Welcome back to Axios World, where we're serving up an assortment of global news stories in a pleasantly portioned 1,441 words (~ 6 minutes).
A protester is arrested on Saturday in Moscow. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty
The world’s two most powerful authoritarian states have been unable to quell pro-democracy demonstrations that have now spanned several weeks and drawn global attention.
The latest: Flights out of Hong Kong were canceled today after protesters flooded into the airport, while Moscow witnessed its largest protests in seven years over the weekend.
The Chinese government today claimed Hong Kong's uprising contains “sprouts of terrorism."
What to watch: “If the unthinkable happens and there is a violent crackdown in Hong Kong, then China’s relationships with the U.S. and its allies will likely get much worse,” writes Bill Bishop in his Sinocism newsletter. “I hate to be so negative but it does feel like we are approaching the precipice of something very worrisome.”
While the protests in Moscow haven’t matched the scale of Hong Kong's, the more than 50,000 who took to the streets on Saturday comprised the largest demonstration against the government since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012.
What to watch: Polyakova expects “an escalation of repression."
The big picture: Both China and Russia have accused the West of fomenting the unrest.
The bottom line: That's all part of the playbook, as is further repression. Unfortunately for the protesters, democratic reforms are not.
Putin visits a missile facility in 2017. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images
At least 7 people, many or all of them scientists, were killed last week when a missile test resulted in an explosion near Russia’s Arctic coast, per the NYT.
Between the lines: “The reference to radiation was striking — tests of missile engines don’t involve radiation. Well, with one exception: Last year, Russia announced it had tested a cruise missile powered by a nuclear reactor. ... NATO calls it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall,” Jeffrey Lewis writes for Foreign Policy.
Lewis is one such analyst. He writes that “a nuclear-powered cruise missile is an outrageous idea, one the United States long ago considered and rejected as a technical, strategic, and environmental nightmare."
Remember me? Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Photo: Mario De Fina/NurPhoto via Getty Images
1. President Mauricio Macri of Argentina got pummeled in primary elections yesterday that are seen as a bellwether for October’s presidential vote — and were expected to be close.
Flashback: Macri was greeted enthusiastically by business and foreign investors when elected in 2015, but has overseen an economic recession and steep inflation, which he blames on his leftist predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
2. The surprise victory of Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala's runoff presidential election on Sunday could throw a central plank of Trump’s migration strategy into doubt, Daniel Erikson writes for Axios Expert Voices:
Evening in Anguilla. Photo: Cedrick Isham Calvados/AFP/Getty Images
My weekend reading has me thinking about the relationship between American tourists and the Caribbean.
1. A death at a luxury resort in Anguilla “has riled the small island’s population and has raised uncomfortable questions about class, privilege and the deference shown to tourists,” the NYT’s Michael Wilson reports.
Details: An investment banker from Connecticut, Gavin Hapgood, claims maintenance worker Kenny Mitchel attempted to rob him at knife point.
2. The Economist reports from a slice of Haiti’s coast that Haitians can’t enter (unless they work for Royal Caribbean) and, from the perspective of visitors, might as well be the USA.
Gallup asked respondents from 20 countries, "do most children in this country have the opportunity to learn and grow every day?"
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Axios' Jonathan Swan reported in his can't-miss Sneak Peek newsletter last night that Trump has sent at least two unusual notes, in Sharpie, to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
A May 2017 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek — featuring a picture of Trudeau headlined "The Anti-Trump" — caught President Trump's attention.
Months later, Trump mailed Trudeau a document purporting to show that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada. He wrote in Sharpie: "Not good!!" or something to that effect.
A few weeks later, Trump received a handwritten letter from Trudeau. The note, on Trudeau's official stationery marked by the Maple Leaf, began with a friendly tone but ended with a drop of acid.
A stroll among the sunflowers, in Yamanashi, Japan. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
"Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?"— Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Twitter, equating India's moves in Kashmir to Nazism. India says it's Pakistan that's guilty of encouraging terror in the disputed region.