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Good morning, Portland! And welcome to another edition of Tiny Hits of Mostly Terrible News About Both Portland and the World, With Some Fun Stuff Thrown In So You Don't Leave Hopeless.
Here are the headlines.
• A new study from the World Weather Attribution indicates that last month's Pacific Northwest heatwave simply wouldn't have been possible without climate change. If radical steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, the study warns that in the next 50 years, such extreme heat “would go from essentially virtually impossible to relatively commonplace."
• Speaking of which: Yesterday, the statewide recorded death toll from the heatwave rose to 116 lives. That includes an elderly man with disabilities who died inside his Southeast Portland affordable housing complex.
• In case you missed this yesterday:
You may have heard: The campaign to recall Mayor Wheeler is poised to kick off this week. Let's get you caught up on what that entails.https://t.co/w126WTdfQ5— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) July 7, 2021
• It's been one day since Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated inside his home. If you're feeling a bit lost on what this means, here's a quick rundown of who the suspected assassins are, how Haiti is dealing with the fallout, and how the international community is responding.
• We're just a couple weeks out from the start of the summer Olympics, and Tokyo just banned in-person spectators from any events, citing the still-present risk of spreading COVID-19 infections. Japan is seeing a surge in new cases amid a slow vaccine rollout, and the ban on Olympic fans is part of a larger state of emergency there. Let's be honest: Now that Sha'Carri Richardson has been banned for smoking a little pot here in Oregon, who wants to watch the Olympics anyway?
• Do you feel like you've been spending a lot more money lately? At first, I chalked this up to making up for lost time after getting vaccinated—but it turns out we're entering a period of intense inflation, with prices on consumer goods up 5 percent from last year. The most hard-hit commodities include gas, cars, and airfare, but the inflation is also affecting everyday purchases like clothing, fruits and veggies, and medical care.
• Every now and then we get reminders that we don't actually have to live in an overworked capitalist hellscape, and it's simultaneously enticing and devastating:
"Now, research out of Iceland has found that working fewer hours for the same pay led to improved well-being among workers, with no loss in productivity. In fact, in some places, workers were more productive after cutting back their hours."https://t.co/sWnoRW29Bt— Rusted Jake (he/him) (@ewsorg) July 7, 2021
• The delta variant is now officially responsible for more than half of new COVID cases in the United States. Here's some insight on which parts of the country are suffering most from the variant. (Hint: They just happen to be states with lower vaccination rates.)
• Remember what a shitshow Oregonians trying to get unemployment benefits faced last year? It seems that's still pretty much the case, with the Oregon Employment Department failing to meet its goal of reducing phone wait times. The department chalks this problem up to a labor shortage.
• And finally, a happy Tubby hot summer to us all!
We’re all vaxxed! Just in time for a Tubby hot summer ☀️ Who's ready to come out & play pic.twitter.com/AtXTExaCMs— Teletubbies (@TeletubbiesHQ) July 7, 2021