🌊 Gas Pipeline Finnished

Speaker battle heating up, Seinfeld reunion incoming? and Roca Original: What’s going on in Poland?

A correction from yesterday’s Wrap: We wrote that an Israeli extremist murdered Yaser Arafat after a peace deal was reached. That should have said he murdered Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli leader. We knew that, but mixed up the names. Our apologies.

Thank you to everyone who sent in emails highlighting this mix-up. As bad as we feel about the mistake, it’s good to know we have such eagle-eyed readers. We promise to drink more coffee this week.

And when we make a mistake like this, we choose to put it front and center. We don’t edit in silence and place corrections at the bottom of the old edition in fine print like ahem every major newspaper. You should know our major mistakes.

In today's edition:

  • Speaker battle heating up

  • Seinfeld reunion incoming?

  • Roca Original: What’s going on in Poland?

 🔑 Key Stories

Finland Gas Leak Sabotage

Finland’s president announced that damage to a gas pipeline on Sunday was likely caused by sabotage

  • On Sunday, the 48-mile-long Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Finland to Estonia suddenly lost pressure. A leak was identified and quickly contained

  • On Tuesday, Finland’s president announced that the damage was likely “the result of external activity” – ie., sabotage. He didn’t name a suspect

  • NATO’s secretary general wrote on X that he had spoken with Finland’s president and that the alliance – which Finland joined earlier this year – “stands ready to support [Finland]”

Dig Deeper

  • In a press release, gas company GasGrid Finland said the situation was under control and that it and an Estonian gas company have begun “preliminary preparations” to investigate the leak

Speaker Battle Heating UpA frontrunner is yet to

A frontrunner is yet to emerge to replace Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker

  • Last week, eight Republicans voted with every Democrat to oust McCarthy. Two Republicans – Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) – have since announced their candidacy for the position

  • Yet neither of those candidates have a clear lead, and it’s unclear if either would receive enough votes to win. Republicans are meeting Wednesday morning with the aim of nominating a speaker candidate

  • Amid speculation he could run, McCarthy said on Tuesday he will not seek another term as speaker

Dig Deeper

  • Several Republicans have also suggested changing House rules to make it harder for representatives to oust speakers. Those rule changes will likely be voted on before the party seeks to nominate a speaker

Israel Escalates Gaza Bombing

Israel intensified its bombing of the Gaza Strip as Hamas fired a rocket barrage at an Israeli city

  • On Tuesday, Israel fired hundreds of missiles at what it claims are military targets in Gaza. It claimed to have killed two top officials in Hamas’ political wing

  • Palestinian sources claim Israeli missiles hit hospitals, schools, and mosques. Hamas responded with a rocket barrage against the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon after warning residents to flee

  • Egypt closed its sole border crossing with Gaza on Tuesday, meaning civilians likely cannot leave. Speculation is mounting that Israel will soon invade

Dig Deeper

  • In a speech, President Biden doubled down on US support for Israel. He pledged to support Israel’s attacks against Hamas, saying, “We must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel…We will make sure it has what it needs to take care of its citizens”

  • Amid the growing death toll in Gaza, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called Israel’s siege “prohibited”: “The imposition of sieges that endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential for their survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” he said

Vietnam Tried to Hack US

Vietnamese hackers targeted US politicians, journalists, and think tank staff with spyware

  • Last month, President Biden visited Vietnam. During his time there, the US and Vietnam signed a cooperation agreement and other trade deals

  • Per multiple outlets, during negotiations leading up to Biden’s visit, Vietnam-affiliated hackers targeted US politicians, including two of the US’ leading foreign policy officials, with spyware

  • They allegedly targeted people with links on X that, if clicked, would have uploaded spyware onto their phones. There’s no evidence that any targets clicked the link, meaning the Vietnamese hackers may have had no success at infiltrating targets’ devices

Dig Deeper

  • The State Department did not directly acknowledge the hack, although it did state that it now has a forum to discuss such issues with Vietnam. Neither the Biden administration nor Vietnam’s government has commented on the situation

Erase Yourself from the Web

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  • It contacts and follows up with data brokers around the world on your behalf. It can take hundreds of hours for an individual to do that

  • With Incogni, you can kick back and worry less about identity theft, health insurers raising your rates based on info from data brokers, robo calls, scammers taking out loans in your name, and all the other terrible things bad actors do with personal data (we at Roca are certainly tired of spam calls!)

  • In September, 55% of Roca readers said they knew a victim (Including themselves) of a cyberattack

Dig Deeper

  • While other personal data removal services only focus on one type of data broker, Incogni helps remove your personal information from all broker types, including People Search Sites. Roca readers exclusively get 55% off Incogni annual plans with code ‘ROCA10’

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • “What’s the deal with reunion shows?” Jerry Seinfeld hinted at a possible Seinfeld reunion during a recent comedy show. 76M viewers watched the Seinfeld finale in 1998

  • Waddling on: Pittsburgh Penguins players Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang began their 18th season together on Tuesday, becoming the longest-tenured trio in North American sports

  • Euro locations dropped: UEFA announced that the UK and Ireland will host the 2028 European Championship, the second most-watched soccer tournament after the World Cup

Wildcard

  • Michael Jordan of Pumpkins: A Minnesota teacher set a new world record for growing the heaviest pumpkin 2,479 lbs – at the 50th World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. He called it the “Michael Jordan of Pumpkins”

  • Look out below: Florida police are investigating a 69-year-old skydiver’s death after he landed in someone’s front yard in an apparent parachuting accident

  • Speaking of skydiving deaths: 104-year-old Chicagoan Dorothy Hoffner – who set a world record as the oldest tandem skydiver – died just over a week after her remarkable jump

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

Do you ever read privacy policies?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today’s poll is sponsored by Incogni. Use code ‘ROCA10’ to help scrub your personal info from data brokers with the help of Incogni

Today's Question:

In general, is a cyberattack carried out by a foreign country an act of war?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Across Europe, countries are divided between two visions. One is socially progressive, pro-immigrant, and pro-EU; the other is nationalistic and skeptical about immigration, the EU, and globalism.

That battle is currently playing out in Poland, which has experienced mass protests ahead of elections scheduled for October 15. Roca spoke to dozens of Polish voters to understand what’s happening. Many said they consider this the most important election of their lifetimes.

The election pits the further-right PiS against a number of opposition parties led by the center-right PO. The PiS has been governing since 2015 and has resisted immigration, challenged the EU’s authority, and taken other conservative positions. Critics accuse PiS of harming democracy by controlling the courts and media; PiS and its supporters deny that.

The opposition wants to draw Poland closer to the EU; reform immigration policy; and have more liberal policies toward abortion, same-sex marriages, and other social issues. One leading opposition politician described his vision as “a Poland that is tolerant, diverse, European, and smiling.” The PiS accuses the opposition of being under the control of Germany and the EU.

PiS voters told Roca that the party has taken care of Polish people and embraced traditionally Polish values.

One PiS supporter said the party “takes from the rich and gives to the poor.” Another said the party has “supported [Poles] socially and economically,” allowing them to live “comfortable lives.” The voter – a 33-year-old urban planner – said, “We have traditional values, Poland is a Catholic nation and this government respects that!”

“Patriotism is coming back!” she added.

Critics paint PiS as corrupt and anti-democratic.

Numerous opposition supporters told Roca that PiS “took over the media” and now controls the information many Poles receive. Another accused the party of using welfare benefits to “literally buy votes from those less fortunate.”

Others said the PiS exaggerates threats, like immigration, to create a common enemy and win votes, and uses the courts to suppress democracy and protect its people from prosecution.

Several Poles who plan to vote for PO told Roca that Poland needs a fresh start.

One said PO is more “liberal/open-minded” than PiS, supporting abortion rights and legal same-sex partnerships. Others say a new government is needed to restore Poland’s international standing. Many said they didn’t necessarily support the PO, but saw it as the “lesser evil.”

Major polls currently show PO at 30% among likely voters versus 36% for PiS. If neither major party wins a majority of the vote, they will have to forge political alliances with smaller parties to form a government. That gives smaller parties outsized influence over the election results, and Roca spoke to members of those parties to hear their perspectives.

Several people said they support Lewika, the country’s largest left-leaning party.

One 25-year-old woman told Roca her support for that party came down to its socially liberal values: “Right to abortion…and a promise to treat climate change seriously,” she said. Another cited the party’s commitment to secularization and its support for Ukraine.

We also spoke to supporters of Konfederacja, one of Poland’s newest and most controversial parties.

Critics describe the party as extremist for its anti-immigration and other conservative stances. Its supporters see it differently: “[Konfederacja] is the only one offering free market solutions,” said one 22-year-old. Another likes that the party supports “Catholic ideas.”

“They are pro-life, don't want to fight the Church, don't mock Priests and the faithful, they respect the tradition that is deeply connected with our country,” he said. He also rejected the claim that Konfederacja is xenophobic. “The only thing that they do is place Polish people first.”

“It's not about saying that we are better in any way, or anything like that. I like the comparison of nations to wives. I have my wife, and you have your wife. Obviously I love my wife more than I love yours. And that does not imply that I hate your wife or you because of her.”

“Those who don't agree with that will call it xenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, and so on.”

Voters from all parties told Roca the stakes couldn’t be higher, as the outcome will likely dictate Poland’s support for Ukraine, the EU, immigration – and, according to some, democracy. The elections are scheduled for October 15.

Which vision will win?

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you believe that a president who doesn’t represent one of the two major parties will be elected during your lifetime?
Yes: 61%
No: 39%

Yesterday's Question:

What was the best part of your weekend?

Noah from Sacramento: "Welcoming our baby girl to the world"

Alma from Alabama: “I went swing dancing after many years and it was glorious because we went as a family.”

Joe: “Being Sober”

Yesterday's Wrap Replies:

Yesterday we wrote a recap of the tragic events of the weekend and a brief history of the Israel-Arab conflict, with a special focus on Gaza.

Jennie: “Thank you for taking the time to share a simplified, fact-driven story concerning the history and current situation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I'm sure it was no easy task, but it was done well. Certain parts of history and politics are areas that I tend to become overwhelmed by or avoid--too complex, too confusing, or too many divisive opinions that make it difficult to know who to trust. I feel like I finally have a basic understanding of what is taking place and how the past has led to the current war. So, thank you! “

Ann: “I saw something on social media about the Israel-Palestine conflict and my first thought was ‘what does Roca say about it,’ so thank you! Feeling much more informed across the board.”

Emma: “I wanted to write to you and thank you for doing what you can to keep us informed in the most unbiased way possible. Today, it is so incredibly hard (for me, at least) to discern what is fact or fiction, and what is truly unbiased and factual. I’ve tried so hard to understand this specific conflict. At the end of the day, I come back to the innocent lives lost on both sides. The civilians who never asked for this power war. It’s just heartbreaking. Anyways, thank you for putting in the hard work. I know that putting yourself out there to do this comes with risk and cost and I appreciate everything you’re doing. I cannot imagine that it was easy. I hope everyone else can see this too.”

Cori: “Just wanted to say thank you for the succinct, fact based history lesson. Between the loud takes of both pro Israel and pro Palestine voices on our collective feeds, this is what I was seeking.”

🧠 Final Thoughts

Thank you all for the feedback to yesterday’s newsletter.

As we said in yesterday’s intro, the Israel-Palestine issue is the most difficult subject we have had to cover to date. Our goal is to provide the facts and do our best to tell the full story. We will continue to do that each day.

—Max and Max