We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Wildfires cause poor air quality in Napa County, California.
Wildfires cause poor air quality in Napa County, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty images

Good morning, Portland! In the wise words of songstress Billie Eilish, speaking at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) last night: "You don't need me to tell you things are a mess."

But, nevertheless, here are the headlines!

• Protesters set their sights on a new (but also old) target last night: the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Southwest Portland. Because they were targeting federal property, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers came out and brutalized the crowd. Portland police were there, too, declaring the protest a riot and arresting two people.

• In case you missed it: On Tuesday night, protesters targeted a decidedly less-despised institution than ICE: The Multnomah Building, which houses the county sheriff's office but is also a hub for social services. County leaders weren't happy about the protesters' decision.

• Even as fires rage in our own state, Oregon is reportedly sending firefighters to help combat the wildfires in California, where massive blazes are forcing people up and down the state to evacuate their homes.

• Did you know Oregon is giving one-time $500 checks to people who are still waiting for their unemployment benefits to kick in? If you qualify, you should apply for the relief right now.

In addition to Billie Eilish, last night's DNC Google Hangout saw speeches from Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and VP nominee Kamala Harris—but the most effective speech of the night came from former President Barack Obama, who is kind of good at this public speaking stuff. Wednesday's speakers continued with the unofficial theme of this convention: Vote for Biden/Harris if you don't want to slide into a full-blown authoritarian state. We'll hear from Joe Biden himself tonight.

• Asked yesterday about whether he supports or condemns unhinged conspiracy group Q Anon, Donald Trump declined to give a straightforward answer, and instead pivoted the conversation to his new favorite subject: Portland protests.

• Remember Build the Wall, that racist crowdfund campaign to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico? Turns out that was just a moneymaking scheme from a few Trump cronies, including Steve Bannon. Bannon and others now face fraud charges from the Department of Justice.

• The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $600 million in damages to Flint residents who had a lead-tainted water supply—which, honestly, seems a little light to me, but it's something.

Support The Portland Mercury

• Who doesn't love a survey?