🌊 Truth (Social) Hurts

Update on Israeli hospital raid, Paul Pelosi’s attacker’s bizarre plan, and Autism capital of the world

With "All I Want for Christmas Is You" playing on repeat and Christmas deals flooding your inbox, you know exactly what day it is... the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

As we plan for Thanksgiving, we want to use a slot we often use for ads on a charity instead. 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. If you do, please send us an email at [email protected] with your recommendation.

In today's edition:

  • Update on Israeli hospital raid

  • Paul Pelosi’s attacker’s bizarre plan

  • Autism capital of the world

 🔑 Key Stories

Truth Social in Danger

Truth Social is facing “substantial doubt” about its future

  • Trump founded Truth Social in 2021 and launched it the following year. He has since used it as his primary social media site, issuing statements and communicating with his followers

  • Truth Social intends to merge with a so-called “blank check” company, which exists solely to take another company public

  • But regulatory and legal scrutiny has held up that merger, and per new filings, Truth Social lost $30M over the first six months of this year. If the merger goes through, it will unlock $1B+ in funding; if not, it may fail

ESPN Bet Launches

ESPN Bet, the first ESPN-branded sportsbook, launched Tuesday

  • In 2020, Penn Entertainment – a casino conglomerate – acquired a stake in Barstool Sports. It launched Barstool Sportsbook, but that only gained a 2% share of the US sports betting market

  • This August, Penn sold Barstool and signed a 10-year deal with ESPN to create ESPN Bet, an ESPN-branded sportsbook

  • ESPN Bet went live in 17 states on Tuesday, with Penn converting its existing Barstool Sportsbook platform into ESPN bets

Dig Deeper

  • ESPN Bet now hopes to compete with DraftKings and FanDuel, the US’ largest sportsbooks with a combined 61%+ market share

No Deportations to Rwanda

The UK Supreme Court ruled that the country’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is unlawful

  • The UK has seen a surge in migrants coming to the country on small boats from France. To stop it, in April 2022 the Conservative Party government struck a deal with Rwanda to send the migrants there

  • The plan has faced legal challenges revolving around whether Rwanda is a safe country for migrants

  • On Wednesday, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled the plan illegal because it doesn’t adequately protect migrants. The ruling is a major blow for the UK’s government, which says it is already working on a new plan

Dig Deeper

  • Summing up a major concern, one justice wrote that the plan did not adequately protect migrants from “refoulement,” or being sent back to countries where they could face ill-treatment. “[Non-refoulement] is a core principle of international law, to which the United Kingdom government has repeatedly committed itself on the international stage,” the judge wrote

Al-Shifa Raid: No Militants Found

Israeli troops found neither militants nor hostages during its raid of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital

  • After days of heavy fighting near Al-Shifa, the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, Israeli troops raided it early Wednesday. They said they found Hamas weaponry, uniforms, computers, and radios, but did not find vast quantities of weaponry, Hamas forces, or hostages

  • A military spokesman said the raids on Al-Shifa aren’t over: "This will take time. It is a complex area and there are still lots of civilians around”

  • Hamas and Al-Shifa staff deny any Hamas presence in the hospital; the US and Israel say there is one

Dig Deeper

  • There were no gun fights but Israeli troops made at least two arrests. The troops reportedly only entered a portion of the complex, and it’s unclear if they have invaded any tunnels that allegedly run beneath the hospital

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  4. The Handyman™ - Premium compact face shaver featuring SkinSafe™ technology, a 60-minute runtime, and a 5-minute quick charge option for on-the-go shaving

Dig Deeper

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Myth-understood unicorn: The man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer in October 2022 testified in his federal trial on Tuesday. He told jurors he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume to confront Nancy Pelosi and upload a video of the exchange online

  • Ay flyin’ taxi, I’m walkin’ here! New York City plans to launch electric air taxi service by 2025. On Monday, transportation startup Joby Aviation conducted a demo flight of its flying taxi

  • Crikey, it’s Steve Irwin Day! The world celebrated “Steve Irwin Day” yesterday in honor of the famed Australian “Crocodile Hunter” who was killed by a stingray in 2006

Wildcard

  • Airbiscuit: A cargo jet flying from New York to Belgium turned back mid-flight after a horse broke free in the cargo hold. The air traffic controller arranged for a vet to greet them at the airport

  • Crazy Train: Tennessee police arrested a 40-year-old man for DUI while driving “Santa’s Train” – a motorized lawn mower for children – during a town’s Christmas Tractor Parade

  • Tasty Tulbular: NASA astronauts accidentally dropped a tool bag during an International Space Station spacewalk. The tool bag is now orbiting the Earth and was located over Japan on Wednesday

👇 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

Do you have concerns about ESPN or other major broadcasters promoting sports betting?

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Today's Question:

Per the intro, what is a charity close to your heart?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🌯 Roca Wrap

This city plans to become the world’s first autism-friendly capital.

Dublin is Ireland’s capital and largest city.

Its metro area is home to nearly 2M of the country’s 5M people, and it accounts for over 40% of the Irish economy.

While Dublin is relatively homogenous for a major city – it’s 86% white, versus 54% in London or 45% in New York City or Chicago – its mayor has said he wants to make the city more diverse and accessible for its various groups.

One such group is people with autism.

“In a vibrant and dynamic city known for its rich history and cultural heritage, we envision a Dublin that not only recognizes but actively nurtures the unique abilities and talents of its autistic residents and visitors,” the mayor said this month.

He proceeded to announce a project that will begin in January and spend three years on making Dublin the world’s first “autism-friendly” capital.

While the mayor did not disclose details on what exact steps the city will take, Dublin’s government has said it seeks to address education, healthcare, and social obstacles faced by its autistic residents.

“We are planting a flag in the ground to embark on a journey to create a city where autistic individuals and their families feel welcomed, supported, and fully engaged in every aspect of city life,” the mayor said.

Critics have called the scheme a pointless virtue signal, while autism advocacy groups have celebrated it.

One such group said that regardless of the details, the plan ”sends a valuable message that everyone is valued.” “The positive impact of that sense of belonging, for everyone who lives in Dublin, cannot be underestimated.”

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

In light of the inflation report and other economic data, will the US experience a recession within the next year?
Yes: 51%
No: 49%

Yesterday's Question:

What is the most useful invention from your lifetime?

Patricia: “Cell phone, hands down. Or hands free!"

Ellen from El Paso, Texas: "The first thing that popped into my mind when thinking of an answer to this question is the birth control pill. Women finally had more control over whether or not to have children.”

Allen from Endicott, New York: "Aside from the internet and mobile phones, one of the most useful inventions in my lifetime has been the global positioning system for navigation.  I don't know how I managed with paper maps for so many years before GPS came along.  It would be so hard to go back to paper maps now."

🧠 Intermission

Tonight Roca HQ is celebrating our annual Friends-giving dinner and we have so much to be grateful for! Three years ago, Roca was just three friends who found the news negative, partisan, and divisive so had quit their jobs to create a better way of delivering news. Now we are a team of 11 and 5M readers across our platforms. We wouldn’t be here without you all!

Happy Thursday!

—Max and Max

🌎 Roca Reports

In the last two weeks since we launched our premium newsletter Roca Reports, many of you have emailed us to request the option to get the on-the-ground reporting in The Current rather than a separate Saturday newsletter. Starting this week, we will grant your request and offer a premium section at the bottom of The Current. We hope you enjoy! All parts are located here if you subscribe today and want to catch up.

If there’s a place that exemplifies the political challenges facing modern wealthy countries – whether the US or Germany – it’s Cottbus. 

A small city near Germany’s border with Poland, it was the center of East Germany’s significant coal mining industry. When East and West Germany merged in 1990, Cottbus’ economy contracted by up to 90%. Nearly everything went out of business. 

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