May 2015

Numbers on the Periphery

Issue xiv


Scientists have warned that some of the most dire effects of climate change will soon be felt in Canada, where the country’s glaciers are dwindling at a precipitous rate.


Percent of Canadian glaciers scientists say will disappear by 2100. [1]



In one of the largest ever forensic scandals in the US, the FBI has admitted that  “nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony” when appearing in US courts from 1980-2000.


Percent of cases in which results of defendant's DNA test was exaggerated by examiners in ways that favored the prosecution. [2]


Number of Americans sentenced to death due to fallacious forensic testimony. [3]



Saudi Arabia has launched a series of airstrikes in strife-torn Yemen to stop the advance of Iran-backed Shia rebels.


Percent of fighters in Yemen who are minors. [4]


Number of foreigners trapped in Yemen. [5]



A new report by the World Wildlife Federation shows that the resources of the world's oceans are being rapidly depleted due to commercial exploitation and pollution.


Total commercial value of the world’s oceans. [6]



Despite recent cuts in the US military budget, the US is still the number one country in military spending, allocating more money than the next seven countries combined.


Percent of US GDP spent on military. [7]

Percent of Saudi GDP spent on military.  [8]



In a new experiment, a sample of monkeys that was injected with high levels of HIV were kept free from the effects of the virus due to a new lab-made molecule. Scientists, optimistic about the molecule’s potential ability to fight HIV, are still unsure how this molecule will work in human trials.


Number of Americans living with HIV that are unaware that they have the disease. [9]



After the funeral of Freddie Gray – an African American man killed while in the custody of the Baltimore police – protesters clashed violently with police. Police responded with pepper spray and tear gas, and eventually the Maryland’s governor called in a SWAT team and the National Guard to suppress the protest.


Number of African Americans killed by white police officers in the US every week. [10]

Percent of US cities with a population over 50,000 that have their own SWAT team. [11]



The US has dropped in the World Press Freedom rankings, due in part by the country’s ongoing war against whistleblowers and organizations such as WikiLeaks.


Number of countries ranked ahead of the US (including countries such as Chile, Tonga, and El Salvador). [12]



Dramatic increases in NYC real estate prices have led to fear of a luxury housing bubble.


The cost of NYC’s most expensive penthouse. [13]



A new article shows that several years of sustained police raids in Detroit under Commissioner Craig have produced an nominal number of prosecutions.


Percent of total drugs seized in Detroit police raids that was marijuana. [14]