🌊 Idaho Manhunt

Europe off airplane mode, Beverly Hills' top-earning worker, and 20 Questions!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have breaking news: The RocaNews store is now live. Do your best impression of a Swiftie on Ticketmaster day, and head there now. We only have 20 of each item, and we wanted to give you, our most loyal audience, access 3 hours ahead of our social media followers 🌊🌊

With you in mind, we designed a series of Roca Wrap-themed items with high-quality materials. In the words of Roca co-founder Billy Carney, "Wow, they're actually nice." Check out the store to see them, along with our "Ride the Wave" merch. 

All sales support our mission of delivering independent, unbiased news. Thank you all so much — we can't do what we do without you. And without further ado, here is the news...

In today's edition:

  • Ye gets a Ney for Parler

  • Famous movie house for sale

  • Story behind our name 🌊

 🔑 Key Stories

stealth bomber cov

US Unveils New Bomber

The US unveiled a new nuclear stealth bomber — its first new bomber in 30+ years 

  • A bomber is a plane capable of flying deep into enemy territory and dropping conventional or nuclear weapons. The US bomber fleet has aged, with some bombers made as early as 1961

  • The new model — the “B-21 Raider” — utilizes “stealth” technology to avoid radar and fly undetected. Military officials say the B-21 will help maintain the US’ military edge for decades to come

  • The US plans to buy 100 B-21s, each of which cost ~$692M

Dig Deeper

  • The B-21 is the first part of the US' $1T plan to modernize its nuclear "deterrent," or ability to deter attacks against the US and its allies. Analysts say this reflects the US' shift from focusing on fighting terrorism to countering China and Russia

Iran: "Morality Police" Disbanded?

Iran’s attorney general said the “morality police” are being disbanded; others have denied the claims

  • Iran created the “morality police” in 2005 to enforce religious laws, including mandated headscarves for women. In September, the “morality police” arrested a 22-yo woman for improperly wearing hers, then she died in their custody. Iran’s largest anti-government protests in decades have been ongoing since

  • On Sunday, a top official said the government will disband those police, however others said the official didn’t have that authority, or that the announcement was false propaganda intended to stop the protests

Dig Deeper

  • Protesters are calling for a 3-day economic strike to maintain pressure against Iran's regime. This strike will coincide with a large planned demonstration in Tehran, Iran's capital

US Adds More Jobs Than Expected

The US added 263,000 jobs in November, more than economists expected

  • The unemployment rate remained the same at 3.7%; on average, wages were 5.1% higher than a year prior

  • The data suggest the US labor market remains hot despite the US central bank’s (the Fed’s) raising interest rates to slow growth. Doing so makes borrowing money more expensive, so inflation slows

  • Strong employment can lead to higher wages and inflation, so some fear the new jobs numbers will cause the Fed to raise interest rates further. If it does, a recession becomes more likely

Dig Deeper

  • Healthcare, tourism, hospitality, and construction had the largest gains. Meanwhile, retail, warehousing, transportation, and technology lost the most workers

Idaho Manhunt Continues

A police manhunt has yet to identify any suspects in the fatal stabbing of 4 University of Idaho students

  • On November 13, 4 students — 3 girls and 1 boy — were stabbed to death in an off-campus house late at night. 2 other roommates slept through the attack

  • Police say that all 4 were likely asleep at the time of the attack. They initially stated that the killings were targeted, but have since wavered on that claim

  • Police have not yet identified any suspects. Rumors are circulating among the campus that a serial killer is on the loose, and ~⅓ of the the college’s student body didn’t return from Thanksgiving break

Dig Deeper

  • Police said one of the slain was rumored to have had a stalker, but they couldn't verify that claim. They also said there's no connection between the killings and a murdered dog that was found nearby

Ye Will Not Buy Parler

Kanye West’s (“Ye’s”) deal to buy social media platform Parler has fallen apart

  • Parler was founded in 2018 as a “free speech” social media app. The app reportedly has 16M users

  • In October, Ye — who Twitter and Instagram had recently banned — announced he would buy it

  • Ye was in the news last week for a number of statements, including, “I like Hitler,” “Every human being has brought something of value to the table, especially Hitler,” and “I love Jewish people but I also love Nazis.” The Parler deal has since fallen apart for undisclosed reasons

Dig Deeper

  • Per Axios, sources close to Ye say his precarious financial situation — largely caused by brands dropping deals with him in objection to his public statements — was related to the deal falling through

 📊 Chart of the Day

Christmas Trees Fir Sale

The modern Christmas tree tradition emerged in Germany and gained popularity in the 1700s

  • Last year, the US’ tallest Christmas tree was in Enid, OK. The tree stood at 140 feet (~43 meters) tall

  • Nielsen predicts that Americans will spend $984M buying real Christmas trees this year but $1.01B on artificial trees, which typically cost more

  • Last year, an estimated 75% of US households displayed a Christmas tree (real or fake)

🍿 Popcorn


  • Red Bull gives you attitude: Baggage handlers at a Melbourne airport were seen slamming luggage onto a conveyor belt in a now-viral video (starring a Red Bull can)

  • Silver for Santa: In its box office debut, Universal's new Christmas-themed thriller Violent Night narrowly trailed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (in its 3rd week)

  • Pharmacy watchers: There is a national shortage of weight-loss drug Wegovy, which entered the US market 1.5 years ago. It's intended to be a diabetes medicine


  • Trippin' to get in: The country's first over-the-counter magic mushroom shop opened up in Portland. The Shroom House requires buyers to fill out some basic paperwork

  • Are you not fed!? Archaeologists discovered 1,900-year-old snacks in the sewers beneath the Colosseum. They unearthed traces of olives, nuts, meats, figs, and more

  • Hey you realtors! The Goonies house is now on the market with an asking price of ~$1.7M. The Steven Spielberg classic has made it a tourist attraction

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's poll:

Judge Judy or Dr. Phil: More iconic daytime TV host? 🧐🧐

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Is it possible to have a trusted social media platform in a polarized country?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

Ethiopia roadtrip

In April 2020, the world was locking down, fear was spreading, and the alarmism and partisanship of Big News were hitting never-before-seen levels.

Amid that, one night, we – Max Towey and Max Frost – got on the phone. The 2 of us were friends from work in Washington, DC. We had always been news junkies, but hated the options available to us.

That night, we talked about how horrible the pandemic converge was; how politicized it had become; and how companies were trying to scare us with “death trackers” so we’d stay glued to the TV. We discussed what a better option would look like.

There’s more to the story – office drama, a breakup, job offers, grad school admittances, rejections – but the call’s ultimate outcome was that we decided to start a news company. Days later, Towey called his college roommate, Billy, for advice. He became our third founding partner.

In July 2020, some friends and family – who inexplicably had faith in us – gave us our first investments. The next month, we quit our jobs and committed to Roca full time.

Except at that time, Roca wasn’t “Roca.” It was “Pluto News,” until a trademark lawyer told us that wouldn’t stand (courtesy of Pluto, the Disney Dog). So we needed a new name.

Billy is Brazilian, and his family had told him about Pororoca – a wave that sweeps up the Amazon river twice a year, destroying what’s in its path and attracting surfers from around the world. That was our mission with the news – destroy Big News and bring people together – so we cut Pororoca to "Roca" and made it our name.

Our first months, we worked 100-hour weeks out of our living rooms, failing to gain any kind of traction. It was one struggle after another, and nothing – not a Youtube channel, a staff of writers, a podcast, nor a website – took off. We returned to DC after Christmas, determined to crack the code.

Within 2 weeks, we noticed traction on our Instagram. People had taken a liking to “Quick Cards” – our nightly post of bullet-point news summaries. The following started to grow quickly, from 2,000 followers in December to 10,000 followers in February; then to 200,000 in April. We were on to something.

At the same time, this newsletter started to grow – from 2,000 to 5,000 readers from February to May, then doubling that month when we did an explainer on the escalating Arab-Israeli war. 2 months later, it doubled again.

We’d often exchange emails and DMs with our readers, and we heard the same thing over and over again: They were tired of Big News dividing and scaring them, and happy they finally found a news company that would help them stay informed without stress.

Today, we and our team – 9 of the hardest-working people we’ve ever met – are honored to be succeeding at our mission.

We can’t wait for what’s ahead, and in the coming months, we’ll be expanding our social media presence and launching our app. Today, we’re opening a Christmas store with the best products we’ve ever created.

We’ve designed these items specifically for you, the Roca Community, and all sales support us in delivering unbiased and independent news. Beyond apparel, there’s a surprise Roca Wrap-inspired item that’s the perfect holiday gift for anyone, whether a Rider or not.

We only have 20 of each product, and we’re putting the link exclusively in this newsletter, so you, our most loyal readers, can get first access. At 2 PM ET, 3 hours after this goes out, we’ll be posting it on our Instagram.

We think you’ll love these products and that they are perfect holiday gifts for anyone, whether a Rider or not. We hope you’ll consider stuffing your stocking with Roca this year! Anything ordered today will arrive by Christmas.

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Would you be more scared of a volcano or tsunami?🌋 Volcano: 20.0%🌊 Tsunami: 80.0%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Qs!

🧠 Final Thoughts

So to the many people who have emailed us asking, "What does ROCA stand for?" you now have an answer. We are sorry to disappoint anyone who thought it was some smooth acronym. 

Thanks for supporting the wave, and here's the link for the shop. 

Have a great Monday!

Max and Max