🌊 Deflation Nation

Happy Friday the 13th, Roca Nation. If you're anything like us, you will spend the entirety of this unlucky day curled up in the fetal position in your Buzz Lightyear-decorated bedroom. Today's poll of the day asks if you're superstitious. Sorry to all the Michael Scott fans, but "a little stitious" is not an option. Excited to see results!

In today's edition:

  • Good December inflation news

  • LSU gymnast gets security

  • 20 Questions!

🔑 Key Stories

Inflation Slows

For the first time in 3 years, inflation fell on a monthly basis

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures prices of basic consumer goods, decreased from November 2022 to December 2022 by 0.1%. The last time the CPI was lower than the prior month was May 2020

  • The drop comes after a year in which consumer prices rose rapidly and inflation hit a 40-year high. Analysts say it’s a sign that the pace of increasing inflation is beginning to cool down

  • The decrease is largely due to declining gas and motor vehicle prices, and improving supply chains

Dig Deeper

  • The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in a series of rapid hikes last year to try to slow down inflation. Economists say November-December's CPI drop will likely slow down the pace of those rate hikes over the next few months

Tigrayan Forces Hand Over Weapons

This week, Ethiopia’s Tigrayan forces started handing over weapons to Ethiopia’s government as a key part of a post-civil war peace deal

  • Ethiopia is Africa’s second most-populous country. In Nov. 2020, tensions between the Tigrayan ethnic group and the gov’t erupted into a civil war. A peace deal signed in Nov. 2022 formally ended the war but laid out terms both sides had to meet

  • The Tigrayan forces agreed to hand over their heavy weapons to the gov’t as part of the deal

  • Tensions between the sides remain, but the transfer is seen as a sign that the deal is working

Dig Deeper

  • As part of the peace deal, the government began restoring public access and basic services in the region where the conflict occurred earlier this month. Hundreds of thousands died in the conflict and both sides say the steps show the peace deal will last

Russia Releases US Navy Vet

On Thursday, Russia released American Taylor Dudley from prison, CNN reported

  • Dudley is a US Navy veteran. Last April, Russia detained him after he entered the Russian province of Kaliningrad from Poland. He was in Poland for a music festival and it’s unclear why he went into Kaliningrad or on what charges he was being held

  • His release was negotiated by a non-profit org. that specializes in hostage releases. His release does not appear to be part of a prisoner swap

  • Dudley’s imprisonment had not been publicized as his family wanted negotiations to remain private

Dig Deeper

  • Dudley is the second US citizen released from Russian prisons in just over a month. Russia released WNBA player Brittney Griner last month in a swap with the US for Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout after talks between US and Russian officials

Bolivia's State Airline Faces Criticism

Bolivia’s state airline hired a psychic to find a cat lost in transit, sparking renewed scrutiny of the airline

  • Bolivia is a Latin American country governed by the Movement to Socialism party. State-owned companies are a key part of MAS’ economic policy

  • The party’s critics say state-run companies are run for political ends and are not the best use of government funds. Proponents say they are an effective way to create jobs and increase government profits

  • The owner found the cat’s carrier empty when it arrived at baggage claim following a December flight. The psychic was hired a month after the disappearance

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🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Ain't nothin' but a bummer: Elvis Presley's only child Lisa Marie Presley died at 54 after suddenly being hospitalized on Thursday

  • iPaycut: Apple CEO Tim Cook will receive a 40% pay cut this year. Last year, the Apple CEO received a total pay package of $99M, but this year it will be $49M

  • #NotMySeaGod: Archaeologists say they may have found remains of the Temple of Poseidon in Greece. Poseidon was the Greek God of the Sea

Wildcard

  • Livvy, laugh, love: LSU announced it will ramp up security around its gymnastics meets due to the craze around gymnast and TikTok influencer Livvy Dunne

  • Larry or a Roger? Around 1 in 6 adults struggles with the distinction between left and right. Researchers are studying why this is the case

  • Robot umps: All 30 Triple-A Minor League baseball ballparks will now use robo umpires to call balls and strikes. This robot umpire debate for the MLB is contentious

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll

Are you superstitious?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature our favorite answers the following week.

Today is Friday the 13th... In order to keep you on your toes, we're doing 20 Q'S...

RATINGS EDITION!

We've got 20 prompts, which you will rate on a 1-10 scale, 1 being strong dislike; 10 being love. We will average your scores, and include them in here next week.

Here's the link. Have an AMAZING WEEKEND!

If you have thoughts, let us know at [email protected]!

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Fresh breath preference?

Mints: 55%

Gum: 45%

Yesterday's Question:

What is the best part of your job?

Julie from Seattle: "I'm a flight attendant - best part of my job is the travel benefits!"

Steve from Florida: "My customers…I have been delivering mail on the same route for years. They know me and I have seen their families grow and change. I look out for them and their property and they make sure I have plenty of water during the summer months. I wouldn’t change a thing!"

Donna from Texas: "I am a school librarian, and my favorite part of my job is helping a reluctant reader fall in love with a genre, book, or series, leading them to become a lifelong reader and learner, which is literally life changing!"

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

  1. Eggs 49.7%, Bacon 50.3%

  2. Cowboy hat 40.1%, Cowboy boots 59.9%

  3. Cappuccino 40.7%, Latte 59.3%

  4. Zipper 71.4%, Button 28.6%

  5. Microwave 52.6%, Air Fryer 48.4%

  6. Milk chocolate 46.2%, Dark chocolate 53.8%

  7. Octopus 69%, Squid 31%

  8. Early bird 47%, Night owl 53%

  9. Suitcase 67%, Duffel bag 33%

  10. Soft mattress 41.1%, Firm mattress 58.9%

  11. Sparkling water 29.1%, Still water 70.9%

  12. Batman 55.6%, Superman 44.4%

  13. Gummy worm 36.1%, Gummy bear 63.9%

  14. Ice skating 59.9%, Roller blading 40.1%

  15. Sticky notes 65%, Notes app 35%

  16. Hoodie 64.1%, Sweatshirt 35.9%

  17. Crying baby on plane 54.8%, Smelly food on plane 45.2%

  18. Plan ahead 65%, Procrastinate 35%

  19. Soy sauce 55.3%, Teriyaki sauce 44.7%

  20. Couch 53.1%, Recliner 46.9%

🧠 Final Thoughts

That's all we've got for this week. Have awesome weekends, do the 20 Questions, and see you on Monday!

Max and Max