Welcome to Axios World, where two evenings a week we break down the big stories from around the globe.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP has won or is leading in 303 of 543 seats up for grabs in India's general election — a whopping 6 times more than the largest opposition party, Congress.
Why it matters: This is a landslide of staggering proportions. It earns Modi another 5 years in office and establishes him as India's most powerful politician in decades.
Flashback: Modi campaigned in 2014 as the man to invigorate India's economy. The results there have been mixed: Growth is solid, but unemployment has ticked upwards and rural India has struggled on Modi's watch.
Modi did make good on another campaign promise — to expand India's presence on the world stage.
Modi's victory is a source of joy for his Hindu nationalist base and of fear for many in India's Muslim minority.
The bottom line: "There is no doubt that Modi's politics rest on polarizing the country, but he has polarized very successfully," as Axios fellow Phanindra Dahal pithily puts it.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A long-awaited test for Europe’s far right began today with European parliamentary elections, which will send a medley of nationalists to Brussels and a message to mainstream parties all over the continent.
Why it matters: Emmanuel Macron, France’s fiercely pro-EU president, has portrayed it as a referendum on the European project. His nationalist foes agree — but their ambition is to weaken the EU from the inside.
The far right is growing in strength, but it’s hardly a unified force. Things tend to get messy when nationalists, campaigning on “sovereignty,” attempt to join hands across borders.
What to watch: Turnout is often low in these elections, but the consequences can be significant. Markus Schomer, chief economist at PineBridge Investments, tells Axios’ Dion Rabouin the 2014 vote was the “catalyst” for Brexit.
“My worry is something could happen in these elections that lights the fuse for another Brexit-like event a few years from now."
The big picture: Since 2014, Brussels has largely remained insulated from the political upheaval around the continent, says Erik Brattberg of the Carnegie Endowment. Not any longer.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May appears, finally, to have reached the end of the road. A plan to resuscitate her Brexit deal was abandoned today. The London Times reports that she'll "announce a timetable for her departure tomorrow morning."
My thought bubble: May came into office three years ago with a singular mission — to deliver Brexit. Anyone would have struggled to do so. She, quite clearly, failed.
Flashback: May replaced David Cameron in July 2016 after six years as Home Secretary and two decades in Parliament. She positioned herself as the “strong and stable” choice and triumphed after Boris Johnson unexpectedly pulled out of the race.
Since then, May has seen off attempts to oust her by the opposition and her own party, had her plan defeated by another massive margin, and been forced to delay the Brexit deadline twice — most recently to Oct. 31.
What’s next: Assuming May goes, Johnson is favored to replace her. That worries leaders across Europe, but might delight President Trump. He's set to visit the U.K. early next month.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Photo: Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images
When Arsenal takes the field in Baku, Azerbaijan, next week to face Chelsea in the Europa League final, Henrikh Mkhitaryan won't be with them.
Yesterday, I asked the secretary of Armenia's security council, who was traveling through D.C., for his view:
“It shows once more that the hatred in that society is so high that it creates problems for Armenians."
Context: "The conflict centres on control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1988 as the Soviet Union started to break apart. After the Armenians sided with Nagorno-Karabakh, a full-scale war broke out — in which some 30,000 people had died by 1994. The region has been under Armenian control ever since, but this has failed to bring a lasting peace," per the Economist.
Meanwhile, FIFA has dropped plans to expand the 2022 World Cup field from 32 to 48 teams.
Yet another Nordic-led list, this time from FM Global. The property insurer ranks countries by economic productivity, political stability, control of corruption and corporate governance to gauge their resilience to disruptive events, per Axios' Dion Rabouin.
Nice hats! Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Trump is heading to Japan tomorrow for a four-day state visit. Expect a round of golf, dinner for the first couples at an izakaya and a visit to an aircraft carrier.
What not to expect: Widespread protests, or a trade deal. While Trump floated the possibility of signing one, both U.S. and Japanese officials say it's not coming this week.
Modi (L) celebrates his victory in New Delhi. Photo: Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
"An imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being."— North Korean state media on Joe Biden
Have a lovely long weekend — see you next Thursday