🌊 No More Gucci with Three Cs 😤

Biden: Xi is a “dictator," best restaurant in the US… again! 20 Questions!

Thank you to all of you who sent in charity ideas for our Thanksgiving promo next week. We read through all of them — including numerous "my bank account" submissions — and will choose one for next week. We promise the charity won’t end up being a spreadsheet of account and routing numbers.

Second, if you’re new here, welcome! This was one of the biggest weeks of growth for The Current on record, and we appreciate you trying us out. 

In today's edition:

  • Biden: Xi is a “dictator”

  • Best restaurant in the US… again!

  • 20 Questions!

 🔑 Key Stories

Counterfeit Bag Seizure

Federal prosecutors charged two men and seized 219,000 counterfeit luxury items as part of what they called the largest seizure of counterfeit goods in US history

  • In New York City (NYC), counterfeit luxury goods are openly sold on several streets. In September, a Roca reporter witnessed NYC police raid one such street, arresting 18 and seizing $35M worth of counterfeit goods

  • On Wednesday, prosecutors announced that the New York Police Department arrested two people and seized 219,000 counterfeit handbags, shoes, clothes, and other luxury goods at two different warehouses. If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison

  • Federal prosecutors said the retail value of the goods exceeded $1B, making it the “largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in US history.” However, counterfeit goods often sell for much lower than their official retail price, suggesting the actual value of the bust was far lower

Dig Deeper

  • “[Trafficking] counterfeit goods is anything but a victimless crime because it harms legitimate businesses, governments, and consumers,” the NYPD commissioner said in a statement

Santos Won’t Seek Re-election

Representative George Santos (R-NY) announced he will not seek re-election after a House committee found that he “blatantly stole from his campaign”

  • Santos – 34 – has admitted to lying about his education, work history, Jewish ancestry, and more. In May, the Justice Department indicted him on 13 charges, most of which accuse him of stealing from his campaign

  • On Thursday, the House ethics committee – split evenly between Republicans and Democrats – released a report accusing Santos of stealing from campaign donors and using the money for Botox, luxury items, and “purchases at OnlyFans”

  • Santos called the accusations “politicized smear” but also said he will not seek re-election in 2024

Dig Deeper

  • The report said Santos exploited “every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit” by diverting campaign donations to personal accounts as “repayments” for fictitious loans

  • On X, Santos called the report a “grave miscarriage of Justice”

Biden: Xi a Dictator

President Biden called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator” after the two met on Thursday

  • The duo met for four hours while attending an international summit near San Francisco on Wed.

  • They agreed to jointly crack down on fentanyl production, which the US accuses China of playing a role in. They also agreed to resume direct military-to-military cooperation, which they haven’t had since Representative Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022

  • After meeting, Biden called Xi a “dictator”; China called that “extremely wrong.” Xi hinted that China may send pandas to the US as a sign of friendship

Dig Deeper

  • We posted a video to Instagram of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s reaction to Biden’s “dictator” comment

Anheuser-Busch CMO Resigning

The chief marketing officer (CMO) of Anheuser-Busch (AB) is resigning amid an ongoing backlash against Bud Light

  • Bud Light has faced declining sales since it partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a March Madness promo. Modelo Especial has since replaced it as the US’ best-selling beer

  • Last month, AB reported that over the third quarter of 2023, sales to retailers have declined 17% “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light”

  • On Wednesday, AB announced its CMO is resigning, marking the latest of several high-level departures

Dig Deeper

  • AB announced that its CMO will be “resigning at the end of the year in order to embark on a new chapter in his career.” It did not directly tie his departure to Bud Light’s declining sales. The company said it will not seek to replace the outgoing CMO, but will instead “reduce layers” by having people involved in marketing report to other executives

Reviving Foundational Health

ARMRA Colostrum is rebuilding health from the inside out

  • With the modern environment evolving and everyday chemicals, pollutants, pathogens, and processed ingredients threatening our mental and physical state, our bodies need protection now more than ever

  • At ARMRA, we use proprietary, Cold-Chain BioPotent™ Technology, and leverage immune intelligence to protect, restore, and enhance complete immune health and cellular performance

  • Harnessing the power of colostrum and its 400+ bioactive nutrients, we bring together technology and superfood science, empowering you to face the modern world head on.

Dig Deeper

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Dropping it like it’s hot: Weed enthusiast and rapper Snoop Dogg announced his decision to quit smoking. It is unclear if he’s referring to weed or being serious, but it appears he isn’t joking

  • Sinball: MLB owners unanimously approved the Athletics’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas, making them the first MLB team to relocate since 2005

  • Restaurant GOAT? LA Liste ranked Le Bernardin, a French seafood restaurant in Manhattan, as the top US restaurant for the seventh consecutive year

Wildcard

  • CBD you later! Carnival Cruise Lines permanently banned a 42-year-old Texas woman after finding CBD gummies in her suitcase during a security check at the Port of Miami in August

  • Snitches get stitches: A Maine man who won a $1.35B Mega Millions jackpot in January is suing the mother of his child for breaking an NDA by discussing the win with others

  • UberCheats: Joasia Zakrzewski – a top British ultra-marathon runnerreceived a 12-month ban for using a car during a 50-mile race and accepting a third-place trophy

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today' Poll:

Is it a big deal that President Biden called China's President Xi Jinping a "dictator"?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

"Do you think Xi is a dictator?" "I think Xi should sign up for The Current and answer 20 Questions" - President Biden

It's pre-Thanksgiving Friday, and because of that we've got a pre-Thanksgiving 20 Questions. And if that wasn't enough for you, it's ratings edition: We've listed 20 Thanksgiving-related prompts for you to rate on a 10-point scale.

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you have concerns about ESPN or other major broadcasters promoting sports betting?

Yes: 67%
No: 33%

Yesterday's Question:

As we plan for Thanksgiving, we want to use a slot we often use for ads on a charity instead. Before going with a larger charity whose name we all know, we wanted to first check with our community to see if you are involved with a charity we could promote instead. So yesterday we asked you “what is a charity close to your heart?” and we had a record number of responses! We are so grateful to be part of a community supporting so many good causes. We were blown away. Thank you for all the submissions and we’re excited to promote some of the charities you have introduced to us next week.

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

In honor of the biggest travel weekend of the year — Thanksgiving weekend — fast approaching, we ran "Travel: This or That” questions last week. The breakdown to last week’s prompts is below:

  1. Are you a neck pillow person?

    Yes: 75%

    No: 25%

  2. Peanuts or pretzels on the plane?

    Peanuts: 40%

    Pretzels: 60%

  3. Ginger ale or apple juice on the plane?

    Ginger ale: 75%

    Apple juice: 25%

  4. How would you describe your attitude toward turbulence?

    Terrified: 43%

    Mildly fearful: 40%

    Indifferent: 10%

    Enjoy it: 7%

  5. Airline you'd dread flying on the most?

    Frontier: 20%

    Spirit: 60%

    Allegiant: 20%

  6. Miss your flight or lose your luggage?

    Miss your flight: 60%

    Lose your luggage: 40%

  7. Train or car?

    Train: 34%

    Car: 66%

  8. Best roadtrip music genre?

    Classic rock: 50%

    Classical: 5%

    Country: 20%

    Rap: 2%

    Pop: 5%

    Other: 18%

  9. Would you rather fly free or eat free forever?

    Fly free: 48%

    Eat free: 52%

  10. Would you rather the plane temperature be 65 or 75?

    65: 75%

    75: 25%

  11. Would you rather visit London or Cancun?

    London: 80%

    Cancun: 20%

  12. Train ride across Europe or roadtrip across America?

    Train ride Europe: 70%

    Roadtrip America: 30%

  13. Middle seat in business class or aisle seat in last row?

    Middle seat: 58%

    Aisle seat: 42%

  14. Go to space or visit every country?

    Space: 15%

    Every country: 70%

    Neither: 15%

  15. Honda or Toyota?

    Honda: 63%

    Toyota: 37%

  16. Chevy or Ford?

    Chevy: 55%

    Ford: 45%

  17. Vacation in Italy or Hawaii?

    Italy: 66%

    Hawaii: 34%

  18. Read a book or watch TV on the plane?

    Book: 58%

    TV: 42%

  19. Helicopter ride or hot air balloon ride?

    Helicopter ride: 60%

    Hot air balloon ride: 40%

  20. On an airplane... are you striking up a conversation with the person next to you?

    Yes: 10%

    No: 37%

    Depends: 53%

     

🧠 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

🌎 Roca Reports

In the last two weeks since we launched our premium newsletter Roca Reports, many of you have emailed us to request the option to get the on-the-ground reporting in The Current rather than a separate Saturday newsletter. Starting this week, we will grant your request and offer a premium section at the bottom of The Current. We hope you enjoy! All parts are located here if you subscribe today and want to catch up.

Near the city of Cottbus is a picturesque German town that made global headlines in July. 

The town, Burg, sits along a river through the countryside. It has cafés, paddle boats for rent, and a sausage cart in the town square. 

And it’s allegedly full of Nazi children. 

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