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Protesters in Budapest, Hungary this weekend. Photo: Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images

Protestors took the streets around the world this weekend — over cronyism in Japan, the detention of separatist leaders in Spain, authoritarianism in Hungary, rape scandals in India and airstrikes in Syria.

The bigger picture: The U.S. isn't the only country living through a period of protest and political unrest.

  • Tokyo, Japan: Tens of thousands of protestors demonstrated outside of Japanese parliament this weekend to urge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resign over cronyism scandals, per Bloomberg.
  • Barcelona, Spain: Hundreds of thousands of Catalans demonstrated this weekend to call for the release of 9 separatist leaders, who were detained for holding a referendum on independence from Spain in October, per the BBC.
  • Budapest, Hungary: Tens of thousands of Hungarians took to the streets Saturday over what they consider a flawed election, and the increasingly authoritarian direction of the country under Viktor Orbán, per Reuters.
  • Across India (Mumbai, Puducherry, Goa, Bengaluru, Kolkata): Thousands have been protesting across India after a series of high-profile rape cases in the country, including the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kashmir, CNN reports. Some held vigils for the victim, while others rallied in support of the men accused of the crime.
  • Major cities in Iraq (Baghdad, Basra, Najaf): Thousands protested the U.S., French, and British airstrikes in Syria this weekend, NPR reports. The protests were led by Muqtada Sadr, a powerful Shiite cleric.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
41 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

47 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Wall Street bets it all on a vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's the time of year when Wall Street shops are rolling out predictions for where they see the stock market headed in the coming year. There's one common theme: Widespread distribution of a vaccine is the reason to be bullish.

Why it matters: Analysts say vaccines will help the economy heal, corporate profits rebound and stock market continue its upward trajectory.