🌊 Shall We Ban the Mutts?

SBF trial officially underway, influencer gets on NBA jersey, and Shall We Ban the Mutts

28 years ago today, more than 150 million people tuned in for the announcement of the OJ Simpson trial verdict. In that half hour, America stopped working: Phone call volume dropped 58%, NYSE trading volume dropped 41%, and an estimated $480M in productivity was lost. Then the "Not Guilty" came in, and somewhere an economist's first reaction was "Hmm I wonder how much productivity we just lost?"

In today's edition:

  • SBF trial officially underway

  • Influencer gets on NBA jersey

  • Shall We Ban the Mutts

 🔑 Key Stories

SBF Trial Begins

The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) begins today

  • Last year, Alameda and FTX – two of SBF’s crypto companies – declared bankruptcy. Prosecutors accused SBF of illegally transferring billions of dollars worth of customers funds from FTX to Alameda

  • SBF’s trial on seven charges related to his alleged attempts to defraud customers and investors is going to trial on Tuesday. The trial will last up to six weeks. The charges carry dozens of years in jail, and SBF also faces a separate trial next March on five additional charges related to bribery, campaign finance fraud, and more

  • Prosecutors are expected to call at least three of SBF’s associates to testify against him. It is unclear if SBF himself will testify during the trial

Dig Deeper

  • During the trial, prosecutors will have to prove to a jury that SBF knowingly and intentionally committed fraud. They will likely rely heavily on SBF’s former associates to prove that claim

  • SBF’s lawyers are expected to argue that SBF made mistakes but didn’t intentionally break the law, and that on several occasions, he took advice from lawyers that has gotten him into trouble

Los Angeles Ends Cash Bail

Los Angeles eliminated its bail system on Sunday

  • Bail is a refundable deposit that allows defendants to get out of jail pending a court date. If they show up to their court date, they get it back; if they don’t, they lose it. If defendants can’t post bail, they remain in jail

  • LA eliminated cash bail during the pandemic, and a court essentially reinstated that policy earlier this year. Per the new system, those accused of non-violent crimes will be released pending a court date; those accused of serious crimes will be referred to a judge, who will decide if they should be released

  • Last month, Illinois became the first state to eliminate cash bail, replacing it with a system that determines pretrial release based on the severity of their crime and the risk they pose to society

Dig Deeper

  • Several city officials applauded the new policy, calling it a practical step toward overturning systemic injustice in the city’s legal system. They cited studies showing that after the pandemic-era policy was implemented, rates of people failing to show up to court fell or stayed the same

  • Others argued the new policy will undermine law and order. On Friday, twelve Los Angeles County cities filed a lawsuit seeking to ban implementation of the new policy

Newsom Appoints Butler

California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed a former union leader and abortion rights activist to fill Dianne Feinstein’s empty Senate seat

  • Last Friday, 90-yo Senator Feinstein (D-CA) died. Newsom said in 2021 he would nominate a black woman to replace her if her seat became vacant

  • On Sunday, he nominated Laphonza Butler, a black woman, to fill the seat. Butler is a former union leader who more recently led EMILY’s list, a fundraising group that supports pro-choice women

  • Butler will serve out Feinstein’s term. She is the first black lesbian woman to serve in the US Senate

Dig Deeper

  • California will hold two elections this November: One to nominate a candidate to serve the remainder of Feinstein’s term, and another to serve a full six-year term starting in 2025

  • Several prominent Democrats have already announced they will run for Feinstein's seat. Butler hasn't indicated yet if she will join the race

mRNA Researchers Win Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to two researchers who pioneered mRNA vaccines

  • mRNA – short for “messenger RNA” – is integral to protein synthesis. In 2005, Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman, two University of Pennsylvania researchers, published a paper suggesting scientists could modify mRNA and insert it into patients to “train” their immune systems to fight diseases

  • Their work contributed to Covid vaccines, and researchers have since experimented with similar mRNA techniques to treat cancer, HIV, and more

  • The duo was awarded the Nobel Prize on Monday

Dig Deeper

  • “mRNA vaccines together with other Covid-19 vaccines have been administered over 13B times. Together they have saved millions of lives, prevented severe Covid-19, reduced the overall disease burden and enabled societies to open up again,” one committee member said

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Bauer set up? Former Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Trevor Bauer and a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2021 have settled their legal dispute. Bauer – who was suspended for 194 games — took to social media to share alleged texts from his accuser, including one that read, “Next victim: star pitcher for the dodgers”

  • MrHornets: The NBA’s Charlotte Hornets announced a deal with YouTube star MrBeast and his snack company, Feastables, to become the team’s “Official Jersey Patch Partner”

  • Saving private molars: In an Instagram video, actor Tom Hanks said he had “nothing to do” with an AI version of himself that was promoting “some dental plan"

Wildcard

  • “Here lies Willie”: A Pennsylvania funeral home held a funeral for 128-year-old mummyStoneman Willie,” a petty thief who died of kidney failure in jail in 1985

  • You go, granny! 104-year-old Dorothy Hoffner aims to be named the world’s oldest skydiver after making a tandem jump in Illinois. Guinness World Records is now reviewing her 13,500-ft dive

  • Planetary mumbo JuMBO: A NASA telescope discovered ~40 pairs of Jupiter-sized, free-floating “planets,” nicknamed Jupiter Mass Binary Objects, or “JuMBOs”

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

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Today's Question:

Today’s question is under the Wrap

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

🌯 Roca Wrap

The UK government made waves earlier this month when it announced that it would ban American XL bully dogs by the end of the year.

Owners of the breed are furious, and hundreds took to the streets of London last weekend to protest.

The decision to ban XL bullies came after a series of attacks by the breed. Last month, two dogs believed to be XL bullies mauled a 52-year-old British man to death. Of seven fatal dog attacks this year, at least three were by XL bullies; last year, six of 10 were. There have been other non-fatal attacks, too, including some whose footage has gone viral.

The attacks prompted the government to announce a ban on the breed.

“The American XL bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month. The breed will now become the first to be banned by the UK since 1991, when it introduced the “Dangerous Dogs Act,” which banned four breeds.

But bully owners don’t agree that their dogs are dangerous and last weekend they took to the streets of London to protest the ban. Bully owners interviewed at the protest likened their bullies to family members.

“I’ve never known a dog so affectionate and soppy,” said one. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK also opposes the ban, arguing that breed-specific bans can be dangerous and calling for case-by-case intervention instead.

If the ban stands, it won’t be easy to carry out.

Thousands of XL bullies are believed to live in the UK, however the country doesn’t recognize them as an official breed, which would make identifying them difficult. Some dog owners worry their dogs could be misidentified as XL bullies and put down.

The government has been vague about the ban’s specifics, although various scenarios are circulating in UK media. In one, the government would force owners to put down their XL bullies. In another, it would require the dogs to be neutered and then muzzled in public.

Let us know what you think!

Is it fair to ban entire dog breeds? Are there dog breeds you would like banned in your country? Can dogs be inherently violent, or is it the owner’s fault?

Email your replies to [email protected] and we’ll feature some of the replies in tomorrow’s newsletter!

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Have you ever seen a bed bug?
No: 77%
Yes: 23%

Yesterday's Question:

Do you have a theory about what happened to the missing Malaysia Flight 370?

Paul: “Someone, something or both was on the plane that the western world did not want in China. High altitude without oxygen eliminates all potential witnesses and perhaps the individual(s) in question. Pilot and co-pilot (maybe) survive to fly the plane elsewhere. Where it is landed, all subject "materials" removed from the plane, partially refueled and then sent back out to crash in an area of "very hard, if ever" to find. A non-event, after a period of time.”

Don: “I worked in aviation for 35 years as an air traffic controller. My theory is that a catastrophic event happened most likely a fire or small explosion. That lead to a depressurization and the autopilot turning off. When the autopilot switched off the aircraft started to gain altitude rapidly. Then one pilot ,the captain most likely, took immediate control of the aircraft and fought for control while the other pilot tried to figure out what was wrong. They reestablished some control and we're working on the original problem not realizing the air was gone. They fell asleep and died of hypoxia meanwhile the aircraft flew until it ran out of fuel”

Neil: “MH370 - pilot suicide, loss of plane was coincidentally impossible to find (I.e. not planned location. There will come a point when even if we find the plane the reason for the crash will still be unknown / wildly speculated.”

Shawn from Bedford, Indiana: “My theory is that the pilot or one of the crew members turned off the oxygen and everyone asphyxiated and died. The plane then crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean and was swallowed up by the ocean.”

Yesterday's Wrap Replies:

Yesterday’s Wrap was about how barnacles may hold the clue to solving the mystery of the missing Malaysia Flight 370.

KQ: “Another outstanding story!! Not sure how France is in charge? LOVE science!”

David: “Okay, so that was one of the most interesting things I've read in a while! But I'm dying to know if Peter explained why the French are keeping things secret???”

Zach: “That is super cool! I hope they get access to older barnacles as well.”

🧠 Final Thoughts

Thank you again for the incredible feedback to our original content. One of the Maxes is currently a few weeks into a month long reporting trip in Europe to bring you much more on-the-ground stories that mainstream media fails to capture. We’ll have a sneak peak of that content later this week.

Until then, happy Tuesday!

—Max and Max