Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images

Preliminary results show that the coalition of influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has surprisingly emerged as the front-runner in Iraq’s first national parliamentary election since the defeat of ISIS, leading incumbent Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi who's backed by the West, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Sadr did not formally run. But if the coalition maintains the lead, Sadr has the ability to influence the make-up of Iraq’s next government. The Post notes that Sadr, a staunch critic of Washington, had commanded a militia that fought against American troops during the Iraq war. Final election results are expected Monday. [Go deeper: What's to know about Iraq's election]

Editor's note: An earlier version incorrectly stated that Moqtada al-Sadr would lead the next government if his coalition wins.

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Updated 5 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

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.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the national security law imposed by China in late June that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. 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.

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