Hard Numbers: Thailand plagued by delta, Sweden's gang problem, Americans lose hope, Iraq reclaims looted artifacts
20,200: As the super contagious delta variant continues to spread, Thailand is now a COVID hotspot, recording more than 20,200 new COVID cases Wednesday, the highest daily toll since the pandemic began. Authorities imposed new restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces as the vaccine rollout remains sluggish; just 5.8 percent of Thailand's 66 million people are fully vaccinated.
180: In a bid to tackle a surge in gang violence, the Swedish government wants to give police greater access to Swedes' mobile data, including conversations on messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook. Sweden has already reported 180 shootings this year, and now has one of the worst gun violence problems in Europe.
40: Americans were feeling hopeful about the pandemic's trajectory… until the delta variant started wreaking havoc across the country. Only forty percent of Americans now say that the COVID situation is getting better, down from 89 percent who felt optimistic back in June.17,000: Iraq has reclaimed 17,000 archeological artifacts held by two American institutions in its biggest ever repatriation effort. War, military occupation, and a power vacuum in Iraq in recent decades have led to mass looting and theft at unexcavated sites. Many of the returned artifacts are from the lost ancient city of Irisagrig.