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Three people sit in front of a large sign reading cancel student debt
Activists placed signs urging Biden to cancel student debt in front of the White House earlier this week. Biden cancelled $500 million in student debt today. Paul Morigi / Getty

In local news:

• The last of our Pride essays have arrived! Make sure to check out Elanor Broker’s piece on the experience of watching a wave of anti-Trans legislation flood the country from inside Oregon’s progressive bubble, as well as Dahlia Belle’s guide—and revision—of LGBTQ+ labels.

• An Oregon man pled guilty to stealing $3.5 million in Coronavirus financial aid under the CARES Act. The man used several fraudulent business names and other people’s identities to apply for financial support, which he then invested in stocks. By the time his accounts were seized, his investments were worth over $11 million.

• Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer sent a letter to Governor Brown yesterday offering to secure federal funding for the Rose Quarter Interstate 5 expansion project—but only if the project includes the highly contested freeway caps. Albina Vision Trust, an organization that has been advocating for the inclusion of the freeway covers, is “delighted” by the support, while the Oregon Department of Transportation says including the caps is more complicated than just finding the funding.

• The Proud Boys are holding a “voter registration” drive in Oregon City this afternoon. As of 4 pm, counter protesters have showed up and Oregon City police have declared a riot:

• City leaders in Lake Oswego and Tigard have asked residents to reduce their use of water due to a chlorine shortage, which is used in small doses to prevent bacteria growth in drinking water. The shortage—which is occurring all over the state—is due to a power outage at a Westlake chemical facility, which is Oregon’s primary chlorine provider. Oregon’s water is currently safe to drink and residents will be notified if the status of the drinking water changes.

• It’s Friday, so you know what time it is: PDX POP QUIZ time! Step right up and prove your superior intellect (or at least your ability to remember the news from this week)!

In national news:

• President Biden has cancelled nearly $3 billion in student loan debt since taking office. That means that Biden has cancelled… *squints at calculator* 0.17 percent of Americans' student loan debt. Woohoo!

• For all you jet setters out there: The European Union has opened its borders to Americans. But, each individual country can set its own regulations when it comes to tourists, so make sure you do your research before buying your plane ticket.

• With the help of secondhand shopping apps like Depop, the youth have turned thrifting into a $28 billion industry:

• The coelacanth—a “people-sized fish” from dinosaur times—can live for 100 years, scientists have found. The fish has been nicknamed the “living-fossil” because it grows—and moves—so slowly. Feel free to toss that fun fact around at your next party!

Support The Portland Mercury

• From the makers of HUMP! and SPLIFF comes a new film fest that features short documentaries made by YOU! It's called SCOOP! and you can find out more about it here.

• And finally, my thoughts go out to the HBO intern who accidentally sent out an integration test email to a portion of HBO Max subscribers. It happens to the best of us.