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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! So I guess the fortune teller's right. Should've seen just what was there and not some holy light. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
• On day 56 of the nightly protests in Portland, federal officers once again journeyed far past courthouse boundaries to gas and fire munitions at crowds of mostly peaceful demonstrators, pushing at least two blocks into city (not federal) property. Around 2,000 Portlanders (including the nationally famous Wall of Moms) showed up for the huge demonstration which kicked off with speeches from the NAACP reminding everyone to stay focused on the original message of the protests: "Black Lives Matter." Later in the evening, small fires were lit near the courthouse and fireworks were shot at the building, which eventually led to repeated munitions fire from the feds. Then at around 1:30 am, the invading federal forces pushed into downtown Portland streets where they released enormous clouds of tear gas. In fact it was so thick, protesters couldn't tell when officers eventually retreated back into the federal buildings.
Portland crowd singing “hands up please don’t shoot me” tonight pic.twitter.com/G90EKJttL2— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) July 24, 2020
Federal officers dispersed using lots of tear gas pic.twitter.com/uGEqA9PMWl— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) July 24, 2020
• Related: Yesterday a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order barring federal cops from targeting, threatening, or using force against journalists and legal observers. (The Mercury is one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit brought by the ACLU, btw.) The feds didn't seem very impressed by the order.
Feds approaching and just got shot in hand trying to film. Don’t think that TRO worked pic.twitter.com/L2kIEZPDWw— Rebecca Ellis (@Rjaellis) July 24, 2020
• President Trump, in an interview with Fox News' resident fawning dumb-butt Sean Hannity, tried to dunk on Mayor Ted Wheeler, saying he made "a fool" of himself during his tear-gassy visit to the protests on Wednesday night. Surprise! It didn't work.
• Two federal inspector generals say they plan on investigating how the Justice Department and Homeland Security agents used force and detained protesters in Portland and Washington, DC.
• City officials (including Commissioner and Transportation Bureau Chief Chloe Eudaly) have ordered the feds to move the fencing from in front of the Federal Courthouse because it is blocking a bike lane and creating a hazard.
• If you ever fear for the future state of journalism, check out this Alex Zielinski interview of Eddy Binford-Ross, the editor of a Salem high school newspaper who regularly attends and does excellent reporting on the Portland protests. A really inspiring and fun read!
• Don't miss top-notch local photographer Celeste Noche's great photo essay of a night with Riot Ribs, serving free food to protesters and the homeless while dodging munitions and tear gas from the feds.
• Reminder that TODAY is the day Gov. Kate Brown's new more restrictive mask rules kick in, wherein children over 5 are ordered to wear masks in indoor public areas (like schools and malls). Meanwhile adults have been ordered to mask up while strenuously exercising in gyms, and rules for restaurants and bars are also tightening.
• Meanwhile in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee also issued tighter restrictions throughout the state, shutting down indoor service at bars, enforcing stricter rules for restaurants, prohibiting wedding receptions, and more.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Even in places around the globe where the coronavirus was thought to be under control, experts are beginning to worry as new cases continue to surge.
NPR found that the vast majority of researchers believe the coronavirus will persist at some level for a long time in places like the U.S. and Europe — and until there's an effective vaccine in widespread use, it won't be possible to achieve herd immunity. https://t.co/01lPMdrA7Z— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) July 24, 2020
• The temporary $600 federal unemployment benefit is ending next week, and of course the GOP doesn't want to extend it, which is delaying the Republican's proposed $1 trillion stimulus package.
• First he moved the National Republican Convention from North Carolina to COVID-surging Florida, and now Trump is cancelling the convention's public events entirely after most people refused to attend... because... you know... they didn't want to die.
• Thanks to Trump and the GOP's constant defamation and obstruction of Dr. Anthony Fauci's efforts to get America's coronavirus crisis under control, the doctor and his family have been receiving "serious threats" against their lives.
• In your "alarming, but not at all surprising" headline of the day: "Parents in a county with one of Georgia's highest coronavirus rates are protesting to get children back in school."
• After the Trump Administration ordered a Chinese consulate in Houston to be closed within 72 hours (saying it was a hotspot for spying), China has punched back, ordering the US to shut down its consulate in Chengdu.
“ I am here to show my parents that I am their daughter, and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men” pic.twitter.com/UzqE9D1pmZ— Natalie Montelongo (@natimontelongo) July 23, 2020
• Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago has ordered two Christopher Columbus statues removed from city parks.
• Taylor Swift's new surprise "Folklore" album is out if you need something other than the horrible state of the world to think about... AND YOU DO.
• Okay, and what about all this WEATHER: Partly cloudy with a high of 76 today, but the sun comes roaring back this weekend with highs reaching nearly 100 by Monday!
• And finally, can someone please send this kid to the Portland protests?!?
The force is absolutely adorable with this little one... pic.twitter.com/0fL1EHFDgw— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 24, 2020