Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won a sham election last year after deposing or intimidating his legitimate challengers. He begins his second six-year term Thursday, much to the chagrin of 85% of Venezuelans, international humanitarian aid organizations and most of the world's leaders.

Why it matters: While many nebulously blame "socialism" for Venezuela's dire condition, the truth is that the country's problems are a result of corruption and wide-ranging economic incompetence from Maduro's government. And humanitarian crisis aside, Venezuela owes international creditors an estimated $150 billion.

Here's a short list of problems Maduro will face in his second term, most of his own creation:

  • Annual inflation is estimated to be 1,400,000% and forecast to rise to 10,000,000% by year-end.
  • The country's 90% poverty rate.
  • Citizens lost an average of 24 pounds last year because the government can't import food or medicine.
  • Four of the world's 10 most dangerous cities are in Venezuela.
  • The homicide rate has risen to 90 per 100,000 (for reference, the United States has a homicide rate of 5 per 100,000) and 73 Venezuelans die violently every day.
  • 3 million people, nearly 10% of the population, have left the country, with the outflow of citizens increasing annually.
  • The democratically elected and opposition-led National Assembly is seeking to unseat Maduro after he effectively replaced them with a "Constituent Assembly" made up of family members and loyalists.
  • His presidency is being called illegitimate by 14 Latin American countries as party to the Lima Group — including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Peru.
  • Oil production has fallen to its lowest in nearly 70 years, with more of what's produced going to China, Russia and Cuba
  • Possible further sanctions and an oil embargo from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has already targeted various companies and members of Maduro's government, including his wife and vice president.

Go deeper: It's nearly impossible to afford a cup of coffee in Venezuela

Go deeper

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Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta was dumping heavy rains over Texas as it churned its way inland overnight, bringing the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of the state and Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

What's happening: The slow-moving storm was causing coastal flooding along areas including the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas Monday, per the National Weather Service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,328,238 — Total deaths: 964,839— Total recoveries: 21,503,496Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,857,967 — Total deaths: 199,884 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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