nail in the coffin” for Hong Kong's autonomy.

Background: The national security law includes sweeping definitions of crimes and penalties that gives Hong Kong's government broad power to limit people's political freedom, while explicitly denying any kind of independent oversight of the law or how it is carried out.

Go deeper: China's iron curtain descends on Hong Kong

Go deeper

China sanctions top Trump alumni one day after Uyghur genocide determination

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 "anti-China" U.S. politicians, including a slew of top officials from the outgoing Trump administration such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Between the lines, via Axios China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Chinese government officials have traditionally decried the use of unilateral sanctions by Western countries, even though China regularly blocks foreign companies and individuals from its markets for perceived political slights.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.