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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019

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


$30,000 party

Attorney General William Barr booked a 200-person holiday party at the Presidential Ballroom of President Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel — a party “that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue,” according to a contract obtained by The Washington Post. A Justice Department official said that the booking was made only after it was found that other hotels were already full up, and that the point of the party “wasn’t to curry favor with the president.” [The Washington Post]


50,000 immigrants

According to department officials and a letter from a congresswoman, the Trump administration will pull $271 million from the Department of Homeland security to fund “immigration detention space and temporary hearing locations for asylum-seekers.” More than $150 million of what ICE would gain will come from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The additional money would allow ICE to detain nearly 50,000 immigrants at any given time. [NBC News]


29.6 and 34.5 percent

Jalopnik asked ride-share drivers to send in receipts showing what riders were charged and how much drivers kept. The publication received records for 14,756 fares, and its analysis found that, of the drivers who sent in breakdowns of all of their fares in a given period, on average Uber kept 29.6 percent of the fares and Lyft kept 34.5 percent. Those figures were 10.6 percentage points and 8.5 percentage points higher, respectively, than the companies’ reported numbers. [Jalopnik]


719 days

A Boeing X-37B spaceplane belonging to the Air Force set a record this week for the longest time in orbit around Earth — 719 days. Few know what it’s doing up there, however, as the mission’s details are classified. The Air Force’s description says its goals are “reusable spacecraft technologies for America’s future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.” [Gizmodo]


3.5 million people

Indonesia’s president has announced that the country will move its capital from “sinking and polluted” Jakarta (which has a population of 30 million people in its greater metro area) to an as-yet-unnamed city in “sparsely populated” East Kalimantan province on Borneo island (population 3.5 million). The relocation will reportedly take as long as a decade and cost some $32.5 billion. [The Associated Press]


+54 favorability

Now that voters have had somewhat of a chance to learn and think about the passel of Democratic presidential candidates, my colleague Nathaniel Rakich checked in on those candidates’ favorability in the eyes of voters. According to an average of national polls in August, Elizabeth Warren tops the list with a net favorability of +54. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris follow with net favorables of +52, +51 and +40, respectively. Only 159 days until the Iowa caucuses! [FiveThirtyEight]


From ABC News:


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Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight.

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