Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down what you need to know about the big stories from around the globe. I'm filing this week from the beautiful city of Montevideo, Uruguay.
Prime Minister Theresa May gives a statement to the media outside 10 Downing Street. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
As members of her Conservative Party submitted letters of no confidence and senior figures from every faction of British politics denounced her Brexit deal, Prime Minister Theresa May set a clear line: She won’t relinquish her post unless it's taken from her.
Where things stand: May must stare down a rebellion in her party just to secure the opportunity to present a deal that has every chance of failure in Parliament. If she fails, no one really knows what comes next.
Catch up quick ...
Between the lines: May is positioning herself as the adult in the room, and her Brexit solution as the only way to respect the will of the people while limiting the economic damage of a hard split with Brussels. It’s a deal explicitly designed to please no one. As Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times:
The problem for May is that together those two camps comprise the vast majority of the country and of the House of Commons. May’s coalition is divided, and the Tory train wreck gives Labour its best chance in years of taking power.
The big question: If May stumbles on either of two massive hurdles (the leadership challenge or the parliamentary vote), well ... then what? A “No Deal” exit? A second referendum? Fresh elections?
The bottom line: May’s political appeal has long been, essentially, “it’s me, or it’s chaos.” This time she might be right.
Trump and Erdogan at this year's NATO summit. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
The White House is exploring options for expelling Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish cleric accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016, in hopes that Erdogan lets up pressure on the Saudis over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, NBC News reports.
That's an explosive report — not only that the U.S. would consider expelling Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania for almost two decades, but that they would do so to remove pressure on the Saudis even as the kingdom has failed to put forth a credible explanation for Khashoggi's death. It suggests the White House's priority, come what may, is to protect the Saudis and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The big picture: Turkey has arrested hundreds of people for alleged links to Gulen. That was one of the charges against Andrew Brunson, the U.S. pastor who was at the center of a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Turkey until his release in October.
Columbia University historian Adam Tooze has written books about two seismic events with major anniversaries this year: the end of World War I, a century ago last week, and the 2008 financial crisis.
The big question: If financial disaster struck again, would the U.S. be willing to play that same role?
Nancy Pelosi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Tooze points out that the 1916 presidential contest, fought over America's role in WWI, was the first American election that felt crucial to much of the world. Now, the foreign policies of allies and foes alike hinge on how Americans vote, even in the midterms.
Why it matters: Many countries viewed the midterms as a barometer of President Trump’s re-election chances and the impact of investigations by both Robert Mueller and a Democratic House, Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group writes for Axios Expert Voices:
The bottom line: After adjusting to an unpredictable president, world leaders now must figure out how to deal with a weakened and wounded one.
Waiting for APEC in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Getty
A geopolitical contest is playing out in one of the world’s least developed countries — Papua New Guinea (PNG). In this case, geopolitical competition, often the source of war and strife, may be a force for good, writes GZERO Media's Gabe Lipton in the latest Signal newsletter.
What's happening: Leaders from 20 countries will arrive in the island nation this weekend for the start of the annual APEC summit. Xi Jinping has already arrived — he's making the first ever official state visit by a Chinese president.
What to watch: If PNG Prime Minster Peter O’Neill plays his cards right, the country could cash in by balancing the competing interests of China and Australia.
Magufuli inspects the troops, independence day 2017. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images
The World Bank has withdrawn a $300 million loan intended for education in Tanzania, citing the country's policy of banning pregnant girls from school.
The big picture: The decision comes with Tanzania, as the Economist puts it, "on the descent from patchy democracy towards slapdash dictatorship."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
"Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!"— Trump, in one of several tweets this week targeting Macron
Thanks for joining me — see you Monday evening!