REAL QUICK: Your court date is delayed today, your inspiring civic engagement aims stymied. The power outage that began over the weekend is still affecting the business of government in our fair city. The Multnomah County Courthouse, Portland City Hall and the Portland Building are all closed.

In a driving rain, thousands gathered in Johannesburg this morning to remember the life of Nelson Mandela. President Obama featured prominently in the ceremony (and shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro). Something like 2,500 foreign journalists looked on.

General Motors taps a longtime employee and engineer as its new CEO, and a brittle ceiling shatters.

The much-discussed "Volcker Rule"—part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform law—is expected to be approved today. It would curb the risky behavior that helped shove us into a recession. Of course, don't expect the big banks to blithely accept the regulation. As the NYT notes: "Wall Street is expected to scour the rule for loopholes and consider whether to challenge it in court."

Intrigue! The massive drilling machine digging a highway tunnel up in Seattle has been ground to a halt by a mystery object. My guess is that Mother Nature's a real being with a real face and that face is impervious to drills and buried, for some reason, beneath Seattle. If it's human or familiarly animal—something we can comprehend—we will soon find it twisted in rage and disappointment. Just a hunch.

In New Jersey, a man looking to snag warmer clothes (or a sleeping spot) from one of those donation drop-off boxes became stuck in the door and died.

Los Angeles deputies trying to stymie a federal investigation went so far as to fake a prisoner's release and re-admit him under a false name—an attempt to "hide" the man, who was tipping off investigators. It didn't work, and now that tidbit is only one of the insane allegations that have cropped up in the indictment yesterday of 18 sheriff's department employees.

Some of our most-august writers are on a list of more than 500 authors demanding authorities curtail the massive spying programs revealed by Edward Snowden. Which writer's warnings about the erosion of our civil liberties are you most likely to heed? Personally, I'd like to hear Norton Juster's thoughts. '

Mike Tyson isn't allowed in the UK. Good on them.

Fresh hope members of the band Pussy Riot could be released from Russian prison.

Pretty much over the cold. Portland winter returns Thursday.


If you've never lived in the Midwest or East Coast or any place with a real and savage winter, here's a reminder of how much worse things can be.