Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

European Union leaders will discuss next week whether to blacklist Turkish officials or impose other sanctions over human rights concerns, a spokesperson for the European Commission told EU Observer.

Why it matters: Tensions between Turkey and the EU have reached new heights this year over President Erdoğan's crackdown on dissidents and journalists, disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey's intervention in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and more.

The state of play: The discussion over sanctioning Turkish officials has been prompted primarily by the way in which the Turkish government has handled the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in 2016.

  • Last week, a Turkish court jailed 337 people for life in a single day. Defendants were given life sentences for alleged murder, violating the constitutional order and attempting to assassinate Erdoğan, according to AFP.
  • An EU spokeswoman told the EU Observer that 19,583 military officers have been dismissed and around 6,000 officers have been arrested for alleged ties to the coup.
  • More than 2,800 people have been jailed for life, with judges convicting nearly 4,500 suspects since July 2016, per AFP.
  • Since the post-coup crackdown, Turkish asylum applications have increased from very few to between 1,500 and 2,500 each month.

The big picture: The European Commission — the executive branch of the EU — released a report in October in which they found that human and fundamental rights in Turkey are deteriorating.

  • The Commission said the enforcement of rights is affected by the "limited independence of public institutions responsible for protecting human rights and freedoms."
  • The EU also presented concerns over a "lack of objective, merit-based, uniform and pre-established criteria for recruiting and promoting judges and prosecutors," arguing that Turkey's judicial system lacks any sort of independence.

Between the lines: Turkey has been negotiating full membership into the EU since 2005, but negotiations have stalled since 2016 amid the country's democratic backsliding, according to Euronews. Relations between Turkey and other European countries have continued to worsen.

  • Erdogan said on Friday he hoped France would soon get rid of President Emmanuel Macron, calling him a "burden," Reuters reports.
  • The two leaders have sparred over France's response to recent Islamic terrorism attacks.

Go deeper: Past friction between Biden and Erdoğan foreshadows future tensions

Go deeper

Dec 30, 2020 - World

EU strikes investment deal with China despite forced labor concerns

European leaders meet via videoconference with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize the investment deal. Photo: Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP

The European Union on Wednesday finalized an agreement in principle on a long-delayed investment deal with China, appearing to defy resistance from within the EU and a request for consultations about "common concerns" from the incoming Biden administration.

Why it matters: The deal will open up both markets to investment and commit Beijing to ending certain unfair trading practices, strengthening economic ties between the EU and its second-largest trading partner.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
21 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.