4. Democracy's "consistent and ominous" decline
The slow, steady erosion of democracy around the world continued for the 13th consecutive year, according to the latest annual "Freedom in the World" report by Freedom House, a watchdog group that advocates for democracy and human rights, reports Axios world editor Dave Lawler.
- By the numbers: Political rights and civil liberties became weaker in 68 countries since last year's report, and improved in only 50 countries.
A warning about the United States ... The report says the U.S. freedom score has declined by 8 points (from 94 to 86) over the past eight years. It's still firmly in the "free category," but it's falling behind counterparts like the U.K., Canada, France, Australia, Germany and Japan.