Covid drug for $1,390 Fake mannequin theft, and 20 Questions!

Happy Friday, Roca Nation. It was another long, emotionally draining week of news. You certainly earned the weekend, and we hope you have some fun plans ahead. We certainly do: One of the Maxes is hitchhiking in Bosnia for a forthcoming Roca series, and the other Max is detoxing from his trip to Baton Rouge last weekend for his first LSU football game. You can decide who's creating more value for Roca.

In the meantime, we have a favor to ask of you. Every year or so — in this case it's been well over a year — we do a survey to better understand our readers. It would be incredibly helpful if you could fill it out (today's edition of 20 Questions!) so that we can better tailor content and plan future Roca initiatives for the Roca community. Thank you, and let’s ride!

In today's edition:

 🔑 Key Stories

Fed Likely Won’t Raise Rates

Federal Reserve (“Fed”) Chairman Jerome Powell indicated the bank won’t raise interest rates in November

  • The Fed has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2022 to slow inflation, although it hasn’t done so since July. In August, Powell suggested the Fed could raise rates once more this year if need be

  • On Thursday, Powell said he has seen “progress” toward containing inflation, although he warned that the Fed is “proceeding carefully”

  • His comments were widely interpreted to mean the Fed won’t raise rates in November but could do so in December if it appears inflation isn’t slowing down

Powell Pleads Guilty

Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to 6 charges related to her efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election result

  • Powell joined Trump’s legal team after the 2020 election. She alleged massive voter fraud and filed numerous lawsuits seeking to overturn state results

  • In August, Georgia prosecutors charged Powell with conspiracy and racketeering over the 2020 election. The indictment alleges she and others illegally breached election systems in a rural Georgia county

  • Per her deal with prosecutors, she will serve six years of probation, testify against others at trial, pay ~$9,000 in fines, and write an apology letter to Georgia voters

Dig Deeper

  • Powell is the second person charged in the Georgia election interference case to plead guilty. The other is Scott Hall, a former Republican poll watcher who tried to gain illegal access to Coffee County’s voting records

  • Powell also faces defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, two electronic voting companies who allege she defamed them through her election fraud claims

  • She is also believed to be one of the six unnamed co-conspirators the Department of Justice (DoJ) listed in its election fraud interference case against Trump

Pfizer Selling Covid Drug for $1,390

Pfizer announced it will sell a five-day regimen of its Covid antiviral drug Paxlovid for $1,390

  • First authorized for sale in 2021, Paxlovid reduces the severity of Covid symptoms. The US government bought millions of doses of it for $529 each

  • Pfizer now plans to bring Paxlovid to the private market later this year at a list price of $1,390

  • The “list price” is a starting point for negotiations with middlemen or pharmacies that negotiate the selling price down. In this case, most insured patients will pay little to nothing for Paxlovid, and the government will make it free to the uninsured until at least 2028

Dig Deeper

  • As the pandemic has faded, Pfizer’s revenue has declined. From April to June of 2022, it made $27.7B in revenue, much of which was driven by sales of Covid drugs and vaccines; over the same period this year, it made $12.7B, a decline of more than 54%. Last week, the company slashed its projected revenue total for this year to $58B-$61B

Hospital Blast Death Toll Lowered

European and US intelligence estimate that 50-300 people died in Tuesday’s Gaza hospital explosion

  • Gaza’s Hamas-controlled Health Ministry has revised its original 500+ figure down to 471. It continues to say an Israeli airstrike was responsible

  • Israel continued to deny that and blame a misfired Palestinian rocket. It, the US, and others have also claimed the rocket hit a parking lot adjacent to the hospital, not the hospital itself

  • On Thursday, CNN cited a US intelligence official as saying that per available evidence, the blast killed 100-300 people. Also on Thursday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) cited a “senior European intelligence official” as claiming that fewer than 50 people died

New Solo Record at El Capitan

A relatively unknown climber broke the record for the fastest ascent of one of Yosemite’s El Capitan cliff faces by over an hour

  • El Capitan (El Cap) is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park that stands ~3,000 feet from base to summit at its tallest point. Its most famous route — “The Nose” — is one of the climbing world’s most famous challenges

  • Most people climb the Nose as a duo, which allows them to help one another at difficult spots. Completing the climb in less than 24 hours is considered a very impressive feat. In 2010, world-famous climber Alex Honnold shattered the world solo record when he climbed the Nose by himself in 5 hours, 50 minutes

  • On October 10, Nick Ehman, a member of Yosemite’s search-and-rescue team, set a new solo record at 4 hours 39 minutes

Dig Deeper

  • A longtime climber, Ehman told The San Francisco Chronicle he has climbed that route dozens of times, including 16 times this year alone “I didn’t know when I set up that morning how comfortable I’d be going fast,” he said of his record-breaking climb. He took photos and videos throughout the climb to provide time stamps confirming his feat

  • His feat was quickly circulated throughout climbing blogs with time stamps proving the record. Honnold congratulated Ehman: “No-one has really been playing the speed climbing game for several years; it’s great to see someone getting after it again,” he wrote on

HELOC: Is It Right For You?

Bet the house without betting the house

  • Home values have soared in recent years. That means two things: 1) Fun times browsing Zillow, and 2) Opportunity for homeowners

  • If you own a home and currently have low rates, you can tap into your equity from your home to borrow money without increasing your current mortgage

  • Most homeowners will qualify for tens of thousands of dollars, with many getting over $200,000 – and the process is very simple!

Dig Deeper

  • Take just two minutes to get a quote! You can use that cash for home renovations, paying off debt, going on vacation, buying an unlimited supply of Dave & Buster's arcade cards, whatever you please… Get started today!

🍿 Popcorn


  • RIP, Rani: Rani – a 27-year-old female Asian elephant at the St. Louis Zoodied after a small dog ran loose near the elephant barn, agitating her herd

  • Decongestant desert: CVS Health is removing from stores popular cold and cough medications containing phenylephrine, a common ingredient recently deemed ineffective by the FDA. Phenylephrine is in Dayquil, Mucinex, Sudafet, and Theraflu

  • Guarding the valuables: Florida police charged a GameStop clerk who fatally shot a fleeing Pokémon card shoplifter with manslaughter. Police said security footage shows the shoplifter never made threats nor displayed weapons


  • Watertown is out of water: A water main break has caused Watertown, New York to run out of water. The city’s mayor said it may take three days before it can restore drinkable water

  • Urine gives you wings: Amazon accused UK filmmakers of carrying out a “crude stunt” after a fake energy drink made from delivery drivers’ urine became a bestseller

  • Unfreeze, you’re under arrest! Polish police charged a 22-year-old in Warsaw with suspected theft and burglary after he mimicked a mannequin in a store window to steal jewelry

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll:

If money wasn't an issue, would you rather

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today’s poll is sponsored by Lendgo. Take the short quiz to find out what is HELOC and if its right for you!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

"20 Questions... we talkin' 'bout 20 Questions" - Allen Iverson, 11 AM today

It's been a long, long time since we did a 20 Questions dedicated to better understanding who the heck reads RocaNews. We want to do a better job of picking places to go and topics to cover. Right now, we do that somewhat blindly. It would greatly help us if you filled this out.

Here's the link. Thank you, as always, for choosing Roca.

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you think artificial intelligence has made spam calling worse?

Yes: 86%
No: 14%

Yesterday's Question:

How would you define unethical leadership?

AG from Scottsdale, Arizona: "Anyone benefiting from insider trading or monetary kickbacks should be disqualified from any leadership responsibility. You are elected to serve your constituents, it is not meant to be a career!

Karen: "Using your political / financial power to manipulate basic rules of law, to manipulate weaker, vulnerable people to your favor knowing the desired outcome is illegal or unethical."

Shirley: "Not doing what you said you were going to do-lying to get what you want. Putting power, greed and corruption before people and principles"

Fred: “Unethical leadership is someone who uses their position of power for personal financial gain, especially if it is at the expense of their constituents. An example of this would be congressmen trading stocks of companies that their policies directly effect”

Yesterday's Wrap Replies:

Yesterday’s Wrap was a profile of Charles Feeney, the billionaire who gave it all away.

Kathryn from Carlsbad, California: “Just a simple observation/comment: Charles Feeney was a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing his story.”

Donna: “Thank you for spotlighting Charles Feeney as your person of the week, a man I previously knew nothing about. My favorite quote was “It's much more fun to give while you are alive than to give when you are dead,” I hope his generosity continues to grow from the seeds he planted while alive. RIP Mr. Feeney.”

Susan: “What a fantastic profile of a life well lived, especially admidst the sadness of this week’s news cycle. Love Roca!”

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

The same day as last Friday, in 1792, the cornerstone for the White House was laid. To commemorate that special day and get in the Primary Debate spirit, we asked you a president-themed 20 Questions. Below is the top answer per prompt!

  1. Better presidential quote?

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself

    Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country

  2. Neither of these men were President but which guy feels like he absolutely should have been President?

    Ben Franklin

    Alexander Hamilton

  3. Does it surprise you that -- after Virginia -- Ohio has produced the most Presidents?


    No, don't sleep on the Buckeye State

  4. Who deserves the title of GOAT president?

    George Washington

    Abraham Lincoln

    Someone else

  5. More iconic address?

    Pineapple under the sea

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

  6. Better Roosevelt?



  7. Better Bush?

    George H

    George W

  8. More forgettable President?

    John Tyler

    James Polk

  9. More iconic First Lady?

    Abigail Adams

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. Who do you think will win the White House in 2024?



    Another candidate

  11. Should presidents have walk-out songs like baseball players?



  12. Can you name the first three presidents in order?



  13. Better looking president?


    Franklin Pierce (yes, look him up)

  14. The next White House pet should be a....




  15. We're at 46... will we get to 100 US Presidents?



  16. Would you want to be president?



  17. Will a third-party candidate win the White House in the next 20 years?



  18. Should President Biden's biting dog Commander be given another chance?



  19. Would you rather be ambassador to Italy or France?



  20. Watch the next GOP debate or Real Housewives of New York?

    GOP Debate

    Real Housewives of New York

    Lord, take me now

🧠 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