India and Brazil are currently the world's top two COVID hotspots. But while India's crisis is — at least according to official statistics — a relatively recent one, Brazil's COVID disaster has been an ongoing train wreck. Where India seemed to have kept the pandemic under control until some bad missteps about two months ago, COVID has been wreaking havoc in Brazil almost constantly for over a year now. And President Jair Bolsonaro's macho-posturing and COVID denialism has clearly not helped. We take a look at average daily new cases and deaths in both countries since the pandemic began.

While multiple Western countries ramp up coronavirus vaccinations with the Pfizer and Moderna jabs, Vladimir Putin's Sputnik V gamble is now paying off as developing nations increasingly turn to Russia's cheaper yet equally effective vaccine to inoculate their populations. Sputnik V — one of only three jabs which is more than 90 percent effective against severe COVID cases — has already been approved for use in almost 30 countries, most of them longtime Russian allies but also a host of other nations — like for instance Hungary or Mexico — that aim to hedge their bets if supplies of other jabs dry up. If the trend continues, can Russia win the global vaccine race against the West and China? We take a look at where Sputnik V has been approved for use or domestic production, and how many doses will be distributed and manufactured in each country.

After the Trump administration largely left it to state governments to sort out the logistics of COVID vaccinations, the Biden White House has said it wants to apply a more top-down approach, giving states greater transparency about when they can expect new batches and using executive powers to boost vaccine-related supply chains. It remains to be seen if that will dramatically change what has so far been a patch-worked and inconsistent rollout in which some states — and counties — have simply been more efficient than others at getting needles into arms. We take a look at which US states have vaccinated the most — and least — number of people, and how many doses they've received that have so far gone unused.

The exodus of Venezuelan nationals is currently the world's second largest refugee crisis, exceeded only by the one in Syria. Of the close to 5 million Venezuelans currently living outside their country, more than 80 percent are located throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with the lion's share hosted by neighboring Colombia. How might Colombian President Iván Duque's move to grant all of them temporary legal status affect other nations' policies towards Venezuelan migrants and refugees? We take a look at which other Latin American countries have sizable populations of Venezuelans at the moment.

Under the terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement, signatory countries agreed to make their own commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions. At next year's UN climate change conference in Glasgow, nations will assess progress to date and (possibly) make bolder commitments, given technological progress and the mounting urgency to take climate action. But for now, only a handful of countries are on pace to limit warming to 2°C above preindustrial levels — let alone to meet the 1.5°C target that most scientists believe will help us avoid heaviest climate impact. A small group of intrepid governments aim to achieve "net zero" emissions in coming decades. We look at how certain nations are performing on climate action, and highlight those with plans to reach net zero.

John Adams, the second president of the United States, warned that the domination of the political system by two parties would inevitably become a "great political evil." Looking at the hyper-partisan state of US politics in 2020, it appears that Adams was onto something. Since the mid-1800s, the executive and legislative branches have been dominated by the Republican and Democratic parties. While historically presidential hopefuls outside the mainstream — commonly known as third-party candidates — have failed to make a dent in the two-party system's lock on power, at times they have garnered enough support to significantly impact the way that votes are distributed, thus influencing the outcome. Here's a look at how third-party candidates have performed in US presidential elections since 1992.

US presidential candidates usually get a polling boost immediately after their major party convention. But in recent years the so-called "convention bounce" is hardly guaranteed — Democratic hopeful John Kerry's numbers dipped slightly in 2004, as did Republican aspirant Mitt Romney's in 2012. Even when post-convention bumps have been bigger, that hasn't always translated into winning the White House in the end. With the DNC done and the RNC wrapping this week, we take a look at how conventions have historically affected the candidates' poll numbers.

Updated on 08/29 to correct the positions of Japan and Germany in 2020.

Will demographic trends change the pecking order of the global economy three decades from now? Yes, but not as much as some experts have predicted. According to a new study, in 2050 China will have surpassed the US as the world's largest economy — despite China's population declining while America's keeps growing (mainly due to immigration). India will also rise economically as it becomes the world's most populous country, while Japan will stay in fourth position despite a shrinking population. We take a look at where the world's top 10 economies will be ten and twenty years from now, showing each country's projected population size.