Freedom House sees disturbing global decline in democracy



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NEW YORK (AP) — A new report says the world has become less free.

The Freedom House annual study says 60 percent of the world's population, or 2.6 billion people, live in countries that are not completely free.

Freedom House looked at 195 countries and 15 territories, and determined that 61 countries became less free in 2014, while just 31 improved.

The report says terrorism had a devastating impact. Syria is ranked among the world's worst countries. Tunisia was an exception, becoming the Arab world's only country to gain the status of "Free."

Russia is classified as not free. So is the Crimean peninsula, recently annexed by Moscow.

The U.S. remains among the best ranked free countries but the report notes the U.S. Senate report on CIA torture and police killings of unarmed black men.

Freedom House also singled out Venezuela and Brazil for criticism.

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The Associated Press

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