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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018

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


1,000s of green-card holders

The Pentagon will send thousands of waiting green-card holders to recruit training — including 2,870 in the Navy and 1,062 in the Marines. There’s been a backlog thanks to a Trump administration policy adopted last year that required “more stringent background checks” for certain immigrants wanting to serve. A federal judge in California ruled that the policy should be “disregarded.” [The Washington Post]


799 points

The Dow was down nearly 800 points — or over 3 percent — yesterday following evaporating optimism for a truce in the U.S.-China trade war. “I am a Tariff Man,” President Trump said on Twitter yesterday morning. [CNN]


9-year-old boy

With a letter-writing campaign, a 9-year-old in Colorado named Dane Best has convinced the leaders of his small town of Severance to overturn a decades-old ban on snowball fights. Best’s first target will be his little brother. And people say American democracy is dying. [Associated Press]


1,000 consecutive weeks

It may not be the sexiest record in the sport, but Roger Federer owns it: most consecutive weeks ranked in the ATP’s Top 100. Federer has become the first to hit 1,000 weeks in a row — or more than 19 years — dating back to my freshman year of high school. In second place on this list is Jimmy Connors with 888 weeks. Andre Agassi holds the record for non-consecutive weeks with 1,019 — just another record that Federer is bound to break. [Tennis Channel]


40,000 years ago

Humans lived on the Tibetan Plateau — the so-called Roof of the World — as early as 40,000 years ago. That’s at least 20,000 years earlier than previously thought, a fact scientists learned thanks to a recent archaeological dig at a site thought to be a tool workshop that unearthed 3,683 stone artifacts. That site is 15,000 feet, or almost three miles, above sea level. [Smithsonian.com]


2 attorneys general; 37 entities

Two attorneys general — of Maryland and the District of Columbia — planned to file subpoenas yesterday seeking Trump Organization records and those of 36 other entities. The subpoenas are part of a lawsuit “accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency.” Maryland’s attorney general said that he was confident that Trump had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clauses — “America’s first anti-corruption laws.” [Associated Press]


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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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