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Oregon State researchers think compounds derived from hemp could help fight COVID.
Oregon State researchers think compounds derived from hemp could help fight COVID. Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images

Good afternoon, Portland! Halfway through the week. (C'mon, we can do this!) Let's get to the headlines.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• This Oregon State research is cause for rejoicing in more ways than one: A new study out of Corvallis suggests that hemp compounds can bind to the spike protein in coronaviruses and help the body defend against COVID-19.

• Multnomah County hired a group of more than 100 limited duration employees to help the county reach communities of color, immigrants, and other groups disproportionately at risk from COVID-19, but those employees say they did not get the bonuses that full-time employees got. Not good!

• Just two months after announcing her candidacy, Akasha Lawrence Spence has dropped out of the race for Dan Ryan's city council seat and has endorsed director of the non-profit Equitable Giving Circle AJ McCreary. Alex Zielinski has more.

• The new Scream film, "a horror film where everyone has not only seen every horror film, they’ve seen every horror film in their own franchise," hits theaters on Friday. Matt Baume has our review.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• Though Omicron COVID cases may be peaking in some parts of the country, more Americans are now hospitalized with the virus than at any other point during the pandemic—putting pressure on hospitals that are working with staff shortages due to breakthrough infections.

Housing costs continue to swell, with new data showing that rent costs increased 0.4 percent in December and dramatically "across the board" in 2021. Economists believe that costs could continue to rise in 2022.

• Today in extraordinarily upsetting climate news: Argentina is in the midst of a heatwave not dissimilar to the one we experienced this summer, with temperatures hitting 113 degrees yesterday. More than 700,000 people in the capital Buenos Aires are without power.

• Things continue to go smoothly for embattled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was caught lying down in the back of a car to avoid being seen as he left Downing Street earlier today—an event reminiscent of when the very competent premier hid in a fridge to avoid an interview on the eve of the 2019 election.

• It’s back for 2022! America’s sexiest, funnest dirty movie fest, HUMP! Coming at ya starting February 24 at Revolution Hall—GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

• Here's to the glories of winter—and one very strong moose.