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Significant Digits For Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

14 percent

Analysis from sportswriters Josh Planos and Neil Paine shows that tight ends on college football teams are increasing their share of receptions and receiving yards, and have completed 14.3 percent of passing first downs this college football season. The position has evolved from what was essentially a lineman to a versatile, dynamic athlete. “The new tight ends run routes like wide receivers do and prey on the linebackers who are often assigned to defend them,” say Planos and Paine. [FiveThirtyEight]

40 million pounds of pork

A glut of pigs and pork output over the summer has led to a record amount of bacon sitting in warehouses. U.S. government data shows more than 40 million pounds of pork bellies were in cooled storage as of Sept. 30, the most for the month in 48 years. U.S. producers were anticipating additional demand from China after millions of pigs in the Asian country were killed due to African swine fever, but trade tensions between the U.S. and China lowered demand. Now producers are left trying to figure out how to cut the fat. [Bloomberg]

10 to 15 miles per hour

Twenty-five cyclists have been killed in New York City so far this year, 15 more than in all of 2018, and a 20-year record. Following redesigns of intersections and more protected bike lanes, the city’s transportation department is now experimenting with traffic signals to further slow down cars and prioritize the flow of cyclists. The New York Times reports that city changes will mean cyclists traveling an average of 10 to 15 mph can “catch a wave of green lights” on certain streets, while drivers who go over 15 mph will see red lights. [New York Times]

8,969 detained immigrants

New data shows 8,969 immigrant detainees have passed a government test that demonstrates they have valid fears of persecution or torture if deported back to their home countries. Passing this is the first step in a lengthy process to gain protections in the U.S., and in the past many immigrants who passed the test would be allowed to live more freely in the U.S. while their asylum claim was processed. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is funded to house approximately 42,000 immigrant detainees, but has severely exceeded the capacity of its facilities with more than 55,530 inmates as of Aug. 10. [BuzzFeed News]

100 elephant deaths

Government officials in Botswana say preliminary investigations show a suspected anthrax outbreak is one of the main causes behind more than 100 elephant deaths in the past two months. Below-average rainfall led to severe drought in the region, resulting in elephants digging up the soil containing the anthrax bacteria spore. Elephants Without Borders said 14 elephants were found dead this week and the bodies would be burned to prevent further spread of the anthrax infection. [Africanews]