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City pays $100K to protester abused by cops for carrying sign about voting rights.
City pays $100K to protester abused by cops for carrying sign about voting rights. PAULA BRONSTEIN / GETTY IMAGES

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I loved you from the start. 'Cause Christmas ain't the time for breaking each other's heart. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Let's talk CHRISTMAS WEATHER: While it's going to remain wet over the next couple of days, there is the chance of snow for higher elevations on Christmas day and maybe even hitting the low-lying areas on Sunday and through Monday.

• Very much related: Due to staffing shortages, the Oregon Department of Transportation can't make any promises about how well snowy mountain passages will be cleared this holiday weekend, so BE PREPARED, travelers!

• As we all predicted, Portland's city council has approved a $100,000 settlement to a protester who, during a 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstration, had his "Vote Register Here" sign ripped away before being pepper sprayed and knocked to the ground by violent (and increasingly expensive) cops.

• While tempting to limit one's generosity and giving to the holiday months, here's a good roundup of Portland's mutual aid groups who help those in need all damn year long.

• Here we (possibly) go again: Just like in 2020, local venues are beginning to cancel shows due to the growing concern of an Omicron surge, which is something Portland's struggling arts community does NOT need.

• If you plan on doing some holiday movie binging in the coming days and need some suggestions, may I please point you in the direction of the Mercury's Favorite Films of 2021? It's a list! With GOOD MOVIE SUGGESTIONS!

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

• The FDA has approved a second COVID-19 pill, this one from Merck, which is said to lessen the severity of the virus, and could save high-risk adults.

• Meanwhile, thanks to the new Omicron variant, the number of new COVID cases across the nation have surpassed what we saw from Delta at the height of the summer.

• Due to the national shortage of COVID tests, manufacturers are ramping up production to hyper-speed, and are currently attempting to produce millions of additional tests.

• While it's been slow going, it's good news to hear that the US has so far reunited 100 migrant children with their families (with 350 more currently in progress) following Trump's truly evil policy of separating them from their parents.

• After years of silence, actor James Franco has finally confessed to an earlier allegation that he had slept with students attending his co-owned acting school.

• 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: Showers and occasional sunbreaks with a high of 46. And yep, some areas could have possible snow on Christmas!

• And finally, here's hoping you too get a bottle of white tears this holiday season.