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Significant Digits For Thursday, July 7, 2016

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


6.2 percent

Global growth in same-store sales at McDonald’s in the first quarter, a win that has led the company to — buckle up, people — expand all-day breakfast options even more. As a person who has very little self-control/self-respect and a profound love of breakfast burritos, this is incredible news for me. [Bloomberg]


21 months

A Spanish court sentenced soccer star Lionel Messi to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. Neither he nor his father, who received a similar sentence, is expected to spend any time behind bars; as the BBC put it, “under the Spanish system, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation.” [BBC]


26 percent

Of about 350 major companies and institutions, Google was the largest consumer of renewable electricity, accounting for 26 percent of long-term renewable electricity contracts, according to a Bloomberg study of corporate power-purchase agreements. The Pentagon is No. 2 on the list, reflecting a commitment by the U.S. military to gradually go green. The tech industry alone bought 1.78 gigawatts of renewable power in 2015, which seems like more than enough to toss a DeLorean back to the Reagan era. [Bloomberg]


81 percent

Mondelez International, a global food conglomerate, is trying to buy the Hershey Company. But Hershey is a weird company: 81 percent of the chocolatier’s voting shares are controlled by the Hershey Trust Company, which funds charitable ventures. And the attorney general in Pennsylvania — where Hershey has an absurdly big economic footprint — also gets to approve or veto any transaction. So, to score the acquisition, Mondelez has to persuade the Hershey board, the Hershey foundation and a politician, which is one reason that Hershey has managed to go stag to the prom of food industry consolidation for so long. [The New York Times, TheStreet]


8,400 troops

There are about 10,000 U.S. service members in Afghanistan right now. President Obama planned, as recently as 2014, to have only 1,000 members of the U.S. military there when he left office. In late 2015, he revised that up to 5,500. He announced on Wednesday, though, that about 8,400 troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of his presidency. For some context, the U.S. has been in Afghanistan since I was 11 years old. I have a 401(k) now. [FiveThirtyEight, The Atlantic]


2.6 million words

A U.K. report released Wednesday looking into the nation’s involvement in the Iraq War found that the military invasion was not a “last resort” and that there was not a coherent reconstruction plan before the invasion. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a statement after the release of the report — which came in at roughly 2.6 million words — taking full responsibility for mistakes made by the U.K. [Quartz]


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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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