Welcome back to Axios World. We've got the 1,685 words (6 minutes) you need to catch up on today's global news.
Situational awareness: Polls will be closing across Canada between now and 10pm ET. We're expecting a close race as Justin Trudeau attempts to claw his way to another term. We’ll have full coverage on our website and in Thursday’s edition.
Heading out of town. Photo: Yunus Keles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A U.S. military convoy withdrawing from Syria for Iraq today was pelted with fruit and stones by Kurdish civilians who accuse the superpower they once saw as their protector of leaving them in peril.
Driving the news: “We never agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives,” President Trump responded back in Washington. He said the U.S. would keep small detachments in Syria at the request of Israel and Jordan and to “protect the oil," but there was otherwise "no reason" to remain.
What to watch: The deal expires tomorrow night and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to resume his offensive if the so-called “safe zone” he’s demanded isn’t cleared of Kurdish fighters. Erdogan will be meeting tomorrow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Behind the scenes: I asked McGurk today whether he'd ever heard Trump express interest in what would become of Syria.
Trump did express interest in what would happen to Syria's oil. McGurk said he explored the issue with Rex Tillerson, who was then secretary of state and previously ExxonMobil CEO.
Reality check: "I think [Tillerson's] phrase was, 'That's not how oil works,'" McGurk said, noting that the oil legally belongs to the Syrian state.
The bottom line: "We don’t want these resources to get in the hands of terrorists or others, but maybe Trump should have thought about this before he basically made a decision that unraveled the tapestry that had been working relatively well," McGurk said.
Santiago is burning. Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images
Unpopular policies have exposed deep underlying anger in Chile, Lebanon, Ecuador and Hong Kong.
1. Chile has seen at least eight killed, 2,100 arrested, dozens of metro stations torched and thousands of troops in the streets after a weekend of riots carried over int
2. Massive demonstrations in Lebanon over government corruption, poor services and high unemployment continued for a fifth day today.
Between the lines: Backtracking can work, at least temporarily. Protests in Ecuador that had grown so intense that President Lenín Moreno was forced to flee the capital quieted after he withdrew a plan to end fuel subsidies.
The dam, as of 2017. Photo: Gioia Forster/picture alliance via Getty Images
A tense debate over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam — which will be Africa’s largest dam — will continue in an unlikely location this week: Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Why it matters: Egypt fears the $4 billion dam will disrupt the flow of the Nile, which supplies nearly all of the desert country’s fresh water. Ethiopia, which views the dam not only as an economic boon but as a point of national pride, claims Egypt is attempting to trample its sovereignty and economic development.
What to watch: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister (and newly minted Nobel laureate) Abiy Ahmed will be among the 35 African leaders at the first Africa-Russia summit later this week.
Photo: John Duran/Getty Images
Election returns from Bolivia last night showed President Evo Morales falling short of the 10% margin needed to avoid a run-off — until they stopped showing anything at all.
Zoom out: Morales became the Andean nation's first indigenous president in 2006 and has been in power ever since, overseeing solid economic growth and the consolidation of control over institutions and much of the media.
"Such has been his influence as president that many people from across the political spectrum describe him as Bolivia’s equivalent to Turkey’s Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — someone who 'refounded' a nation," writes the FT's Andres Schipani, who spent a day with Morales on the campaign trail.
Zoom in: Morales was leading his main challenger, former president Carlos Mesa, by a 45%-38% margin with 84% of the vote in, per the BBC.
Ready to do this all over again? Photo: Heidi Levine/AFP/Getty Images
After a close-run election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked to form a government but failed to do so before his mandate expired.
But, but, but: Israeli politics are deadlocked, and Gantz is also unlikely to succeed, Axios contributor Barak Ravid writes:
The big picture: This is the first time since 2008 that anyone other than Netanyahu has been asked to form a government.
What to watch: If all that fails, expect Israel's third election this year.
Naruhito, lounging in his favorite armchair. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
The spectacle surrounding Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who will be formally "enthroned" tomorrow, might suggest majesty and power. But his life is actually "absurdly formal and arcane," per the Economist.
The bottom line: The bubble around Naruhito might insulate him from "familiarity and ridicule," the Economist notes, but it also "risks making him ... a relic."
Dervishes whirl in Bursa, Turkey. Photo: Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
"We deeply regret the decision of the President of United States to withdraw American troops from northeastern Syria which marks another landmark in the change of American foreign policy in the Near and Middle East."— A rare joint statement from the foreign affairs chiefs in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.K., France, Germany and the European Parliament