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Significant Digits For Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018

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


More than 100,000 pages

The confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is scheduled to begin today. Over the weekend, the White House, citing executive privilege, announced that it was withholding from the Senate more than 100,000 pages of records from Kavanaugh’s time working in the George W. Bush administration. [The New York Times]


7 years

A judge in Myanmar, in southeast Asia, sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in jail. They were found guilty of breaking a state-secrets law, having obtained confidential documents. When they were arrested, the journalists were investigating “the killing by the security forces of Rohingya villagers.” [Reuters]


20 million items

A fire destroyed Brazil’s 200-year-old National Museum, which housed some 20 million items, including the oldest skeleton in the Americas. A presidential candidate there called it “a lobotomy of the Brazilian memory,” and a well-known columnist declared it “a sort of national suicide.” [The Guardian]


80 percent of residents in upper-income areas

Hey let’s talk about the weather. It’s hot. And it’s even hotter some places than others. Trees and their shade help, but they’re not everywhere. In D.C., for example, one analysis found that 80 percent of residents in upper-income areas lived where there was a “robust tree canopy,” while twice as many people in low-income areas lived with few trees. Therefore, the risk of heat related illness varies dramatically around the city, and is correlated with socioeconomic status. [The Washington Post]


87 elephants

Nearly 90 elephants were found dead near a wildlife sanctuary in Botswana, in southern Africa, reportedly killed by poachers for their tusks in recent weeks. It’s said to be the largest spate of poaching deaths ever in Africa. Botswana is home to 130,000 elephants, the world’s largest such population. The Botswana government disarmed its anti-poaching units in May. [BBC]


10 centimeters on each side

I love elevators and I love space, so, naturally, I love space elevators. Japan is beginning to test one this month, launching two tiny 10-centimeter cubic satellites connected by a 10-meter steel cable. Then, once that stuff’s up there, a motorized container will travel along the cable — in space! — and it’s movements will be carefully recorded. [CNET]


If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder is a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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