Welcome back to Axios World for tonight's 1,765-word (6-minute) global tour.
A migrant worker on the move with his child, in Gurugram, India. Photo: Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty
Few moments better capture the world into which we've slipped than the decision of one man to order 1.4 billion into lockdown.
Why it matters: India’s three-week lockdown is the largest ever attempted, and it sparked South Asia's greatest migration since partition in 1947. While the economic effects could be devastating, the public health crisis it's intended to fend off could be more destructive still.
Driving the news: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today apologized to poor Indians for the hardships they'd suffered. But he defended the measures he announced last Tuesday, with virtually no warning, as brutal but necessary.
"If we don’t manage these 21 days, the country will be set back by 21 years.”— Narendra Modi, on March 24
The big picture: Nearly half a billion Indians work informally, scraping by on construction sites, in restaurants and other such jobs. Many travel hundreds of miles to find work.
On the ground: “Among those stuck were Sanjay Kumar and his father, Ashok, both daily wage laborers,” Joanna Slater and Niha Masih write in the Washington Post:
Zoom out: Neighboring Nepal was also suddenly ordered into lockdown last week despite having just five confirmed cases, former Axios fellow and BBC Nepali journalist Phanindra Dahal tells me from Kathmandu:
The same is true in India, where the official totals of 1,251 cases and 32 deaths are almost meaningless given the lack of testing.
The bottom line: Before long, Modi’s dramatic step may again seem unthinkable. For now, there's concern it could be too little too late.
Maduro at a 2018 Independence Day parade. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Justice Department dropped a bombshell last Thursday, charging Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and other senior officials with narco-terrorism and drug trafficking, while putting out a $15 million bounty for information leading to Maduro's arrest.
Why it matters: Maduro remains in power 14 months after the U.S. recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's president. While the U.S. has said all options are on the table if Maduro won't step down, it's clear by now that he won't leave voluntarily.
Still, Cutz argues the move will show the international community there's "hard evidence" of Maduro's criminal activity, and it will put a "target on his back" if he leaves the country.
Between the lines: The U.S. is amplifying its pressure campaign just as Venezuela's economic crisis is about to collide with a coronavirus crisis it's worryingly ill-equipped to handle.
1. With Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continuing to dismiss the coronavirus as "sniffles," unlikely actors have stepped in: Twitter and drug gangs.
2. Japan has managed to avoid a large coronavirus outbreak to date, but life may now be easing back toward normal too soon.
Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images
Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and it's likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.
Details: The new law puts Hungary into a state of emergency with no time limit. Orbán will be allowed to rule by decree, and all elections will be suspended.
Where things stand: Hungary has 447 confirmed coronavirus cases with 15 deaths. Limited testing means the case count could be significantly higher.
Hong Kong, before the virus. Photo: Laurel Chor/Getty Images
The year of the mass uprising has collided with the year of the coronavirus lockdown, leaving protest movements around the world stalled.
The big picture: The enduring images of 2019 are of protest — from Hong Kong to Khartoum, across the Middle East and through much of Latin America. Seemingly overnight, though, social distancing has made such mass demonstrations almost unthinkable.
Hong Kong’s protests raged for most of 2019, but left existential questions about relations with mainland China unresolved heading into the new year.
Where things stand: Women in Mexico attempted a novel tactic on March 9. To protest violence against women, they held a “day without women” by staying inside their homes all day.
John Kerry with MBS in 2016, before the world knew his name. Photo: Molly Riley/AFP via Getty Images
My overriding sensation in reading "MBS," Ben Hubbard’s new account of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman rose to power in Saudi Arabia, was of whiplash.
The time elapsed between, say, hosting a gathering of global VIPs and indefinitely detaining some of the kingdom’s richest people can be measured in hours.
Everything about MBS seems to have happened in fast-forward.
After reading the book, I understand a bit better how MBS won over so many in the U.S. and around the world. Many found his ambition and energy intoxicating.
I also have a greater appreciation of how MBS removed nearly all checks on his power through brutality and fear.
The bottom line: MBS’ plans to modernize Saudi Arabia socially and economically are truly revolutionary. But to trust that vision, you have to trust MBS.
Bride and groom(ish). Photo: Phil Dazo
In the end, we weren't technically able to get married over the weekend.
Strolling past a mural of the days before social distancing, in Dubai. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images
"When we launched the appeal last night, we hoped to get 250,000 volunteers over a few days. ... In just 24 hours, 405,000 people have responded to the call."— U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the "volunteer army" helping the National Health Service cope with coronavirus overload