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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019

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


150,000 British residents

The collapse of the British travel company Thomas Cook has stranded approximately 500,000 tourists, including at least 150,000 British residents, around the world. The company ceased trading and operations on Monday due to more than $2 billion in debt, failing to secure additional credit, as well as being denied a government bailout. The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority also says it expects to operate 1,000 flights to 55 destinations to pick up passengers. [Slate]


20 percent

Several American universities have reported declines of 20 percent or more in the number of new international students from China. The country accounts for one-third of all international students in the U.S., but amid strained relations and trade conflicts in addition to “growing international competition, visa complications and the development of China’s own higher education system,” the number of students enrolling in the U.S. has declined. [Washington Post]


165,000 individual donors

Democratic presidential candidates will need to meet increased polling and fundraising numbers in order to qualify for the primary debate in November. On Monday, the Democratic National Committee said candidates have to receive donations from at least 165,000 individual donors, and earn either 3 percent support in four national or early-state polls, or garner 5 percent support in two polls in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. And as my colleague Nathaniel Rakich wrote, this could mean fewer than 10 candidates make the cut in November. [FiveThirtyEight]


1,200 North American auto workers

General Motors has temporarily laid off more than 1,200 staff due to an ongoing United Auto Workers strike at its facilities in Canada and the United States. This is in addition to 4,500 other temporary layoffs announced Friday. Financial analysts estimate the strike is costing GM “up to $100 million a day in lost production.” [CNBC]


2nd-lowest level for Arctic sea ice

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center say that Arctic sea ice is at the second-lowest level recorded since measurements were first taken in 1979. On Sept. 18, sea ice was measured at 1.6 million square miles, 811,000 square miles below the average. In addition to helping control the planet’s temperature, sea ice is integral to many Arctic communities and wildlife species, such as polar bears and walruses. [USA Today]


$144,500 per family

Families who lost relatives due to two Boeing 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia will receive approximately $144,500 each in direct payments as part of a $50 million financial assistance fund. After more than 340 people died from the flights, the company grounded the 737 Max while investigators continue to evaluate the airplane’s safety. [BBC News]

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