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Significant Digits For Monday, Sept. 30, 2019

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

45 million online photos and videos

Last year, technology companies reported 45 million online photos and videos of child sexual abuse to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Almost two-thirds of the worldwide reports of child sexual abuse material were about material on Facebook Messenger. Among many reasons it’s hard for authorities to deal with the problem: federal funding to combat it has remained flat and there is high staff turnover on this beat due to graphic and emotionally draining work. [New York Times]

31 degrees celsius

In addition to sparse crowds, marathon athletes at the World Athletics Championships in Doha experienced brutal conditions on Saturday morning, with outdoor temperatures of 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) resulting in only 40 out of 68 competitors completing the race and several others requiring medical attention due to high humidity levels. By comparison, track and field athletes completed their events within an air-conditioned stadium set at 23 degrees celsius. “There is nothing to breathe,” Belarus athlete Volha Mazuronak said. “I thought I wouldn’t finish.” [The Guardian]

17th weekend of protests

Clashes between police and members of the public took place again on Hong Kong’s busy commercial streets on Sunday after thousands of protesters participated in the city’s 17th-straight weekend of protests. Several subway stations were closed in anticipation of conflict, but the entrance to one was eventually set on fire after protestors were unable to open its shuttered gate. More than 100 people were arrested, and two dozen others were taken to a hospital with injuries. [South China Morning Post]

13th amendment

The 13th Amendment banned slavery and involuntary servitude, but Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow said he regretted referencing it when mentioning a new policy that would allow alumni to donate to any of the educational institution’s colleges. The Boston Globe first reported Bacow had told hundreds of alumni and development staff at a meeting on Tuesday that “donors no longer could be owned by the specific colleges from which they had graduated.” The Ivy League university has its own history with slavery, including a plaque which honors four people who were enslaved by Harvard in the 18th century. [Boston Globe]

$914,831 in parking fines

Data shows Canada Post, the Canadian national mail service, has accumulated nearly $7.5 million in parking tickets over the last decade. Analysis from the Canadian Press shows last year’s tickets totaled $914,831, with most of the citations are in and around the city of Toronto. However, the parking fines are a small dent in Canada Post’s balance sheet, which lost $270 million last year on revenue of $6.6 billion dollars. [Canadian Press/CBC News]


Retail, recipe, and home-improvement advice company Food52 announced it had sold a stake to a venture capital firm that values Food52 at more than $100 million. The company was founded 10 years ago by two veteran food journalists who used to work for the New York Times and regularly incorporates customer feedback into the development of its custom dining and retail products. [Wall Street Journal]