May 19, 2018

Saudi Arabia arrests women's rights activists

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Seven Saudi activists who have advocated for lifting the ban on women driving and greater women's rights in the kingdom were arrested this week, according to Human Rights Watch.

Why it matters: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has worked hard to portray himself as modernizing the kingdom — including a whistle-stop tour of the United States — but, per Reuters, that reform has "been accompanied by an apparent crackdown on dissent against critics." This also comes after MBS arrested more than 200 prominent Saudis as part of a corruption crackdown that obtained billions for the country's coffers.

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Obama demands South Carolina TV stations stop airing misleading anti-Biden ad

Photo: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Former President Obama's office is calling on South Carolina TV stations to stop running a misleading attack ad by a pro-Trump super PAC that uses Obama's voice out of context to make it appear as if he is criticizing Joe Biden and Democrats on race.

Why it matters: It's a rare intervention by Obama, whose former vice president Joe Biden is facing a critical primary in South Carolina on Saturday. Obama has said he has no plans to endorse in the Democratic field.

The megatrends that will shape the 21st century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An enormous amount of change has been crammed into the first two decades of the 21st century — but what’s coming next will break every speed record.

The big picture: The world is being buffeted by rapid yet uneven advances in technology that will revamp work and what it means to be human. At the same time, fundamental demographic changes will alter democracies and autocracies alike while the effects of climate change accumulate, physically redrawing our globe.

Trump gets "woke" in 15-city campaign to court black voters

The Trump campaign is leaning into its effort to woo African American voters, opening "Black Voices for Trump" offices across six swing states, the campaign says.

Why it matters: "Woke" stickers, "Black Voices for Trump" T-shirts and other branded swag are part of this storefront approach as the campaign ramps up its efforts to erode Democrats' lock on this key demographic.