June 2015

Numbers on the Periphery

Issue xv


In California, protests have emerged over the fact that, despite drought conditions, giant bottled-water sellers continue to tap the state’s scarce water reserves.


Price Wal-Mart pays per 748 gallons of water. [1]



The fatal derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia has caused concerns over the public-private rail service’s ability to afford the repairs necessary to ensure that their train routes are all safe for passage.


Amount Amtrak estimates would be needed to get its tracks into a “state of good repair.” [2]


Amount the US congress voted to cut from Amtrak’s budget in the aftermath of the fatal derailment. [3]



The US government has labeled a long-time Al Jazeera correspondent Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan as a terrorist affiliated with Al Qaeda. Zaidan has denied the label, responding: “To assert that myself, or any journalist, has any affiliation with any group on account of their contact book, phone call logs, or sources is an absurd distortion of the truth and a complete violation of the profession of journalism.”


Number of people labeled by the US government as “known or suspected terrorists.” [4]


Percent of those labeled whom the US government nonetheless recognize as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” [5]



President Obama has given conditional approval to a proposal by Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this summer.


Gallons of fuel and drilling fluid that washed up on the shores of Antarctica when Royal Dutch Shell tried to drill the Arctic Ocean in 2012. [6]



Protests erupted in Washington state after police non-fatally shot two unarmed men for allegedly trying to steal beer from a grocery store.


Number of suspects killed by US police in 2013. [7]


Number of Americans killed by Muslim terrorists since 9/11. [8]



France has passed a law forcing all supermarkets to give all unsold, edible food to charity.


Fraction of food produced in the world that is thrown out prior to its consumption. [9]



A report found that most NYC-based Nepali nail salon workers earn a flat fee for their work that falls well below minimum wage.


Percent of the nail workers that are paid in the form of a flat daily rate. [10]


Daily rate paid to many of the nail workers. [11]



Deep-water drilling is set to resume close to the site of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.


Types of animals killed by the 2010 oil spill. [12]



The US senate has passed a bill granting President Obama fast-track authority on the massive free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Money paid by governments to corporations in “investor-state” disputes under existing US trade deals. [13]



Arizona is just one of a number of US states that continues to offset drastic cuts to their budget for public universities by hiking tuition costs.


Percent that tuition costs for Arizona universities increased from 2008 to 2013. [14]