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.
Heads up: Axios World will be in my colleague Shane Savitsky's capable hands on Thursday while I drift off to the West Coast for a mini-vacation. I'll be back Monday.
Situational awareness: In another major defeat for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Parliament has voted to allow "indicative votes" on a series of alternatives to her Brexit deal. Those votes will test whether any solution has majority support. Two government ministers who defied May to vote for the measure resigned. BBC coverage.
Trump and Netanyahu today, showing off their close ties. Also Trump's proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty in the Golan Heights. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Israel’s election campaign came to Washington today, with both frontrunners making high-profile appearances. Some 6,000 miles away, the Israeli military was mobilizing for an aerial offensive.
Catch up quick: After a rocket fired from Gaza struck a family home north of Tel Aviv early this morning, injuring seven people, Israel responded with force.
Back in Washington this morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Trump before cutting his visit short in light of the attack.
Before departing Washington, Netanyahu lavished praise on President Trump during a ceremony in which Trump officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights. He told Trump: “Israel has never had a better friend than you.”
The bottom line: Netanyahu claims events like today's show he's the only man who can keep Israel safe, while his opponents argue they prove he's not keeping Israel safe enough. But at the heart of Israel's security lies its relationship with the U.S..
Moniz (L) and John Kerry discuss how to respond to one of my hard-hitting questions. Or rather, testify in 2015 before Senate Foreign Relations about the Iran nuclear deal. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Ernest Moniz, former energy secretary and now CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, tells Axios, “The risk of a nuclear weapon being used is now higher than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
I interviewed Moniz at length last week at Indiana University, where we both took part in a foreign policy conference. He was particularly concerned about the erosion of the U.S.-Russia arms control regime, which could collapse entirely if the Trump administration declines to renew the New START treaty.
On North Korea, Moniz said that if the Trump administration sticks to its all-or-nothing approach to denuclearization, “the chances of success are miniscule.”
Maduro and Putin grip and grin last December. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images
Why it matters: More than two months after the United States and 50 other countries recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as president of the country, Russia’s latest power play is a defiant move to shape events in what has long been considered a U.S. sphere of influence.
The bottom line: Now, perhaps in part as reprisal for U.S. support of Ukraine's democratic government against Russian intervention, Vladimir Putin may try to play a role in any solution to the Venezuelan standoff.
I got a sneak peek over the weekend at Jon Lee Anderson's profile of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. Two paragraphs that stuck with me:
The banner still waves. View from a ferry on Taiwan's coast. Photo: James Wendlinger/South China Morning Post via Getty Images
China has lodged formal complaints to the U.S. after the Pentagon sent two ships through the Taiwan Strait yesterday, the latest in a string of such operations designed “to assert [the U.S. Navy's] right to sail through international waters as it sees fit,” per the WSJ.
The backdrop: The U.S. formally accepts the “One China Policy,” under which self-ruling Taiwan is considered part of China. But while Beijing has been increasingly assertive about its claims over Taiwan, the U.S. has stood by the island of 24 million.
Foreign Policy’s Lara Seligman writes:
What to watch: Taiwan’s unpopular president, Tsai Ing-wen, is facing a primary challenge — a first for an incumbent — by former Prime Minister Lai Ching-te ahead of January’s presidential election, per the Economist:
Protests Saturday in the Algerian city of Annaba. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
1. Protests in Algeria just keep growing despite President Abdelaziz Bouteflika having backed down from his plan to seek a fifth term.
2. The death toll from Cyclone Idai in southern Africa has crossed 750, with most of those deaths coming in Mozambique. The hard-hit city of Beira, pop. 530,000, was reportedly 90% destroyed.
3. In Mali, 134 people were killed Sunday in a region that has been plagued by terrorism and ethnic violence. “The UN said armed men, reportedly dressed as hunters, came before dawn and attacked the villagers with guns and machetes,” per CNN.
With Italy's decision to sign on to the Belt and Road Initiative shining a spotlight once again on China's infrastructure investments around the world, I thought this might be a good list to dive into. Per the World Economic Forum:
My thought bubble: It's remarkable that Haiti, a country less than 700 miles from Florida, is by this measure the least developed country on Earth.
Massive crowds — by some estimates over 1 million people — filled central London on Saturday to call for a new Brexit referendum. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
“There’s a chance to renew much in our relations, but the question is whether Trump will take the risk. We, of course, are ready."— Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the foreign relations committee in Russia's Federation Council, reacts to the Mueller report news.
Thanks for stopping by — enjoy Shane's edition on Thursday, and I'll see you in a week.