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Significant Digits For Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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1 appearance

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has offered to appear one time and one time only before a congressional committee convened to investigate the attack in Benghazi, her lawyer said. I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume CSPAN will be charging $100 to watch the fight, $90 in standard definition, one side will have repeatedly voted against gay rights in Congress, many will tune in expecting an all-out brawl, but it will be mostly be defined by defense, leaving many disappointed in the state of the sport in general. [The New York Times]

3 percent

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination. She is polling in last place nationally among candidates tracked by Huffington Post Pollster. But hey, at least she’s at 3 percent in New Hampshire! [FiveThirtyEight]

10.6 percent

One side effect of longer prison sentences required by mandatory minimum sentencing laws is that eventually those inmates are going to get old. Providing health care for the aging and infirm in America’s prisons is becoming a larger financial burden each year as the proportion of inmates older than 55 — 10.6 percent of the population in 2014, up from 6.4 percent in 2000 — rises. [Washington Post]

30 percent drop

McDonald’s is struggling to compete with a new variety of fast-casual competitors, and last quarter reported a 30 percent drop in profits. [Time]

39th legislator

New York State senate majority leader Dean Skelos — arrested Monday on corruption charges — is the 39th New York State legislator since 2000 to face “legal or ethical charges.” [NY Databases via Reid Wilson]

40 percent of global trade

The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a free trade deal between 12 nations that comprise about 40 percent of global trade — is sizing up to be the biggest such deal since NAFTA. Despite the push for the deal from the president, the Democratic base is not really into the agreement. [FiveThirtyEight]


NASA is offering an award of up to $30,000 for solutions to keep Mars-bound astronauts alive for the duration of the trip. This is considered to be a somewhat important task in any manned mission to Mars, so get cracking people. [Fusion]

$70 million

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is committing $70 million to low-cost broadband access in the city. [TechCrunch]

$7.02 billion

France inked a deal to sell Qatar 24 Rafale fighter jets for $7.02 billion. The birds come packaged with 100 French technicians, missiles, and training. [Reuters]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.