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'!)
• In an effort to get Oregon's coronavirus surge under control, Gov. Kate Brown has once again tightened her previous statewide rules: Restaurants, bars, gyms, and venues (including churches) must now limit their occupancy to 100 people, which is down from 250; Phase 2 bars and restaurants will have an earlier closing time; strenuous exercisers in gyms must now wear masks while doing so; and starting Friday, kids older than 5 must wear masks in indoor public spaces (malls, schools) and outdoors when staying six feet apart is impossible. Also potentially on the table? Limiting tourism from other states.
• Today Portland City Council voted unanimously to stop all cooperation between Portland Police and the federal agents who have been attacking and harassing local demonstrators on a nightly basis. While the idea has certainly been suggested by Mayor Wheeler, the vote by City Council makes it binding city policy. The council also unanimously voted to discipline officers who try to target and/or intimidate members of the press and legal observers. Our Alex Zielinski has more on this very important vote!
Also, Hardesty said she was appalled after recently speaking with PPB Chief Lovell and learning that, “he did not believe that media had the right to stand and record and document police activity."
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) July 22, 2020
• Speaking of targeting and harassing journalists, DO NOT MISS this astoundingly powerful essay from Courthouse News' Karina Brown who describes the emotional costs of being harassed by Portland Police. I crap you not: This is the MUST READ of the day.
• Last night, federal officers gassed and attacked an ever-growing crowd (estimated between 1,000-2,000 participants) outside the downtown Federal Courthouse, including demonstrators from the now nationally famous Wall of Moms and PDXDadPod who valiantly defended their ground from Trump's interlopers. (And pssst! Mayor Ted Wheeler is scheduled to speak to demonstrators tonight at 9 pm. WOW.) Riot Ribs, the group of volunteers who are feeding anyone free food downtown at night during the demonstrations, say that federal officers specifically targeted them last night, confiscating and pepper spraying their donated food, thereby making them unusable.
These scary moms are who @realDonaldTrump is sending his secret police after. They've tear gassed the Wall of Moms and other protesters last several nights. (📹: @MrOlmos)
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 22, 2020
• Meanwhile employees of the Department of Homeland Security are reportedly alarmed and disturbed by their cohorts' behavior in Portland, saying the officers' violent and over-the-top behavior could do long-term damage to their organization.
• Nike has announced that major layoffs throughout their company is about to begin, but aren't revealing how many will lose their jobs... which... is not a good sign. Portland's own Wieden+Kennedy say they are laying off 150 employees.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• As we all fully expected following what's been happening in Portland, Trump is now sending "hundreds" of his secret police (AKA unidentified federal officers) into Chicago and Albuquerque to quell the "radical left" and punish these Democrat-led cities.
BREAKING: DOJ will provide $61 million in grants to hire hundreds of officers for Operation Legend.
They're literally using your tax dollars to pay their secret police force—on the same day unemployment relief checks were downgraded to $400/month.https://t.co/8YWu7i8QAP
— Jesse Damiani (@JesseDamiani) July 22, 2020
• With a new promising COVID vaccine on the horizon, the White House is granting a $2 billion contract to Pfizer to produce 600 million doses. The first 100 million could be manufactured by December.
• Trump has stepped up his battle with China by ordering the country's consulate in Houston to be closed within 72 hours. In response, China is vowing retaliation.
• Republican piece of shit Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida made a weak-ass apology today to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for calling her a "fucking bitch" outside the Capitol on Monday. AOC was not having it.
Republican responds to calling a colleague “disgusting” & a “f—ing b*tch” w/ “I cannot apologize for my passion” and blaming others.
I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept.
Yoho is refusing responsibility. https://t.co/BKzJa7KUBW
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 22, 2020
• Kim Kardashian is asking for compassion and empathy for her husband Kanye West who is bipolar and went on yet another offensive, annoying rant this past weekend.
• You need some laughs, right? Then get your tickets now for the I, Anonymous livestream show featuring funny-as-all-get-out comedians including Arlo Weierhauser, Shane Torres, and David Gborie coming at you Wednesday, July 29!
• THE WEATHER REPORT: Partial clouds and lots of sun for the next two days with highs in the mid-70s.
• And finally, a cow singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" is pure comedy gold—EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.