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Significant Digits For Friday, Sept. 7, 2018

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


$1 fine

Jeffrey Winder, who was convicted of punching Jason Kessler, the organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was ordered by a jury to pay a $1 fine. He faced a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. [NPR]


$124 fine

In related news, a man who was accused of kicking a seagull that tried to eat his cheeseburger was ordered to pay a $124 fine. Seagulls, the AP reports, are protected by federal law. The man said it was a mistake, and he was trying to shoo the birds to, I presume, protect his delicious meal. [AP]


$100 million of stock

In August, The New Yorker published allegations of sexual misconduct against Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS. Now, according to sources familiar with the talks, Moonves is negotiating his exit from the network. His contract reportedly demands a $180 million severance package, while CBS board members are offering $100 million in stock. One. Hundred. Million. Dollars. [NBC News]


1.24 elasticity score

My colleagues Nathaniel and Nate (we have fun here) are back with their latest Election Update. This version brings us elasticities! It’s a term of art, and one that measures which states and districts swing the most with the national mood. The most elastic district in the country is Michigan’s 5th, which is basically the index finger of the state’s mitten shape. It’s elasticity score is 1.24, meaning that for every 1 percentage point the national political mood shifts toward a party, the district is expected to move 1.24 percentage points in that direction. The least elastic is Pennsylvania’s 3rd, in the southeastern part of that state, with a score of 0.72. [FiveThirtyEight]


1,800 miles from the East Coast

Hurricane Florence, which became the first major hurricane of the season, was, as of midday yesterday, churning in the Atlantic Ocean some 1,800 miles from the East Coast. But it could have an effect on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. in about a week, and the odds of that happening have ticked up, according to the latest weather models. Whether Florence is a “direct hit, a graze or near-miss is unknowable” for now because it’s so far away. But we here at Significant Digits HQ in New York City will keep a close eye on it. [The Washington Post]


2 million low-income Americans

Nearly 2 million low-income Americans would lose their benefits under a farm bill being considered by the House, according to the nonprofit research firm Mathematica. That bill would alter the eligibility criteria for 42 million recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. That 2 million figure includes nearly 500,000 households with young children. [The New York Times]


If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

CORRECTION (Sept. 7, 2018, 10:41 a.m.): An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the location of Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District. It is in the southeast of the state, not the northwest.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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