You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news. Today’s number is the cubic feet of space in the fridge needed to store and thaw a Thanksgiving turkey. Also, “Frozen II” made $127 million.
The political campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are touting the importance of small donations from “everyday Americans” instead of major corporate donors, but these grassroots efforts leave a huge financial windfall for banks and other payment companies. An analysis of Federal Election Commission data by Politico and Newsy found that fees to companies that process credit card payments have nearly doubled between the 2008 and 2016 election cycles, and 2020 is on pace to far exceed that amount. The 2020 federal campaigns had made payments of more than $23.8 million through October. [Politico/Newsy]
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11 seconds per item
Sales at Amazon will likely be brisk this week, but a new investigative report from Reveal details the company’s internal injury records and the extreme physical toll that quotas can take on warehouse staff. Candice Dixon had to scan a new item every 11 seconds; after only two months, she suffered permanent back injuries so severe she can barely walk up stairs. [Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting]
82 days underwater
Moats help protect castles, but in several neighborhoods in Key West, Florida, they’re more a sign of climate change than a deterrent against potential invaders. Corrosive seawater during the “king tides” season has flooded streets for 82 days, trapping hundreds of residents and damaging cars. The Postal Service, though, is still making its regular deliveries through the high water. [The New York Times]
$52 million per year
Going to the DMV is already a miserable experience without worrying about privacy and information security. But Vice’s Motherboard has obtained a document showing that the California Department of Motor Vehicles generated $52,048,236 in revenue in the 2017-18 financial year through the sale of drivers’ personal information. Other reporting from Motherboard has found that California is not alone in the practice of selling names, physical addresses and car registration information to companies like LexisNexis and Experian, as well as to private investigators, insurance companies, and prospective employers. [Motherboard]
Almost 36 years
After 14-year-old DeWitt Duckett was gunned down in a Baltimore middle school in 1983, three teenagers were charged as adults with his murder, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. But Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart insisted that they were innocent. After a review of the case by the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Baltimore state’s attorney, Circuit Court Judge Charles J. Peters on Monday cleared the way for a new trial, and the charges against all three men were dismissed. Peters also apologized for what they went through, almost 36 years after they went to jail. [The Washington Post]
If you’re the richest man in France, what’s another $16.2 billion for an iconic American jewelry brand known for its blue boxes and its role in a movie starring Audrey Hepburn? On Monday, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault confirmed the deal to purchase Tiffany & Co., adding the name to his group of luxury labels including Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon and Bulgari. The deal is the largest in the company’s history, with global sales and marketing expected to grow soon after the acquisition. [Bloomberg News]