🌊 Ukraine Funds Penta-Gone?

Trump off the ballot in another state, university chancellor fired for…what? 😳 and 20 Questions!

2023 has been nothing short of a spectacular year for Roca. Thank you to all of you who took a chance on us this year and have made Roca a part of your day. This year, we went to Ethiopia, Germany, the US-Mexico border, Finland, Punxsutawney, East Palestine, Amish country, the Balkans, and Venezuela to show a fresh side of the most interesting topics and places in the world.

Next year, we want to take you to more interesting places and tell fascinating stories amid what will almost certainly be a chaotic and disturbing election backdrop. Our mission to deliver nonpartisan news is more important than ever. We are grateful for your support and happy New Year’s!

In today's edition:

  • Trump off the ballot in another state

  • University chancellor fired for…what? 😳

  • 20 Questions!

 🔑 Key Stories

Ukraine Funds Penta-gone?

The US announced what it warned may be the final batch of military aid to Ukraine

  • Since Russia’s invasion, the US Congress has approved $113B in aid to Ukraine, $44.2B of which has gone toward military assistance

  • The Pentagon has repeatedly warned that unless Congress approves more aid to Ukraine, it will no longer be able to give Ukraine more military supplies without compromising the US’ combat readiness

  • On Thursday, the US announced $250M in military aid to Ukraine. Pentagon officials warned that this may be the final batch of aid

Investors Pull Out of China

87% of foreign money invested in Chinese stocks this year has already been withdrawn, the Financial Times (FT) reported

  • This year, a series of political and economic factors caused China’s worst economic slowdown in decades

  • Per the FT, since a major property developer failed to make a bond payment in August, triggering fears of a real estate crisis, 87% of foreign money invested in Chinese stocks has been withdrawn

  • China’s benchmark stock index is down 14.18% year to date while the US’ S&P 500 is up 25.2%, the Nasdaq 45.6%, and the Dow 13.79%

15% of Gen Z LGBT

A study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that 15.2% of Gen Z identifies as LGBT

  • Per the study, 5.5% of US adults – 13.9M people – self-identify as LGBT. Of all states and territories, Washington, DC had the highest LGBT share at 14.3%, followed by Oregon (7.8%). Mississippi and West Virginia had the lowest share, both at 4.1%

  • When broken down by age, Gen Z adults – those aged 18 to 24 – had the highest prevalence at 15.2%

  • A Gallup poll released earlier this year claimed that 7.2% of Americans self-identify as LGBTQ+

Maine Disqualifies Trump

Maine’s secretary of state ruled Donald Trump ineligible for the state’s 2024 primary ballot

  • Unlike other states, in Maine, the secretary of state must first determine election disqualification before courts may consider it

  • On Thursday, Maine’s secretary of state made such a determination, claiming that Trump incited an insurrection, violating the 14th Amendment. Maine’s top court will likely rule on the issue next

  • Maine and Colorado have now both disqualified Trump from the 2024 primary election

You Won’t Believe Your Ears

hear.com created the world's first dual-processing hearing aids to give you two times the power and crystal clear hearing

  • How? The secret is cutting-edge German technology, engineered to separate noise and speech to produce unheard-of levels of clarity

  • Experts say it's the biggest upgrade in sound the industry has ever seen. And the best part is these medical-grade devices are nearly invisible, so your friends and family will barely notice

  • Join over 385,000 satisfied customers enjoying features like Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone compatibility, and exceptional, award-winning customer support

  • Hear.com honors all major insurance plans, making accessibility our priority. Discover why Hear.com is the global leader in online hearing solutions. Try the Horizon AX for 45 days, completely risk-free, and step into a world where clarity meets innovation

🍿 Popcorn

ICYMI

  • Oh no, Detroit…: The Detroit Pistons blew a 21-point lead over the Boston Celtics to extend their record-setting losing streak to 28 games

  • Naughty chancellor: The Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents fired UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow for filming online porn videos with his wife, some featuring industry porn stars

  • Party’s over: Seaside Heights, New Jersey demolished Karma nightclub, a popular hangout spot for MTV’s “Jersey Shore” cast. In 2020, the cast considered buying it

Wildcard

  • Menu madness: Ayat, a new Palestinian restaurant in Brooklyn, has faced backlash over its menu which labels its seafood section, “From the river to the sea”

  • 400-lb student sues: A former Wayne State University (Michigan) student and aspiring gym teacher is suing the university for $1M. The man – who weighed 400+ lbs and had diabetes, hypertension, and asthma – had applied to complete his student teaching virtually but the university rejected his request

  • Thank you for your service, McLegend: A 75-year-old woman nicknamed “McLegend” recently celebrated her 53rd year working for McDonald’s in Fort Pierce, Florida 

👇🏻 What do you think?

Today's Poll:

Will you stay up past midnight on New Year's Eve?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today's Question:

See yesterday's results below the Wrap! 

🗣 20 Questions

20 questions logo

What a year it's been. Reflecting on the year, it's hard to believe that the Titanic submersible implosion, East Palestine train derailment, Hollywood strikes, Twitter becoming X, Barbenheimer, and Damar Hamlin collapsing all happened this year.

So today's edition — the final 20 Questions of 2023 — will be a "This or That" edition of 2023's biggest topics and debates. Here’s a link!

.... see you next year.

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

 🌊 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Have you ever ridden an e-scooter?

Yes: 28%
No: 72%

Yesterday's Question:

Yesterday’s questions were related to our Roca Votes Wrap on inclusive language. Do people make too big of a deal out of these issues? Have you encountered inclusive language suggestions? Do they annoy you? What’s a bigger problem, censorship or non-inclusive language?

Emma a “South African living in London”: "I don't use inclusivity language suggestions (didn't actually know they existed) but I think that having them as a manually-selected option is a good way to keep everyone happy. Want to use them, then switch it on. Don't want to use them, then don't and it won't change your words automatically."

Baruch: “People can complain all they want. 0 problem with that. But it’s one of the most 1st world boomer problems I can imagine. Just turn it off if you don’t like it, or use a different. Elon might have a reason to hate it though, I’ve read his tweets he definitely doesn’t proof read or spell check. He is certainly being blocked by woke spell check.”

Bridgett from Boulder, Colorado: "By far censorship is a much motored heinous crime than political correct language which can change with the wind, and never once be a ‘1 size fits all’ solution. So, will authors not have freedom of speech to express the historically accurate terminology without being reprimanded by Microsoft, or to exercise their creative license as they see fit? Heaven forbid there are independent thinkers amongst us! Let's  just cater to the mindless 'sheeple'."

Last Week's 20 Qs Responses:

  1. Who should've been Person of the Year?
    Taylor Swift

    Elon Musk

    Donald Trump

    Volodymyr Zelenskyy

  2. What should've been the word of the year?

    Inflation

    Rizz

    AI

  3. How was your 2023 in one word?

    Good

    Meh

    Great

    Fast

    Sad

  4. How would you describe your outlook for 2024?

    Hopeful

    Positive

    Optimistic

    Great

  5. Do you enjoy election years? Why?

    No, too many lies; from candidates and main stream media

    Yes, to look forward to change, but No because I hate all the commertials on TV

    Yes - Less crappy legislation happens

    Not really, it gets too polarized. People get triggered really easily on both sides

  6. Favorite news story of the year?

    UFOs are real

    The Vegas Sphere may pay for itself in 30 years

    Taylor swift and travis kelsey

    Roca app Season 3!

  7. Least favorite story of the year?

    Hamas/Isreal

    Anything hollywood/politics related

    Anything involving Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, or Pete Davidson

  8. What was the best new restaurant you tried this year?

    The Mona Lisa in Huntington Beach, CA

    Noodle Blvd in Cary, NC

    TJ's catfish & Wings in Arlington TX

  9. Favorite movie you watched this year?

    Barbie

    Oppenheimer

    Elf

  10. Favorite TV show you watched this year?

    Ted Lasso

    The Crown

    The Bear

  11. Your biggest accomplishment this year?

    Moved

    Surviving

    Passed my engineering classes

    Quitting a job that caused me extreme stress

    Most days I managed to smile about something

  12. Give your review of the year 2023

    Missed her ..all movement

    5/10 could be better

    A political disaster

    I'm just happy to be here and loved

  13. Best year in recent history?

    2019

    2023

    2021

    2016

  14. How has your view on AI changed this year?

    Just watch the new Mission Impossible movie - Yikes!

    scary

    More concerned about unplanned consequences

    As an IT professional, it still scares me. I don’t trust it

    Never thought it was a good idea and still don’t

    Positive

  15. What's the best dish you made in 2023?

    Lasagna

    I don't cook.

    Paella

  16. If you could enact one law what would it be?

    Term limits

    Mandatory weekly reading time

    Politicians cant lie to the American people

    Banned Forever: Low wearing pants, No music heard outside of your vehicle

  17. New habit/diet/hobby you tried this year?

    Yoga

    Swing dancing!

    Still waiting husband...

    Carnivore diet

  18. What's the best decision you made this year?

    To buy my car

    Vacation with my son

    Getting ROCA Epic

    To spend more time with my family and not at work

    Live my truth and let go of the rest

  19. What's the worst decision you made this year?

    To join a track class

    ...can't think of one

    Waiting too long for ROCA Epic

    Going to a quack doctor

  20. Any fun Christmas plans?

    Hanging with friends.

    LOTS of family time!

    Quiet football watching

    Doing nothing

🧠 Final Thoughts

That is our final newsletter of 2023. Thank you all for riding with Roca for another year. Your support of our mission means so much to us, and we take our responsibility to provide unbiased news seriously.

We hope you all have wonderful New Year celebrations. See you in 2024!

—Max and Max