🌊 Pay for My Delay? :)

Justice for flight delays? Safest state in the US, and Musk vs. Dorsey

Today is the 52nd anniversary of Newton Minow’s famous Television is a Vast Wasteland speech. Minow had just been made head of the FCC (the agency that regulates TV) and lamented to an audience of broadcasters that TV had become a “vast wasteland” of game shows, violence, and junk TV.

Well, he clearly left a mark. Without that speech, we never would’ve gotten cultural gems like Love Island, Toddlers & Tiaras, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

In today's edition:

  • Justice for flight delays?

  • Safest state in the US

  • Musk vs. Dorsey

 🔑 Key Stories

Pay for My Delay?

The Biden administration pledged to create new rules that will require airlines to compensate passengers for flight cancellations or delays over 3 hours

  • US airlines are currently required to refund passengers for cancellations or “significant delays” that result in the passenger missing the trip. Only 2 US airlines provide compensation beyond that

  • On Monday, President Biden said his administration will propose rules that require airlines to cover “meals, hotels, taxis, ride-shares, and rebooking fees, and cash miles & travel vouchers” for passengers when 3+ hour delays hrs or cancellations are the airline’s fault

Dig Deeper

  • The new rules would only apply when flight disruptions are the airline’s fault, Biden said

  • Canada and the European Union already mandate similar policies

Fentanyl: From China to Mexico?

Mexico’s president said he has proof that illegal fentanyl is being shipped from China to Mexico

  • Most fentanyl consumed in the US enters across the US-Mexico border. The US claims Mexican cartels import fentanyl’s base ingredients from China, then manufacture the drug and traffick it into the US

  • Mexico’s president denies that fentanyl is produced in Mexico, as the US claims, and says cartels import it directly from China. China has denied that claim

  • Mexico’s president said Friday that Mexican police seized a shipment of fentanyl from China. He called it “proof” and said he will raise the issue with China

Dig Deeper

  • Mexico’s accusation comes less than a month after the US charged 4 Chinese nationals for allegedly supplying Mexican cartels with the base chemicals of fentanyl

  • A Chinese spokesperson denied that and said the charges “undermine” efforts to cooperate

Carlson vs. Fox News Heating Up

Tucker Carlson is threatening to expose secrets about Fox News if the company doesn’t free him from his contract, Axios reported

  • Fox News fired Tucker Carlson late last month. Since then, he has reportedly considered working for a rival news site or starting his own media company

  • But Carlson’s contract with Fox – which remains in effect despite his firing – prevents him from working for rival news organizations

  • A source close to Carlson told Axios that Carlson now plans to fight Fox to void his contract. “[Carlson] knows where a lot of bodies are buried,” one said

Dig Deeper

  • Carlson has been the subject of a series of leaks since his termination. His supporters have said Fox News is coordinating with leakers to smear him. Fox News denies that and says it is considering legal action to prevent more leaks

Guevara Captor Dies

The Bolivian general who caught famed communist revolutionary Che Guevara died on Saturday

  • Che Guevara was a communist revolutionary who became Fidel Castro’s second-in-command in the Cuban Revolution. He later played a major role in overseeing Cuba’s communist reforms and purges

  • He later traveled to Bolivia, another South American country, to start a communist revolution there. That failed, though, and a military unit led by General Gary Prado Salmón captured him. He was later executed

  • Salmón later published a book, How I Captured Che. His son said he died on Saturday of natural causes

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Shell yeah, Maine! US News & World Report ranked Maine the safest state in the US. The Pine Tree State boasts the lowest violent crime rate

  • That’s the Spirit: US airlines made nearly $7B in baggage fee revenue last year. American Airlines led the pack with $1.4B in revenue from checked bags

  • Justin time: Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields took part in Ohio State graduation ceremonies this weekend — 2 years after he left for the NFL

Wildcard

  • Life really does imitate art: Rapper YNW Melly, who rose to prominence with his hit song “Murder on My Mind,” is now standing trial for 2 counts of first-degree murder

  • Sip happens: A 48-year-old Australian woman survived on sweets and a bottle of wine in the wilderness for 5 days after her car got stuck in the mud

  • “DM me if you lost this vase”: A California man is returning 30 antiquities, dating from the 6th to the 3rd centuries BC, to Italy due to growing concerns over looted ancient artifacts

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll

When do you prefer to shower? 🚿

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Today's Question:

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Why?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

We’re trying something new today! We write these Wraps, just like all our stories, for you. So we thought the Wraps would be stronger with your real-time opinions and trivia integrated within. When you’re done with today’s Wrap, let us know if you find value in the additions!

Trivia answers are at the bottom of the story.

Last April – on the day Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s $44B buy-out offer – Jack Dorsey tweeted that Twitter shouldn’t be a company at all.

If it had to be a company, though, there was one person he trusted to run it: “Elon.”

Last weekend, Dorsey took to a new Twitter rival, Bluesky, to change his tone. When a user asked if he thought Musk had been an ideal Twitter leader, Dorsey wrote: “no.”

“It all went south.” “All we can do now is build something to avoid that ever happening again.”

Poll Time!

Have you used Twitter in the last week?

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When Musk was trying to buy Twitter last spring, Dorsey helped facilitate the purchase.

“I tried my hardest to get you on our board, and board said no. That’s about the time I decided I needed to work to leave, as hard as it was for me,” Dorsey wrote in one text that referred to his stepping down as Twitter CEO.

Dorsey also facilitated conversations between his CEO replacement, Parag Agrawal, and Musk. In one text Musk wrote, “Parag is just moving far too slowly and trying to please people who will not be happy no matter what he does.”

Dorsey responded, “At least it became clear that you can’t work together. That was clarifying.”

Trivia Time!

Besides Twitter, Jack Dorsey co-founded which company?

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The relationship would go south, though, as Musk tried to get out of the deal and then took over the company and cut 80% of its staff. Long before that, though, Dorsey was investing in potential Twitter rivals.

In 2019, while Dorsey was Twitter’s CEO, Twitter began developing Bluesky. It sought to create a standard upon which social platforms could operate, allowing them to share users and posts.

Dorsey’s vision was for the system to have no central authority so the various platforms built upon it could moderate as they so desired. In 2021, Bluesky became its own company, with Dorsey one of its 3 board members.

Dorsey also backed Nostr, a different decentralized social media platform. This December, he invested 14 bitcoin – then worth $250,000; today $385,000 – in it. He tweeted on January 31 that Nostr was live and has since posted on it dozens of times daily.

In recent weeks, it’s Bluesky that has surged in popularity. The app is currently accessible only by invitation, with users being granted one invitation per week. It currently has ~50,000 users, but its website drew 1.4M unique visitors last month, up from 200,000 in March and a negligible amount in February.

Poll Time!

Within 5 years, do you think a platform will replace Twitter?

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Despite its broad ambitions, Bluesky is similar to Twitter. Users post messages and images and acquire followers. Posts are called “skeets,” a mix of “sky” and “tweet.”

But by last week, model Chrissy Teigen, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, CNN host Jake Tapper, and MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan and Chris Hayes were all posting skeets. Bluesky invites were selling for up to $400 on eBay.

Bluesky isn’t the first Twitter alternative to draw attention.

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, released Mastodon, a platform that boasts a strict content moderation policy. Substack, a newsletter platform, has released Notes, where writers can post their thoughts and start discussions. And the former CEO of Waze has released Post, a news-focused social platform.

Poll Time!

Pick one social media platform to eliminate from Earth

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Those platforms’ user bases pale in comparison to Twitter’s, which counts up to ~450M monthly active users. For every user Bluesky has, Twitter has 9,000.

But is that destined to change? Or is Twitter too big to fail?

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

Trivia Answer: Square

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

The coronation process is…

Cool: 23%

Whatever: 45%

Absurd: 32%

Yesterday's Question:

What does friendship mean to you?

Sidney from California: “Friendship means being there for each other. Recently our friend group, which is very much a family of its own, has begun implementing the rule "never cry alone" and we have all grown closer as a result. It has been amazing to be able to support and be supported by each other and provide, in some cases, the family that we didn't really have growing up, and in other cases an extension of the family we already have.”

Sarah from South Carolina: “I love these C.S. Lewis's quotes: "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... it has no survival value, rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival" and "Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life." Friendship love plays second fiddle to romantic love in our culture, but the love of a friend is a far more magical and important love than we realize.”

Bill from Texas: “It's an old saying but still true. A friend is someone who knows you and loves you just the same."

🧠 Final Thoughts

Thank you all for reading today's edition of The Current. For those wondering, no – we do not post any of our thoughts to Twitter, Bluesky, or any other micro-blogging platform. That's what we have the water cooler for.

Hope you have great days!

–Max and Max