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Significant Digits For Monday, Feb. 25, 2019

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

5 of the last 6 years

Five of the last six Academy Awards for best director have been won by a Mexican filmmaker. Alfonso Cuarón — who won last night for “Roma” — and Alejandro González Iñárritu have won twice and Guillermo del Toro has won once. Cuarón won once before in 2013 for “Gravity.” [NBC News]

Under 60 miles per hour

President Trump and Kim Jong Un will meet later this week for the second time, at a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. While Trump will fly on Air Force One, Kim is taking the scenic route to the meeting, traveling from Pyongyang through China by armored train (at less than 60 miles per hour) and then through Vietnam by car. [The New York Times]

2,130 whales

The government of Iceland will allow whalers there to keep hunting whales for the next fives years, issuing a total quota of 2,130 — 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales a year. Some leaders in the country worry that the practice is bad for business, given Iceland’s heavy reliance on tourism and the “dwindling stocks” of whales in the ocean. [Associated Press]

143,000 fewer riders per day

Subway ridership in New York City hit an all-time high in 2015, but it appears to be sliding from that peak. Some 5.4 million people each weekday rode the subway in 2018 — 143,000 per day fewer than in 2017. That represents a one-year decrease of 2.6 percent, and a five-year decrease of nearly 5 percent. Let’s just say that this reporter has not, however, experienced an anecdotal decrease in the crowdedness of his train. [New York Daily News]

At least 130 people

Some 35 workers on tea plantations in the Indian state of Assam died after drinking bootleg alcohol, just days after some 100 others died after drinking it elsewhere in the country. In some rural areas of India, deaths from illegally produced alcohol are common. The alcohol is cheap but often strengthened with toxic methanol, which is sometimes used as antifreeze. Ten people have been arrested. [BBC]

114 bishops

A four-day summit on clergy sexual abuse concluded this weekend in Vatican City. In a speech at the Mass at Sala Regia in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, before 114 Catholic bishops, Pope Francis called those who abuse children “tools of Satan,” but, per CNN, “offered no concrete steps to address the church’s massive and morally damning abuse crisis.” [CNN]

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News headlines today: Feb. 25, 2019

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.