The evacuations have stopped, the military has left Afghanistan, and our 20-year war with the country has ended.
The evacuations have stopped, the military has left Afghanistan, and our 20-year war with the country has ended. Handout / Getty News

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

• And the crackdown on the unvaccinated continues: As of mid-October if any employee of the city of Portland is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, they will lose their jobs. The announcement was signed by Mayor Wheeler and all four commissioners, and the only exemptions from the order will be for medical or religious reasons. As you can imagine, not all city employees are happy about it. Our Alex Zielinski has more!

• Not that it will budge any antivaxxer, but I really wish they could be scared straight or at least feel a smidgen of empathy after reading headlines like this: "Tillamook, Josephine counties request trucks to hold bodies as COVID-19 death toll climbs."

• As noted above, the Delta variant is tearing through Southern Oregon communities, particularly those with low vaccination numbers. So it's not looking good for the few hospitals who are being overwhelmed with patients in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, as well as entire families. According to Dr. Michael Blumhardt, the ICU medical director of the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, when he was interviewed by OPB:

"We're seeing clusters of families being admitted. We had a father and an adult daughter admitted to the intensive care unit, and he passed away, right before, I had to put the daughter on life support," he said.

• In sporting news: While the Philadelphia 76ers are practically drooling over the prospect of snagging Damian Lillard from Portland, the Blazers are reportedly bound and determined to build a winning team around their star player... so at least for now, the 76ers can suck it.

• Here's a headline to show your boss, and say, "I'm just going to leave this right here....": "Nike closes offices for a week to give employees a mental health break."

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• While August 31 was originally the day the American military was slated to leave Afghanistan, operations have reportedly wrapped up early, and the troops have left the country. And with that, so ends our 20 YEAR WAR with Afghanistan, and not much to show for it other than watching the Taliban celebrate their new rule.

• The bad news: Hurricane Ida, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, hit Louisiana as one of the strongest storms in US history, taking out the power grid which could leave residents without power "for weeks," and leaving those in low-lying areas stranded. The somewhat better news: The levees in New Orleans which collapsed under Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago have held this time—though neighboring communities are still experiencing flooding.

• In other climate change-induced catastrophes, thousands are fleeing the resort town of Lake Tahoe as the humongous Caldor fire bears down on the city.

• The Department of Education is launching a civil rights investigation against five states that banned mask mandates, saying they are discriminating against students with disabilities who might be more susceptible to COVID.

• Whoopsy-daisy!

• Hey Savage Love fans! Get your tix now to see Dan Savage live and in-person on October 2 for a reading of his newest book, Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays! (Plus, paid attendees get their own copy of the book!)

• Alert! We've combined three of our world-famous film festivals into one, big, sexy, stoney, scary, movie showcase called the Mercury Movie Mashup! It's the best of the best from SPLIFF (our stoner film fest), SLAY (our horror film fest), and HUMP! (the little porn festival that started it all!), featuring all the blood, sex, and weed you can handle in a ONE NIGHT ONLY show at the Clinton Street Theater—go get those tix now!

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• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Morning clouds with afternoon sun tomorrow, and a comfy high of 73.

• And finally, this new iPhone that Apple came out with doesn't even WORK, goddammit!