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A billboard thermometer reads an unofficial 119F on Columbia Ave in North Portland during the citys historic June heatwave.
A billboard thermometer reads an unofficial 119F on Columbia Ave in North Portland during the city's historic June heatwave. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND / SIPA USA

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

• There are several reasons why Portland's record-breaking heatwave in June might have been so deadly., according to a report published Wednesday by Multnomah County. Officials believe the heatwave caused such devastation due to residents' general lack of preparedness for summer weather and a reluctance to visit crowded indoor cooling shelters during a pandemic. Read more insights from the report here.

• Portland Public Schools, the state's largest school district, will require all employees—including teachers—to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this coming school year. It's the first Oregon district to enact such a policy.

• Big news for a Portland landmark:

• It's been almost a year since hundreds of Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer members brought weapons to downtown Portland and brawled with anti-fascists, as police stood by and did nothing. Now, far-right extremists are planning another trip to downtown Portland this Sunday—if you plan to be downtown that day, please stay safe!

In national news:

• A dispatch from Missouri, courtesy of the AP: "Many overwhelmed hospitals, with no beds to offer, are putting critically ill COVID-19 patients on planes, helicopters and ambulances and sending them hundreds of miles to far-flung states for treatment. The surge in the delta variant of the virus, combined with low vaccination rates, has pushed hospitals to the brink in many states and resulted in a desperate scramble to find beds for patients."

• Well, this is a start:

• Now that Kabul has fallen and the Taliban has control of Afghanistan, what do they plan to do with their return to power? If you're curious, be sure to read this in-depth NPR interview with Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesperson. It'll leave you feeling both informed and still full of questions.

• The federal sex abuse trial against R. Kelly finally began today, after literal decades of abuse allegations against the R&B singer. "This case is about a predator," a prosecutor said during opening arguments. "This case is not about a celebrity who likes to party a lot." (If you want to learn more about the charges against R. Kelly, be sure to check out the series Surviving R. Kelly—or just read our review of it.)

And just for fun:

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• Have you partaken in Burger Week yet?! If not, here are five suggestions for $6 burgers to help get ya started.

• And finally, thanks to Conner at Portland Monthly for writing the funniest thing I've read in months: