You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
40.7 million households
Netflix announced that 40.7 million households have streamed the third season of “Stranger Things” — and 18.2 million have already finished it — a record high for the first four days after a show or movie on the service was released. Numbers don’t lie, as Eleven might say. [CNBC]
Some House Democrats had hoped to make Annie Donaldson — the former chief of staff to the former White House counsel Donald McGahn whose notes were cited dozens of times in the Mueller report — a “star witness” in their investigation of President Trump. But White House lawyers have blocked her from answering 212 questions about potential obstruction of justice. The “situation underscores the difficulty Democrats have faced as they try to bring the Mueller report to life,” writes the Post. [The Washington Post]
14 dance moves
A sulphur-crested cockatoo and sometime YouTube sensation named Snowball can perform 14 unique dances according to new scientific research published in Current Biology. That’s impressive, and for context is 12 more dances than I know, and eight more than my cockatoo knows. [CNN]
In what surely comes as a relief to my fellow American citizens concerned with the health of their democracy, finally at least someone has decided to run for president. That person — in all seriousness the latest entry to a field nearly two dozen large — is “pro-impeachment billionaire” Tom Steyer, who says he is committed to spending at least $100 million of his own money on his campaign. FiveThirtyEight, however, is not treating him as a “major” candidate, at least yet. [NBC News]
$2.2 billion arms sale
The State Department has approved a $2.2 billion sale of arms to Taiwan — including 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles — over the objections of China. That country’s foreign ministry has demanded that the sale be “immediately” canceled, a spokesman said that it “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests,” and added that it violated the “One China” policy, under which the U.S. has formal ties with China and not Taiwan. [BBC]
$10 billion “war cloud”
The U.S. military is planning to build a “war cloud” — a project that “would store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the Pentagon to use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities.” (It used to be called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure plan, or JEDI.) Amazon and Microsoft are currently jockeying for the $10 billion business opportunity, after IBM and Oracle were eliminated in an early round of competition for the contract. [Associated Press]
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