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A photo of the Grandview Fire in Central Oregon yesterday.
A photo of the Grandview Fire in Central Oregon yesterday. Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District

Good morning, Portland! Hey, have you checked out the Mercury's Summer of Slushies yet? If frozen boozy drinks for five bucks are your thing, then I highly recommend it!

And here are the headlines.

• A whopping eight wildfires are currently burning throughout Oregon and Washington, and many Southern and Central Oregonians have been forced to evacuate their homes. Now, the Jack Fire in Central Oregon has grown so big that its smoke is blanketing much of Southern Oregon—and that heavy smoke is actually slowing the spread of fires there! And they say you can't fight fire with fire.

• At a press conference yesterday, health and emergency management officials confirmed that 115 Oregonians died in last month's brutal heatwave, and stressed the need to act quickly to review how that happened, so the state can be better equipped to help people survive the next climate emergency. As Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps put it, "These events are not anomalies or outliers... It's no longer about slowing or stopping the changing climate—it's about adapting to climate change." We're expecting more info on the lives lost later this morning.

• And also, there's this:

• This Thursday, the first-ever Human Rights Commission Event for Oregon Sex Workers is being held in Portland. The commission will ask voters and the Oregon Legislature for full decriminalization of anti-prostitution laws—here's an opinion piece from one of the commission's organizers that explains why that will reduce harm.

• Yet another Republican-backed state bill that strips away voting rights is on its way to passing in Texas—but state Democrats are fighting back. Fifty-one of Texas' 67 state House Democrats left the state yesterday, denying Republican lawmakers the number of present lawmakers needed to pass their bills. This move is similar in function to what Republican lawmakers in Oregon have pulled a few times now. But instead of opposing environmental protections and COVID-19 restrictions, Texas Democrats are using this extreme strategy to protect voting rights. I'll let you decide which group is walking out for the right reasons!

• Some good news for the needle-phobic among us:

• The FDA is requiring Johnson & Johnson to put a new warning label on their COVID vaccines, because the shots have been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. But health experts say that people should still take the J&J vaccine if they have the opportunity, because their chances of getting seriously ill with COVID if unvaccinated are much higher than their risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome if vaccinated.

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• Last week, President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. The order essentially makes the case that certain American companies have grown too large and powerful, and that they need to be broken up—anti-trust, in other words. Here's more on what might happen if Biden's successful with this plan.

• And finally, in "things you never knew you needed to know" news: