Welcome back to Axios World. Dave is still enjoying his vacation, so I'm back at the helm for today and Monday. (And let's give a round of applause for my colleague, Zach Basu, who held down the fort last week.) Today's edition is 1,159 words — or a 5 minute read.
Photo: Danny Lawson/AFP/Getty Images
Dave has deemed me Axios' chief Brexitologist, but I promised (promised!) myself that I wasn't going to write about the U.K. in this slot today. Unfortunately, the reality that we've found ourselves in has decided that I be given no choice.
It's fanciful to say with certainty how it plays out from here (BuzzFeed News has a fun rundown of all of the possibilities), but here are 3 things that I think are reasonably likely to occur:
1. An election is coming — and soon. Johnson may have failed in his first bid for an early election, but opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn will start to feel the heat to take his message — a second referendum! — to the polls.
2. Johnson's humiliations aren't over. If he wants an election and Labour doesn't trust he won't move the date, he may have to head to the EU to request a Brexit extension past Oct. 31, breaking one of his core promises in the process.
3. There's a surprise waiting in the wings. There are so many insane — but plausible — things that could happen. Johnson could resign to avoid breaking his extension promise, or he might flat out refuse to ask the EU for an extension, which would be against the law.
The bottom line: Pundits will continue their punditry, but we're firmly in uncharted waters here. No one — not even Britain's best and brightest — knows exactly what's coming next.
Carrie Lam speaks to the media in Hong Kong. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam made the decision yesterday to pull a controversial extradition bill that sparked weeks of huge pro-democracy protests in the city.
And zooming out, the Hong Kong struggle could become another proxy in the U.S.-China superpower battle, given China's "deepening conviction that support for democratic rights in Hong Kong is part of a broader effort to undermine the Communist Party," reports the New York Times.
Worth a read: Wang Chaohua, who took part in the Tiananmen Square protests, reflects on how the demonstrations in Hong Kong compare to 1989's pro-democracy push in The Atlantic.
At least 20 people are dead — with the toll sure to rise — in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian pounded the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, per AP.
One area that saw particular devastation is Marsh Harbour's "The Mudd." A shantytown for Haitian immigrants, "it was razed in a matter of hours by Dorian, which reduced it to piles of splintered plywood and two-by-fours" for miles.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The U.S. is already thinking about Dorian's geopolitical impacts, given the national security implications if China rushes to provide billions in foreign aid to the Bahamas, scoops Axios' Margaret Talev.
The big picture: Trump administration sources tell Axios it's too soon for detailed conversations on how the China rivalry could play out in Dorian's aftermath, but officials involved in diplomacy, national security and foreign assistance understand that it will be part of the equation after the initial response.
Plainclothes members of the South African Police Service patrol a Johannesburg neighborhood this week. Photo: Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images
South Africa is facing boycotts from citizens of other African nations after riots against foreigners this week left at least 5 dead and 189 arrested, per the BBC.
Why it matters: "The country has become a magnet for migrants from other parts of Africa," but this is just the latest spasm of violence against foreigners after similar incidents occurred in 2008 and 2015.
For the second year in a row, Vienna is the world's most livable city, according to a survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
A bright spot: San Juan, Puerto Rico, was the list's biggest mover, jumping 20 spots to No. 69 thanks to "investments in health care and infrastructure after the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria."
A view of Stage 11 of the Tour de Spain. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
"Sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained."— New Zealand scientist Neil Gemmell, whose research indicates that the Loch Ness Monster may actually be a giant eel, per the BBC