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AP / Ariana Cubillos

Venezuela's new constituent assembly, the body elected in a disputed vote on July 31, is scheduled to convene today for the first time, President Nicolas Maduro's attempt to impose strongman rule after more than three years of growing unrest. The trouble stems from low oil prices and massive economic mismanagement that have ripped away the country's financial safety net.

The human toll compares with the Great Depression, says Ricardo Hausmann, a former minister of planning in Venezuela and now an economics professor at Harvard, who tallied it up in a piece at Project Syndicate:

  • GDP per capita this year is 40% below that of 2013, worse than the Great Depression's 28% fall.
  • The minimum wage, measured in dollars at the black market rate, fell 88% from 2012 to 2016, to just $36 a month from $295.
  • The poverty rate soared to 82% in 2016, from 48% in 2014.
  • 74% of Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds in weight.
  • There was a 100-fold increase in the death of newborns in hospitals in 2016.

Go deeper: For the backstory on the country's descent, read this account from the AP's Hannah Dreier, who has just left after three years as Caracas correspondent. Prior to the vote, the Trump administration issued sanctions against 13 Venezuelan officials, and now must decide when and how to proceed with them, Platts reports.

Go deeper

First look: Mayors press Biden on immigration

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A coalition of nearly 200 mayors and county executives is challenging Joe Biden and the incoming Congress to adopt a progressive immigration agenda that would give everyone a pathway to citizenship.

Why it matters: The group's goals, set out in a white paper released today, seem to fall slightly to the left of what the president-elect plans to propose on Inauguration Day — though not far — and come at a time of intense national polarization over immigration.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
5 mins ago - Health

Demand for coronavirus vaccines is outstripping supply

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Now that nearly half of the U.S. population could be eligible for coronavirus vaccines, America is facing the problem experts thought we’d have all along: demand for the vaccine is outstripping supply.

Why it matters: The Trump administration’s call for states to open up vaccine access to all Americans 65 and older and adults with pre-existing conditions may have helped massage out some bottlenecks in the distribution process, but it’s also led to a different kind of chaos.

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.