July 2014

Numbers on the Periphery

Issue IV


A half century after the United States began its bombing campaign on Laos, citizens there are still dying from unexploded bombs.


Plane-loads of bombs that the US dropped on Laos every hour for nine straight years, between 1964 and 1973. [1]


The number of unexploded bombs in Laos from the US bombing campaign that are still live. [2]



In the largest democratic election in world history, the Indian public has elected Narendra Modi as its Prime Minister.


The number of Muslim representatives in the new majority party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). [3]


 The number of people that live in India. [4]



The head of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), which took over fifteen of Detroit’s poorest performing public schools, has resigned.


Percent of Detroit Public Schools’ (DPS) students in the 8th grade who are ‘proficient’ in math, according to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program. [5]


Amount of money that DPS has loaned to the EAA in 2013-2014 school year. [6]


Speaker of the House John Boehner has threatened to sue President Obama because the President has signed too many executive orders without consulting Congress, including this month’s order allowing the EPA to regulate carbon emissions.


The number of executive orders that Obama signed in his first term. [7]


The number of executive orders that Bush II signed in his first term. [8]


President Obama has announced that the US is sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the Iraqi government in their fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).


Number of US service members killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2012. [9]


Number of Iraqis killed this June as a result of political and sectarian fighting. [10]



Twenty-five years after their initial conviction, the city of New York has reached a settlement with the Central Park Five, a group of teens wrongfully accused of raping a woman in Central Park.


Amount of money awarded the five plaintiffs, who served between 6 and 13 years. [11]


Percent of people exonerated after their conviction by DNA evidence who were initially coerced into pleading guilty for the crime’s they didn’t commit. [12]



Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed were each sentenced to 7 years in prison in Egypt for “spreading false news” and “aiding or joining the banned Muslim Brotherhood.” In the ensuing press conference, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “It would not be in the best interests of the United States to immediately change our assistance program to Egypt.”


Amount of military and economic aid the US sends Egypt annually. [13]


Days that US citizen and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Soltan has been on a hunger strike in Egyptian jail.  [14]



In March, the City of Detroit began shutting off water for thousands of residents who were behind on their water bills. The announcement sparked outrage among activists, who call the actions a violation of the human right to water, and claim the city is exploiting its poorest residents to reduce its deficit. Regional activist groups sent a letter to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in mid-June outlining their grievances.


Amount the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) is in debt. [15]


Percentage of DWSD accounts that were behind on their payments as of March. [16]


Average monthly cost of a water bill in Detroit. [17]


Average monthly cost of a water bill in the U.S. [18]



The Reverend Dr. Cameron Partridge became the first openly transgender priest to preach in the National Cathedral in Washington DC.


Percentage of transgender Americans who have reported attempting suicide. [19]    


Percentage of Americans who have reported attempting suicide. [20]


Percentage of transgender Americans who have been sexually assaulted. [21]



North Korea threatened US over Kim Jong-un movie starring Seth Rogan and James Franco.


Number of pages the Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper committed to a photo spread of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un after he was awarded The Onion’s “Sexiest Man of the Year” award in 2012. [22]


[1] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/25/50_years_after_us_launched_secret
[2] http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/25/50_years_after_us_launched_secret
[3] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4126ec8c-dcad-11e3-a33d-00144feabdc0.html
[4] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html
[5] http://detroitk12.org/schools/reports/2012-2013_annual_education_report/82010.pdf
[6] http://www.freep.com/article/20130426/NEWS01/304260094/Lawmakers-attack-EAA-security
[7] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/27/us-usa-congress-lawsuit-obama-idUSKBN0F21MS20140627
[8] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/27/us-usa-congress-lawsuit-obama-idUSKBN0F21MS20140627
[9] http://www.icasualties.org/Iraq/
[10] http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2014/06/24/over-4000-killed-in-iraq-so-far-in-june/
[11] http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-comptroller-approves-central-park-five-lawsuit-settlement-1403799643
[12] http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/DNA_Exonerations_Nationwide.php
[13] www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/09/the-u-s-gives-egypt-1-5-billion-a-year-in-aid-heres-what-it-does/
[14] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/09/fears-us-citizen-hunger-strike-egyptian-jail-health-worsens
[15] http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/22/detroit-water-un.html
[16] http://www.freep.com/article/20140322/NEWS01/303220010/Detroit-resume-water-shutoffs-delinquent-customers
[17] http://www.freep.com/article/20140322/NEWS01/303220010/Detroit-resume-water-shutoffs-delinquent-customers
[18] http://www.epa.gov/safewater/wot/pdfs/book_waterontap_full.pdf
[19] https://www.hivlawandpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Injustice%20at%20Every%20Turn.pdf
[20] https://www.hivlawandpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Injustice%20at%20Every%20Turn.pdf
[21] https://www.hivlawandpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Injustice%20at%20Every%20Turn.pdf
[22] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20518929