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Significant Digits For Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019

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


$3 billion in lost earnings

American carmaker General Motors Co. says a 40-day strike at dozens of domestic factories will cost the company close to $3 billion in lost earnings. The Detroit auto manufacturer easily surpassed analysts’ forecasts for its third-quarter results, but the road ahead will be bumpy with executives saying they expect the U.S. market to contract next year, and further volatility in China and South America. The strike resulted in a new deal between GM and the United Auto Workers union that increased wages and bonuses but also the closure of three U.S. manufacturing plants. [Wall Street Journal]


14 highest peaks in 189 days

I often feel bad about how I don’t exercise enough, but Nirmal Purja’s ambition was clearly a little bit higher. He smashed the record for climbing the world’s 14 highest peaks in 189 days, or a little over six months. The Nepalese former British army soldier’s speedy itinerary included climbing Everest, Lhotse and Makalu back-to-back in only 48 hours and summiting Shishapangma, his last climb, at 8:58 a.m. local time on Tuesday. South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho held the previous record of seven years, 11 months, and 14 days. [The Guardian]


23 Republican seats

One of the reasons why Republican senators haven’t broken with President Trump is because there are 23 seats held by members of the GOP that are up for re-election next year, and 5 of those races have been rated by election forecasters as the most competitive Senate contests in 2020. FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley explains these senators are in a double-bind if Trump’s standing declines, because “they’re also in a position where they can’t afford to alienate their party’s base.” [FiveThirtyEight]


0 refugees in October

CNN reports that the United States is on track to admit zero refugees for the month of October after cancelling approximately 500 flights. A state department spokesperson confirmed a pause of admissions will now extend until November 5, the third delay this month. The United Nations’s refugee agency estimated there were more than 20 million refugees last year, with more than 12,000 Syrian refugees fleeing in recent months, as the humanitarian crisis there worsens. [CNN]


3 times as many fatal car accidents involving kids

You might still be scrambling to think of a Halloween costume, but one of the scariest things about the last day of October is the annual spike in fatal car accidents involving kids. The Washington Post analyzed federal highway safety data and found children are three times more likely to be struck and killed while trick or treating that night than any other day of the year. The numbers are relatively low compared to the millions of costumed kids who go out, but data shows roads are becoming more dangerous over time after a record-number of pedestrians and cyclists were killed by cars last year. [Washington Post]


74,000-square-foot grocery store

Food is a really important part of everyone’s life, but few places inspire the level of fandom and loyalty on display at 7 a.m. on Sunday in Brooklyn, when a new 74,000-square-foot branch of the incredibly popular Wegmans grocery store chain opened in the Navy Yard. Hundreds of people lined up to shop at the family-owned business, with some “Wegmaniacs” traveling six hours for the opportunity to browse the brand-new aisles. Lynn Schmidt, who grew up in Syracuse, told the New York Times she had been waiting for a Wegmans in New York City for decades. [New York Times]


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