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'!)
• It was another wild weekend for Portland protests with crowds topping off at 4,000 (including the Walls of Moms/Dads/Vets) and plenty of unnecessary munitions and tear gas being fired by the feds at mostly peaceful protesters. Get all the details and great video of all three nights in our Weekend Protest Round-Up!
Federal agents shot me in the face last night. Federal agents shot me in the face last night while I was covering the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland. It should be clear to everyone by now that BIPOC face a higher risk of violence by police than I do. Story in comments. pic.twitter.com/71azvfi4Zk
— TripJ (@TripPersonal) July 27, 2020
• Mayor Ted Wheeler and other city leaders across the nation are demanding for Congress to enact laws that will stop Trump from unilaterally sending in federal officers to places like Portland to "quell" protests.
• Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams went off during a mostly uninformative press conference today laying the blame for violence against protesters on the protesters themselves, saying the feds will not leave Portland until the protests stop, and that demonstrators are ruining "the soul of Portland." (And here I thought the soul of Portland was Voodoo Doughnuts.) Our Blair Stenvick has much more!
Oregon's US Attorney Billy Williams: 23 people arrested at or near courthouse last night. 83 fed arrests total; of those 62 pending criminal cases. Williams says of nightly violence: "It is absolutely destroying the soul of our city."
— Maxine Bernstein (@maxoregonian) July 27, 2020
• Dozens more federal officers are being deployed to Portland to help quell the protests—even though officials now admit that their presence has made the situation exponentially worse.
• Meanwhile, beloved activist organizations Wall of Moms and Don't Shoot PDX are suing the Department of Homeland Security for overstepping their authority, violating freedom of speech, and using excessive force. (All true!)
• Under consideration for an upcoming special session for Oregon legislators are bills that would restrict police use of tear gas and other crowd control methods, and require uniforms that clearly identify the officers in question.
• According to the Oregon Health Authority, after a slight drop in cases yesterday, the state is back up to its average number of infections with 340 new cases today. However there were no additional deaths.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• To the surprise of no one, Republican senators are dead set on cutting the $600 weekly unemployment benefit down to a scant $200, because they suck.
President Trump said he would not talk about what he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on a recent phone call, after a reporter asked whether he brought up reported intelligence that Russia may have paid the Taliban to attack U.S. troops pic.twitter.com/y0ECKUqueS
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 27, 2020
• For all of those who thought that Trump had finally seen the light about the danger of COVID, you've been duped again! "Trump, reverting to form, says ‘governors should be opening up states that they’re not reopening.’"
• Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus. The White House reports that his symptoms are mild, he hasn't had contact with the president, and the “work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted.” Yaaaaaaaaay.
• An experimental COVID vaccine from Moderna will be tested on 30,000 volunteers starting today, though there are other vaccines in contention, and there's no guarantee any of them will work.
• Americans will have the opportunity to pay their last respects to civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis as his body lies in state this week at the capitol in Washington, DC.
Trump said yesterday that it was a media hoax to say mothers were protesting. Here’s how his storm troopers treated a woman protesting. pic.twitter.com/U6crBzDgdg
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) July 27, 2020
• After a national outcry, Sinclair Broadcast Group—which owns 193 TV stations across the country including 12 in Oregon and Portland's own KATU—says it will delay forcing their stations to run an interview with a debunked conspiracy theorist that's trying to push the idea that Dr. Anthony Fauci caused the coronavirus.
• Today in "we can't have anything nice": "Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson officially become citizens of Greece."
• THE WEATHER REPORT: Rejoice for a cooler day tomorrow with a somewhat more reasonable high of 90.
• And finally, you don't have to be a nerd to love this one!