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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017

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


11 percent

At the current pace, FBI National Instant Criminal Background Checks for firearm sales will be down 11 percent compared to last year. It’s an imperfect proxy, but across the industry the election of Donald Trump to the White House has suppressed the demand for weapons that usually accompanies even the slightest chance of gun reform. [Fortune]


25 percent

PETA made headlines recently when it bankrolled a lawsuit against a nature photographer, claiming that an Indonesian macaque monkey named Naruto owned the intellectual property rights on a selfie it had taken when it snagged the photographer’s camera in 2011. On Monday, PETA officially dropped the suit, but according to the terms of the settlement 25 percent of the gross revenue from the selfie will go to Naruto’s welfare and habitat. [Ars Technica]


39 square miles

Texas and other southern states are contending with a devastating invasive species annihilating bodies of water with overgrowth: giant salvinia. Australian researchers — a nation which itself is going toe-to-toe with the salvinia problem — found under ideal conditions even a pinch of salvinia plant can singlehandedly cover 39 square miles of water in 3 months. Locals have resorted to fighting the plant with its natural enemy, weevils. [Texas Monthly]


8.5 million barrels

The United Nations Security Council agreed to new sanctions against North Korea, limiting its imports of crude and refined oil to 8.5 million barrels a year and banning all exports of its textiles (worth $726 million last year), which now means about 90 percent of the North Korean exports are banned. [The Washington Post]


$2.2 billion

A recent report from Adobe’s digital price index found that if all offline retail spending was online, there would be an aggregate $2.2 billion savings for consumers. [Marketwatch]

$350 billion to $750 billion

Forthcoming investment in new lithium mines, as producers strive to keep up with explosive demand for the metal used in the rechargeable batteries that underpin the electric car market. Global electric vehicle sales are projected to exceed 24 million in just 13 years, up from 1 million in 2017. [Bloomberg]

CORRECTION (Sept. 19, 3:30 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described U.N. sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions allow North Korea to import up to 8.5 million barrels of crude and refined oil, not just crude.


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Walt Hickey is FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.

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