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Significant Digits For Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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

12 feet high

Boston had a rough winter. There’s still a 12-foot-high pile of ice and detritus left over from the city’s record snowfall, the remnants of a 75-foot-high pile. [The New York Times]

18 percent

A class-action lawsuit alleges that the New York Police Department has issued 850,000 unjustified summonses as part of a quota system. New filings in the case charge that the city has not turned over any emails from the files of the former police commissioner or former chief of department on the topic of summonses, which is a little peculiar. Attorneys in the lawsuit are alleging evidence destruction. A recent study out of John Jay College found that 18 percent of summonses from 2003 to 2013 were dismissed because of legal insufficiency. [New York Daily News]


The South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state Capitol. Should the state’s House of Representatives agree, it will be the second time that South Carolina has had to move the Confederate flag because of external pressure. [The Post and Courier]

725 jobs

As processed grain manufacturers deal with the changing tastes of the American breakfast consumer, General Mills plans to cut somewhere between 675 and 725 jobs. [Associated Press]

1,900 arrests

Madhya Pradesh, a state in India, is in the middle of a scandal over allegations that thousands of people since 2007 have paid bribes to have their results on exams to score government jobs and positions in medical schools changed. There have been lots of arrests. [Quartz]

5,061 miles

A solar-powered plane completed a 5,061-mile trip across the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii in 118 hours — making it the longest solo nonstop flight ever. [Engadget]

$20,000 fine

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is pushing legislation that would toughen the penalties for telemarketers that violate the national “Do Not Call” list. If the bill becomes law, companies who push robocalls without getting prior written consent will be hit with a fine of up to $20,000 for each violation, up to 10 years in prison, or both. [The Hill]


New York City will pay a total of $332,500 to six Occupy Wall Street protesters who were pepper-sprayed by police. [Associated Press]

25.4 million

The Women’s World Cup final on Sunday was the most-watched single-network soccer match in U.S. history, with an estimated 25.4 million viewers, according to Fox. [Slate]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.