Welcome back to Axios World. Tonight's global tour is 1,603 words (6 minutes).
Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images, Chesnot/Getty Images, Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Image, Jasper Juinen/Getty Images, and Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
President Trump began the day by announcing unexpected tariffs, via tweet, on Brazil and Argentina. He'll end it in London, where fellow NATO leaders fear he could jolt the alliance once again over the next two days.
The big picture: Trump’s chaotic approach to foreign policy — tweets, threats, tariffs — leaves much of the world wary of news from Washington.
Driving the news: This week’s NATO gathering is designed as a chance for leaders to mark the alliance’s 70th birthday, with an abbreviated schedule to minimize the risk of flare-ups.
Behind the scenes: Trump was also irked by Macron’s interview, Swan reports. "He's been down on Macron for a long while," one official told Swan, who reports that Trump has privately described Macron as a “wise guy.” Their "bromance" appears to be over.
What to watch: Trump’s relations with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are far warmer, but will also be tested this week.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, meanwhile, has embraced Trump with both arms, but he was caught off guard by today's sanctions announcement.
Zoom out: The dance practiced by the likes of Johnson and Bolsonaro — keeping Trump onside while bracing for his next remark — is all the more challenging for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The bottom line: Trump's partner one day can always become his target the next.
Putin gets some FaceTime with Xi. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/Getty Images
An 1,800-mile-long symbol of one of the world's most important geopolitical partnerships began delivering Russian gas to China today, the countries’ presidents announced.
By the numbers: The Power of Siberia pipeline is expected to “generate $400 billion for Russian state coffers” over three decades, per Reuters:
My thought bubble: The pipeline could also be seen as a physical manifestation of Putin’s China strategy. He is squeezing everything he can out of a relationship that currently provides massive economic and strategic benefits, while putting off the question of what the increasingly unequal relationship across one of the world’s longest borders means for Russia.
Protestors hold pictures of Daphne Caruana Galizia outside Muscat's office in Valletta, Malta. Photo: AFP via Getty
1. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced Sunday that he would resign next month in the wake of a crisis triggered by an investigation into the 2017 death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a prominent anti-corruption journalist, Axios' Zach Basu writes.
2. One of the rappers behind the song "Long Live the People," a smash hit in Morocco that breaks a taboo against insulting the king, has been sentenced to a year in prison, per the FT.
3. Sudan's transitional government has repealed a law that allowed women to be fined or flogged for "dancing, wearing trousers, vending on the streets or mixing with men who weren’t their relatives," per the Washington Post.
Protesters in Isfahan, Iran, Nov. 16. Photo: AFP via Getty Images
In Iran, more than 200 protesters have been killed in two weeks of widespread demonstrations following a decision to raise gas prices.
The big picture: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali "Khamenei and the rest of the regime have long pointed a finger abroad when under strain at home," Behnam Ben Taleblu writes for Axios Expert Voices. "But they're now facing greater pressure and responding with firmer tactics, including the use of lethal force under the cover of an internet blackout."
In Iraq, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi submitted his resignation Saturday after two months of protests over corruption and poor government services that have seen more than 350 killed.
A pro-independence rally in Barcelona. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images
The question of Catalan independence dominated Spain's election last month, which was held soon after separatist leaders were given long jail terms for holding an unsanctioned independence referendum.
State of play: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is forming a government that includes his center-left Socialists and the left-wing Podemos party. The two parties are short of a majority, so they need the blessing of smaller parties, including the separatists.
What they're saying: Alfred Bosch, the pro-independence foreign minister for Catalonia's regional government, tells Axios there's now "a window of opportunity" for negotiations on "the Catalan problem."
The big picture: Podemos has expressed openness to an independence referendum. Sánchez has not. Bosch says the separatists will reject the new government without a promise of dialogue aimed at reaching a "democratic solution."
"We're not in the world to keep Sanchez in power."— Alfred Bosch
Between the lines: I asked Bosch how he defines a "democratic solution," and he replied by asking for my definition.
Modi at a rally in Mumbai. Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images
Dexter Filkins goes deep in this week's New Yorker on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s success in suppressing criticism as he has made Hindu nationalism the dominant force in Indian politics.
The big picture: Filkins examines Modi's past — the "puritanical" youth recruited to the Hindu nationalist movement, the state official banned from the U.S. for allegedly standing by (or worse) during weeks of deadly rioting, and the rising star who "signaled to his followers that he shared their bigotry" in speeches and reaped political benefits.
Building a temporary bridge across the Ganges for the Hindu festival of Magh Mela in Allahabad, India. Photo: Anjay Kanojia/AFP via Getty Images
"First of all, have your own brain death checked. These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain death."— Erdoğan on Macron, whom he also called a "novice" who likes to "show off."