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.
Israeli police landed the most damaging blow yet on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, after two years of investigations, recommending he and his wife be charged in a third corruption case.
Why it matters: These allegations are by far the most serious Netanyahu faces, writes Axios contributor Barak Ravid. The man who has dominated Israeli politics for a decade is now waging a battle for political survival.
Ravid files from Jerusalem that with the investigations now over, there are two clocks ticking ...
Catch up quick: The most painful hit yet for Netanyahu and his wife Sara stems from "Case 4000," concerning their relationship with Israel's leading telecommunications tycoon.
Netanyahu's battle for survival has many similarities to Donald Trump's outrage-fueled fight against special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation:
What's next: There had been speculation Netanyahu would try to cut a deal with the attorney general: resignation from the prime minister's job in return for the closing of his three legal cases. But a speech last night in which Netanyahu harshly attacked the police indicates he's not going down that road.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
President Trump's trade truce with China looked set to last a bit longer than expected after Larry Kudlow said today that the 90-day period the sides agreed on at the G20 wouldn't begin until Jan 1.
Catch up quick: Trump delayed his threats to raise existing tariffs from 10% to 25% and impose a big swathe of new tariffs while the two sides negotiate a potential broader agreement. China has made (pretty vague) promises to regulate fentanyl and buy more U.S. agricultural goods
"At first glance the outcome looks like a win for Xi Jinping and China. The Chinese are always playing for time and any pause that involves more talking is a victory for Beijing, as it only adds to the chances they have for a shift to a more favorable US domestic political environment and, as we have learned with the waning 'maximum pressure' campaign on North Korea, once you step back from the brink it is difficult to marshal the support to return to it if the talks do not bear fruit."— Axios contributor Bill Bishop in his Sinocism newsletter
The markets like the deal. China hawks do not. Swan has been speaking to some who are worried he's too concerned about the stock market tanking to keep ratcheting up the pressure with new tariffs.
"Everything has got to be seen through the prism of the [Mueller] investigation and needing short-term micro tactical wins. And that's why the stock market going up is a win."— Source familiar with Trump's thinking to Axios' Jonathan Swan
What to watch: The U.S. wants concessions from China on forced technology transfers, IP theft, certain trade practices and cyber theft. So far, the sides can't seem to agree on what they've already agreed on.
The bottom line: "Maybe we really have walked back from the brink, but I doubt it and am still very skeptical that the U.S. and China can solve the underlying structural issues in the next several years, let alone 90 days," Bishop writes.
Surveying the damage on Kleber Avenue in Paris. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron has visited the graffiti-stained Arc de Triomphe, called for urgent talks and postponed a trip to Serbia after what are being called the worst riots to hit Paris since 1968. Paris' mayor says up to $4.5 million in damage was done on Saturday alone. An elderly woman in Marseille was killed after being hit by a tear gas canister at her window.
What is going on here? Sophie Pedder, the Economist's Paris bureau chief and author of a new book on Macron (which I recently read and enjoyed), explains that while "Macron has faced down waves of strikes and street protests since his election 18 months ago ... this one is very different."
What to watch: "This is the first real political crisis of Macron’s presidency. The power vested by the constitution in the French presidency makes him both the focus of inflated hopes, and of all anger. During his election campaign Macron was himself the leader of a (peaceful) political insurrection. ... Now the rebellion is against him. ... How he handles it will probably determine his presidency."
López Obrador at an indigineous peoples ceremony as part of his inauguration. Photo: Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images
Andrés Manuel López Obrador began the week, his first as president of Mexico, with a 7 am press conference. Since taking office on Saturday, he has already turned over the presidential palace to the public and sold off the presidential plane (he flew coach yesterday).
Daniel Erikson of the Penn Biden Center writes for Axios Expert Voices that López Obrador's convincing mandate and majorities in both houses will "grant him ample leeway to pursue his agenda."
2. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has denied that he is dead (you read that right) following speculation he was replaced by a body double, or even a clone. Despite health struggles, he's seeking re-election next February in Africa's most populous country.
3. Only a handful of African countries currently have the mobile connectivity, research hubs, government support and global partnerships necessary to benefit from the global artificial intelligence boom, Aleksandra Gadzala, an Atlantic Council fellow and CEO of Magpie Advisory, writes for Axios Expert Voices.
George H.W. Bush with Mikhail Gorbachev. Photo: Jerome Delay/AFP/Getty Images
George H.W. Bush has returned to Washington for the last time as part of a four-day tribute here and in Texas. Because so much of Bush's legacy is tied to foreign policy, I thought this would be a fitting flashback.
It was 29 years ago today that Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev declared an end to the Cold War at a summit in Malta, just three weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here's what Bush said that day:
It's worth considering how that crucial period in history might have played out were a different U.S. president in office.
A coal miner in Pawlowice, Poland, not far from where the UN climate conference is being held this week. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
“It’s a killing activity. But at my age, I am not really bothered because I take marijuana to stay awake."— Rodrigo Duterte, in an apparent joke, after complaining about how taxing foreign trips are. His drug war in the Philippines has killed thousands.
Thanks for stopping by — see you Thursday evening!