Omicron now accounts for 73% of all new COVID infections in America.
Omicron now accounts for 73% of all new COVID infections in America. Olga Siletskaya / Getty Images

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IN LOCAL NEWS:

• ICYMI, local Fred Meyer and QFC employees went on strike last Friday and (bingo-bango) went off strike on Saturday after reaching a tentative deal with their Kroger overlords to improve working conditions, including potentially getting a wage increase and better healthcare. Our Alex Zielinski breaks it all down for you!

• For those bemoaning the death of the Lloyd Center Mall, hold your dang horses! A Seattle-based developer is teaming up with the owners to bring the shopping hub back to life, complete with the ice skating rink. As long as they bring back Hot Dog on a Stick, I'm happy!

• Here we go again: The City of Portland is poised to pay a $100,000 settlement to a protester who was abused by the cops during a 2020 protest for refusing to give up his "Vote Register Here" sign. (Oh FFS, is right!) There have been a lot of these cop-caused settlements lately and, trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

• The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Newberg School District employee who got in trouble for putting up a rainbow sign that read "Be Known" in apparent violation of the school board's racist/homophobic ban on “political, quasi-political, or controversial symbols.” The offending board members are getting sued for violating students, teachers, and employees' right to free speech. Sooooo... see ya in court, jerks!

• Need a good book! Oh boy, do we have a fantastic list of the best books 2021 had to offer with lots of opinions from Mercury writers and the experts from the Multnomah County library! CHECK 'EM OUT!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• As you probably suspected, the new Omicron variant has quickly become THE dominant COVID-19 virus in the country, as the O now makes up 73 percent of all new infections.

• Very much related: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Cory Booker announced they both got breakthrough cases of COVID, even though they were fully vaccinated.

• Today in "you reap what you sow": "Trump reveals he got COVID-19 booster shot; crowd boos him."

• Are we finally, finally, finally going to stop giving Democratic turncoat Sen. Joe Manchin the benefit of the doubt after he continuously moved the goalposts on Biden's "Build Back Better" social safety net legislation, and THEN went on Fox News this weekend to say he wouldn't support it? (I wonder if this is how the Trumpers feel about Liz Cheney?)

• You want to find the perfect gift while also supporting local businesses, yes? YES! Then don't miss the Mercury's Holiday Gift Guide, featuring only the coolest gifts and where to find them... locally!

• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Fewer showers tomorrow with a high of 47—but is that the possibility of SNOW I see on Christmas Day?

• And finally... wait... is this one Donner or Blitzen?