RocaNews - 🌊 PTO: Pope Time Off

June 13, 2022

Huge welcome to all of our new subscribers! The growth of the Roca community over the last few months has been nothing short of inspiring. It appears that there are many of us who believe the news today is terrible. So let's keep making Big News sweat. Ride the Wave, and happy Lobster Day. 

In today's edition:

  • Pope Francis calling it quits?
  • eBay's sneaky ivory trade
  • Hawaii's great unifier
Sign up for the Roca Current →

 Key Stories

US Gas Prices Reach Average $5

As of Saturday, average US gas prices are over $5 per gallon — the highest since 2008

  • California currently has the highest average prices at $6.43/gallon; Georgia has the lowest at $4.48/gallon. Prices exceed $4 in every state (a gallon is 3.8 liters)
  • Gas prices typically peak in summer, when travel increases and demand for oil is higher. This year, the highest inflation in decades and the war in Ukraine are driving prices even higher
  • Prices in the US are low compared to some other countries. A gallon of gas costs $6.76 in Canada, $8.36 in the UK, and $10.87 in Norway
Dig Deeper
  • In early June, after months of lobbying by the Biden administration, OPEC+, a group of some of the world's largest oil exporters, agreed to increase oil production. That may reduce prices, however JPMorgan recently predicted the average US gallon of gas could hit $6.20 by August

Senators Agree on Gun Control

US senators reached a bipartisan gun control deal

  • The agreement, announced on Sunday, has the support of at least 10 Republicans, which ensures the bill has the 60 votes needed to pass
  • The bill will offer states money for passing “red flag” laws, which block those deemed dangerous by a judge from legally buying a firearm. The bill also increases funding for mental health programs, school security, and expanded background checks
  • If passed, the bill will be the largest gun control effort since 1994. While senators have agreed to the framework, it still needs to be written and approved
Dig Deeper
  • While the bill doesn't go as far as gun control advocates would like, it follows decades of lawmakers consistently failing to agree on gun control terms. The last major effort was in 2013, after the Sandy Hook massacre, however that bill failed to secure the necessary votes

Pope Francis 

Speculation is growing that Pope Francis, 85, will soon retire

  • Popes rarely resign: Only 6 have done so, among them the prior pope — Benedict XVI — in 2013. Some think his retirement may have set a new precedent
  • This weekend, Pope Francis canceled an upcoming trip to Africa. He faces declining health and is currently wheelchair-bound following knee surgery
  • Francis also announced that he will visit the tomb of Pope Celestine V, the last pope to voluntarily resign before Pope Benedict. People are reading it as another sign that Francis plans to retire

US Ends Traveler Testing Mandate

The US ended its requirement that all international travelers receive a negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before entering

  • The rule applied to all travelers, regardless of nationality or vaccination status
  • Airlines and tourism groups had been aggressively lobbying for the change. They blamed the requirement for impeding the revival of international air travel and tourism
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the requirement is “not currently necessary,” although the US health secretary said the government “will not hesitate to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement, if needed later”
Dig Deeper
  • Last week, 40+ mayors – from Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, and elsewhere – asked the Biden administration to cut the requirement, saying it was hurting their cities' economies. A travel business group recently estimated that lifting the requirement could generate an additional $9B in spending this year
popcorn Popcorn
  • Florida man plays hockey: The Tampa Bay Lightning are heading back to the Stanley Cup finals for a chance to win their 3rd Cup in a row
  • Baby, no: Justin Bieber revealed that he’s been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which has left the right side of his face paralyzed
  • Atta boy, Tiger! Forbes declared Tiger Woods a billionaire on Friday, making him the 3rd athlete to have this distinction

  • Da da da, I’m rebrandin’ it: A rebranded McDonald’s is reopening in Russia shortly after the Golden Arches decided to leave the country
  • Size does matter: A new flea-sized robot developed by Northwestern University researchers can walk easily on the edge of a coin
  • Thousands of elephant ivory items, listed under pseudonyms like "bovine bone," have been sold on eBay since it was banned on the site

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Are you scared of airplane turbulence?


Today's Question:

Where are you from? What’s a true stereotype and a false stereotype about it?  

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's results below the Wrap!

 Roca Wrap

Today's Wrap takes us to the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1881, where King Kalākaua is headed on one of the greatest voyages in history...

Was Kalākaua’s trip the greatest vacation of all time or a nation-destroying mistake?

In 1881, David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua – better known as King Kalākaua – set off on a round-the-world journey. He was no stranger to travel – in 1874, he became the first world leader to receive a state dinner at the White House – but this was a groundbreaking trip. It would last 10 months and make him the first monarch to circumnavigate the globe. 

Kalākaua said his mission was to find more contract laborers for his islands, as well as to generate more awareness of the Kingdom of Hawaii, then an independent country. His critics said it was a ploy for him to see the world. 

He and 2 friends set out in January 1881. The first stop was California, followed by 3 months in East Asia. After visiting India he headed to Egypt, followed by a summer in Europe, during which he visited Spain, Austria, England (twice), Paris (twice), and Portugal. Next was the US, where he crossed by train before sailing back to Hawaii. 

Kalākaua met the greatest leaders of the era in each place he visited: The emperor of Japan, the king of Siam (Thailand), the ruler of Egypt – who personally showed him the pyramids – Queen Victoria of England, the king of Portugal, and US President Chester Arthur. In many of these places, he negotiated deals for cheap foreign laborers to move to Hawaii. 

Yet while he was gone, rumors swirled: Some thought he was simply taking a long vacation, yet others thought he was trying to sell the Hawaiian islands. 

Within weeks of his departing, newspapers had reported that a Hawaiian diplomat was in Germany, finalizing the terms of a sale. Those rumors persisted through the trip, causing a year of anxiety among the US, which demanded first right for acquiring Hawaii. 

But did the trip pay off?

In the 30 years after the trip, at least 16,000 Portuguese laborers migrated to Hawaii, as did thousands more from China and Japan. The trip generated more awareness of the kingdom’s existence. A meeting Kalākaua had with Thomas Edison set the precedent for the electrification of Hawaii – beginning with the royal palace.

Yet many saw the trip as a waste of money – particularly after Kalākaua, so impressed by the British monarchy, dramatically increased spending on Hawaiian royal activities. With the kingdom’s finances deteriorating through the late 1880s, in part because of the trip and resulting costs, Kalākaua lost most of his power in 1887. 

6 years later, in 1893, the US helped orchestrate the overthrow of what remained of the Hawaiian monarchy, and in 1898, the United States officially claimed Hawaii. 

17 years after his great voyage, Kalākaua’s kingdom had ceased to exist.  

If you have thoughts, let us know at!
Future Wrap ideas or requests? Let us know!

 Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Do you double dip in communal salsa with friends?
Yes: 28.1%
No: 71.9%

Yesterday's Question:

Just 20 Questions!

Today's Clue:

I sit on a bluff, a breeze at my back, overlooking where my work used to float 
Last Week's Clues

Day 1 clue: Divided, but known for equality
Day 2 clue: How do you make a jam in the summer without any berries?
Day 3 clue: A Scandinavian phonetic toga party
Day 4 clue: A bad golfer looks better in a Double Windsor

Only 1 person has submitted the correct answer to last week's Treasure Hunt. We will continue with daily clues until at least 2 more people get it right. Good luck. 

You get 1 guess of the mystery location. Submit it by sending a Google Street View screenshot as a reply to one of our newsletters!

 Final Thoughts

We hope everyone had great weekends! We're going to keep making some changes to the newsletter as we read all of your feedback. If there are certain parts of the email that you do or do not like, please email us and let us know. We try to respond to all emails, but even if we do not, please be sure that we are reading and listening. 

We hope you have a great day, and thanks for getting your news from Roca.

- Max and Max

Spread the Wave!

Share The Current with friends, and win free swag! Some are secrets, some are awesome Roca gear.

Let's make this wave a tsunami, and share away!

Copy and send your referral link to others:
PS - You've brought 56 friends to The Current so far.
Want more Roca? Find us on:
Instagram: @RideTheNews and @RideTheBench
TikTok: @RocaNews

 Interested in partnering with us? Fill out this form to get in touch!

This email was sent to you
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
RocaNews · See more online at: · · For additional inquiries, contact 20005 · USA

Older messages

🌊 Roca Friday 20 Questions

Friday, June 10, 2022

"Death, Taxes, and Roca Friday 20 Questions." - Sir Benjamin Franklin. We are mixing it up with 20 Questions this week, introducing a new version... June 10, 2022 Happy Friday, Roca Riders.

🌊 The Dollar General

Thursday, June 9, 2022

The FBI is investigating the influential retired general John Allen over illegal lobbyingAllen formerly oversaw all NATO forces in Afghanistan... June 9, 2022 "America is staring down a summer of

🌊 Peak Inflation?

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

There are mixed signals on inflation, which is at multi-decade highs in many countries. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said... June 8, 2022 2 events on this day in history changed the

🌊 There Will Be Boris

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a vote that would have removed him from office. The vote was within Johnson's Conservative Party, some members... June 7, 2022 Your treasure hunt detective work

It Is Big Wave Season Apparently!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Thank you for all that you do. The Roca Wave is washing up on every shore thanks to your hustle. That mystery item we talked about? En Route to you now, you legend. Grab your reward here: https://

As Zulily promotes 'going out of business sale,' longtime employees reflect on retailer's impact

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Breaking News from GeekWire | View in browser BREAKING NEWS A message on Zulily's website this weekend confirms that the online retailer is closing its doors, the latest stage in the

Bitcoin Breaks $44,000 | Miners Race For New Hardware

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Options action points to $50000. ADVERTISEMENT Forbes START INVESTING • Newsletters • MyForbes Nina Bambysheva Senior Reporter, Forbes Money & Markets Follow me on Twitter and Steven

How to be an 'Uncommon Thinker': What we learned profiling six people solving big problems

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Nordstrom names new security exec | Bezos Earth Fund's latest pledge ADVERTISEMENT GeekWire SPONSOR MESSAGE: Calgary's thriving tech ecosystem offers more than just opportunity: See why Calgary

Guest Newsletter: Five Books

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Five Books features in-depth author interviews recommending five books on a theme Guest Newsletter: Five Books By Sylvia Bishop • 9 Dec 2023 View in browser View in browser Five Books features in-depth

Deadlines and Debasement

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Columns and commentary on news, politics, business, and technology from the Intelligencer team. Intelligencer Weekend Reader Required Reading for Political Compulsives 1. America's White

YOU LOVE TO SEE IT: Farewell, Methane

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Plus, organizers take on non-union automakers, an automatic voter registration program expands to the prison system, and a “Lithium Valley” bonanza bodes well for a clean-energy future. YOU LOVE TO SEE

Weekend Briefing No. 513

Saturday, December 9, 2023

A historic moment for CRISPR. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

24 gifts that’ll last forever

Saturday, December 9, 2023

(Or extremely close) ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

Your new crossword for Saturday Dec 09 ✏️

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Happy Saturday, crossword fans! We have six new puzzles teed up for you this week. Play the latest Vox crossword right here, and find all of our new crosswords from the previous week in one place.

☕ Soft landing

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The first CRISPR gene-editing therapy is here... December 09, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop Morning Brew PRESENTED BY Ray-Ban Meta Good morning. Fun fact: For most people living in the US, you'