🌊 Press A3 for Narcan

Xi smoking that Castro pack, dog chew toy company loses Supreme Court case, and 20 Questions!

Yesterday we received several upset — well Canadian upset — emails from readers up north over one of our Popcorn captions. We wrote "Thanks, Trudeau" ahead of a story about NYC's air quality, which was the worst of major cities in the world yesterday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. So with watery eyes (partly from remorse, but mostly from Canadian smoke), we would like to say… sorry, Trudeau.

In today's edition:

  • Xi smoking that Castro pack

  • Dog chew toy company loses Supreme Court case

  • 20 Questions!

 🔑 Key Stories

China to Spy from Cuba?

China plans to build a facility in Cuba to spy on the US, the Wall Street Journal reported

  • Cuba is a communist island nation that lies ~100 miles south of Florida. The US has long sanctioned it and tried to overthrow its government

  • Per US intelligence officials who spoke to the WSJ, the US has “convincing” evidence that China agreed to pay Cuba billions of dollars to allow it to build a spy base in Cuba. That could allow China to gather data on US emails, phone calls, satellites, and more

  • China and Cuba haven’t commented on it

Dig Deeper

  • A US spokesperson called the report “not accurate.“ “We remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home and in the [Americas],” he added

Eurozone Recession

The Eurozone, a group of 20 EU countries that use the euro as their currency, is in a recession

  • A recession is typically defined as 2 straight 3-month periods – “quarters” – of negative GDP growth

  • On Thursday, the Eurozone’s statistics agency released revised data showing that its GDP declined .1% over the first quarter of 2023 after declining by the same percentage the quarter prior

  • The Eurozone had previously forecast slight GDP growth over the first quarter of 2023, but changed that after Germany and other countries fell into recessions

Dig Deeper

  • The Eurozone has suffered from high inflation and an energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nonetheless, its unemployment rate – 6.5% – is the lowest it has ever been. The EU as a whole recorded .1% GDP growth over 2023’s first quarter, avoiding a recession

Public Health Vending Machines

NYC public health officials unveiled the city’s first vending machine offering free drug paraphernalia

  • 2,668 people died of overdoses in NYC in 2021, up 27% from the prior year. Fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, caused 80% of those deaths

  • On Monday, NYC officials unveiled the city’s first “public health vending machine.” It offers Narcan, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, and fentanyl test strips, which can detect if a drug is laced with fentanyl. It also offers pipes, hygiene kits, condoms, and more

  • The machine was installed in a part of Brooklyn with one of the city’s highest overdose rates. The machine completely sold out on its first day

Dig Deeper

  • The city plans to install similar machines in 3 other parts of the city with high overdose rates. Other cities, such as Cincinnati and Philadelphia, have already installed similar vending machines

SCOTUS Upholds Voting Rights Act

The US Supreme Court ordered Alabama to create a 2nd majority-black voting district

  • The federal government passed the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965. That forced states with a history of racial polarization to create as many majority or near-majority black districts as possible

  • Alabama redrew its electoral districts in 2020. Despite making up 27% of its population, black people were the majority in 1 out of its 7 US House districts

  • Civil rights groups sued, and the case made its way to the Supreme Court. On Thursday, it ruled Alabama must create a 2nd majority or near-majority black House district

Dig Deeper

  • SCOTUS ordered the state to redraw its districts to create an additional district in which black voters are a majority or near-majority. The majority opinion justified that based on Alabama’s “extensive history of…discrimination.” The decision essentially upholds states’ obligations to consider race as a factor in redistricting

Trump Indicted, Part 2

Former President Trump announced that a federal court had indicted him

  • It’s the first time in history a US president will face federal charges. The other charges Trump faces – for allegedly using campaign funds to make hush payments – were brought by New York City

  • The charges reportedly allege that Trump mishandled classified documents, some of which he kept at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate after he left office

  • Trump said he must present himself at a federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at which point the exact charges will be unsealed

Dig Deeper

  • Trump announced the charges by posting on Truth Social: “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been indicted.” “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the US.” “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN”

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Red Bull gives you years: Taurine, an ingredient common in energy drinks, could lead to a longer life. A study found that it boosted the health of worms, mice, and monkeys

  • Not remote-ly joking: Google says it's cracking down on employees who don't come into the office regularly. It plans to use badge data for performance reviews and confront absent employees

  • RIP, Pat: Conservative evangelist Pat Robertson died Thursday at age 93. The religious broadcaster ran for president in 1988 and founded the politically influential Christian Coalition

Wildcard

  • "Justice is on its way": Washington, DC is giving out free dash cameras for food delivery drivers to help monitor city crime. DoorDash donated $500,000 for the initiative

  • Ca-Nine to Zero decision: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a dog toy called "Bad Spaniels" violates the Jack Daniel's trademark. The chew toy is a parody of the Jack Daniel's bottle

  • Saturday Night Ferry: Comedian Pete Davidson says he bought a decommissioned Staten Island ferry for $280,000 while high and now has "no idea" what he's going to do with it

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today' Poll

What is the best way to 'read' a book?

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Today's Question:

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.

This week, the Roca HQ has been debating the best lunch foods. Is it Chipotle? A caesar salad?

We want your takes, so this week, we’re asking the Roca audience to give it. We’ve got This or That: Lunch food edition.

We’ve got 20 prompts with 2 lunch options. Let us know which one you prefer!

Here's the link. Have an AMAZING WEEKEND!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you enjoy spending weekends indoors or outdoors?

Indoors: 41%

Outdoors: 59%

Yesterday's Question:

What is the most used app on your phone?

Scott from Glasgow, Scotland: "Spotify is the one I use most. It's so good at introducing me to new music. Of any subscription based app I use, it's by far the best value.”

Craig from New York, New York: "Yahtzee for Friends"

Chris from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma "Much to my chagrin, Instagram.”

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

Last week we gave you 20 prompts representative of cultural touchstones from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. We asked you to rank the impact of each one on your life, using a scale of 1 (no impact) to 10 (greatest impact). Below are the most common rankings for each prompt.

  1. Launch of Hubble Telescope (1990): 1

  2. Vietnam War (1955-1975): 10

  3. Steve Jobs founds Apple (1976): 10

  4. First Star Wars film released (1977): 10

  5. MTV launches (1981): 1

  6. Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989): 10

  7. Release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (1982): 7

  8. Rubiks Cube invented (1974): 1

  9. Release of Titanic (1997): 1

  10. Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (1981): 1

  11. OJ Simpson trial (1995): 5

  12. Release of Pulp Fiction (1994): 1

  13. The Miracle on Ice (1980): 1

  14. Release of Nintendo Entertainment System (1985): 8

  15. Gulf War (1990-1991): 7

  16. The Watergate Scandal (1972-1974): 1

  17. First text message sent (1992): 10

  18. World Wide Web created (1989): 10

  19. The first Beanie Babies hit the shelves (1993): 1

  20. Release of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" (1977): 1

🧠 Final Thoughts

Thank you all, Roca Riders, for supporting us for another week. We don’t take it for granted, and are honored to have you on the wave. Have a great weekend.

—Max and Max