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GOOD MORNING PORTLAND! I'm Kelly, your shiny new reporter here at the Merc, freshly minted from University of Oregon's journalism school then whipped into alt-weekly fighting shape by Eugene Weekly. If you have any news, good or bad (probably bad), send me your tips to Now that introductions are out of the way, LET'S GET TO THE NEWS.

The Austin bomber who blew himself up as police closed in to make an arrest made a 25 minute long video confessing to the bombings before he died, though he didn't explain why he targeted his victims. Austin's interim police chief Brian Manley called it "the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his life that led him to this point." Not exactly how you'd expect a police chief to describe a domestic terrorist, but so long as that terrorist is white, he really can't be that bad of a guy.

Mark Zuckerberg has finally ended his silence on the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and apologized. Well, he didn't quite apologize, but he did pushed some of the blame onto third party apps. Facebook employees are reportedly wondering if this is how MySpace went down. No wonder everyone is ready to #DeleteFacebook. I've just gotta say, Zucks to Zuck.

By some miracle, it seems our government will continue to function. Sort of sad that that's an achievement at this point, but who's counting? The $1.3 trillion spending bill includes $1.6 billion for a border wall, an extra $78 billion for the military industrial complex, and tweaks to the tax bill (because this seems to be the only bill Republicans can pass this year). It needs to pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown. Wait, do you hear something? Kind of like a low moan slowly morphing into a scream? Oh, right, it's just our country's ballooning debt crying out for relief. We'd better cut some more taxes and raise spending—what's the worst that could happen?


Several large national magazines are now for sale as publisher Merideth bales on the magazines that came bundled in with a buyout of Time Inc. in November. It sure is sad to see the decline in print journalism. Hey guys? Please pick up our newspapers!

Today in international blunders, we have President Mango Mussolini's $50 billion in tariffs against China. The tariffs are a penalty for "theft of technology and trade secrets," but we all know it's just to feed Trump's ego and burning desire for a trade war.

That could be it. Or maybe he's just looking for more opportunities to say the word "China."

More happily, 101 out of 110 Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped last month have been released by their captors. The girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram and released through negotiations via back channels.

Here in Oregon, we can expect some typically rainy springtime weather—with a low of 36° and a high of 48°. But since we had a solid 2 days of sunshine, you better get down to that waterfront and take some selfies with some cherry blossoms.

A proposal to ban assault weapons unless they're registered with police is in the Oregon Legislature. Folks who already own those guns may even be required to hand them over to police. If we listen to the children demanding school safety in the face of constant threats and violence, maybe it will pass. But NRA republicans are already fighting the proposal.

In a push for development, City Council voted 4-0 yesterday in favor of tax breaks for developers. To get the break, a developer has to make at least 20 percent of their project's units available for lower-income renters. The tax cut now goes to the county commission for approval.

If you're planning on attending March for our Lives this weekend to demand gun control, you can get a free ride from Lyft to get there.

Dude, Hamilton is coming to town! Aw, you don't have tickets? Me neither. Instead, enjoy this curated list of alternative Hamiltons, courtesy of the Mercury staff.

And finally, did you know that Bengal tigers CHUFF when they're happy? This dude treats them like friendly dogs and they just love on him. There's no better way to start the day than with a lazy chuffing tiger.