Nov 28, 2017

Putin will try his hand at North Korea

To prepare for Putin's next surprise, it's worth keeping his core strategic tenets in mind: Russia must be taken seriously abroad, his leadership cannot be questioned at home, and no opportunity to give America a black eye can be passed over. What ticks all of those boxes? A glance at the map points to North Korea.

Dealing with Kim Jong-un ordinarily falls to a combination of American diplomacy and discreet Chinese pressure. There is a gap in the market here. Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of North Korea's ruling party, recently responded to a tweet from President Trump by saying the American leader had "malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership," thereby committing a "crime for which he can never be pardoned." The upshot is a death sentence from the Korean people.

The bottom line: Not given to tweeting, and capable of exerting more influence over Pyongyang than is widely recognized, Putin would be able to articulate a package deal that, while not acceptable to Washington, would still be embraced by most of the key regional players.

More voices:

Go deeper

Bernie's historic Jewish fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish presidential nominee of a major American political party — but that history-making possibility is being overshadowed by his conflicts with America's Jewish leaders and Israel's leadership.

The big picture: That's partly because we're all focusing on the implications of Democrats nominating a self-described democratic socialist. It's also because a candidate's religion no longer seems to matter as much to voters or the media, making the potential milestone of a Jewish nominee more of a non-event.

Coronavirus "infodemic" threatens world's health institutions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.

Why it matters: The tide of bad information is undermining trust in governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists — the very institutions that many believe are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

America's addiction treatment misses the mark

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Addiction treatment in the U.S. is critically necessary yet deeply flawed.

The big picture: Drug overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans a year, but treatment is often inaccessible. The industry is also riddled with subpar care and, in some cases, fraud.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health