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Significant Digits For Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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

10 percent

Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary in Theresa May’s Tory government amid a scandal related to the removal of illegal immigrants from the United Kingdom. Rudd recently told members of Parliament that the Home Office didn’t have targets for removing immigrants in the U.K. illegally; this was not true, as Sunday the Guardian published a letter where the Home Secretary laid out a detailed plan to May to deport 10 percent more illegal immigrants over the next several years. [BBC]


32 years

Thanks to the collective failure of multiple presidents as well as Congress, the FEC’s four current commissioners have been on the governing body of the nation’s election monitoring agency a collective 32 years longer than they should have been. This is distressing for a number of reasons; first, there are supposed to be six people serving on the commission, and two seats remain vacant. Second, everyone has stayed on too long; Vice Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub’s term ended 11 years ago, and Commissioners Steve Walther, Matthew Petersen and Chairwoman Caroline Hunter have stayed nine, seven and five years past the actual end of their term. Given that the commission requires full attendance to have a quorum, this is a logistical nightmare. U.S. Senate majority and minority leaders are supposed to recommend new commissioners to a president to appoint, and they have lately been remiss in their duties. [The Center for Public Integrity]


70 percent

The percentage of online U.S. adults who said that the internet was mostly a good thing for society is down to 70 percent from 76 percent in 2014. Most of those who have shifted their opinion have gone on to develop more nuanced views; the group who thinks it’s most bad is roughly flat at 14 percent, according to the poll, but the percentage who believe the internet has been a mix of good and bad is up to 14 percent from 8 percent in 2014. [Pew Research Center]


636 episodes

With its 636th episode on Sunday, “The Simpsons” has surpassed “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running scripted television program. The closest runner up after “Gunsmoke” was “Lassie.” The three shows share another thing in common, as all exhausted their once ambitious premises legitimately decades ago. [BoingBoing]


$280 million

Panasonic Avionics Corp., a subsidiary of Panasonic, admitted to violating U.S. anti-bribery laws related to a contract with a state-owned Middle Eastern airline. Panasonic Avionics will pay a $137.4 million criminal penalty and parent Panasonic Corp. will pay $143 million of disgorgement to the SEC. [The Wall Street Journal]


1.5 billion monthly users

Jan Koum, the chief executive of Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp, announced he will leave the company following a series of privacy related clashes with the parent company. WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly users and was built on the promise of strong encryption and avoidance of targeted advertising of its users. Koum’s exit was reportedly a result of Facebook trying to diminish that encryption and ad-free style. [The Washington Post]


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If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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