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Good afternoon, Portland! The U.S. Department of Justice and local unions are upset with our city government, but the good news is that our state government is making headlines for the wrong reasons too! Here's the news.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Tusitala "Tiny" Toese, a member of the far-right Proud Boys, has been arrested and is facing eleven criminal counts for his actions at an August protest in Parkrose. It's been a tough week for major alt-right figures, with Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman also being placed under arrest in Idaho. Too bad, so sad! Alex Zielinski has more on Toese.
Proud Boy "Tiny" Toese has been jailed for his actions during an August 22, 2021 right-wing protest in Portland. He's facing 11 criminal counts. https://t.co/IzR8okln7Z
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) January 18, 2022
• A coalition of local unions are accusing city officials of illegally interfering with their efforts to organize a city worker strike that could begin as soon as Thursday. They've also filed an unfair labor practice complaint. Alex Zielinski has more.
• A new report in The Guardian claims that officials managing Oregon's public pension fund privately gave their approval in 2019 for an investment group to acquire NSO Software—an Israel-based spyware company accused of enabling widespread human rights violations that was also blacklisted by the Biden administration. An Oregon treasury spokesperson has declined to comment on the report.
• A judge this morning ruled that Mayor Ted Wheeler's curfew order during the summer of 2020 was over-broad and therefore unconstitutional—another terrific look for a mayor whose tenure has been full of 'em. Alex Zielinski has more on the trial that challenged the curfew's validity.
• The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued a furious letter to city officials about their failure to notify the division in a timely manner about the discovery of a violent meme in a training slideshow for the Police Bureau's rapid response team. Learn more about the meme (and why they absolutely should be mad) in this report from our Alex Zielinski.
• Portland Music Month is ongoing, with the Bumpin Uglies set to play the Star Theater on Saturday. Ray Gill, Jr. has our preview.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Some very welcome good news on the COVID-19 front: Rates of infection in the Northeast and other cities hard hit by the Omicron wave are falling fast. Cases are, at this point, still rising in the Midwest and West.
• Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer says that the legislative body will vote on the voting rights bill "win, lose, or draw." What could possibly go wrong?
Nina Totenberg reports that (1) the Chief Justice asked his colleagues to mask up out of respect for Sotomayor’s health concerns, (2) only Gorsuch refused, and (3) his refusal forced Sotomayor to participate in arguments and conference remotely. https://t.co/DmsQV8j7Wz pic.twitter.com/7JG5hMN0q7
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) January 18, 2022
• Tensions between Russia and the West are again ramping up, with German chancellor Olaf Schulz threatening today that there will be a "high price to pay" for the Russians if they invade Ukraine.
• A fascinating new book by UC Santa Barbara environmental scientist Roland Geyer suggests that paying workers living wages could drastically reduce the fashion industry's carbon footprint.
• 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!
• Finally, a young girl very competently—and with feeling!—brings us the latest on the controversy threatening to bring down Boris Johnson.