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'!)
In local news:
• Our story about a protest inside a Portland jail over lax COVID-19 policies has been updated with some disturbing new details—including this harrowing bit:
"On Sunday, several men in Dorm 11 had asked corrections officers why their dorm had been placed under lockdown, and requested COVID-19 tests for the dorm. John told Maher that officers ignored their requests, which frustrated the inmates. On Sunday evening, after one inmate asked officers to speak with a sergeant about receiving a test, an officer threatened to send him to solitary confinement for not being quiet. When the man continued to request a test, John said two officers approached the man’s bed, threw him on the ground, and handcuffed him. Then, an officer used a taser on the man’s lower back.
Maher said John told her, 'I've never heard a man scream like that… I was scared for him.'"
• An estimated 11 percent of renter households in Oregon are currently behind on their rent, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. And if Oregon lawmakers don't find a way to cover that debt, it's going to eventually cost the state over $3 billion in increased social services. Consider that another reason to cancel rent due during the pandemic—on top of the ethical argument that it's just the fucking right thing to do.
• The Portland Bureau of Transportation recently unveiled its plans to revamp a section of SE Hawthorne—and those plans don't include a bike lane, to the intense chagrin of the city's local bike advocates. BikePortland has more.
• After a slow-down thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, college applications in Oregon appear to be trending upward again:
.@uoregon says it has received a record number of freshman applications for the upcoming fall term. @OregonState is also reporting a higher number of applications this year compared to the same time last year. https://t.co/TRKN6j8ani
— Meerah Powell (@meerahpowell) February 10, 2021
In national news:
• A new study from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms what experts have been saying for a few weeks now: Wearing a tight-fitting mask, or double-masking, can significantly increase your protection from contracting COVID-19. (I've been double-masking on trips to the grocery store lately, and I've gotta say, knowing there's an extra layer of protection there feels great! But I guess that makes me a useless pawn of the government...)
• It's Day Two of the Senate impeachment trial against Donald Trump, and Democratic impeachment managers are laying out their case against the former president. The main point of their opening argument: "The evidence will show you that [Trump] assembled, inflamed and incited his followers to descend upon the Capitol to 'stop the steal,' to block Vice President Pence and Congress from finalizing his opponent's election victory over him,'" as Rep. Jamie Raskin put it. (You can also watch the whole thing here, if you want.)
Whoa: Eugene Goodman ran into Mitt Romney in the hallway and told him to turn around and get to safety, as the mob entered the building, in new footage.
Romney was going to run DIRECTLY into the rioters pic.twitter.com/0PX5LlxyXo
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 10, 2021
• President Joe Biden has announced economic sanctions against the Myanmar military, after the country was taken over by a military coup.
• Prosecutors in Georgia have launched a criminal investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn the state's election results—including a now-infamous phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump asked Raffensperger to "find" to votes necessary to reverse Biden's win.
And just for fun:
• Fact: You are both creative and stoned. Therefore, you should definitely dream up a weed-inspired short film for SPLIFF—America's favorite film festival made by and for the stoned! The deadline for submissions is March 5, so grab your phone and a bong and get filming!
• Finally, as relevant as ever: