Joanna Kakissis

TRT World / YouTube

A bespectacled man flashes a game-show smile as he saunters onto a stage facing walls filled with 100-plus screens.

Each year, the Eurovision Song Contest unites 180 million viewers in more than 40 countries for an electric-falsetto night of glitter, glam and hard-rock hallelujah.

European Parliament lawmakers demanded Thursday that European Union leaders punish Hungary's government for using the COVID-19 pandemic to grab power through a controversial emergency law.

Democracy is weakening across Central and Eastern Europe as well as Eurasia amid the rise of Chinese and Russian influence, according to a new report by Freedom House, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

The annual report — Nations in Transit 2020, Dropping the Democratic Facade — covers 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia and says there are now fewer democracies in the area than at any point in the past 25 years.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF STELIOS KERASIDIS' "ISOLATION WALTZ")

NOEL KING, HOST:

Pages