🌊 Everybody…. TUCK!

Chaos in the land of Big News, meth smuggling gone awry, and Dengue Wars

"The time has come. Execute Order 66." - Senator Palpatine (and whoever was pulling the Big News strings yesterday).

In the span of 24 hours, NBCUniversal axed its CEO, Fox booted Tucker, and CNN dumped Don Lemon. Whether Big News is trying to make synchronized firing a sport or this was all just a bizarre 24 hours, we give you the facts of each situation below. All we can say is we were glad to wake up with jobs this morning...

In today's edition:

  • Chaos in the land of Big News

  • Meth smuggling gone awry

  • Dengue Battles

 🔑 Key Stories

Carlson Out

Tucker Carlson, one of the US’ most-watched cable news hosts, has parted ways with Fox News

  • Carlson became a full-time Fox News host in 2016, when he debuted “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” It took the 8 PM weekday slot in 2017 and became the US’ 2nd most-watched cable news show after “The Five”

  • Last week, Fox settled a defamation lawsuit with voting machine company Dominion. Some of the false claims were made on Carlson’s show

  • Carlson is also facing a lawsuit by a former employee who alleged discrimination and a toxic workplace

  • Carlson reportedly didn’t know he was being fired

Dig Deeper

  • Few details are yet known, but the Los Angeles Times reported that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch personally ordered Carlson’s termination over the discrimination lawsuit

  • An interim show – “Fox News Tonight” – will replace Tucker Carlson Tonight, the network said. That will feature a “rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named”

Lemon Out

On Monday, CNN announced that it had fired longtime host Don Lemon 

  • Lemon joined CNN in 2006. From 2014-2022, he hosted “Don Lemon Tonight” on CNN’s 10 PM slot

  • In February, while talking about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, Lemon said a woman is in her prime in her “20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” He subsequently faced allegations of misogyny and workplace misconduct

  • Lemon’s relationship with the company soured, and on Monday, CNN fired him. “I am stunned,” Lemon tweeted afterward

Dig Deeper

  • CNN hasn’t specified who, if anybody, will replace Lemon on the show

  • News of the termination came minutes after that of Tucker Carlson

Shell Out

NBCUniversal fired its CEO, Jeff Shell, after an investigation into sexual harassment complaints

  • Shell oversaw Universal Pictures, NBC, CNBC, Peacock, and numerous television stations, making him one of the most powerful media executives. He had been CEO since 2020

  • The sexual harassment complaints stemmed from a female CNBC host, with whom Shell was formerly in a relationship

  • Shell, who is married, said he had an “inappropriate relationship with a woman…which I deeply regret.” His firing followed a company investigation

LVMH Surpasses $500B

On Monday, French luxury group LVMH became the first European company to hit a $500B market cap

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate and Europe’s most valuable publicly traded company. It owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, and more

  • LVMH’s sales reached record highs last year, and over the first 3 months of 2023, its sales were up 17% compared to the same period last year

  • On Monday, its stock price peaked at €904.40 ($999.23), giving it a market capitalization exceeding $500B. It’s the first European company to do so

Dig Deeper

  • French billionaire Bernard Arnault owns ~48% of LVMH, driving his net worth to ~$212B and making him the world’s richest person. Elon Musk, the next-richest person, is worth ~$165B

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • A-a-a-aron and the Jets: The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers finally agreed to a trade that sends 4-time MVP Aaron Rodgers to the Big Apple

  • Testifying out loud: A jury has been selected in the trial over Ed Sheeran's alleged use of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" to write his hit "Thinking Out Loud"

  • Sierra Missed: PepsiCo is introducing Starry, a new lemon-lime soda, to take on Sprite. PepsiCo's discontinued its old lemon-lime soda, Sierra Mist, in January

Wildcard

  • Don't meth with us: Mexican navy inspectors intercepted 11,520 tequila bottles filled with liquid meth, amounting to ~10 tons. Sniffer dogs alerted the authorities

  • National Debtor 2: Nicolas Cage admitted to taking roles in "crummy" movies to help him get out of the debt he incurred in the 2008 real estate crash

  • Nice sand ya got there: An artificial sand island in Dubai sold for $34.5M. The buyer will reportedly use the 24,500 sq. ft. patch of sand to build a vacation home

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

Have you traveled outside of your home country?

Today's Question:

What traits or experiences would you like to see in your political leaders?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Brazil and Argentina are battling their worst dengue outbreaks in decades.

There are 4 dengue viruses, each of which spreads via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

Dengue can cause fever, rash, nausea, and aches that typically last up to a week. It can cause excruciating pain, earning it the nickname, “breakbone fever.” Because there are 4 viruses, having dengue once doesn’t necessarily protect people from getting it again. The more times someone has dengue, the more likely they are to become life-threateningly ill.

Dengue exists in most tropical areas of the world, and 40% of people are estimated to live in areas where they may contract it. 400M people get dengue in a given year, of whom 100M are symptomatic and 40,000 die.

Brazil is one of the most dengue-affected countries, with 2M+ cases recorded last year. To stop that trend, a non-profit called the World Mosquito Program (WMP) announced plans last week to open a mosquito factory there next year.

WMP hopes to eliminate dengue by infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia, a natural bacteria that exists in around 60% of insect species. Wolbachia don't naturally occur in dengue-carrying mosquitoes, but when planted in dengue-carrying mosquitoes, they out-compete the dengue viruses, stopping them from spreading. In hopes of eliminating dengue, scientists have been implanting Wolbachia in mosquitoes, which then breed with wild mosquitoes, spreading Wolbachia through mosquito populations.

As mosquitoes pass the bacteria through generations, dengue frequency falls. Studies have found that communities with Wolbachia-exposed mosquitoes experience 40-80% fewer dengue cases, depending on environmental factors.

Brazil’s government has approved the mosquito factory, which aims to produce up to 5B Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes annually. It hopes to distribute 50B of them across Brazil within the next decade.

WMP’s goal is to release the mosquitoes across the entirety of Brazil, which would be the first time the strategy is applied to an entire country. It’s considering ways to scale up its deployment of the mosquitoes, such as installing mosquito launchers onto drones, motorbikes, and cars.

Meanwhile, neighboring Argentina, which has reported a record-high 60,000 dengue infections so far this year, is taking a different approach to eliminate dengue: Sterilization. 

Biologists are zapping tens of thousands of male mosquitoes in labs with radiation that sterilizes them, and then releasing them into the wild. Unable to mate, the mosquito population will drop, biologists say.

The country is already sterilizing 10,000 males per week, with hopes of rapidly increasing that to 500,000. They expect to release the first batch of sterilized males in November.

If Brazil’s and Argentina’s strategies work, breakbone fever's days may be numbered.

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

 

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Yes: 80%
No: 20%

Yesterday's Question:

What is your favorite instrument and why?

Kylee from New Mexico: "My favorite instrument is the piano. My son, who is almost 13, started lessons about 4.5 years ago. Even when the same notes are played over and over again as he commits them to memory, I find I’m soothed by the notes dancing through the air. Piano is romantic and boasts many, many personalities."

Michael from Texas: "Electric guitar because of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Page, Jack White, St. Vincent, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the way they and many others can make the guitar sing."

Jessica from California: "A didgeridoo is hands down one of my favorite instruments. You feel the vibrations all the way to your soul. The sounds are haunting yet soothing at the same time. There's nothing like it in the entire world of music."

🧠 Final Thoughts

Brazil may be opening a mosquito factory, but they've got years to catch up with the Great American Roach Factory, i.e. – our apartments.

We hope your weeks are off to a great start. See you tomorrow.

–Max and Max