Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• Another big COVID day for Oregon: The state's Health Authority reports 380 new positive cases, and a worrying 7 additional deaths. Reminder that Gov. Kate Brown has limited all indoor gatherings (including stupid birthday parties) to less than 10 people, and you better be masking up outdoors if you think you'll be finding yourself within six feet of other people.
• Unsurprisingly, and just like before, as coronavirus cases surge in Oregon, communities of color are continuing to be hardest hit.
• In some much better COVID news (FINALLY!), the Oregon legislature has approved more than $200 million in COVID-related funding for small businesses, those still waiting on unemployment checks, and financial help for music & arts venues, as well as people of color. Check out our story for more details.
• More info on the federal officer who shot a peaceful Portland protester in the head with a munition on Saturday night, seriously wounding him: The fed was a member of the US Marshals Service Special Operations Group, a tactical organization that may be taking their orders from outside Portland (*stares hard in the direction of Trump*).
• Protesters demonstrated outside Portland's police union building last night—an action which was once again declared a "riot" by the cops. And while tear gas was threatened but not used, one officer slapped a phone out of the hand of a protester videotaping the proceedings, thereby violating their civil rights, and—hey. Did you know IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL for you video the cops? THE MORE YOU KNOW.
Mayor Ted Wheeler has long positioned himself as a leader in the resistance to Donald Trump’s administration. But, in the face of nightly protests he’s eager to put an end to, Wheeler’s critiques of Trump’s heavy-handed orders have softened. What gives? https://t.co/rldu1ha6KE— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) July 14, 2020
• DO NOT MISS the Mercury's Alex Zielinski's terrific new Hall Monitor column that sharply points out Mayor Ted Wheeler's resistance to protecting peaceful protesters against Portland Police and federal officers. Here's a snippet:
Wheeler told reporters that he didn’t have a problem with Trump deploying federal police to Portland to defend government buildings.
“What I have a problem with is them leaving [federal property] and going out onto the streets of this community and escalating an already tense situation, like they did the other night,” he said.
But that’s a clunky place to draw the line, given that federal officers were standing on federal property when they shot LaBella. It’s still unclear where Wheeler will draw the line when it comes to assaults on Portlanders.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• After facing a challenge in court, the Trump administration has backpedaled on their order to make international students change schools or be stripped of their visas if their colleges go entirely online this fall.
• Beloved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is reportedly back in the hospital to treat a possible infection, BUT! BUT! BUT! She is resting comfortably and should be released in a few days, which is good because my heart can't take much more of this.
• HOPEFUL NEWS (for those who hate me for always delivering bad news): Researchers say that a new experimental COVID vaccine is getting a positive response in human trial studies according to the New England Journal of Medicine—a development that Dr. Anthony Fauci calls "good news any way you slice it."
• Meanwhile Florida's COVID count continues to explode: Health officials announced 132 deaths in one day, shattering the record they had just last week. Today they also reported—prepare yourself—4,273 newly confirmed coronavirus cases.
• Also very alarming, especially if you're a Texan: "Texas officials are putting refrigerated morgue trucks on standby."
• A Michigan deputy shot and killed a man who stabbed a convenience store customer after he was challenged for not wearing a mask inside.
• Oh, and just in case anyone is interested, the director of the CDC says that if everyone in America would just wear their masks like they're supposed to, the coronavirus could be ‘under control’ within two months.
Ghislaine Maxwell, the one-time girlfriend and alleged accomplice of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, pleaded not guilty at a bail hearing on charges that she helped recruit, groom and ultimately abuse minors as young as 14 https://t.co/ZeegtYP1FN
— CNN (@CNN) July 14, 2020
• Last night the Supreme Court ruled it was okay for the federal government to carry out its first execution since 2003. Death row inmate Daniel Lee was convicted of killing three people over 20 years ago, and here were his chilling last words: "You're killing an innocent man."
• WEATHER TIME: Lots of sun and very few clouds over the next three days with highs in the low-to-mid 80s. That's great MASK-WEARING weather!
• And finally, OH! So this is what mummies sound like.