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Significant Digits For Thursday, May 2, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. For even more facts, figures and discussion, check out our live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcasts in Texas this month.

50 weeks in prison

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison after having been ousted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he’d been living since 2012, and convicted of jumping bail. The British judge who sentenced Assange said that his stay there had cost taxpayers $21 million and that his asylum was a “deliberate attempt to delay justice.” [NPR]

About 60 Twitter users

President Trump, who has some 60 million Twitter followers, retweeted nearly 60 other users in under an hour yesterday morning in an “attempt to show that he has support from firefighters.” The Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden earned an endorsement from the International Association of Fire Fighters, one of the country’s largest firefighter unions, last week. It was unclear, ABC News reported, if each of the accounts Trump retweeted were legitimate. [ABC News]

19-year scam

For 19 years, NASA was sold faulty aluminum, a governmental investigation has revealed. Employees at the “aluminum extrusion maker” Sapa Profiles had been falsifying test results from 1996 to 2015, according to the Justice Department. NASA said the scam was the cause of malfunctioning protective nose cones during the failed 2009 Orbiting Carbon Observatory and 2011 Glory missions. [CNET]

82 appointees

Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court restored 82 appointees, made by Republican former Gov. Scott Walker, who were confirmed during a lame duck legislative session. The current Democratic Gov. Tony Evers argued that he could essentially fire some of the appointees because a lower court ruled that that entire lame duck session was unconstitutional. The legal question of the validity of that session remains open. [Associated Press]

12 MLB teams

Twelve of the 30 Major League Baseball teams — i.e., more than I can really justify listing in a news capsule summary paragraph — saw their attendance in March and April drop this year compared to the same time last season. This comes after a 4 percent overall drop in attendance in 2018 — and the weather was terrible that year. [USA Today]

$600 for every voter

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the [checks notes] 283 Democratic candidates for president, has unveiled her “first major 2020 policy initiative,” which she calls Democracy Dollars. To wit, she proposes that every voter be given $600 to donate to candidates running for federal office in that voter’s state. The plan is meant to blunt the effect of big money in politics. [NBC News]

From ABC News:

News headlines today: May 2, 2019

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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.