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Apple Daily, the pro-democracy tabloid in Hong Kong founded by media tycoon Jimmy Lai, is shut down after its assets are frozen and its journalists arrested, inflicting a blow on the city's free press.

The newspaper said its last issue will be printed on Thursday and its website will stop updating from midnight that day. Next Digital, the parent company of Apple Daily, originally announced it would continue publishing through Saturday, but the closure was hastened on concerns about employee safety.

Apple Daily has long been known for its willingness to confront, investigate, and criticize the government. But Lai and the newspaper became a prime target for the Chinese government for their support for the pro-democracy protests that spilled over Hong Kong in 2019.

The authorities cracked down on civilian and political life in Chinese territory after the demonstrations and passed a comprehensive national security law that severely restricted the opposition and fueled fears of interference in the education system, the courts and the media.

Pro-Beijing lawmakers also successfully intervened for the first time at a high-level judges' meeting in Hong Kong in what lawyers have described as the latest attack on the city's valued independent legal system. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is pushing for high-level meetings with Beijing officials after taking a tough stance for five months.

Five stories on the news

1. Russia claims it shot at a Royal Navy destroyer off Crimea Russia accused Britain of staging a "raw British provocation" after a Royal Navy warship sailed through the waters of the Black Sea off the Crimean coast. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed it had fired warning shots to scare away the HMS Defender, but the UK Defense Ministry denied any shots were fired directly at the ship, saying the Russians had warned beforehand that they were "a gun drill" in the Area.

2. The UK called for a rethink of the process for young asylum seekers in Hong Kong

Campaign groups have urged the UK authorities to reconsider procedures for dealing with Hong Kong youth refugees after alleging several were falsely identified as trafficking victims and traumatized.

3. John McAfee found dead in prison The cybersecurity and software entrepreneur was found dead in a Spanish prison cell on Wednesday, the same day the country's Supreme Court ruled that he should be extradited to the United States for tax evasion.

4th Warren Buffett resigns as Trustee of the Gates Foundation Warren Buffett is leaving the Gates Foundation board of directors, creating further uncertainty about the world's largest private philanthropic organization after its co-chairs, Bill and Melinda Gates, announced their divorce.

5. South Korea confiscates crypto assets in order to take action against “tax evaders” A television presenter and doctor are among thousands of wealthy South Koreans whose cryptocurrency holdings have been confiscated in a tax proceeding as the crackdown intensifies in one of the world's most active digital asset trading markets.

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The day ahead

EU summit In the run-up to the meeting of the world's heads of state and government on Thursday, Germany and France called for a new EU strategy for closer cooperation with Russia. At the summit, member states are also planning to put the Hungarian Viktor Orban under pressure to abandon LGBT + legislation, which the Commission has called discriminatory.

Results of recent stress tests for US banks announced America's largest banks will hear the results of their latest stress tests from the Federal Reserve on Thursday, with a passing grade expected to be a catalyst for billions of dollars in share buybacks and dividends.

What else we read and see

Toshiba versus investors On April 11, 2020, Toshiba's communications chief convened an emergency meeting to ask whether it was possible to "eliminate or control undesirable organizations and institutions". Masayasu Toyohara meant to silence the most overt shareholders of the Japanese conglomerate. However, this could lead to the dismissal of the entire board.

Inflation, made in china The standard explanation of why inflation has been so low in many places is three words: "Technology and globalization," writes Robert Armstrong in Unhedge. The technological side has a lot to do with Moore's Law. The globalization side has a lot to do with China. Sign up for the newsletter here.

How will Brexit change the City of London? Brexit undermined the city's position as Europe's financial center. From Singapore-on-Thames to a lawless Dodge City, FT's Lex examines how the city is about to reinvent itself in this new video.

Video: How will Brexit change the City of London? | Lex megatrends

Why pushy auto salespeople bite the dust Luxury malls are the new hotspot for car buyers, writes Brooke Masters. The changes in the way we buy cars this year have been boosted by the pandemic, chip shortages, and the move to electric vehicles. Mall stores deal with several of these problems at the same time.

Lego makes a breakthrough in the search for greener bricks The world's largest toy manufacturer Lego has made a major breakthrough in its attempt to break away from oil-based plastics and is presenting the prototype of its iconic building block made from recycled beverage bottles.

to eat and drink

It has taken quite a while for the country to embrace its native ferments, but English sparkling wine is completely respectable now, writes Jancis Robinson, FT wine correspondent. Here are the ones to drink this summer.

© Leon Edler

© Leon Edler

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