Welcome back to a Thursday evening edition of Axios World. We've got seven global stops in 1,500 words (5 minutes).
Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the corruption indictments leveled against him today as an “attempted coup” and a witch hunt.
Driving the news: Today's announcement from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, though long-anticipated, sent political shockwaves through Israel that have reached Washington. The indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust make Netanyahu the first Israeli prime minister to face criminal charges.
On the scene: Netanyahu’s political rivals, including Benny Gantz, called on him to resign. His right-wing political allies praised his work for the country and stressed that he is innocent until proven guilty – but they didn’t say anything about political next steps.
But, but, but: Netanyahu's top priority is to quell any dissent within the party ranks, and he still plans to lead Likud into Israel’s third election in the span of a year.
The big picture: Regardless of what happens next, today clearly dealt Israel’s longest-serving prime minister a devastating blow.
Zoom out: Netanyahu has been arguably President Trump's closest international ally. In Washington, many Democrats drew parallels between the indictments and Trump’s impeachment process.
“Netanyahu is accused of accepting bribes, trading government favors, and manipulating a free press. Like his pal Donald Trump, he'll stop at nothing to enrich himself and stay in power."— Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Twitter
Taking cover from a water cannon in Santiago, Chile. Photo: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
I asked Martin Aguirre, editor-in-chief of Uruguay's El Pais newspaper, why South America was going crazy all at once. He replied that it was always crazy, just not always crazy enough to get Americans' attention.
The big picture: "Venezuela, Brazil, and more recently Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile have been in the news because of violent protests and uprisings. One thing's for sure: It's not because of any one political system," Martin emails from Montevideo.
Flashback: "For a whole decade, the region experienced a boom linked with China's apparently endless need for commodities — copper, soybean, oil."
"But there is another reason for this sudden mess: Latin America's historic deficit in democratic institutions."
"That's what you are witnessing in many countries of the region these days."
Trump hugs a flag. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Most Americans think theirs is an exceptional nation, either for what it represents (42.4%) or what it has done for the world (18.2%), according to a survey from the Eurasia Group Foundation.
But, but, but: 39.5% view America as just another country acting in its own interests, up from 33.4% a year ago. That's because fewer people feel America represents something exceptional.
The survey also underscores Americans' noninterventionist tendencies:
1. In response to humanitarian abuses overseas, most would opt for restraint (47.1%) or a UN-led response (33.5%) rather than U.S. military action (19.4%).
2. More Americans think the U.S. should decrease (57.6%) rather than increase (42.4%) its military presence in Asia in response to a rising China.
3. Americans are split over what to do about Afghanistan.
The 2020 angle: "Trump supporters are less inclined to retaliate against Russia. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders supporters are more inclined to draw down our military presence in East Asia and reduce defense spending," writes Mark Hannah, the report's author.
Selfies in Nairobi. Photo: Simon Maina/AFP via Getty Images
The vast majority of people across 11 developing economies surveyed by Pew either own or share a mobile phone.
Many of those who do have a phone find it hard to get a reliable signal (77% in Lebanon, 44% in South Africa) or find somewhere to charge it.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
American consumers are familiar with many big-name Asian brands — Toyota, Samsung — but brands from China are doing their best to hide where they come from, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
Driving the news: TikTok is dealing with headache after headache due to its Chinese ownership.
Chinese brands have been trying to fly under the radar for years.
The real Situation Room, in 2014. Photo: Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
America's top national security officials arrived in the Situation Room on Tuesday evening to discuss dual national security crises:
Harvard's Kennedy School carried out that scenario to "learn how the rise of digital currencies could reshape geopolitics." I tuned in via livestream.
Some interesting questions that arose:
Fighting a bushfire in Penrith, Australia. Photo: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
"He also testified that you confirmed to President Trump that you were in Ukraine at the time and that President Zelensky, quote, 'loves your ass,' unquote. Do you recall saying that?"— Daniel Goldman, Democratic counsel, House Intelligence Committee
"It sounds like something I would say."— Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU