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'!)
• On the 77th day of Portland protests, demonstrators returned to the Multnomah County Justice Center following an evening of no major violence or arrests. Unfortunately that was short lived, after cops declared what they generously called "a riot" last night, making multiple arrests and using tear gas (which is supposed to be banned unless it's a life threatening situation).
• And look who's protesting now! A large group of demonstrators in Bend, Oregon who turned out yesterday to hit the brakes on an ICE bus for 10 solid hours. Border Patrol was attempting to abscond with two men who had reportedly lived in the area for over a decade, and ended up pepper spraying protesters before eventually retreating, pulling the detainees and staff off the bus. Good job, people of Bend!
• More good justice news: After incredible, ongoing pressure from students, Portland State University is finally disarming their campus police force more than two years after a Black man, Jason Washington, was shot and killed by campus officers. Our Blair Stenvick has the details.
• By the way, did you see this tweet that's been making the rounds and is admittedly disturbing due to Trump's continued efforts to stop mail-in voting?
Has anyone else seen or confirmed USPS removing mail boxes in Portland this week? This pic from an observer in NE Portland via fb. @alex_zee @tessriski @EvertonBailey @PDXzane @TheRealCoryElia pic.twitter.com/trCoDBZtiK— Steve 🎇 (@Intersection911) August 13, 2020
Our Blair Stenvick contacted the USPS and was told that, due to a declining volume of mail, some boxes are being moved, but only from areas where there's a surplus. They also added:
"I know there’s been concern about the election coming up in November and whether [the postal service] can handle it—we certainly believe we can. We’re used to carrying large volumes of mail… our people work directly with the election offices and Secretary of State in each state."
Sooooo... maybe that makes you feel better? Kinda? Keep reading before making your final determination.
• An audit released today by the Portland City Auditor’s office discovered that local officers and prosecutors who are assigned to monitor privately-funded zones—like graffiti removal or extra security details—are not getting enough oversight. Our Alex Zielinski has more!
• The state death count is now closing in on 400 as COVID claimed the lives of 8 additional people in the last 24 hours bringing the toll to 383. As for new positive cases, 294 cases were reported.
• Big Blazers game tonight, gang! In fact the estimable Dame Lillard is calling their face-off against the Brooklyn Nets a "must win" situation, and our Arthur Bradford has all the details in his fact-filled preview.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• He admitted it, and that doesn't make me feel any better: Today Trump confessed that he's denying funds to the US Postal Service so they won't be able to process mail-in voting for this November's election.
President Trump admitted in an interview he was opposed to additional funding for the U.S. Postal Service in order to prevent increased voting by mail — and then attempted to walk back the remark hours later. https://t.co/7x5BzgID0f— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) August 13, 2020
• Related, and oh and nothing to be alarmed at here: "The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election."
• Meanwhile a federal judge has demanded that President Trump and his lying GOP cronies must provide evidence of mail-in voter fraud in a Pennsylvania case by Friday or admit that everything they're saying is bullshit (which it most certainly is).
• Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is calling for a nationwide mask mandate, saying that if all Americans wore them we could save 40,000 lives in the next three months. Wait... is this the kind of actual COVID plan that Trump should've called for months ago?
WATCH: After his first coronavirus briefing with @kamalaharris, @joebiden gives a new specific request: Every governor should mandate masks.— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 13, 2020
"When I get occasionally confronted by a person in public about wearing a mask, I say 'Look, this is America. Be a patriot.'" pic.twitter.com/I50f2jSxnp
• Racist Trump's racist Department of Justice is accusing Yale of illegally discriminating against Asian American and white students.
• In "much-needed Dolly Parton news": In an interview, C&W goddess Dolly Parton has come out in support of Black Lives Matter, saying simply, "Of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” You tell 'em, Dolly.
• Want to support the Mercury AND look like a million bucks? Buy our newest "RESIST" T-shirt created by local artist Sloane Leong that comes in black, white, yellow, and teal and is perfect for anyone who wants to protest in style!
• THE WEATHER REPORT: 86 degrees and wicked sunny tomorrow, but look out! We'll be hitting triple digits this weekend!
• And finally, watch this video... I swear you will not regret it.
Nothing can prepare you for the journey you’re about to take through this video.pic.twitter.com/Ljo5YIqtFf— Leon Langford (@MasonLLL) August 11, 2020