🌊 Call of Doody: Brown Ops 2

North Korea will stop sending trash and feces to South Korea...

Donald Trump is now on TikTok.

Forget the broccoli-haired TikToker you’ve come to know and loathe, there’s a new kid on the ByteDance block. That new kid is none other than the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. In his first few days — unfortunately, no griddying or “get ready with me for sentencing day” vids yet — he’s amassed 3.8M followers, surpassing the 345k follower count of President Biden’s official page that launched in February.

Might have to check the Constitution again, but I think the Founding Fathers set TikTok follower count as the Electoral College tiebreaker, no? Or was it total V Bucks on Fortnite? Darn, might have to listen to Hamilton again.

🪖 No ceasefire after all?

👏 North Korea will stop sending sh*t to South Korea

👋 Pringle thief gets prison sentence

–Max and Max


Israeli Ceasefire Plan

President Biden presented what he called an Israel-backed proposal to end the war in Gaza

  • Biden announced the plan on Friday. The proposal would see Israel withdraw its forces from populated areas of Gaza, release Palestinian prisoners, and allow aid in exchange for the release of some hostages and soldiers. Negotiations aimed at releasing all the hostages and securing a permanent ceasefire would follow

  • Biden called it an “Israeli proposal,” but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu distanced himself from the plan, and several members of his cabinet threatened to topple his government if he agreed to it

  • Hamas said it “positively views” the proposal but said it would not commit to any deal unless Israel first publicly endorses it

Dig Deeper

  • It's unclear where Israel's government stands on the proposal: A day after Biden announced it, Netanyahu called a permanent ceasefire a “nonstarter”. A day later, though, Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy adviser said it was “a deal we agreed to,” although he added that it is “not a good deal”

  • Numerous outlets reported that Biden’s announcement took Israel by surprise

  • A White House spokesperson told ABC News that the US has “every expectation” that Israel will accept the deal if Hamas also does. “We’re waiting for an official response from Hamas,” he said


Mexico Votes

Claudia Sheinbaum won Mexico’s election, making her the country’s first female president

  • Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), is term-limited and therefore did not run for re-election. He endorsed Sheinbaum, an environmental engineer and former mayor of Mexico City

  • AMLO – a left-wing populist – was extremely popular, and Sheinbaum was heavily favored to win over Xóchitl Gálvez, a tech entrepreneur who represented a coalition of right-wing parties

  • Mexico’s electoral institute said Sheinbaum won a landslide victory with between 58.3% and 60.7% of the vote, versus Gálvez’s ~27%

Dig Deeper

  • Sheinbaum will also become the first Jewish president of an overwhelmingly Catholic country

  • She has pledged to continue AMLO’s legacy by bolstering Mexico’s welfare programs and addressing poverty, although she has simultaneously said that she and AMLO are “different people”


The Best Get Better

One day after Real Madrid won the Champions League final, reports emerged that Kylian Mbappé had signed to join the club

  • On Saturday, Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund to win the Champions League – one of soccer’s most prestigious tournaments – for the second time in three years

  • A day later, reports emerged that French superstar Mbappé, who plays for the French club PSG, had signed with Madrid

  • Although widely expected, the news – on the heels of a major victory – suggests Madrid’s dominance is poised to grow further

Dig Deeper

  • The Champions League is an annual tournament that brings together the world's best teams

  • Real Madrid – the world’s most valuable soccer club, per Forbes – has now won two of the past three Champions League titles, six of the last ten, and 15 total – more than any other club in the world


Unprecedented Times (in South Africa)

The party that has dominated South Africa since the end of apartheid faced a crushing election result with major implications for the country’s future

  • The African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela’s party, has held a parliamentary majority in South Africa since the end of apartheid. It faced a crushing result in last week’s elections, though, winning just 41% of the vote – its worst-ever showing by far

  • It must now enter into a coalition with a party traditionally perceived as “white” or join with hardline ones that seek to nationalize various businesses. The ANC has two weeks to make a decision

Dig Deeper

  • The ANC could partner with the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, which is more conservative and traditionally known as a “white party.” It could alternatively join forces with Jacob Zuma, a former ANC leader and president who was jailed over numerous corruption scandals. His party wants to abolish South Africa’s “Western” judicial system, nationalize businesses, and more

  • The uncertainty surrounding South Africa’s political future has caused its currency and stock market to tumble

Some Quick Stories for the Office

🎈 North Korea said it will stop “dropping trash over the border” into South Korea. Last week, North Korea sent several hundred balloons filled with cigarette butts, fertilizer, and other trash into the South; on Saturday and Sunday, it sent approximately 600 more

📱 Donald Trump launched a TikTok account that quickly garnered more than ten times President Biden’s following on the platform. As of writing, Trump’s TikTok account – launched Sunday – has 3.7M followers, versus 339k for Biden’s campaign, which was launched in February

🩸 A team of researchers from the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research announced that in a small study, a new blood test predicted with 100% accuracy the risk of breast cancer relapse

🏀 A violent foul against WNBA star Caitlin Clark is driving speculation that there’s bad blood between her and some players in the league. For no apparent reason, a Chicago player hip-checked rookie Clark, sending her to the floor

🚀 For the second time in less than a month, Boeing called off the first crewed launch of its Starliner spacecraft. NASA has given both SpaceX and Boeing funding to build spacecraft capable of launching humans into space. SpaceX has been doing so since 2020, but Boeing’s project has been repeatedly delayed. Boeing may try to launch again this week

Question of the Day

🧠 By popular demand, we’ve decided this week to swap out the weekly discussion for the original “Question of the Day.”

Today’s Question:

What gives you the most hope for society? In a world where we read news that is often so dark and twisted, I think we lose sight of the good happening, too.

Suggested by Max from Illinois

Think about it and reply to this email to let us know what you think!

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🚓 Better Call Salt: A British thief stole 17 tubes of Pringles in a series of shop thefts. He told police, “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” and will now serve a six-month prison sentence 

🙏 Inspirational: 19-year-old Elijah Hogan, a Louisiana high school senior who became homeless over a year ago, graduated as his high school’s valedictorian with a 3.93 GPA

📬 Save the Mail Carriers: The US Postal Service released national rankings for dog bites. Los Angeles topped the rankings with 65 dog attacks, followed by Houston (56) and Chicago (48)

Next caddie up: PGA Tour golfer C.T. Pan enlisted a fan to step in and caddie for several holes after his normal caddie, Mike “Fluff” Cowan, slipped and fell

📜 Least controversial history teacher: A Massachusetts school placed a fifth-grade teacher on leave after a series of incidents that included holding a mock slave auction, using a racial slur, and calling out the student who reported the slur

Roca Votes: Help or Hurt?

For the first time in US history, a former president is a convicted felon.

On Thursday, a New York jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records with the purpose of interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Putting aside questions of justice and precedent, today’s question is simple: Will this conviction help or hurt Trump’s chances of winning back the White House?

In the hours after the verdict, the Trump campaign announced it raised a record-breaking $35M, 30% of which came from first-time donors. The rush temporarily caused the fundraising site to crash.

For context, the campaign raised $7.1M after Trump’s Georgia mugshot went viral.

The energy from Trump’s base swept over X as well. Tucker Carlson garnered 330,000+ likes for the following tweet: “Import the Third World, become the Third World. That’s what we just saw. This won’t stop Trump. He’ll win the election if he’s not killed first. But it does mark the end of the fairest justice system in the world. Anyone who defends this verdict is a danger to you and your family”

The verdict has appeared to fire up Trump’s base more than anything to date.

Betting markets, however, sent a different signal.

Following the verdict, Trump’s odds to win back the White House fell from -165 to -120 on the offshore sportsbook BetOnline.ag. Biden’s odds jumped from +140 to +110.

Trump remains the frontrunner, but this book suggests the conviction weakens his lead.

The comment section on our “Trump Guilty” Quick Card Instagram post similarly showed two schools of thought.

@Mar0dizaz01 wrote: “Democrats have just given Trump more momentum now,” which garnered 3,514+ likes.

Another top-liked comment came from @gracekoncsics, who wrote, “The man could murder someone in broad daylight and people would defend him.”

@E__sima wrote, “Trump just got my vote,” while @blakejohnson6464 wrote, “Not a Trump supporter but man it is obvious how much they are targeting him.”

The key question is how this decision will affect voters in swing states. Right now, the swing states show an unusual dynamic: Trump is far more popular than the Republicans running for the US Senate in the same state.

In Arizona, for example, polls show Trump leading Biden +1 but the Republican Senate candidate trailing the Democratic candidate by 5 points. The same is true in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, where the gap between Trump and the Republican candidate for Senate is a colossal 16 points.

Will the conviction of Trump deepen the pro-Trump sentiment in these swing states? Will it galvanize Republican turnout? Or will undecideds hesitate to vote for a felon?

We are genuinely curious.

Putting aside your personal views of last week’s conviction, do you think the verdict will help or hurt Trump’s odds of winning back the White House?

If you want to share your thoughts, do so by replying to this email!

Final Thoughts

Roca Nation, we’re excited to read your answers on what gives you hope for the future because, boy, after today’s news — stealing Pringles?! Doritos we understand but Pringles?! — we could use a dose of optimism.

Legacy news is a pessimism machine that constantly amplifies the worst, rarest, and scariest stories in the world for clicks. They would hate for us to have a week of optimism.

–Max and Max