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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

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


16 states

Sixteen states are filing a lawsuit to challenge President Trump’s declaration of national emergency: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia. [ABC News]


18 percent

(Sponsored by Mott & Bow) How do you make a truly comfortable pair of jeans? Jeans made out of cotton are often soft, but may not stretch well. Jeans made out of materials that offer more elasticity aren’t always as soft as their mostly-cotton counterparts. Fortunately, one brand solved the conundrum. They’ve developed weaving technology to produce jeans that are 99% cotton and only 1% elastane while still providing an 18% stretch factor. The jeans maintain their shape and look great, and are likely more comfortable than any other pair of jeans that you own.


304 candidates

There’s one prize with even more candidates in the mix than the Democratic presidential nomination. The Nobel Committee said that it had received 304 nominations — 219 individuals and 85 organizations — for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. One of those individuals is President Trump, who was reportedly nominated by two Norwegian lawmakers “for the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula.” The committee, however, keeps the names of nominators and unsuccessful nominees secret for 50 years. [Reuters]


At least 336 chemical attacks

A study from researchers at the Global Public Policy Institute counted at least 336 chemical weapons attacks — including chlorine gas, sarin and sulfur mustard gas — since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, and they suspect the true figure may be higher still. President Bashar Assad’s regime was responsible for 98 percent of them, the study found, and the Islamic State was responsible for 2 percent. [NPR]


8.4 metric tons of waste

China has indefinitely closed its Mount Everest base camp to tourists, citing the trash. During the last climbing season, the Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau said it collected 8.4 metric tons of waste, including garbage and human waste. [ABC News]


Nearly 26 years ago

Jerry Westrom wiped his mouth with a napkin at a hockey game and threw it in the trash. And then he was arrested for murder. Authorities had used the services of a genealogy website to identify Westrom as a suspect in a 1993 killing in Minneapolis, and then used DNA from the napkin to arrest him. Westrom denies involvement. “The tactic has also raised ethical concerns,” writes the Times, as those who use genealogy services might not know that it could help police track down their relatives. [The New York Times]


12 franchises

The NBA and the International Basketball Federation are partnering to create the Basketball Africa League, which will launch with 12 teams in January 2020. Qualifications tournaments will be held this year to determine which existing African club teams will join the league, with teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia expected to participate. [ESPN]


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From ABC News:


Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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