Nov 6, 2017

The most popular world leaders

From an analysis by Alexander Kliment and Gabe Lipton of Eurasia Group Media's Signal newsletter, here are some of the most popular leaders of the world's large countries:

Behind the numbers: Given that the state controls TV, where 90% of Russians get their news, Putin is certainly able to shape people's perceptions. But it would be a mistake to simply assume that this means his approval rating is "fake." Many Russians genuinely support him.

  • South Korea's Moon has won sympathy by taking a common man approach in sharp contrast to the aloof stylings of his predecessor, who was impeached for corruption.
  • Indonesia's Widodo has maintained his popularity by tackling corruption and improving people's standard of living.
  • In Marci's Argentina, the economy turned around just in time for his party to win important midterm elections late last month that will boost his efforts to reverse years of economic mismanagement by his predecessors.
  • And Trudeau's Canada has become the fastest growing economy among the world's seven advanced economies.

Go deeper: The world's most unpopular leaders

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.