Protesters surround the Justice Center in Portland, Thursday, June 10.
Protesters surround the Justice Center in Portland, Thursday, June 10. Blair Stenvick

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• Our idiot president is very upset at how cleanly and positively Seattle organizers have effectively taken over city hall and are running their autonomous zone. He has threatened both Seattle's Mayor Jenny Durkan, and Washington's Governor Jay Inslee with military intervention if they don't "take back" their city. Inslee responded with "A man who is totally incapable of governing should stay out of Washington state's business," while Durkan's response was even briefer: "Go back to your bunker." The Stranger's Rich Smith has more.

• Portland tried to make its own autonomous zone last night with zip-ties and some extra fencing outside the the federal courthouse. It didn't last long. Last night was the third relatively mellow day of demonstrations in Portland, meaning police only fired munitions into the crowd a few times. This change coincides with a decrease in police presence during these downtown protests. Think it's related?

• Today, Portland City Council is voting to pass its annual budget, a document that still includes a hefty allocation for the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Yesterday, hundreds of members of the public called to defund and diminish the police budget during a council hearing, and several more will speak today before the afternoon vote. Here, get up to speed!

• City Council also met with Oregon lawmakers this morning to hammer out the details on state legislation related to police reform. Here's what's on the table.

• The newly renovated Lynch Park in Portland has been renamed "Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park" in honor of the Black activist and historian.

• FYI: Oregon's state unemployment office has a dashboard that is updating the number of applications filed and how many have been processed. The tally as of today (according to them): 486,700 unemployment claims have been filed since March 15, 97 percent have been processed, 13,341 left to go.

• Multnomah County is still expected to enter into Phase 1 reopening tomorrow if given the go by the governor. Though there has been a spike of infections in the county, Multnomah County Health Officer Jennifer Vines said there will be “no perfect time” to reopen, and called the decision “a matter of tradeoffs and balances.” As of today, positive cases of coronavirus in Oregon have increased by 178 since yesterday (a new high). Multnomah County is just behind Clackamas which is leading the pack.

The spike is probably because of increased testing, but just in case... WEAR YA MASK, WASH YA HANDS.


• Our idiot president threw a big ol' pre-emptive tantrum at the very idea that military bases named after traitorous Confederate generals might no longer be named for those who actively sought to secede from the Union over their perceived "right" to own other human beings. And then the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee adopted a bipartisan amendment this morning to create a commission whose sole duty is to rename Army installations bearing Confederate names and remove any and all remaining Confederate symbols.

• In other "maybe the military is finally realizing they don't have to play the flunky for this idiot" news, Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Mark Milley publicly apologized for his part in the Lafayette Park photo-op, telling graduating officers at the National Defense University it was "a mistake" and "I should not have been there."

• Whoopsy:

• Joe Biden, in an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Wednesday night, directly addressed worries that should Trump lose, he would refuse to leave the White House, saying he has a plan for that: "I am absolutely convinced they (the military) will escort him from the White House with great dispatch."

• Our idiot president will make a return to campaigning, with his first rally since the COVID-19 crisis scheduled to take place in Tulsa, OK (site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the razing of Black Wall Street) on June 19th (Juneteenth, the date Union soldiers told Texas slaves about the Emancipation Proclamation), with a speech reportedly written by Stephen Miller (a known white nationalist and creator of the immigration policy that put babies in literal cages).

• Following in IBM's footsteps, both Microsoft and Amazon have barred police organizations from buying and using their facial-recognition technologies. Both their bans are conditional, with Amazon setting a flat one-year ban, while Microsoft's ban will last "until we have a national law in place, grounded in human rights, that will govern this technology."

NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from all its events and properties, stating that the flag "runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our fans." There's been the expected crying and diaper-filling from some race fans, but most seem pleased to see this bare minimum of efforts undertaken. So far only one driver, a truck racer named Ray Ciccarrelli, has quit NASCAR in response.

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