🌊 SCOTUS v. Gift Disclosures

Plus: Israel conducted a raid that rescued four hostages from Gaza...

Happy Iced Tea Day. So… time for some tea, Roca.

The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis likes to take credit for inventing a lot: The hot dog, ice cream cone, hamburger, and even iced tea. But… it invented none of them. Today is national Iced Tea Day which took us down this World’s Fair rabbit hole. Most fun fact websites will tell you a vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair invented iced tea, having ingeniously decided to put ice cubs in the hot tea — Eureka! — he was selling on a scorching summer’s day. The reality is that iced tea dates back to Colonial America and became popular in the 1800s with references in cookbooks like “The Kentucky Housewife” (1839) and “Housekeeping in Old Virginia” (1879). Nice chai, World’s Fair! You can’t fool us on tea history.

💸 Lawyers who nixed Musk's pay want $5B payday!

🛍️ British woman has rare case of sleep shopping

🗳️ Your algo, your choice?

–Max and Max

KEY STORY

$5B for Lawyers?

The lawyers who defeated Elon Musk’s $56B pay package are asking for a $5.2B award

  • In January, a court in Delaware – where Tesla is incorporated – voided a $56B pay package for Musk. Some shareholders had called the package excessive and unreasonable, and the court agreed

  • Now, the firms that won the case are requesting $5.2B as compensation – 17x any comparable fee in Delaware history and comparable to $288,000 per hour of work. On Friday, Tesla’s lawyers said the firms deserve only $13.6M and that the lawyers want “the highest hourly rate in history”

Dig Deeper

  • Delaware precedent says that lawyers get to keep a chunk of the “conferred benefit” that goes to shareholders when the lawyers win such cases. In other words: If the lawyers save the company money, they get a share of the savings

  • If the law firms’ request is met, they would collectively become Tesla’s third-largest shareholder

  • The dispute comes with Tesla holding two major shareholder votes this week: One would reinstate the $56B pay package; the other would move the company from Delaware to Texas

KEY STORY

Hostages Freed

Israel rescued four hostages from Gaza

  • Around 11:30 AM on Saturday, apparently as a distraction, Israel began to conduct strikes on targets in central Gaza

  • Simultaneously, two groups of Israeli commandos – who may have been disguised as Gazan civilians – entered two apartment buildings where hostages were being held

  • In one, they caught the hostage takers off guard and rescued one hostage; in the other, they came under Hamas attack and suffered one fatality, before escaping with three hostages

  • As the commandos and hostages came onto the street – which was reportedly packed with civilians – they came under RPG and machine-gun fire

  • The resulting gun battle and Israeli strikes caused at least 100 deaths, both civilian and militant. The commandos escaped with the hostages to a beach, where a helicopter airlifted the group back to Israel

Dig Deeper

  • The rescue was met with jubilation in Israel, where celebrations erupted and news anchors broke into tears, while many Palestinians and their supporters blasted the raid and its death toll

  • It came two days after Hamas rejected the most recent US-led ceasefire proposal. Hamas is demanding Israel withdraw its troops and commit to ending the war before accepting a deal

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Dig Deeper

  • For a limited time, they’re offering their Iconic India trip for $400 off

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  • Rates start from US$1699 per person including flights, accommodation, daily breakfast, and transportation. Book now for an unforgettable adventure!

KEY STORY

Crisis in Sudan

The UN said Friday that more than 10M people may soon be displaced within Sudan

  • Sudan has faced a civil war between two military groups since last April. While the official death toll is ~16,000, the actual figure may be 10x that. In one massacre, up to 15,000 people were reported killed

  • On Friday, the UN said that 9.9M people are displaced within the country, with a further 2M people having fled abroad

  • "How much suffering and loss of life must the people of Sudan endure before the world takes notice?” the head of the UN’s migration division asked on Friday

Dig Deeper

  • The two sides have been battling each other for control of the country, while the predominantly Arab RSF has also been accused of massacring black Sudanese in Darfur, where a genocide took place in the early 2000s

  • The situation may soon grow much worse: A famine has been projected for Sudan, with up to 2M people at risk of death by the end of the summer

KEY STORY

SCOTUS Gifts

The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) justices disclosed the gifts they had received over the past year

  • The forms show the justices’ non-SCOTUS income and gifts. Last year, several justices were accused of failing to disclose valuable gifts

  • Among this year’s disclosures, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson reported that Beyoncé gave her four concert tickets. Separately, she earned an $894k advance for her memoir. Justices Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Sotomayor reported $340,000, $250,000, and $87,000, respectively, in book-related income. The justices reported a collective $1.6M in book income

Dig Deeper

  • Clarence Thomas – who was last year accused of failing to document paid-for vacations and private jet trips – reported no trips in 2023 and just one gift, $2,000 in "photo albums"

  • These figures are all in addition to the justices’ salaries, which are $298,500 for the eight associates and $312,200 for the chief justice

RUNDOWN
Some Quick Stories for the Office

The US economy added 272,000 jobs in May, far more than the 180,000 economists had predicted

Claudia Sheinbaum’s election as Mexico’s president led the peso to its biggest weekly drop in decades

On Friday night, Pat Sajak hosted his final episode of Wheel of Fortune

650,000+ people tuned into a livestream hosted by GameStop trader Keith Gill, who said and said, “It’s the same stuff as last time [2021]…It’s a true YOLO”

Donald Trump held a sold-out $12M Silicon Valley fundraiser, the latest of several signs that he is gaining support among that community

POPCORN
Question of the Day

🧠 By popular demand, we’ve decided this week to swap out the weekly discussion for the original “Question of the Day.”

Today’s Question:

With the departure of Pat Sajak at Wheel of Fortune, who’s your favorite talk show or game show host of all time? Why?

Think about it and reply to this email to let us know what you think!

POPCORN
Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🛍️ Sleep Shopping: A British mother reported that parasomnia – a disorder that causes strange behavior while asleep – compels her to shop online. Since her 2018 diagnosis, she has woken up to unexpected deliveries, including a full-sized plastic basketball court and a children’s playhouse

🙏 Justice for Acid Farts: The Sphere in Las Vegas said the man who posted a video of himself — under the social media name “Acid Farts” — taking bong hits at a Phish show is no longer banned

🐊 Florida woman strikes! A Florida woman called 911 on herself while attempting to take a vehicle from a car dealership so she “could do it legally.” Authorities arrested her and charged her with trespassing

🎾 Carlitos’ Way: Carlos Alcaraz, 21, won his first French Open title on Sunday, becoming the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all three surfaces (grass, clay, and hard)

🍨 Nut case: Cold Stone is facing a lawsuit from a woman who claims its pistachio ice cream flavor does not contain real pistachios as the creamery had advertised

ROCA VOTES
Roca Votes: Your Algo Your Choice?

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey believes that black box algorithms are taking away your agency

His solution? Choose or build your own algorithms. Do you think he’s right? Should the government intervene? Let’s debate!

Speaking at the Oslo Freedom Forum, Dorsey said, “I think the free speech debate is a complete distraction right now,” he said. “The real debate should be about free will.”

Elon Musk tweeted the video with the caption, “Yeah, @jack is right.”

Regarding algorithms – which are blamed for fueling misinformation, partisanship, mental illness, and more – Dorsey said the solution isn’t as simple as making them “open source,” i.e. publicly available and modifiable.

“The algorithm, even if it’s open source, is effectively a black box; you cannot predict 100% of the time how it’s going to work, what it is going to show you, and it can be moved and changed at any time,” he said.

To win back their agency, Dorsey argued, people must get a “choice of which algorithm they want to use: From a source that they trust or build their own algorithm that they can plug in on top of these networks and see what they want.”

Right now, we have no idea how social networks decide what we see. Should consumers be involved in deciding that?

Critics would argue that nobody is forcing people to use TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, or X. Rather, people – to use Dorsey’s language – are choosing to surrender their agency to them. And as with some foods, alcohol, video games, and tobacco, having an addictive product is not illegal. Furthermore, consumers do not get to customize other products: Drug and food companies don’t consult you before putting their products on shelves. Why should tech be any different?

Even those who support Dorsey’s position may say the devil is in the details: Making algorithms transparent is one thing, but customizability would add a layer of complexity for both companies and consumers. And others would say that if Dorsey didn’t implement this himself while running Twitter, is there any tech CEO who would actually do it?

But Dorsey’s defenders would point out that Twitter was a public company when he ran it, subject to minimal government regulation but significant shareholder pressure. If the government stepped it, they claim it would be different – and could fix the ever-growing concern about algorithms.

So what do you think? Respond to this email to let us know. We are eager to hear your thoughts!

If you want to share your thoughts, do so by replying to this email!

EDITOR’S NOTE
Final Thoughts

The lawyers asking for $5B after winning a case about gross overpayment seems pretty on brand for lawyers. This is when you need Dr. Evil to ask, “Why make trillions when you can make billions?” Or something like that.

Hope you all have a great Monday. Don’t be letting your friends sneak a World’s Fair factoid by you today.

–Max and Max