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Good morning, Portland! (stern cop voice) This is the Portland Mercury. We are declaring today a busy news day. Those who do not read Good Morning, News before noon today will be subject to being uninformed about what the hell is going on in our city.
Okay, here are the headlines.
• On a press call yesterday, federal law enforcement leaders said that federal agents won't be leaving until the "violent" protests outside the federal courthouse end, and urged Portlanders to “join together and ask that this violence comes to an end." (Just to be crystal-clear here, he's talking about violence from protesters, not from federal troops in military-grade uniforms using tear gas and impact munitions.) As of yesterday, federal agents in Portland have made 83 arrests so far this month.
• Hours after that press call, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced he and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty wanted to meet with Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf (that name still makes me LOL, sorry) to discuss a "ceasefire." What comes next is TBD.
Commissioner @JoAnnPDX and I are calling for an immediate meeting with Department of Homeland Security leadership on the ground in Portland and with Acting Secretary @DHS_Wolf to discuss a cease-fire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 28, 2020
• Did you miss the protests over the weekend? Here's a play-by-play of each night, courtesy of the Mercury's on-the-ground team. And here's a write-up on Monday night from the Oregonian (spoiler alert: the large protests and extreme actions from federal officers continued!).
• Attorney General William Barr will testify on federal agents in Portland at a Congressional hearing at 10 am today. Barr is expected to follow the party line and refer to protesters as “violent rioters and anarchists [who] have hijacked legitimate protests."
• Also testifying before Congress today: A National Guard officer who will condemn Donald Trump's now infamous use of tear gas in Washington, DC's Lafayette Square to secure himself a pitiful photo op last month. “From my observation, those demonstrators—our fellow American citizens—were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” the officer is expected to testify. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.” Sounds familiar!
• Let's check in on the COVID-19 situation real quick! Oh, NPR is reporting that a "return to more restrictive shutdowns" is likely necessary to quell the pandemic in the United States. So go ahead, buy a few more puzzles.
• The latest in pandemic fashion: Jeans sales are down as at-home Americans favor leisurewear, and mask technology continues to evolve:
Demand Surges For See-through Face Masks As Pandemic Swells https://t.co/bwWu3TKgQN— NPR Health News (@NPRHealth) July 28, 2020
• A misleading video about hydroxychloroquine—a drug that does not cure COVID-19—has gone viral, thanks to Republican jagoffs sharing it widely on social media. One such jagoff: Donald Trump Jr., who has been penalized by Twitter for the move.
• Once again, the Onion offers better commentary than any newspaper op-ed page in America: