🌊 If You Can Make It There They’ll Fly You Anywhere
New York pays for migrants’ one-way tickets, Warning: WanaBana may have lead, and Roca Reports: Volume 2
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In today's edition:
New York pays for migrants’ one-way tickets
Warning: WanaBana may have lead
Roca Reports: Volume 2
🔑 Key Stories
One-Way Tickets Out of NYC
New York City is offering migrants free one-way plane tickets to anywhere in the world
~130,000 migrants have arrived in NYC since 2022, thousands of whom have been bussed there by Republican-controlled southern states. That has overwhelmed the city’s shelter system and budget
Last Tuesday, NYC’s mayor Eric Adams said the city is at its breaking point: “It’s not ‘if’ [migrants] will be sleeping on the streets, it’s ‘when,’” he said
The city is now offering migrants free one-way plane tickets out of the city as a means to reduce strain on the city’s homeless shelter system
Although NYC has previously offered plane tickets to migrants, it has now set up a center specifically designed to do so. “Reticketing,” as the program is called, will “help [migrants] take the next steps in their journeys,” a city spokesperson said
City officials called reticketing a practical and cost-saving solution to help the city reduce the strain on its shelter system. Critics have accused Adams of hypocrisy and claimed he is doing the same thing he criticized Republican governors for doing
UAW, GM Reach Deal
United Automobile Workers (UAW) reached a tentative deal with General Motors (GM), potentially ending weeks of targeted strikes
UAW represents ~145,000 workers at the “Detroit Three”: GM, Ford, and Stellantis (Chrysler). It called a limited strike against all three in September, meaning only some unionized workers walked off the job
Last Wednesday, UAW secured a 25%+ wage increase deal with Ford. On Saturday, it secured a similar deal with Stellantis
Following that, UAW announced it would expand strikes against GM, the only automaker still holding out. The new strikes would target some of GM’s most profitable models, such as the Cadillac Escalade
On Monday, UAW reportedly struck a deal with GM that would ensure the highest-earning UAW employees would earn $40 an hour by 2028, or $84,000 annually for full-time workers. UAW leaders and members must now approve the tentative deal with GM to officially end the strike
Deutsche Bank estimated the new labor agreements will cost Ford $6.2B, GM $7.2B, and Stellantis $6.4B in additional labor costs over the next four and a half years
A fisherman was rescued from a life raft 13 days after going missing and a day after rescuers called off the search for him
On October 12, two men – neither of whom have been identified – set out from Washington on a fishing trip. They were supposed to return on October 15
The boat didn’t return, though, and the US Coast Guard launched a search-and-rescue mission. It called off that search last Wednesday
A day later, fishermen rescued one of the men from a life raft. He is reportedly in stable condition. The other sailor has not been found, and the US Coast Guard said it is still investigating the incident
“I saw what looked like a life raft in the distance and ran inside and put the binoculars on him and then [a person on the raft] shot off a flare,” one of the rescuers told Seattle outlet KING-TV
“We pulled him on board. He gave me a big hug and it was emotional,” another rescuer told the outlet. “I don’t think he would have lasted much longer [out on the water], that’s for sure”
The rescuers said the stranded fisherman had survived by catching and eating a salmon after running out of food. “We made him breakfast. He drank three bottles of water. He was pretty hungry”
Israel Advances into Gaza
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls for a ceasefire as its forces advanced into Gaza
On Friday night, Israeli forces invaded the Gaza Strip as part of what Netanyahu referred to as a “new phase” of the conflict. It has also escalated its bombing campaign against what it calls Hamas targets
On Monday, footage showed Israeli forces advancing on Gaza City from three directions. A verified video showed an Israeli tank blocking a major highway
On Monday, Netanyahu rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying that those amount to “calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism”
In the video of the tank blocking the highway, captured by a photojournalist, a white car drives toward the tank before stopping and trying to execute a three-point turn. While it was attempting to execute the turn, though, the tank fired a shell that blew up the car
Palestinian sources claimed three people were killed, and in the video, a person said, “the whole family is gone.” An Israeli spokesperson later said the military “was not shown any proof that this is a civilian car and there’s no information on who is inside.” He added: “Terrorists use civilian infrastructure like cars. They don’t have tanks or military jeeps”
A Hamas official later claimed Israeli forces had withdrawn from that road and the outskirts of Gaza City; Israel didn’t respond to those claims
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Drop the ads, just Facebook: Meta will launch ad-free subscriptions for Facebook and Instagram in Europe starting in November. Ad-free service will cost €9.99 monthly on desktop and €12.99 on mobile
Rose Bowl heist: After the University of Colorado’s 28-16 football loss to UCLA in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, multiple Colorado players reported stolen jewelry from their locker room
Mmm, lead fruit: The FDA warned parents and caregivers against purchasing or giving children WanaBana apple cinnamon fruit puree pouches due to potential high lead content
Grand Theft Uh-oh: A man – thinking he was in a real-life “Grand Theft Auto” game – led San Francisco police on a car chase, during which he detonated a pipe bomb and ignited a Molotov cocktail
Asleep at the wheelchair: Air Canada apologized after a 49-year-old man with spastic cerebral palsy had to drag himself off a plane due to the airline’s failure to provide him a wheelchair
👇 What do you think?
Have you done a ‘dry January’ before?
If you could witness any moment in history — past, present, or future — what would it be and why?
Reply to this email with your answers!
See yesterday's results below the Wrap!
🌯 Roca Wrap
Since we launched Roca, we’ve wanted to do consistent on-the-ground reporting. Starting with this email, we are.
In the past, we’ve reported from Ukraine, Colombia, the US/Mexico border, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. With each of these trips, we’ve sought to not just tell the news but bring our readers with us on the adventures.
Roca Reports will now deliver that immersive journalism every week. Our co-founder and editor Max Frost has spent the last two months in Europe traveling and reporting in six countries. We’ll be publishing that coverage here, starting with Germany, where he hitchhiked around the country meeting far-right activists. The second dispatch (Part 2 of 4) is below. We hope you enjoy!
From German unification in 1990 until the early 2010s, German politics were known for being boring.
From 1998 until 2005, the main center-left party was in charge; beginning in 2005, the center-right was. Both parties agreed on many basic issues.
But in 2009, the Great Recession led investors to turn away from some indebted countries like Greece, Portugal, and Ireland. Unable to secure enough money to pay off their debts, a financial crisis ensued. They asked the EU for funds to bail them out. Germany – with the EU’s largest economy and population – would have to cough up the most cash. Under leader Angela Merkel, it agreed to do so.
Merkel was from the main center-right party, the CDU. In 2013, a group of conservative economists who were unhappy with the policy decided to launch their own party, Alternative für Deutschland (AFD). AFD didn’t support the euro and wanted to provide an alternative conservative economic vision for Germany. It drew some support, but not much.
Then came the migrant crisis.
In 2015, a combination of wars and poverty in Africa and the Middle East led millions of migrants to come to Europe. It was the largest influx of asylum seekers since World War 2, and Germany, under Merkel, took in over 1.1M people – the most of any European country. Anti-migration sentiment surged and the AFD capitalized by becoming more socially conservative and anti-migration.
By 2017, it had become the country’s third-most popular party. On Germany’s political spectrum and relative to Merkel’s “center-right” CDU, it was far-right. As the AFD became more conservative, many of its founding members left and it shifted further. It went from being a party that was skeptical of the euro to one that was being investigated for extremism.
Next came the pandemic. Germany’s government – still led by Merkel’s center-right party – instituted extensive lockdowns and proposed a vaccine mandate. Those who disliked those policies increasingly moved to the AFD.
Then the war in Ukraine began. Germany has both large anti-war and pro-Russia communities, and with all of Germany’s major parties in favor of arming Ukraine, they drifted to the AFD.
By this spring, the AFD was polling at over 20%, making it the country’s second-most popular party. It won several elections, including one that put it in charge of a county for the first time. It was moving from the fringe to the mainstream.
The development alarmed many Germans, who believed Germany had sworn off all far-right politics. Germany’s security organizations have responded by designating parts of the AFD and some of its key politicians “extremist.” It has placed them under surveillance and the government has tried to block some of them from taking office. There have also been credible reports that the government is considering banning the AFD altogether.
This is the topic I sought to explore when I landed in Germany on September 12. Less than two weeks later, I found myself eating ice cream with a man on the country’s terror watch list.
The coming installments tell the story of how I got there.
Part 3 tomorrow.
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If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!
🌊 Roca Clubhouse
Is Halloween your favorite holiday?
If you could change one thing to improve the world, what would it be?
Wade: “What would I change? I would have people listen at least twice as long as they talk. In a one-on-one conversation, you would speak one-third of the time, one-third of the time I would speak, and both of us can spend the last one-third contemplating what the other person said, building a stronger understanding of each other's perspectives.”
Scott: “I would make all news outlets report only facts, not opinions...”
Kimberly: “Ix-nay on the socialmedia-ay”
Gina from Virginia: “I would not change anything. This is God's world and His plan and timing.”
David: “The one thing I would do to improve the world is get rid of religion. Religion causes more wars than anything else. Most religious people are hypocrites and don't practice what they preach.”
David from Washington, DC: Guns, guns, guns!!! The ease of access both legally & illegally is insane. What wildlife hunter up to your average citizen needs a AR-15, with magazines that shred everything in its place.”
🧠 Final Thoughts
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Have a great Tuesday!
—Max and Max