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

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Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 12,123,257 — Total deaths: 551,384 — Total recoveries — 6,650,507Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 3,084,690 — Total deaths: 132,803 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,431,666Map.
  3. Public health: Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day coronavirus death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. Travel: Young adults are most likely to have moved due to coronavirus.

Judge asks full appeals court to review panel's dismissal of Flynn case

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Thursday petitioned for the full D.C. Court of Appeals to rehear a three-judge panel's decision to order the dismissal of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why it matters: The panel's 2-1 decision could be overturned by the full 11-judge appeals court if it decides to take up the en banc review.

Michael Cohen taken back into federal custody

Michael Cohen arrives at his Park Avenue apartment on May 21 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's disgraced former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is heading back to prison after refusing the conditions of his home confinement, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Details: A New York Post report earlier this month placed Cohen out at a restaurant in New York with his wife, while one of the sources said that more broadly he refused to wear an ankle bracelet.