Hard Numbers: Hajj turnout record, Guatemalan runoff, Pakistan’s austerity budget, Mali referendum
2.5 million: More than 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims are expected to attend this year's Hajj in the Saudi holy city of Mecca. If the figure is confirmed, it'll be the largest turnout ever, driven by pent-up demand following three years of COVID crowd caps.
70: With 70% of the vote in, Guatemala's presidential election looks headed to a runoff between centrist former first lady Sandra Torres and the left-wing Bernardo Arévalo. Arévalo, an anti-corruption crusader who wasn't polling well, is the son of former President Juan José Arévalo in a country where name recognition matters more than policies.
1.1 billion: Pakistan's parliament on Saturday passed a new budget with strict austerity measures demanded by the IMF to unlock $1.1 billion worth of funds and avoid a default. The government, which barely has any foreign exchange reserves left, agreed to raise taxes — including on a very unpopular fuel levy that’ll hurt the poor — and slash spending to get its finances in order.
97: It took them a while, but Mali's electoral authorities finally confirmed that 97% of voters who took part in a June 18 referendum approved reforming the constitution to pave the way for elections next year. But turnout was less than 40%, suggesting that many in the West African nation feel meh about politics after almost three years of military rule.