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🌊 Live from New Mexico it’s Criminal Court!

Alec Baldwin gets charged, Wee little 5,000-mile detour..., and 20 Questions!

“Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. I am the first man to piss his pants on the moon.” Today is the 93rd birthday of the man behind these words, Buzz Aldrin. Although he's best known for walking on the moon and punching conspiracy theorists, he also holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to visit the North and South Poles. Sometimes you need an in-person trip to get off the naughty list.

In today's edition:

  • Alec Baldwin gets charged

  • Wee little 5,000-mile detour...

  • 20 Questions!

🔑 Key Stories

Baldwin Facing Manslaughter Charges

New Mexico prosecutors will charge actor Alec Baldwin with 2 counts of involuntary manslaughter over the 2021 killing of a Rust cinematographer

  • Involuntary manslaughter applies when a person’s negligence (irresponsible behavior) causes a death

  • In October 2021, Baldwin accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer while filming a scene for Rust. He later said he was told that the gun wasn’t loaded

  • Prosecutors claim Baldwin failed in his safety duties, which contributed to the death. If convicted, the manslaughter charge mandates at least 5 years in jail

  • Prosecutors are charging the film’s armorer as well

Dig Deeper

  • "Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds," Baldwin's lawyer said. "We will fight these charges, and we will win"

US Hits Debt Ceiling

The US reached its $31.4T debt ceiling on Thursday

  • The federal government borrows money to spend on social security, infrastructure, and more. When it borrows more than it raises through taxes, the debt increases. The debt ceiling sets a legal limit on how much money the US government can borrow

  • The US Treasury announced it will now draw money from 2 government retirement funds to make payments. It says that’ll fund the government until June

  • Congress must now act to raise or suspend the ceiling, or the US will risk a default — a failure to pay its debts. The US government has never defaulted before

Dig Deeper

  • Republicans, who recently won a narrow majority in the US House, will likely demand spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Congressional analysts say this raises the possibility of an impasse between the US House and the Democrat-controlled White House, which has said it will not accept conditions on the debt ceiling

New Zealand's Prime Minister Steps Down

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister (PM), announced she will step down

  • Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of state when she was elected in 2017 at age 37. She gained international attention for her handling of Covid-19 and her response to a terrorist attack

  • Over the past year, Ardern’s Labour Party has suffered setbacks at the polls due to higher costs of living, a rise in violent crime, and other issues

  • On Thursday, Ardern said she “no longer had enough in the tank” to lead and added, “I am human.” Her party will now appoint a new PM to replace her

Dig Deeper

  • Although Ardern's party has lost public support in the polls, she still remained voters' most-preferred leader. Her resignation came generally as a surprise, and has caused many analysts to question the Labour Party's appeal to voters in coming elections

US, China Compete Over Africa

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen began a 10-day African trip to counter growing Chinese influence

  • Since 2005, China has invested $372.6B across 40 African countries, per the China Global Investment Tracker. Much of that money has gone towards construction, energy, mining, factories, and more

  • Many Western analysts doubt those countries’ abilities to pay China back. The US also views the loans as predatory and harmful to US influence

  • On her trip, Yellen plans to announce that the US is “all in on Africa.” This includes renewed private and public investments and more security cooperation

Dig Deeper

  • Yellen's trip comes as high-ranking Chinese and Russian officials also meet with African leaders. Yellen says the US offers an "alternative" to the other countries

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🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Court can't handle me: Hip Hop artist Flo Rida won his lawsuit against Celsius energy drinks for breaching his endorsement contract and will receive $82.6M

  • Saturday Night LIV: Saudi-backed golf tour LIV reached a TV deal with the CW Network to air its tour events beginning next month

  • Snitch v. SCOTUS: The Supreme Court's investigation into the abortion ruling leak has failed to turn up a culprit. The monumental leak last May turned out to be true

Wildcard

  • Crikey, Siri! An Australian man had to take a 3,000-mile detour to make it home after floods caused road closures on what would have been a 600-mile drive

  • Twinkle, twinkle, little... clouds: 18 years ago, the average star gazer could see 250 stars in the night sky. Today, due to light pollution, that number is down to 100

  • Try Google next time: A Utah newspaper deleted its sunny obituary of a man who killed his wife and 5 children. "[He] always made it a point to spend quality time with each and every one of his children," it read

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Question:

Today's Poll

Do you use an air fryer?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

Every Friday, we ask the Roca readers 20 questions, then feature our favorite answers the following week.

Not even the vacuum is safe from our readers' honesty today! Ordinary, everyday household items are about to be put to the test in today's 20 Q'S....

THIS OR THAT EDITION!

We'll give you two options, and you choose the one you prefer!

Here's the link. Have an WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

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

🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

I prefer my bananas…🍌

Slightly green: 56%

Slightly brown: 44%

Yesterday's Question:

What do you look for in a friend?

Krista from North Carolina: “I look for a friend who is kind, funny and loyal”

Zach from California: “Authenticity is the most important aspect of friendship. Someone who doesn't change depending on who's around. Someone who doesn't lie to you, even if it may be uncomfortable”

John from New York: “Unconditional understanding”

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

  1. Amazon’s “Alexa: 5.6

  2. Duvet covers: 6

  3. Morning shower: 8.4

  4. Evening shower: 7.6

  5. The Golden Globes: 2

  6. Food trucks: 6.6

  7. Grocery delivery services: 5.4

  8. LED lights on cars: 2

  9. Matcha: 3.1

  10. HBO Max original series: 4.7

  11. Netflix original series: 6.9

  12. One ply toilet paper: 1.2

  13. Dry January: 4

  14. Meal prepping: 6.8

  15. Sending cards: 5.7

  16. Arcades: 5.8

  17. Classical music: 7.4

  18. Commercials on YouTube: 1.1

  19. Traveling alone: 6.3

  20. Croissants: 8.9

🧠 Final Thoughts

Hope you all enjoyed the US-Mexico border content this week. Max F. returns from Africa today, so get ready for the next installation of our Roca Roadtrips series.

In the meantime, there will be no better cure for jet lag than reading your 20 Questions responses and a Bills playoff win. Have a great weekend!

Max and Max