You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
Special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen well before previously though — at least nine months before the raid of his home and office last April. Nineteen pages of a newly public search warrant detailing a hush money scheme are redacted, “suggesting that it remains part of an ongoing probe,” writes NBC News. [NBC News]
The field for the NCAA women’s basketball championship is out (ahead of schedule, as it happened) and sitting atop the table of FiveThirtyEight’s predictions is Notre Dame, with a 30 percent chance at the title. Close behind is Baylor with a 28 percent chance, followed by UConn with 19 percent and Mississippi State with 10 percent. The games begin on Friday. [FiveThirtyEight]
50 years ago
Fish in the Cuyahoga River, which was once so polluted with industrial waste and sewage that it famously caught fire nearly 50 years ago, have once again been deemed safe to eat by federal regulators, a success story of investment and concerted effort into water cleanup. Mmmm, recently federally unrestricted fish. [Associated Press]
What do a billionaire’s secrets cost? In Jeff Bezos’s case, $200,000. That’s the amount the National Enquirer tabloid reportedly paid Bezos’s lover’s brother for the Amazon founder’s “racy” texts and photos. [The Wall Street Journal]
$430 million deal
Baseball player Mike Trout and baseball team the Los Angeles Angels struck the largest deal in sports history — more than $430 million over 12 years. The contract is more than 30 percent richer than the mega-deal reached between Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month. [ESPN, FiveThirtyEight]
$500 million supercomputer
Only barely edging out the cost of baseball player Mike Trout is a supercomputer being built by the Department of Energy for the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. The computer costs $500 million and is scheduled for a 2021 delivery. The machine, called Aurora, is one of the most expensive in the world and is seen as an important volley in a crucial technology skirmish between the U.S. and China. [The New York Times]
There’s a live FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast — tonight! — at New York University’s Skirball Center. Just a few tickets left! Here’s a link with a promo code to get $10 off tickets. Don’t say I never gave you anything. [FiveThirtyEight]
From ABC News:
It’s Morning, America: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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