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Protests against the Maduro regime in Venezuela. Photo: Roman Camacho/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Economist's Democracy Index finds that the gradual erosion of democracy around the world continued last year, with 89 of 167 countries in the rankings considered less democratic thank the year prior.

  • The world's 10 strongest democracies: Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland, Switzerland. The U.S. is 21st, and considered a "flawed democracy."
  • Big movers: Venezuela is now considered authoritarian, with Indonesia also dropping significantly. The Gambia took the biggest step forward.
  • Why it matters: In the second half of the 20th century, there was a strong trend toward more democracy around the world. That trend is now in reverse.

Go deeper with a great video from the NY Times' The Interpreter on this topic

Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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