Hard Numbers: India's soaring COVID caseload, torture in Venezuela, US ranks lowest in pandemic response, next year's global economic recovery

People wait in line to board a bus amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai

5 million: After a massive uptick in new daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (more than 90,000), the Indian government said the country's coronavirus caseload has now surpassed 5 million. As demand for life-saving treatment has soared, hospitals in large states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are scrambling to provide oxygen for gravely ill patients.

3: A three-member UN-appointed panel found that Venezuela's strongman president Nicolás Maduro ordered arbitrary killings, sexual violence, and torture against political dissidents. The panel focused on events in the country since 2014, when a sizable opposition to the Maduro regime gained momentum and his security forces employed brutal measures to quash dissent.

13: In a new 13-nation Pew poll, all states polled said the US has handled the coronavirus pandemic worse than any other country in the survey, which includes hard-hit nations like Spain, the UK, and Italy. In contrast, nearly all countries say the World Health Organization and the European Union have done a "good job" managing the pandemic.

-4.5: The global economy will contract by 4.5 percent this year according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of advanced countries. That's less than the 6 percent dip the group projected back in June. The OECD now predicts a significant rebound in 2021, with the global economy growing by 5 percent.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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From climate change to connecting more people to the Internet, big companies like Microsoft are seeing an increasing role within multilateral organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. John Frank, Microsoft's VP of UN Affairs, explains the contributions tech companies and other multinational corporations are making globally during this time of crisis and challenge.

7: Among the 10 nations showing the highest COVID-19 death rates per 100,000 people, seven are in Latin America. Weak health systems, frail leadership, and the inability of millions of working poor to do their daily jobs remotely have contributed to the regional crisis. Peru tops the global list with nearly 100 fatalities per 100,000 people. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia are also in the top 10.

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