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In local news:
• While the pandemic certainly isn’t over, vaccination rates are rising and masks are lowering—and the Mercury’s Spring Reawakening guide is here! Whether you’re looking for some new restaurants to try, seeking guidance on how to manage your reopening anxiety, or still scoping out ways to avoid the crowds this summer, we’ve got something in the guide for you.
The pandemic isn’t over, but we’re inching toward a more open Portland. The Mercury is here to help you make sense of what just happened, and chart a new path forward, with our new Spring Reawakening guide. https://t.co/Q8FbTN4dXL
— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) May 24, 2021
• Four unhoused Portlanders are suing the City of Portland for discarding private property confiscated during sweeps of homeless camps. The lawsuit claims that the city isn’t following its own rules of allowing unhoused people 30 days to collect their confiscated belongings.
• The Portland Police Bureau is one of many Oregon law enforcement agencies using software to copy and search the entire contents of recovered phones. An investigation by OPB found that PPB has used phone searches to investigate a wide array of crimes from attempted murder to bike theft for years, often without any policies in place to regulate the digital searches.
Newly reviewed records by OPB show:
-Oregon police are spending more on cellphone scraping tech than even some much larger departments.
-Warrants remain very broad, despite court cases saying that violates 4A.
-People often give up civil rights freely https://t.co/7mziYsOWag
— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) May 24, 2021
• If you want to get boozy while supporting a good cause, check out Gado Gado! During the month of May, the Indonesian-Chinese restaurant is donating a portion of proceeds from their featured cocktails to Asian Mental Health Collective, a mental health nonprofit for the AAPI community.
In national news:
• Scientists are warning of a more severe fire season than last year because of record dry soil and vegetation in the western U.S. Plus, a “climate change-fueled megadrought of more than 20 years” compounds the already dangerous fire conditions.
• Speaking of climate change continuing to worsen natural disasters, Biden announced that he is increasing U.S. emergency spending to $1 billion to help communities prepare for hurricanes and other emergency weather events. The president also announced a new effort to expand climate research at NASA.
Yearbook photos of at least 80 female students at a Florida high school had been edited to cover more of their chests. The school district superintendent said on Monday that "there has never been an intent to embarrass or shame any student.” https://t.co/UHNHRXb1tO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2021
• The U.S. Postal Service is preparing to retire its fleet of mail carrying trucks and are starting to imagine what the “Next Generation Delivery Vehicle” will look like. The USPS wants electric or zero-emissions vehicles—but switching to pricier electric trucks requires the U.S. House to pass an $8 billion public funding bill to finance the fleet.
• Yesterday, a Belarus fighter jet forced down a Ryanair plane and seized passenger Roman Protasevich, a journalist who has written critically of the Belarus government. Today, the E.U. imposed sectoral sanctions on Belarus and barred E.U. airlines from flying over the country’s airspace. Protasevich is still detained in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Roman Protasevich, 26, drew worldwide attention on Sunday as a Belarusian fighter jet was used to intercept a commercial flight. Here's why the Belarusian government is so fixated on the dissident journalist. https://t.co/4hpM1Ql6Qx
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 24, 2021
• Internationally: 21 runners died when freezing rain and high winds coincided with a 62-mile ultramarathon in northwestern China on Saturday. Government officials launched a 1,200 person rescue effort and 151 runners were confirmed safe on Sunday morning.
• Plus, a total lunar eclipse is coinciding with a supermoon on Wednesday! The Pacific Northwest should have a pretty good view of the event, but there are also some livestreams you can watch.