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Significant Digits For Monday, Aug. 20, 2018

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


$126 on opening day

Kevin Spacey’s latest film, “Billionaire Boys Club,” earned $126 at the box office on its opening day this past weekend. And no, there are no digits or words missing from that sentence. Spacey has been mired in accusations of sexual assault since the fall. The film opened in eight theaters, for an average of $15.75 per theater, or less than the price of a single small popcorn (give or take). [The Hollywood Reporter]


5 titles

Simone Biles won her record fifth U.S. Gymnastics Championships title on Sunday night. Not only that, she also won all four of the individual event titles: floor exercise, vault, balance beam and uneven bars. I, on the other hand, watched a personal best five feature films from my couch yesterday. [USA Today]


$20 million bank fraud

Federal investigators are focusing on “well over” $20 million in bank loans to taxi businesses owned by Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, and his family, sources tell the New York Times. Under investigation is whether Cohen “misrepresented the value of his assets” to secure the loans, which could amount to bank fraud, among other things. A source said that the matter will either be finalized by August or that prosecutors will wait until after the election to bring charges. [The New York Times]


2,300 Echo Dots

Saint Louis University is installing 2,300 Echo Dots — hardware homes for Amazon’s “smart assistant,” Alexa — in its students’ living spaces. Step No. 72 of Alexa’s grand planetary takeover plan: complete. [TechCrunch]


More than 4 million Americans

In what I believe is traditionally referred to as a “fit of pique,” President Trump last week abruptly revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, an outspoken critic of Trump. Brennan, piqued in return, said over the weekend that he’d be willing to take Trump to court to put an end to such security-clearance stripping. Meanwhile, John Bolton, the national security adviser, suggested that it might be high time for a review of all security clearances held by those inside and outside the government — a review that could affect more than 4 million people. And round and round our crazy carousel spins. [The Washington Post, ABC News]


500-pound laser-guided MK 82 bomb

A bomb that killed dozens of children on a school bus in Yemen earlier this month was sold to Saudi Arabia in a deal sanctioned by the U.S. State Department. It was a 500-pound laser-guided MK 82 bomb manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The Saudi coalition responsible for the attack took responsibility and blamed it on “incorrect information.” An Obama-era ban on the sale of such precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia was overturned by the Trump administration last year. [CNN]


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

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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