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Good morning, Portland! Despite the summery temps of the past weekend, we're headed into another 'May showers' kind of week. (Take that, drought!) Today will be rainy in the mid-50s.
-The authoritarian president of Belarus sent a fighter jet to intercept a European airliner Sunday and order an emergency landing to seize a journalist aboard who’s written critically of the Belarus government. The decision received swift condemnation by international leaders, and the airline has apologized to passengers for the traumatic layover.
-A volcanic eruption killed 15 and buried hundreds of homes in the eastern Congo Sunday. A horrific description of the lava, from Reuters: “At some points [the lava] was three storeys high, engulfing even large buildings and sending smoke into the grey morning sky.”
-Two feel-good data points: The United States is seeing fewer than 30,000 COVID-19 cases a day for the first time since June 2020, and COVID deaths are as low as they’ve been since last summer. And: Nearly 50 percent of Americans have received at least one COVID vaccine shot. Get up to speed on the US’ COVID outlook here.
-One guess here: Systemic poverty exacerbated by a global pandemic?
-Portland hotel magnate/ex-ambassador to the EU Gordon "quid pro quo" Sondland is back in the spotlight, suing former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and the US government for $1.8 million to compensate for legal fees incurred during the 2019 House impeachment probe.
-Sunday saw a march in Minneapolis to commemorate the year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, led by Floyd’s family and friends. More events are expected to take place in Minneapolis and across the US as we reach the actual anniversary of his murder, May 25.
-Portland held a similar march to memorialized Floyd Saturday, led by the group that organized many of the early marches for racial justice in June 2020. Here’s a thread capturing the demonstration’s highlights:
On Saturday evening, about 100 folks met up at Revolution Hall for a familiar scene: a rally and march in memory of George Floyd and others killed by police violence in the past year.
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) May 23, 2021
-A Portland cop named Colby Marrs shot a man early Saturday after he allegedly drove towards officers in a stolen truck. The unnamed driver was taken to the hospital with what PPB described as “non-life threatening gunshot injuries.” This is the second officer shooting of a member of the public in 2021.
-A far-right activist who knocked a woman out cold during a May 1, 2019 brawl outside of the former Cider Riot bar has pled guilty to three charges related to the assault and riot—in exchange for five years probation and several months’ jail time. The plea deal, reached Friday, is the third forged by county prosecutors with far-right rioters arrested for the May Day ambush.
-All vaccinated Oregonians 18 and older are now eligible to win $1 million through the Oregon Lottery—or one of 36 $10,000 prizes. The state’s hoping for its pro-vax incentive plan to increase vaccination rates up to 40 percent. Winners will be announced June 28.
-Multnomah County submitted its vaccine equity plan Friday, one of the requirements for the county to move into a “Lower Risk” COVID-19 designation, and county officials are nudging the state to expedite the approval process. (We’ll know if the state’s on board Tuesday).
-Portland City Commissioners are dissing a new plan announced by the mayor’s office to increase the number of houseless sweeps it conducts across the city, as the pandemic nears its end. WW has the goss.
-The Mercury’s Blair Stenvick spoke to Portland photographer Ivan McClellan about his series on Black cowboys. Give it a read:
Portland Photographer Showcases Black Cowboys in the Rodeo Capital of the World
(photos by Ivan McClellan)https://t.co/DUebWstR3v pic.twitter.com/9RQL9IfXiA
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) May 21, 2021