Good Morning Portland! I have excellent news: It's election day! If you've got any ballots laying around, make sure to fill them out possibly with our endorsements, and drop them into a ballot box. It should be another hot one today—morning clouds will dissipate as it heats up in the afternoon. Now, let's get to the news!
The death toll for yesterday's protests in Gaza has climbed 58. Israeli soldiers shot the protestors while Netanyahu and Ivanka Trump celebrated the new American embassy in Jerusalem. Peace is as distant as ever. Oh, and guess who the White House blamed? The victim.
Remember Trump's hardline messaging about taking back economic power from China? It looks like he realized he needs China to negotiate with North Korea, because he has gone back on the threat of some sanctions and tweeted about helping a Chinese company named ZTE that was on the verge of closing. Seems like a pretty big shift from America First, but who's counting?
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018
Trade negotiations are continuing with China. They have been making hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the U.S., for many years. Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2018
The California National Guard has arrived on the border with Mexico—a move Trump called for back in April, when Arizona and Texas fell in line. California's troops will reportedly be working in support roles—not arresting anyone themselves.
The Supreme Court has ruled that you can waste money betting on sports. Soon Vegas might have betting centered on Super Bowl watch parties.
Maybe it's time the Supreme Court focused on overturning Citizens United instead, because money still has an outsized role in politics. In California, that looks like charter schools dumping millions of dollars into the governor's race for candidate Antonio Villaraigosa. But he'll definitely be neutral on education if elected. Yeah, for sure.
Seattle passed a tax on the biggest companies, meant to fund efforts to solve the homeless crisis there. The yearly tax charges the biggest corporations, like Amazon, $275 per employee. It will affect 3 percent of Seattle's businesses and raise $47 million per year.
Amazon will pay about $12-$13 million a year under the tax on big businesses approved today by the Seattle City Council.
For perspective, Jeff Bezos has added an average of $10.6 million to his net worth every hour so far this yearhttps://t.co/IbgAqYjUUQ
— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) May 14, 2018
While it's hot here, it's flooding in Washington. Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for 20 counties in Eastern Washington, three of which are already combatting floods.
Here in town, things are getting crazy for activists of all stripes. Protestor Jeremy Ibarra was found not guilty in a trial last week about his alleged behavior at a protest last June where he was trapped with dozens of others by police and arrested. Now the recently-exonerated activist is suing Portland for false arrest and battery.
Nine labor activists were arrested yesterday during a sit-in at the Volunteers of America headquarters. They were asking for better wages for VOA mental health counselors, who make no more than $11.50 an hour despite having specialized college degrees.
That's all, folks! If you get too hot today, here's a supercut of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze making ice puns to help you cool off. FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!