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Elon Musk is in HOT water, orcas like heavy metal? and Roca Reports: Down the rabbit hole
Journalists always cite analysts, experts, officials, and executives. Often, though, they don’t include “regular people,” especially when they disagree with their opinions…
Read the rest of our on-the-ground philosophy in today’s Wrap. And, of course, happy Monday.
In today's edition:
Elon Musk is in HOT water
Orcas like heavy metal?
Roca Reports: Down the rabbit hole
🔑 Key Stories
The Battle for Sam Altman
Microsoft hired Sam Altman after attempts to get him reinstated as OpenAI’s CEO failed
Altman co-founded OpenAI in 2015 and oversaw its transformation from a nonprofit to one of the world’s most valuable startups – a shift that accelerated when it launched ChatGPT last November. OpenAI’s board fired him in a surprise move on Friday
Unlike other companies, OpenAI’s investors don’t control its board and the board’s goal is not to seek profit but to ensure OpenAI develops AI beneficially for humanity. The board apparently fired Altman because it was concerned by new products he was launching and by his desire to get investors on the board. Those investors tried to have Altman reinstated as CEO and failed
Then on Sunday, Microsoft announced it had hired Altman to “lead a new advanced AI research team.” In response to that news, the majority of OpenAI’s 700+ employees signed an open letter threatening to resign unless Altman is reinstated. The signatories added that if they resign, they may go work for Altman’s new team
Altman retweeted Microsoft's CEO’s announcement of his hiring, adding “The mission continues.” Microsoft’s CEO replied: “We've learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I'm looking forward to having you do the same”
The employee letter accused the board of being “incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” adding, “Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join”
Milei Wins in Argentina
Self-described anarcho-capitalist Javier Milei won Argentina’s presidential election
The election came as Argentina faces 142% inflation and with 40% of its population living in poverty. The other candidate was the current economy minister representing a left-wing populist party that has governed the country for most of the last 40 years
Milei, a libertarian economist, came to prominence by ranting against Argentina’s political class. He has promised to overhaul the country’s economy by introducing the dollar and more
He won in a landslide, 56% to 44%
The margin of victory was larger than polls predicted and the largest since Argentina’s return to democracy in 1983
“Today, the reconstruction of Argentina begins,” Milei said in a victory speech. “It’s the end of Argentine decadence”
Elon in Hot Water
Apple, IBM, Disney, and other major companies suspended advertisements with X after Elon Musk was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks
Last week, Musk endorsed a tweet that said the writer had no sympathy about anti-Semitic acts because liberal Jews had pushed the policies that brought anti-Semitic immigrants to their countries. He also endorsed a tweet that said white people should be allowed to have pride in their history
Anti-Semitism allegations ensued, with the White House calling Musk’s statement an “abhorrent promotion of Antisemitic and racist hate.” On Thursday, liberal non-profit Media Matters accused X of placing ads next to “content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party”
That led Apple, Disney, and others to suspend advertising on X
Israel Hamas Update
Israeli troops continued to search al-Shifa hospital while Israel and Hamas neared a hostage deal
Last Wednesday, Israeli troops entered al-Shifa hospital. The following day, they found the bodies of two hostages, some weaponry, and Hamas uniforms, but no Hamas command center
Then Sunday, the IDF released footage of a tunnel protected by an explosion-proof door. The IDF said the door was the type Hamas uses “to block Israeli forces from entering the command center”
Also Sunday, the UN called al-Shifa a “death zone.” Fewer than a dozen staff and only immobile patients remain
Throughout the weekend, the US, Egypt, and Qatar brokered hostage negotiations between Israel and Hamas. A deal now appears near
Any deal will likely involve a brief ceasefire during which Hamas will release primarily women and children hostages. In exchange, Israel will release Palestinian prisoners
Separately, Israel announced Saturday that it would allow a limited number of fuel trucks into Gaza for the first time since October 7. It has refused to do so, saying fuel could be diverted to Hamas. Now, it says fuel is needed to prevent disease outbreaks
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The Problems Tour: Taylor Swift postponed her Saturday Eras Tour concert in Rio de Janeiro due to “extreme temperatures” after a 23-year-old fan died at her Friday show
Not so Nice! Director Ridley Scott dismissed French critics’ negative reviews of his film “Napoleon” by saying, “The French don’t even like themselves”
Icy landing: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner made the first-ever widebody aircraft landing in Antarctica. It landed on a ~9,800-ft ice runway, which is operational from October to March
Rage against the boat: The captain of a catamaran crossing the Strait of Gibraltar reported that blasting heavy metal underwater failed to deter an orca attack
Returning the jackpot: FedEx accidentally delivered $20k worth of lottery scratch cards to a Massachusetts woman at her workplace. She returned the box, believing it to be the “right” decision
On this week of “Florida Man”… Police charged a 45-year-old Florida man with exposure of sexual organs after allegedly defecating on a dead possum during rush hour
👇🏻 What do you think?
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🌯 Roca Wrap
Who should make the news?
Journalists always cite analysts, experts, officials, and executives. Often, though, they don’t include “regular people,” especially when they disagree with their opinions.
In many news companies, journalists simply refuse to publish opinions they object to. They defend that by saying they don’t want to “platform” people who have “dangerous” or “harmful” views. Roca disagrees. Whether or not we agree with what someone says, if it’s newsworthy and helps paint an honest picture of a story, we believe it should be included.
That leads us to this week, where we profile Ingo, a man labeled a right-wing extremist by Germany’s government.
I met Ingo at a rally for the Alternative für Deutschland, or AFD, Germany’s far-right party. Tall with flowing gray hair tucked under a Confederate flag hat, he described himself as a “conspiracy theorist” who has made it his mission to “ask provocative questions.” Before we left the rally, he invited me to his home in northern Germany, where he said he would help me understand his beliefs.
I spent two days with Ingo, hearing his opinions and trying to understand why he held them. He brought me into his life and spent hours trying to help me understand it.
It proved an eye-opening couple of days, and one that I firmly believe other news outlets would not report on. In this week’s Roca Reports, we tell Ingo’s story.
Because this journalism involves greater risk and resources, we’ve paywalled it. If you are curious, you can subscribe below and receive a two-week free trial. We greatly appreciate your support of our mission.
Let us know what you think at [email protected]!
🌊 Roca Clubhouse
Is it a big deal that President Biden called China's President Xi Jinping a "dictator"?
Just 20 Questions! As always, we feature those replies in Friday’s newsletter.
While the above may constitute our meatiest newsletter on record, the best is yet to come. If you’re curious about Ingo and/or want to support our mission, you can try out Roca Reports free below.
—Max and Max
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The next four installments dive into the beliefs of a man named Ingo. We hope they shed light on a person and beliefs that other media would not.
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