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Significant Digits for Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

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


70,000 female retail sales employees

A diamond is forever, but how long does a class action lawsuit last? On Monday, a federal appeals court allowed a class action lawsuit to be brought against Sterling Jewelers by 70,000 female employees who claim they were paid less and promoted less than their male colleagues for the same work. Sterling is the company behind popular diamond store brands such as Jared, Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Peoples. [Reuters]


125 home and self-care products

Why throw things out when you can buy stuff from a person who got rich encouraging you to throw things out? Best-selling author and Netflix organizing host Marie Kondo taught everyone how to determine what items “spark joy,” the best way to fold your clothing and how to live with less. Now, she’d like you to live with what she likes. Kondo rolled out 125 home and self-care products on her website this week, a combination of items Kondo finds meaningful, joy sparking, or useful on a daily basis. Prices range widely, from a hand-carved Shiatsu stick at $12, to a Futagami Brass Tool Holder for $275. [Wall Street Journal]


10 racist incidents at Syracuse University

Following at least 10 racist incidents on the campus of Syracuse University, the school has announced a $50,000 reward for information that would help lead to the arrest of the person or multiple people responsible. The racist incidents include a black student being harassed by members of a fraternity who yelled the n-word at her while she waited for a bus, a racial slur being used against a Chinese freshman and a swastika. A fraternity has been suspended after members were reportedly identified as being behind one of the racist incidents. [The Daily Beast]


60 percent fewer EPA inspections in the Midwest

A new report from the Illinois watchdog journalism organization Better Government Association says President Trump’s cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency are being deeply felt in midwestern communities. This is due to approximately 150 fewer scientists, technicians and other employees in the EPA’s regional offices, as well as a 60 percent decline in area inspections for air, water and land pollution. By comparison, the number of EPA inspections across the rest of the country declined by 30 percent. [Better Government Association]


3,769 square miles of rainforest

On Monday, Brazil said that 3,769 square miles of rainforest were lost to deforestation in a 12-month period ending in July. To put that into context, that amount of land is more than 12 times the size of New York City’s five boroughs. NPR reports this loss is the country’s highest rate of deforestation since 2008 and is almost a 30 percent increase over what was recorded during the previous 12-month time period. [National Public Radio]


169 transfer students

There are a growing number of college athletes transferring to new teams as graduate students. FiveThirtyEight’s Daniel Levitt notes that 38 men and 13 women transferred as graduates in 2013, but only five years later, that number had grown to 121 men and 48 women, “increases of 218 percent and 269 percent, respectively.” Top college teams brought in more transfer students than lost them. [FiveThirtyEight]


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