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Expand chart
Data: Factset; Chart: Axios Visuals

Turkey's outlook got worse on Monday as the country continues slipping into dictatorship, under a dictator who doesn't seem to care much for laws or macroeconomics.

What's happening: Turkey's government ordered a do-over of mayoral elections in Istanbul, overturning a win for the opposition against loyalists to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

  • The country's lira currency fell to its lowest level since the currency crisis last year, when it was the weakest against the dollar it has ever been, on the news.
  • Inflation is nearly 4 times the official target and the weakening currency will make it more expensive for Turkish companies to pay debt, much of which is in dollars and euros.

The big picture: The country is now in recession, having completely reversed an incredible economic expansion that had seen significant growth and plummeting unemployment. The country's GDP had grown an average of nearly 7% each quarter since late 2009.

  • "We're in a political twilight zone, where the economy has fallen to the side," Anthony Skinner, Middle East and North Africa director at risk analyst Verisk Maplecroft, told Bloomberg.

The bottom line: Things will get worse before they get better. Erdogan recently won re-election and has replaced his finance and economic ministers with his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who held a meeting investors in attendance called "an absolute shit show" and the worst they'd ever seen during the IMF-World Bank meetings in April.

  • Erdogan and Albayrak's plans to dig the country out of the economic malaise have been widely panned by investors and economists as unrealistic and overly optimistic. The duo have shown no sign of changing course.

Go deeper: Turkey's election board gives Erdogan his re-run in Istanbul

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.