March 2015

Numbers on the Periphery

Issue xii


A report from the Guardian has revealed that Chicago police operate a "black site," known as Homan Square, where suspects who have not been booked or charged are held in custody, often without being allowed to talk to a lawyer.


Number of hours Jacob Church was interrogated while he was shackled to a bench in Homan Square, without being read his rights and without being allowed to talk to a lawyer. [1].



The UN has halted repairs to property damaged in last year’s Israeli assault on Gaza, claiming that international donors have failed to pay what they promised.


Amount promised to Gaza at Cairo aid conference. [2]


Amount of promised aid that has reached Gaza. [3]



Austria’s parliament passed an amendment that bans all foreign funding to Muslim organizations and requires all imams to be able to speak German.


Number of Muslim organizations that have to prove their “positive approach towards society” in order to continue receiving government funding. [4]


Percent of terrorist attacks in US committed by non-Muslims. [5]



Acknowledging widespread discrimination, the Obama administration has urged shelters to respect the rights of transgender homeless people to identify their own gender when seeking refuge in homeless shelters.


Percentage of transgender Americans who have been homeless at some point in their lives. [6]


Percentage of Americans who have been homeless at some point in their lives. [7]



The leftist Syriza party won a historic election in Greece. The party has promised to renegotiate Greece’s massive debt and to remove austerity measures.


Amount Greece owes in foreign debt. [8]


Amount Germany still owes Greece in post-WWII reparations. [9]



Animal rights groups have compiled the “first-ever report” on the effects of greyhound racing.


Number of greyhounds that have died on the racetrack since 2008. [10]



The New York State attorney general’s office asked GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens to stop selling herbal supplements after tests showed that many of the supplements were falsely labeled.


Percent of supplements claiming to contain ginko bilboa, St. John’s wort, ginseng, or echinacea that actually contained nothing but fillers such as rice or asparagus. [11]



Harper Lee, at 88 years old, is set to publish a new book, a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird.


Number of years between the the publication of the original To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel. [12]


Number of copies of To Kill a Mockingbird that have sold worldwide. [13]



A report from the Director of National Intelligence has provoked international controversy. The report shows that all foreign communications that are swept up by the NSA can be kept by the agency for at least five years, even if the foreigners are proven to be innocent of any crime.


Percent of global population “insulted” by Obama’s NSA reforms. [14]



Hundreds of millions of dollars in assets were seized from Americans in 2014 under civil forfeiture laws, which allow police to take property from a citizen’s home or car if they suspect a crime was committed, even if there is not enough evidence to charge them.


Amount seized by police from Michiganders in 2013. [15]