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.
From L-R: Trump, Merkel, Mr. and Mrs. Macron, Putin at the ceremony in Paris. Photo: Francois Mori/AFP/Getty Images
President Emmanuel Macron seemed to many to be speaking for Europe, even the free world, when he denounced nationalism as the “opposite of patriotism” and the enemy of peace and morality as President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin looked on. He wasn’t.
Why it matters: Trump’s antagonism toward Europe, and his immense unpopularity there, would seem to offer Macron the ideal foil as he seeks to shepherd the EU into a new consensus that security threats from the likes of Russia, economic competition with giants like China and the unreliability of the U.S. necessitate a strong, unified Europe that can throw its collective weight around. But the nationalists on his own continent are undermining that vision — and they have a powerful friend in Washington.
The big picture: Saturday’s remarks were part of what Macron sees as a battle for the soul of Europe with nationalists like Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Italy’s Matteo Salvini. And it's increasingly clear that, on that front, Trump is far from an ally.
Macron knows that the more he tries to pull the EU together, the more he pushes some members away, and the more he risks isolating himself. He may, therefore, press pause on the most ambitious aspects of his European agenda.
The bottom line: “Macron wants to be a strong leader that Trump disagrees with but respects for being strong,” Belin says. He doesn’t simply want to stand against Trump, alone.
That time in Singapore. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
North Korea has been making improvements to 16 hidden ballistic missile bases even after moving to dismantle a major site to appease the U.S., the Center for Strategic and International Studies reports, based on satellite images.
The bottom line: Kim isn't testing missiles or threatening nuclear destruction. He's also not doing anything that indicates he's serious about denuclearization. President Trump, for the time being, seems satisfied with that state of affairs. He's planning to meet Kim again early next year.
Trump and Erdogan attend the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels. Photo: Sean Gallup via Getty Images
The U.S.-Turkey strategic partnership is over, and we've entered an era where Ankara is neither friend nor foe, Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations writes for Axios Expert Voices:
What to watch: The last time international sanctions were imposed on Iran, Ankara helped Tehran evade them, and Turkish-Iranian trade initially increased. Even though the Trump administration granted Turkey a waiver to continue to buy oil from Iran, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been vocal in his opposition to U.S. policy. Given Turkey’s track record, it’s possible that Turkey will once again help Iran work around sanctions.
Go deeper: Read the full CFR report.
A banner in front of the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires. Photo: Mario De Fina/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Belief in democracy is eroding across Latin America, where 71% are dissatisfied with how democracy works and only half believe it's the best form of government, according to a Latinobarómetro survey of 18 countries published by the Economist.
How we got here: Economic growth has slowed and concerns about safety have grown. So, too, has outrage over corruption.
What to watch: "The young are more skeptical than the old, which bodes ill for democracy’s future."
Terrifyingly delicious: A robot serves sushi to Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe in 2017. Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images
People in Japan believe robots are coming for their jobs and will yield a more unequal society where it's harder to find work, according to a Pew survey.
By the numbers: 89% believe robots will do "much of the work" humans do today within 50 years. 83% think that will widen the gap between rich and poor, 74% think unemployment will grow and just 35% believe robots will create "new, better-paying jobs."
The big picture: The vast majority in Japan are pessimistic about where the economy is headed. While 44% now say the economy is "good," up from 7% in 2012, just 26% say things are better than they were 20 years ago, and a mere 15% say today's children will be better off than their parents.
The bottom line: It's not just about robots. Japan is facing severe demographic challenges tied to its aging and shrinking population. And while immigration is rising, it remains low. Just 23% would like to see it increase, while 58% say it should remain the same and 13% say it's already too high. Still, 59% say the immigrants currently in Japan "make our country stronger."
Alibaba keeps shattering its own records on Singles Day (11/11), the Chinese equivalent of Cyber Monday, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
Aerial view of advection fog in Yuncheng, China. Photo: Shang Jianzhou/VCG via Getty Images
"Courage was mine, and I had mystery;— Wilfred Owen, the British soldier and poet who died a week before the end of World War I, from "Strange Meeting"
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled."
Thanks for reading — see you Thursday evening!