🌊 Live Free or DEI Hard

Plus: Shohei Ohtani’s former translator makes plea...

“Uhh, why is the corpse breathing?”

Two hours after a Nebraska woman was pronounced dead at a nursing home, funeral home workers made the shocking discovery that she was still breathing. They rushed her to the hospital, where unfortunately she died (for a second time?) just hours later.

This reminds us of a slightly more embarrassing story we saw out of Ecuador last year in which mourners heard a woman knocking from inside her coffin. Folks, whoever’s making these edibles needs a raise!

🇮🇳 India's shock election results s

Shohei Ohtani's translator makes his plea

🐕 A meth lab? Dog eats drugs at park

–Max and Max


Harvard’s DEI Retreat

Havard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced it would no longer require job applicants to submit diversity statements

  • Harvard’s main college required applicants to describe their “efforts to encourage diversity.” Moving forward, though, it will require one statement describing applicants’ “efforts to strengthen academic communities,” and another describing how they will encourage students to share ideas

  • The change came in response to growing scrutiny of Harvard’s DEI initiatives, including by professors, and months after the resignation of its president

Dig Deeper

  • Both outsiders and some staff had grown critical of the school's emphasis on DEI, with prominent psychology professor Steven Pinker writing last year that DEI initiatives “purge the next generation of scholars of anyone who isn’t a woke ideologue or skilled liar”

  • Roca interviewed Pinker on this topic in May!


New Border Policy

President Biden signed a new executive order to restrict illegal border crossings

  • Many migrants cross the border illegally, apply for asylum, and are then released into the US pending their court date

  • Biden’s new executive order will shut down the border if 2,500 people illegally cross it daily over the span of a week. Those who cross after will be ineligible to apply for asylum, with exceptions for unaccompanied children and those with an “extremely compelling circumstance”

  • The order – similar to a 2018 Trump measure that was blocked by a court – will likely face lawsuits

Dig Deeper

  • The shutdown will stay in effect until the number of daily illegal crossings falls below 1,500. For context, US officials encountered 179,725 people illegally crossing the border in April, or roughly 5,800 per day

  • A recent CNBC poll found that voters prefer Trump over Biden by 30 points for immigration, which polls also show is many Americans’ top concern in the upcoming election


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  • Nest - acquired by Google for $3.2B

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But hurry, the opportunity to invest closes next week!


Mizuhara Pleads Guilty

MLB star Shohei Ohtani’s former translator pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud for stealing $17M+ from the athlete

  • The translator, Ippei Mizuhara, was accused of stealing $17M from Ohtani to finance his sports gambling addiction and personal expenses. Ohtani says he had no knowledge of Mizuhara’s activities

  • On Tuesday, Mizuhara pleaded guilty to bank and fraud charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 33 years in jail

  • Ohtani called the situation “challenging” but said he’s ready to “move on.” The judge said Mizuhara’s case “will likely be one that calls for incarceration”

Dig Deeper

  • Last year, Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700M deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, believed the be the largest-ever North American sports contract

  • At the trial, the judge described Shotani as the victim of theft: “Ohtani is an immigrant, came to this country, is not familiar with the ways of this country, and therefore was easy prey to someone who is more familiar with our financial systems,” he said


India Shock Result

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a record third term in office, although in a shock result, his party lost its majority

  • India’s election took place over the past seven weeks, and Modi – the country’s prime minister since 2014 – was the overwhelming favorite to emerge victorious

  • In a shock result, though, his party suffered major setbacks, setting them up to win just 238 seats in India’s 543-seat parliament, down from 303 in 2019 and well short of his party’s 400-seat goal

  • Still, Modi’s alliance – his party plus several smaller allied parties – secured a collective majority, so Modi will remain prime minister

Dig Deeper

  • Results suggest Modi’s party, the BJP, lost many seats in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and the center of India’s Hindi-speaking heartland, which Modi had courted aggressively

  • Modi’s party also lost seats in Maharashtra, a large state that includes Mumbai

  • Although Modi celebrated the result, calling it a “historical feat in India’s history,” it is widely seen as his largest setback since taking power in 2014

Some Quick Stories for the Office

In an interview with Time, President Biden said China’s economy is weak. “[China has] a population that's considerably older than the vast majority of the youth in Europe, that is too old to work,” he told the outlet. “Where is it going to grow? You've got an economy that's on the brink there. The idea that their economy is booming? Give me a break

🇮🇱 In the same interview, Biden said “there is every reason” to believe that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is prolonging the war in Gaza for his political benefit. The statement came days after Netanyahu failed to back a ceasefire deal that Biden unveiled with – he claimed – Israeli backing

💥 In a deleted Telegram post, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister claimed Ukraine used a Western-supplied weapon to strike inside Russia. The post showed a picture of a burning truck with the caption, “It’s burning well. This is a Russian [missile system]. On Russian territory. The first days after permission to use Western weapons on the enemy’s territory

🇬🇧 The UK hosted its first debate between Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer. The UK is holding elections on July 4, and Starmer is the massive favorite. During the debate, Sunak repeatedly claimed that Starmer would raise taxes, while Starmer blamed Sunak’s government for inflation and a recession

🦸‍♂️ Prosecutors used Hunter Biden’s claim to have a “superpower of finding crack” against him in opening arguments in Biden’s federal gun trial. It was part of a sequence in which the prosecutors played excerpts of Biden’s 2021 memoir, in which he details his crack cocaine addiction


We founded RocaNews because we wanted news companies to give us just the facts – not tell us what to think. That inspires us to do the “Roca Votes” story each week, in which we summarize a controversial topic and see how Roca Nation feels about it.

This week’s question: What gives you the most hope for society? In a world where we read news that is often so dark and twisted, I think we lose sight of the good happening, too.

Suggested by Max from Illinois

I taught school and coached for 38 years and the youth of the world always gives me hope. I wish more young people were in office. The geriatric crowd needs to give way to the young people, plain and simple. We already see lowering violent crime rates (not in the news headlines, but it's there). I have hope for our future because of this.

Brian from Idaho

I've been struggling in the dating scene since my previous 4 year long relationship ended about 3 years ago. I went on a date last night that went really well! So I'm feeling much better about the state of the world, even if things don't work out with the person I went out with it was still a great time!

Dalton from Grand Rapids, MI

I make it my mission to seek out good news. One of my favorites is Good News Network. So much good occurs in the world by kind, compassionate people. We hear a tremendous amount of negative news and the world is also a good place. There is good and evil and my hope for society is that someday love will conquer. Goodness will reign. I truly believe the meaning of life lies in love.


BTW Roca News is an amazing media platform. You guys and gals should be the prototype for information unbiased and objective. Way to go!

Joi from Pennsylvania

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🐕 Meth Lab: Tator, a two-year-old black Labrador Retriever from Wyoming, ingested meth at a park, causing him to wag his tail “a thousand miles per hour.” Tator is now recovering

No translator to blame? MLB banned San Diego Padres infielder, Tucupita Marcano, for life after an investigation revealed he placed bets on his own team’s games while injured last season

🧐 #PrimeGate: Lionel Messi is releasing Más+, a hydration drink brand that some claim resembles the popular PRIME drink from influencers KSI and Logan Paul. “Looks familiar…” KSI wrote on X

💼Yeah, I work in Roblox”: IKEA is launching “The Co-Worker Game,” a virtual Roblox universe that allows players to “live their home furnishing dreams” and people to work for pay in its virtual stores

🎻 They’ll be Bach: Finnish police are playing classical music through loudspeakers on a popular beach from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM to keep young people away during end-of-school celebrations

Insider Trading

In 2022, the SEC and Justice Department (DOJ) brought charges in the first-ever crypto insider trading case.

At the center of the crypto debate is whether cryptos are commodities or securities.

A security – a stock, bond, etc. – is a financial instrument that represents ownership in some sort of enterprise. Commodities are tradable goods, such as corn or oil, that are not overseen by a central authority.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates securities; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates commodities.

The SEC defines insider trading as “buying or selling a security, in breach of a…relationship of trust and confidence, while in possession of material, non-public information about the security.”

An example could be tipping off a trader to a company’s upcoming merger.

Until 2022, an insider trading case had never been brought over a crypto transaction, in part because cryptos are generally seen as commodities.

That year, though, the SEC and DOJ accused Ishan Wahi, a manager at Coinbase, of telling his brother and friend about upcoming assets that Coinbase was going to feature. The brother and friend traded cryptos based on that information, making a $1.5M profit.

The SEC’s complaint alleged the trio traded non-public information to make a profit. Controversially, the SEC also alleged that at least nine of the coins traded in the scheme constituted securities.

The SEC determined that by using the “Howey Test,” a set of guidelines established in a 1946 Supreme Court case that are used to determine if something is a security.

The SEC brings civil charges against individuals, meaning it can fine them or prohibit them from doing certain things, but it cannot bring criminal charges, which the DoJ must do.

The two brothers involved in the case were ultimately sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison, respectively, in what the DoJ called the “first ever cryptocurrency insider trading tipping scheme.”

Yet their friend remains at large, and the SEC’s civil case against him is ongoing.

Earlier this year, a judge in that case ruled the cryptos in question do constitute securities, strengthening the SEC’s longstanding argument that some cryptos fall under its jurisdiction. The SEC has also brought lawsuits against a series of companies, including Coinbase and Binance, accusing them of breaking the law by selling unregistered securities.

Last week, amid calls to resolve the uncertainty surrounding crypto, the US House passed a bill that more clearly defines when cryptocurrencies are securities. Per the bill, cryptos are commodities if no central authority oversees them. If there is an overseeing authority, they’re securities.

The SEC came out against the bill, with its chair saying, “The crypto industry’s record of failures, frauds, and bankruptcies is not because we don’t have rules or because the rules are unclear. It’s because many players in the crypto industry don’t play by the rules.”

Others accused the crypto industry of crafting the definitions so they could evade securities regulations.

Meanwhile, the Crypto Council for Innovation, a crypto trade body, praised the ruling as promoting “responsible innovation while protecting consumers and investors.”

It’s unclear what will happen to that bill in the Senate and whether President Biden would sign it if passed.

For now, crypto remains – and potentially will remain – the Wild West.

This is part 2 of 2 of a Roca deep-dive into cryptos. If you have questions or comments, reply to this email!

Final Thoughts

Well, folks, there’s your Wednesday news. Now, for a shameless podcast plug, check out our brand new interview with progressive commentator Mehdi Hasan. As you know, the purpose of our new show is to be an anti-echo chamber. We believe the solution to polarization lies in more open discourse and less vilification. Mehdi is one of the most prominent commentators in the West today and has had beef with previous Roca guest John Spencer (urban warfare expert at West Point). Let us know what you think and have a great day!

–Max and Max