🌊 France Showing No Merci

Plus: A legendary actor hangs it up

Tomorrow is the 109th anniversary of the London Beer Flood — a historical episode that makes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs sound like a David Attenborough-narrated documentary. On October 17, 1814, a giant vat burst at a London brewery, creating a 15-foot-high wave of beer that swept the surrounding streets. Breweries back then built such enormous vats to attract tourists; but this vat repelled them — literally. One American visitor described the flood: “All at once, I found myself borne onward with great velocity by a torrent which burst upon me so suddenly as almost to deprive me of breath.”

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of beer were released in the flood, killing eight and injuring many more. Yet we can only imagine that, for some, it was the greatest Monday happy hour deal ever.

In today's edition:

  • France deploys military

  • Legendary actor hangs it up

  • Roca Votes: Blacklisting the signatories

 🔑 Key Stories

France Deploys Military

France deployed 7,000 soldiers across the country a day after the fatal stabbing of a teacher

  • Since Hamas invaded Israel last week, France’s government has strongly supported Israel and denounced a surge in anti-Semitic acts in France. Last Thursday, the country banned pro-Palestinian protests

  • On Friday, a 20-year-old Chechen man fatally stabbed a teacher and injured three others in what France’s president called an act of “Islamist terrorism”

  • In response, on Saturday, France announced it would deploy 7,000 troops and other law enforcement officers to enforce public order

Dig Deeper

  • In 2015, France launched Opération Sentinelle to deploy soldiers and other law enforcement officials across the country to protect areas deemed high risk for terrorism. That program was escalated following the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130 people

  • France’s interior minister framed Saturday’s troop deployment as an expansion of Opération Sentinelle. He didn’t directly address the stabbing of the teacher in relation to the deployment but cited a “jihadist atmosphere” that has developed in France since last Saturday

Polish Opposition Wins Election

Exit polls suggest Poland’s opposition parties will defeat its ruling party in a closely-watched election

  • Poland’s ruling party (PiS) has governed since 2015 and has opposed immigration, challenged the EU’s authority, and taken other conservative positions. Critics accuse PiS of undermining democracy by controlling the courts and media; PiS and its supporters deny that

  • The center-right PO and other opposition parties championed a vision of Poland as more European; more welcoming of immigrants; and more accepting of abortion, same-sex unions, and other social issues. PiS politicians accused PO of selling out to EU and German interests

  • On Sunday, Polish voters headed to the polls for what many told Roca was the most important election of their lives

  • Per exit polls, PiS received the highest percentage of the vote but opposition parties collectively won enough votes to form a new government. Results aren’t final yet, but the PO has declared victory

Dig Deeper

  • Last week, Roca spoke to dozens of Polish voters about their views on the election. Click this link to read more about what voters told Roca!

Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

The US and other countries are pushing for humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza as Israel agreed to resume water supplies there

  • Since last week, 2,600+ Palestinians have died. The United Nations has warned that Israel’s siege and its evacuation order are causing a humanitarian crisis. On Saturday, it said Gaza is running out of water

  • On Sunday, amid pressure, Israel agreed to resume supplying water to Gaza. It also agreed to create a “humanitarian zone” in southern Gaza to provide residents with essential services and supplies

  • Also on Sunday, the US announced that in response to pressure, Egypt agreed to allow humanitarian aid through its border with Gaza

Dig Deeper

  • In the meantime, Israel has continued to prepare for a ground invasion of Gaza which it claims will annihilate Hamas’ power. A top Israeli official said on Sunday that Israel’s goal is not to reoccupy Gaza

New Chapter in Speaker Battle

House Republicans nominated Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) as speaker after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) dropped his bid

  • On Thursday, Scalise officially withdrew from the speaker competition as it became clear he didn’t have enough support to be elected. Following that, Republicans voted to nominate Jordan as speaker

  • Yet during a secret vote gauging how many House Republicans would support Jordan in a full House vote, 55 voted against him. Assuming that no House Democrats vote for the Republican nominee, Jordan needs the support of all but 4 House Republicans to be elected speaker

  • A full House speaker vote could be held as soon as Tuesday

Dig Deeper

  • Following his nomination, Jordan expressed optimism that he could win enough votes to be elected. “We think we’re going to get 217,” he said, alluding to the number of House votes needed to win the seat

  • Some supporters have urged him to hold a full House vote regardless of whether or not he has the support of 217 Republicans so that those who oppose him must go on the record to do so

🍿 Popcorn


  • Bye, Alfred: Actor Michael Caine officially retired after 70+ years in film following the success of his newest film, “The Great Escaper.” The 90-year-old Englishman has appeared in 160+ films

  • Teardrops on my recliner: Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” concert film earned $95-97M during its opening weekend, becoming the highest-grossing domestic concert film ever

  • Hawkeye bull’s eye: The University of Iowa set a women’s basketball attendance record55,646 – in a charity exhibition game at Kinnick Stadium, home of the school’s football team


  • Free the ads? YouTube is now cracking down on ad blocker use, displaying pop-ups to tell users to stop using them. The pop-ups may prevent the viewer from seeing the video

  • Damn…bear’s got hands: A man who lost part of his jaw during a grizzly bear attack last month is leaving the hospital after undergoing three surgeries in five weeks

  • $1.4M speeding ticket: A Georgia man received $1.4 million speeding ticket, but was relieved to hear that the figure was just a placeholder on the ticket and not the actual fine

👇 What do you think?

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🌯 Roca Wrap

We founded RocaNews because we wanted news companies to give us just the facts – not tell us what to think. That has inspired us to do a “Roca Votes” Wrap, in which we summarize a controversial topic and see what you think.

On Saturday, hours after news of Hamas’ invasion of Israel and amid a flurry of videos showing Hamas murdering and kidnapping Israelis, a coalition of 34 Harvard student organizations published a letter. The signatories included Muslim and Palestinian groups as well as the Harvard Jews for Liberation, the African American Resistance Organization, and others.

The letter began, “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”

It continued: “Today’s events did not occur in a vacuum. For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison. Israeli officials promise to ‘open the gates of hell,’ and the massacres in Gaza have already commenced. Palestinians in Gaza have no shelters for refuge and nowhere to escape. In the coming days, Palestinians will be forced to bear the full brunt of Israel’s violence.”

“The apartheid regime is the only one to blame. Israeli violence has structured every aspect of Palestinian existence for 75 years. From systematized land seizures to routine airstrikes, arbitrary detentions to military checkpoints, and enforced family separations to targeted killings, Palestinians have been forced to live in a state of death, both slow and sudden. Today, the Palestinian ordeal enters into uncharted territory. The coming days will require a firm stand against colonial retaliation. We call on the Harvard community to take action to stop the ongoing annihilation of Palestinians.”

The letter sparked outrage.

Former Harvard President Larry Summers wrote on X, “In nearly 50 years of @Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today.”

Facing criticism, Harvard’s current president said last Tuesday, “Let there be no doubt that I condemn the terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Hamas.” She continued, “No student group — not even 30 student groups — speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”

Then hedge fund billionaire – and Harvard alum – Bill Ackman chimed in to the controversy.

“I have been asked by a number of CEOs if @harvard would release a list of the members of each of the Harvard organizations that have issued the letter assigning sole responsibility for Hamas’ heinous acts to Israel, so as to insure that none of us inadvertently hire any of their members,” he wrote on X.

Several business leaders seconded Ackman's demand, including Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman who replied to the post by saying, "I would like to know so I know never to hire these people.”

Harvard has not released the names of students involved. Several individuals and publications, however, have published their own lists of student names.

Student groups at other elite universities including Columbia, Northwestern, and NYU have made similar statements. Professional consequences have ensued: One prominent law firm rescinded a job offer to the president of NYU Law’s Student Bar Association for their statement that blamed Israel for the attacks. “These comments profoundly conflict with [the firm’s] values,” the student said. “Accordingly, the firm has rescinded the law student's offer of employment.”

Employers are allowed to rescind job offers if doing so is unrelated to so-called protected categories, including race, religion, gender, and age. Political beliefs are not a protected category. Yet legal implications aside, the situation raises numerous questions about values and judgment.

Our questions to you are:

Should Harvard release the names? Regardless of legality, are business leaders justified in blacklisting the students who signed? Would you blacklist the students? Is blacklisting students for signing the letter “Cancel Culture”?

Let us know what you think by replying directly to this email and we will feature some of the replies tomorrow.

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Will you watch “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” in theater?
Yes: 13%
No: 87%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Qs!

🧠 Final Thoughts

Let us know what you think of the “Roca Votes” series. Would you like to see that type of Wrap again next week? Let us know, and happy Monday!

—Max and Max