RocaNews - 🌊 Match Point, Australia


January 7, 2022

What happens when a company rises to a $3T valuation? Some people get very, very rich. Apple's CEO Tim Cook took home $98.7M in total compensation in 2021, and Warren Buffett's 5% Apple stake has earned him $120B. Starting to feel less amazing about my $37.50 fantasy football winnings...

Happy Friday! Post-holiday weeks always seem longer, but there's a prize at the end of this one: 20 Questions. Send answers to

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Key Stories

Novak's Crisis Continues


  • World men's tennis #1 Novak Djokovic is being detained in Australia
  • Djokovic was visiting to participate in the Australian Open. The apparently unvaxxed athlete was granted a medical exemption for the tournament's vax requirements, sparking criticism that he was receiving unfairly lax treatment
  • Upon arrival in Australia Wednesday, however, Djokovic was denied entry and placed in a hotel that doubles as an immigration detention center. On Monday, a court will rule on deporting him
  • The deputy PM suggested Djokovic lied to gain his exemption but is not "above the laws"

Djokovic's mother has said that Australia is "keeping him as a prisoner." Many in his native country Serbia are livid, including the country's PM who called for the end of "the harassment of the world's best tennis player."

Record Flight Disruptions Continue

  • On Thursday, airlines canceled 1,000+ flights for the twelfth straight day
  • A combination of quarantining and bad weather has created one of the worst travel periods in years
  • Some companies have been canceling flights weeks in advance to give passengers time to rebook; others have been offering bonuses to try to get workers to skip their off days
  • In total, 24,000+ flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve, making for a turbulent start to 2022

Airlines face the perfect storm of record Covid cases and bad winter weather. In the US, which is now recording 600k+ Covid cases daily, millions of people are supposed to be in isolation. Flying should improve when the cases let up.

Crisis in Kazakhstan

  • Russia sent troops to lead an intervention in Kazakhstan, where dozens of protesters and police have died in violent anti-government protests
  • Kazakhstan is an authoritarian, oil-rich country located between Russia, China, and Afghanistan. It was part of the USSR and does not have free expression or elections
  • An increase in fuel prices sparked rallies that have since become wider anti-government protests and violent. Police have arrested 2,000+ people. Early Friday morning, Kazakh president gave troops the shoot-to-kill order to put down the uprising.
  • Russia deployed its troops in response to Kazakhstan's ruler asking a Russia-led military organization for help restoring order

The unrest is being felt as far away as...the blockchain. Kazakhstan accounts for 18% of global bitcoin mining, making it the biggest hub after the United States. The government has shut down the internet, though, slashing the bitcoin network's computing power.

GameStop Sells NFTs

  • Video game company GameStop is launching a NFT marketplace in 2022
  • It's part of a push by the company to pivot from in-store video game sales to a digital marketplace. GameStop's revenue has declined for years
  • The company is also raising hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in NFT content creators and gaming companies
  • GameStop had suffered for years before amateur traders organized on Reddit and sent its stock soaring more than 700% last year. People have been waiting to see what its new chairman, the founder of pet store Chewy, would do to modernize the company

NFT marketplaces are big business. The largest, OpenSea, saw sales increase from $96.7M in February 2021 to $3.4B in August. The company is now worth $13B.

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Would you rather sleep on a waterbed or an air mattress?
Air mattress

Today's Question:
Just 20 Qs!

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's answers below 20Q!

 Popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • Former President Trump will launch his social media app TRUTH Social on February 21, according to a new App Store listing
  • Golden Globes go incognito: The Golden Globes will not be livestreamed or telecast this year. The awards show will be a private event
  • Grab the popcorn: Worldwide box office sales rose 78% in 2021 to $21.4B. The numbers are still well below the pre-pandemic 2019 mark
  • The New York Times is buying The Athletic for $550M. The sports news subscription site with 1.2M subs will keep a separate domain
  • Fresca... shaken, not stirred: Coca-Cola is teaming up with major liquor producer Constellation Brands to offer Fresca canned cocktails
  • Bentley reported its second consecutive year of record sales! The Volkswagen-owned luxury carmaker sold 14,569 vehicles in 2021
  • Ex-New York Times columnist Nick Kristof quit his job in June to run for governor in Oregon. State officials just told him he can't run
  • A judge had ordered a UK extremist to read classic literature while on probation. The prisoner now says he "enjoyed Shakespeare more than [Jane] Austen"
  • Secretary of cutting: Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he lost 90 pounds in 6 months after being "pounds away" from 300. He looks almost unrecognizable
  • O real estate! After a real estate frenzy in late 2021, Canada's largest city Toronto has just 3,200 homes left for sale to start 2022
Missed a Wrap this week? We've got you covered! Find them here

Roca 20 Questions!


It's been nearly a month since our last round of 20 questions, and boy are we glad to see you!

That's not even a joke – we've missed reading your answers and have been counting down the hours until this moment. So please, fill up our inboxes, and give us something to read this weekend. 

For those of you who have forgotten, answer the below questions (as many as you'd like) and send replies to We will include highlights each day next week!

1. What's something crazy that's happened to you that people have trouble believing is true?

2. What's something funny to say to the person next to you waiting in line for the bathroom?

3. How do you feel about people who bite their nails?

4. What's one feature you would want in a RocaNews app?

5. What app do you enjoy the most?

6. What's a moment that didn't stand out at the time but ended up being tremendously significant?

7. Will attitudes toward Covid change once the current omicron wave subsides? 

8. What's a part of your culture you are proud of?

9. What's a part of your culture you are NOT proud of?

10. Best Seinfeld character OUTSIDE of the big 4?

11. What is the most quintessentially American retail chain?

12. What should the voting age be?

13. What should the drinking age be?

14. What should the speed limit be on an empty, 4-lane highway?

15. What's your best coping tool?

16. Most underrated pizza topping?

17. What will the 4 most popular sports be in the US in 2050?

18. Are you a spender or a saver?

19. Favorite team uniform in sports?

20. Your general attitude towards snow?

Send your answers to! Have a great weekend!

think Games

Unscramble the names of these famous board games. Candy Land is too sacred of a game to include here.
  1. RYSRO
  4. SKIR
Find out the answer(s) at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Which would you rather have as a pet? 

Hamster: 34.3%
Goldfish: 65.7%

Yesterday's Question:

Who is your favorite all-time pet? What made it so special?

First of all, we got some really cute pet pics. Might need to do another photo series soon.

Brenna from Scottsdale: "Jack an Australian Shepard/poodle before poodle mixes were a thing! He was the fuzziest little spaz. One of those dogs that could read people."

Greg: "I had a pet rock I was very fond of. He was so easy to take care of. The relationship crumbled when I caught him skipping by the lake with someone else."

General Feedback:

Raina from Houston: "First a comment.. didn’t love the title of today’s newsletter. 'Pope vs. Pets'… The Pope isn’t against pets by any means. I mean the man’s papal name is Francis as in Saint Francis of Assisi the patron saint of pets and animals. The Pope as you wrote is speaking out against people who choose pets over children. So a more appropriate title would be 'Pope vs. People' or 'Pope vs. selfishness that modern culture is normalizing.'"

David from Nashville, on the rebuilding of Notre Dame: "The cathedral has been a relevant religious and cultural site for hundreds of years. To remove all this on a whim seems very irreverent and crass."
Games Answer(s):
1) Sorry 2) Monopoly 3) Scrabble 4) Risk

Final Thoughts 

Happy Friday, Riders. We're honored that you decided to kick off your 2022 news consumption with us. If you're new to Roca, give it 4 weeks: After that, we guarantee your blood pressure will be better than it's ever been.

We hope you all avoid the 'cron and have great weekends. 

-Max and Max
Thanks for reading! Enjoy the weekend!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney

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Everything's connected.

Monday, January 17, 2022

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Former Ambassador to Haiti Said of President: “Put Him Aside”

Monday, January 17, 2022

Four months later, Jovenel Moïse was assassinated and replaced with a US-backed prime minister, fueling suspicion of American involvement. MOST READ I Spent 20 Years Covering America's Secretive

Your Monday Briefing: Djokovic leaves Australia

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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Sunday, January 16, 2022

If your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy — I have some good news if you're getting into that state through exercise. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

🧠 Let’s talk about exercise and anxiety

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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🗣 Activision employees speak out

Sunday, January 16, 2022

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WEEKEND READER: Hospitals’ COVID Secrets

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Lax oversight and liability shields are allowing hospitals to escape scrutiny for their pandemic mistakes. The Daily Poster WEEKEND READER: Hospitals' COVID Secrets By Joel Warner – 16 Jan 2022 –

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Sunday, January 16, 2022

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