🌊 One Small Step for Kim…

Another crypto billionaire bites the dust. Roca charity highlight: Kesem 🌊❤️ and Roca votes: Will the Dems pull Biden?

Happy Thanksgiving, Roca Nation. Before we're all drowning in gravy, allow us to say just two words: Thank you. We couldn't imagine a more fun and engaging community of readers than you all. You inspire us to rage against the Big News machine every day.

By the way, it was tough to pick from the hundreds of charity submissions we received, but we think we picked a good one. See below for more.

In today's edition:

  • Another crypto billionaire bites the dust

  • Roca charity highlight: Kesem 🌊❤️

  • Roca votes: Will the Dems pull Biden?

 🔑 Key Stories

North Korea Launches Satellite 

After two unsuccessful launches this year, North Korea successfully launched a spy satellite into orbit

  • The satellite took 12 minutes to enter orbit, where it will circle Earth and help North Korea keep an eye on South Korean troop positions, American bases, and other items of strategic interest to Pyongyang

  • The US said the launch “raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond,” while Japan condemned it “in the strongest possible terms”

  • North Korea predicted it would be the first successful launch of many

Zhao Pleads Guilty

The CEO of Binance – the world’s largest crypto exchange – will step down after pleading guilty to violating US anti-money-laundering requirements 

  • Chinese entrepreneur Changpeng Zhao founded Binance in 2017 and turned it into the world’s leading crypto exchange, once valued at $100B+ 

  • But the US government began investigating Binance in 2020 for potentially allowing traders in sanctioned countries – like Iran or North Korea – to trade with Americans. Separately, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company this year of operating as an unregistered securities exchange, i.e. an illegal financial trading platform

  • On Tuesday, the company’s CEO pleaded guilty and resigned

Dig Deeper

  • According to the plea deal, Binance will have to pay a $4.3B fine. In addition to stepping down, Zhao has to pay a $50M fine. He is barred from working with the exchange for three years

Hostage Deal Reached

Hamas and Israel approved a deal to free dozens of the hostages taken by Hamas on October 7

  • Some Israeli politicians accused the deal of giving Hamas too much; others, including PM Netanyahu, endorsed it

  • The deal involves a four-day “lull in fighting” during which Hamas will free 50 hostages and Israel will release up to 150 Palestinian prisoners. For every additional 10 hostages Hamas releases, there will be another day of ceasefire

  • It’s unclear when the ceasefire will begin

Dig Deeper

  • After the pause, Israeli troops may begin advancing into southern Gaza, where most of Gaza’s population is sheltering and where combat is expected to be more complex. Israel encountered relatively little resistance in northern Gaza after a bombing campaign that destroyed up to half of the region’s buildings. Officials have indicated to Israeli media that ground operations in Gaza could last between several weeks and three more months

Sam Altman 180

Sam Altman will return as CEO of OpenAI

  • Last Friday, the board of OpenAI – structured as a non-profit dedicated to ensuring AI benefits all of humanity – ousted Altman. He then joined Microsoft

  • The firing shocked OpenAI’s staff and investors, who demanded Altman’s return. A majority of OpenAI’s staff threatened to leave if it didn’t bring him back

  • Late Thursday, the company agreed to reinstate Altman and create a new board. Only one of the board’s four members who made the decision to fire Altman will remain. The new board includes former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and a former Salesforce co-CEO

Roca Community Thanksgiving Charity

Each year, we choose to highlight a charity for Thanksgiving. 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. Thank you to Roca Reader Ben, a student at Ole Miss and treasurer for Kesem, for his recommendation this year.

Ben says, “Kesem is a nonprofit that puts on summer camps and different activities for children who have had their lives affected by a parent getting/passing from cancer. We do our best to take their minds off of and support them through this adult stressor that has been put on them. While it is a national nonprofit, the individual chapters are in a lot of places, and they run themselves like individual organizations… They do a whole lot of good for the people in their community. I would love for you to give them a shoutout as I really believe that they are doing some real important work that benefits a group of kids that don’t really get thought about too much.”

We’re inspired by Kesem’s mission that every child is not alone. We started Roca to foster a similar sense of community and unwavering support among young people.

Let’s show the power of Roca and blow up Ben’s fundraising goal by supporting this incredible organization and cause! Ben’s team is currently 95th in a race with other universities to collectively raise $5M. Let’s bring the Roca wave to shoot our support to the top!

If we all give just $1, Ben and the rest of the Roca community would take first place, showing the power of Roca community, and supporting a great cause.

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • U can’t block this: YouTube has admitted it is intentionally slowing the experience of users with ad blockers in its latest effort to crack down on ad blockers

  • Name’s Banks, Robbie Banks: Anonymous street artist Banksy appears to have revealed his name as “Robbie Banks” in a recently recovered interview from 2003

  • He’s still got it! Baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki, now 50, pitched a complete-game shutout against a Japanese high school girls all-star team. He threw 116 pitches and gave up five hits

Wildcard

  • Santa comes early: A mobile home park caretaker in New Hampshire who died in June was revealed to have left a surprise $3.8M to the town’s 4,200 residents

  • Ali-Indirect: A man from Delhi, India, received a product he ordered from AliExpress in 2019. The Indian government banned AliExpress in 2020

  • $7,000 footlong: A Georgia woman accidentally tipped Subway $7,112.98 for a $7.54 Italian sub. She said she intended to enter her phone number to collect Subway rewards points

The Window to Invest in this Smart Home Success Story is Closing

If you haven’t heard of RYSE, you will soon

  • The company started out pitching on Dragons Den (Canadian Shark Tank), where it received two offers. Now, its tool that automates your window shades is rolling out in 100+ Best Buys across the US

  • RYSE’s patented, mass-market shade automation device is unrivaled in the smart-home industry. It’s the quickest way for homeowners and businesses to automate their window shades

  • Early RYSE investors have already seen their share price grow over 15 times and those returns should just be getting started. RYSE’s retail distribution deal resembles that which led smart-home giants Ring, Nest, and iRobot to their billion-dollar exits

Dig Deeper

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

Will you eat turkey tomorrow?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

Does your family have a Thanksgiving tradition?

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

On a March day in 1621, a Native American walked into one of the earliest English settlements in North America.

To the settlers' astonishment, he spoke English.

The man was Tisquantum, or "Squanto," and was born around 1580 near present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Patuxet, a tribe of the Wampanoag confederation of Native Americans.

In 1614, English traders lured Squanto onto a ship to sell him into slavery in Spain. But upon arrival there, a group of Spanish monks intervened and bought him instead.

After a few years with the monks, Squanto escaped to England, where – much darker and taller than the locals – he became a celebrity. He learned English, and a prominent merchant hired him as an assistant.

In 1619, the duo traveled to Canada, where Squanto met an English explorer with whom he traveled down the coast to his home, in modern-day New England.

Upon arrival, Squanto found a tragedy: Plague had destroyed his village. “We arrived at my savage's native country (finding all dead),” the explorer he was with wrote.

Between 1616 and 1619, a disease likely introduced by the British had wiped out tens of thousands of Native Americans. While there, a local native village took Squanto captive.

Then in 1620, a group of English religious separatists – the Pilgrims – arrived on the Mayflower and settled nearby Plymouth. Squanto was sent as a translator, and he negotiated a treaty on behalf of the local Wampanoag chief that established peace between the settlers and natives.

Some natives branded Squanto a traitor who sold out to the Pilgrims. For that reason or others, he became even closer with the settlers. He taught them how to use fish for fertilizer, extract sap from maple trees, and plant beans and squash around corn, among other tricks. Reports credit him with helping up to half the original pilgrims survive until spring.

In autumn 1621, the pilgrims’ had their first successful corn harvest.

To celebrate, their governor invited native allies to a celebratory feast. Among them was Squanto, who was introduced as the man who saved the settlement. Natives outnumbered pilgrims as much as 2 to 1 at the feast, remembered today as the first Thanksgiving.

The treaty Squanto negotiated on behalf of the local tribes lasted 50 years, although it tarnished him as a traitorous, self-serving politician. He fell out with the natives and died soon after.

Nevertheless, without him, Americans may not be celebrating Thanksgiving today.

Let us know what you think by emailing [email protected]!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Have you ever accidentally clicked on a pop-up ad?
Yes: 95%
No: 5%

Yesterday's Question:

Yesterday’s questions were in response to our signature Roca Votes wrap, in which we summarize a controversial topic and see how Roca feels about it.

If you had to bet right now, who will win the White House in 2024? If you were the head of the Democratic National Committee, would you advise Biden against seeking re-election? If Newsom ran, do you think he would win? What about Michelle Obama? Who do think is more likely to defeat Trump? Newsom, Obama, or Biden?

Deb from Minnesota: "I'd bet on Newsom. I want Biden to pass on it and endorse Newsom. Even though Biden has been a good pres, his age has become a Huge Thing and the DNC needs to face that reality. This is not the time for Whitmer because we can't take any chances on losing the election and our democracy. I think Newsom would landslide trump."

Branlty from Washington State: "I think Newsom has a better chance of winning than Biden or Obama, but I don't think that he'll pull any conservative voters over to his side, despite his claims of being "moderate." Even if Michelle Obama ran I don't think she'll have enough traction this late to get enough votes. Unfortunately, I think Trump will win again and I say unfortunately not because he is conservative, but because we need a new, younger candidate who is not so entrenched in controversy and/or a lifetime of politics. I know that's probably wishful thinking, but it would nice not having a career politician or multi-millionaire in office for once.”

Carrie from Santa Ana, California: “If you live in CA, you know Newsom’s been preparing to run for President. That was always his plan. First Governor, then President. Beating a the recall was his last hurdle. Go back the last few years and watch him continually take on DeSantis (and Florida), constantly trying to make a name for himself on the national stage. Most recently he’s started vetoing controversial laws, that normally he would let pass. Plus, his visit to Israel and his joint meeting with Biden and China’s leader. He’s trying to show what a great moderate replacement he is for Biden. But you are right, he’s very progressive and more pro-China than any other recent President. While most of the Californians I know complain about him and his policies, they would vote for him over Trump. The Democrats will welcome him as a replacement to Biden. "

S from Florida: “Trump wins in 2024 regardless of who the DNC puts on the ballot. The Biden administration is a catastrophe and Democrats have consistently failed at every level to move this country forward for the past 3 years. RFK, Jr. will split the Dem voters, not the Republicans.”

🧠 Intermission

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you all for riding the Roca wave. We appreciate every person whose eyes are gracing this message!

–Max and Max

🌎 Roca Reports

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The four installments this week dive into the beliefs of a man named Ingo. We hope they shed light on a person and beliefs that other media would not. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can find them here.

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