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Mayor Wheeler gets gassed by feds; jeered by protesters.
Mayor Wheeler gets gassed by feds; jeered by protesters. Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Now you talkin' like you made a change? The more you talk, the more things sound the same. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

• Yesterday marked the 55th night of protests in Portland, and it started off a HOT MESS. Mayor Ted Wheeler joined a crowd of thousands at the Federal Courthouse and attempted to decry the federal officers that have been brutalizing the city he runs, but was overwhelmed (as expected) by a crowd who has not forgotten that he runs the police bureau that has been brutalizing and gassing protesters and journalists for two months.

The mayor stayed on the front line with the protesters through two rounds of gassing (the same kind of CS gas he allowed Portland Police to use on demonstrators just a few weeks ago), and answered questions from people in the crowd.

Here he is speaking to the Mercury's Alex Zielinski. He continued answering questions within the crowd until he left at midnight.



The gassing continued, and Portland Police eventually declared the event a riot—though they left the heavy handed tactics to federal officers. Our Alex Zielinski will have more on last night's demonstration later this morning, so stay tuned!

• Yesterday Portland City Council unanimously voted to stop the Portland Police from cooperating with 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!

• In other city politics news, the Mercury has published our endorsement for the August special election that will the fill the council seat left vacated by the late Nick Fish, and we're encouraging you to vote for candidate Dan Ryan. But be sure to read why that's still a messy choice.

• 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.

• After a week delay, Portland is ready to distribute $114 million in CARES Act money to renters, small businesses, the houseless, and more for COVID-related relief.

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:

• The White House has backed off from insisting that a payroll tax cut be included in the Senate's $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package—a point that was causing lots of tension between the administration and the GOP.

• Meanwhile after a plateau lasting four months, unemployment claims are spiking again on a national scale—just in time for those $600 federal payouts to run out at the end of the week.

• 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.

• A whopping 915,000 new cases of coronavirus popped up across America in the last two weeks, which is more than the US reported in the entire month of June.

• Joe Biden has called Trump "America's first racist president." Well... he's half right.

• Calling all Swifties! Taylor Swift is releasing her new surprise album titled "Folklore" tomorrow! Prepare to squeal.

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• 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!

• Okay then! Weather! WEATHER! WEATHER!: Another somewhat cool-ish day with a high of a very moderate 76 degrees.

• And finally, I would pay to see this Broadway play! If they had them anymore.... :(