You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
At least 1 year
Thanks to the recently-ended, record-long government shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service will need 12 to 18 months to recover. At least, that’s what the National Taxpayer Advocate, a government watchdog group, reported to lawmakers, an anonymous House aide told The Washington Post. The IRS is apparently buried in millions of unanswered taxpayer letters, is weeks behind on training workers, and needs to hire thousands of new workers for tax season. [The Washington Post]
Don’t kiss your hedgehog, says the Centers for Disease Control. And with good reason, apparently. Eleven people in the past few months have been infected with a type of salmonella; all but one of those had “contact” with a hedgehog. [The New York Times]
Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime adviser and sporter of a Richard Nixon back tattoo, was arrested Friday by the FBI and indicted in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. That makes him the 34th person charged in the Mueller probe. [FiveThirtyEight]
33 new hires
Trump signed an order to hire 15,000 new border agents two years ago. Customs and Border Protection paid $60.7 million to the consulting firm Accenture Federal Services to “recruit, vet and hire” 7,500 such officers over five years. The company has hired 33 such officers to date. [Los Angeles Times]
You know the 2020 presidential election has begun as the number of candidates who’ve officially announced their campaigns begins to mount. And you know it’s really begun when they start to drop out. On Friday, former West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda ended his “long-shot presidential bid.” “I don’t want to see people send money to a campaign that’s probably not going to get off the ground,” he said. [The Intercept]
95,000 registered voters
The Texas secretary of state is reportedly sending a list of the names of 95,000 registered voters to local officials whom they should “consider checking to see whether they are U.S. citizens and, therefore, eligible to vote.” The secretary of state was appointed last month after serving as deputy chief of staff to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. [The Washington Post]
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