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Expand chart
Reproduced from Freedom House; Map: Axios Visuals

The erosion of democracy around the world continued for the 14th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Why it matters: Year after year, many of the world’s democracies become less democratic. This year’s report draws particular attention to India, where policies targeting Muslims are “threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world.”

Breaking it down:

  • According to the rankings (out of 100), the most free countries in the world are Finland (100), Norway (100), Sweden (100), the Netherlands (99), Luxembourg (98), Uruguay (98) and Canada (98).
  • The least free are Syria (0), Turkmenistan (2), Eritrea (2), South Sudan (2) and North Korea (3).
  • The U.S. (86) ranks 52nd, between Slovakia and Belize.

The big picture: "Where once democracies might have acted in unison to support positive outcomes to global crises, disparate authoritarian states now frequently step into the breach and attempt to impose their will," the authors write.

  • In addition to the U.S. and India, they raise concerns about “antidemocratic tendencies” in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the rise of “extreme factions” in Spanish politics, and the populist turns of central European countries like Austria, Hungary and Poland.

Bad news:

  • Myanmar moved from “partly free” to “not free” because of deepening conflicts between the military and ethnic minorities.
  • Benin also fell to “partly free” after opposition parties were excluded from parliamentary elections.
  • El Salvador is now “partly free” because of violence and intimidation from criminal groups and politicization of the judiciary.
  • Senegal declined to “partly free” after opposition figures were barred from the presidential election
  • Indian-administered Kashmir moved to “not free” amid a lockdown there and the revocation of constitutional protections.

Good news:

  • Mauritania moved to “partly free” after a “credible” presidential election and peaceful transfer of power.
  • Thailand moved to “partly free” after direct military rule ended, at least nominally, following elections.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 46 mins ago - Economy & Business

The next worker fight: Time off for Juneteenth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Who gets paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come will be uneven and complicated, if history is any guide.

Why it matters: Corporate America hasn't grappled with a new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was authorized almost 40 years ago. How they responded took years to evolve.

46 mins ago - World

UN assembly condemns Myanmar military coup

Protesters make the three-finger salute as they take part in a flash mob demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The UN General Assembly on Friday condemned Myanmar's military coup and called for an arms embargo against the country, AP reports.

Why it matters: The rare move demonstrates widespread global opposition to Myanmar's military junta, which overthrew the country's democratically elected government and seized power on Feb. 1.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.