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'!)
• According to the Oregon Health Authority, the state gained 674 new positive coronavirus cases over the weekend (which tracks with the roughly 200 new cases per day we've seen over the past week or so), and three additional deaths. The number of global coronavirus deaths passed 500,000 Sunday.
• Related: Gov. Kate Brown has extended her mandatory face mask rule from seven counties to the entire state in preparation for the upcoming July 4 holiday. The rule kicks in starting Wednesday.
Brown made the order in light of growing Covid-19 cases and this weekend's July 4 holiday. https://t.co/uh8KEemrY0— Portland Biz Journal (@PDXBIZJournal) June 29, 2020
• ICYMI, the Oregon legislature voted to extend the ban on residential and commercial evictions through the end of September.
• Someone was arrested yesterday after a backpack exploded (?!) at a Southeast Morrison bus shelter. No one was injured at the scene. Police are still piecing together the story.
• In other "Hmmm... that sounds suspicious" news: A team of 20 cop cars along with a SERT squad and crisis negotiation team roped off an area near Sellwood Park yesterday, and details are scant. Police say officers responded to a vagrant in an empty residence call, and one officer reportedly fired their weapon, though they aren't saying if the person they were confronting was armed or what caused such an overwhelming police response. We're keeping our eyes on this one.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Some much needed good news: The majority-conservative Supreme Court has overturned a Louisiana abortion law that used burdensome, unnecessary rules to effectively regulate abortion clinics out of existence.
• In "White Supremacist-in-Chief" news: Trump retweeted a video Sunday of an old white guy driving a Trump-flag-emblazoned golf cart in a Florida retirement community chanting "white power." Sure, it's deleted now, whatever that means.
Reddit is cracking down on harassment & hate speech. Way too little and way too late. https://t.co/HDTR4TxMRL— kottke.org (@kottke) June 29, 2020
• This morning, Iran issued an arrest warrant for our idiot president, and asked Interpol to help them enforce it. The charges (murder and terrorism) are related to the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Interpol immediately said it wasn't going to consider the request, not only because it's against their own rules about intervening in political/military activities, but because if we refuse to arrest him, how the hell are they supposed to?
• Now if Iran had asked Russia to do something about it, it'd probably be done already. Trump is very clear about how much he never wants to disappoint them—even when they do something as egregious as, say, putting bounties on the heads of American and British soldiers. Oh wait... they actually did that, and our idiot president was told about this back in March. And not only has he not done anything (aside from advocate for Russia's re-admittance into G7), he still hasn't even done the bare minimum of acknowledging it, much less condemning it.
• Ken and Karen were busy this weekend....
Armed couple wields AR-15 rifle or other weapon of war at #BLM demonstrators in Central West End section of St. Louis. Woman points handgun as they walk by the house en route to the Mayor.
This is an unprovoked display of lethal force. #StLouis #mccloskey pic.twitter.com/2YZHwHuXfa
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) June 29, 2020
• In "the least one can do" news: Twitch.tv banned Trump's official Twitch channel, albeit temporarily. Apparently he rebroadcast his 2016 campaign kickoff (remember that? where he descended golden stairs and declared Mexico was full of rapists?) and that video was in violation of Twitch's hateful conduct rules.
• Remdesivir, one of the only known effective treatments for COVID-19, had its consumer price revealed by drug maker Gilead Sciences (fun fact: Donald Rumsfeld was once chairman of its board) who—despite remdesivir's development being taxpayer funded—is charging insurance companies about $2,500-3,000 per treatment course. CEO Dan O'Day tried to explain that the price looks like it does because "We're in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in a pandemic."
• In other "Capitalist Monoliths are Bad" news: Amazon wants to say "thank you" to its warehouse, delivery, Whole Foods, and Flex workers with a one-time $500 bonus for working during the pandemic. Part-time employees will get a $250 bonus. Reminder: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' personal net worth is $161.1 billion.
• If you were enjoying the way COVID-19 exposed the absolute inanity of "data caps" from internet service providers, you'll probably be tickled pink to see almost all major ISPs who had suspended the practice in March have decided to resume artificially limiting the bandwidth you're (over-)paying for starting July 1.
• Just in case you thought this horrifying nationwide increase in COVID-19 infections was happening too slowly for your apocalypse-hungry tastes, starting July 1, American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity.
• And finally, people have argued this for years now, but this Chris has always been Best Chris.
I don’t know who needs to see it but here are some pictures of Chris Pine walking out of an indie bookstore with a GIANT bag of books while also wearing a mask. pic.twitter.com/qbKSAVCcN7
— Nerd Girl Says (@Rachael_Conrad) June 29, 2020