Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the Oval Office on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Dietsch / Pool via Bloomberg

"Egyptians go to the polls next week in what is essentially a one-candidate election considered by critics to be a return of sorts to authoritarian rule, after a 2011 revolution that sparked loftier expectations for the region," AP Middle East Editor Dan Perry writes.

The big picture: "[I]n the Middle East as a whole, democracy has largely failed to take hold."

  • "From Morocco in the west to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates in the east, monarchies have proven more stable than places that experimented with government of the people."
  • The "tyranny of the majority": "[I]t is rare to find respect for the rights of minorities, ideological or ethnic."

The global view ... "[T]he Middle East is hardly alone in what seems to be a global trend away from liberal democracy at a turbulent and complicated time":

  • "Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is following a model perfected by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, an equally illiberal leader who was re-elected this week after maneuvering his own chief opponent out of the running."

Go deeper

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Zeta closes in

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta strengthened into a hurricane again early Wednesday and was on track to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana by the afternoon, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement a "full investigation" would be launched to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of Monday's incident.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.