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Good Afternoon, Portland! Last night I was watching stand-up, and a comedian did a bit about Eddie the self-fellating Oregon Zoo otter—forever remembered for his legendary slam dunks, gorgeous white locks, and impressive flexibility. Any cute animals in this afternoon's new brief? We'll see 😉!
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• The city is in full hotness mode today, as temperatures approach 102. Our Isabella Garcia updated the information we had about area cooling shelters, which opened at 2 pm and will remain available 24-hours a day, through Thursday morning.
• Something else to look out for today is moderate air quality, though we're still pretty far from unhealthy:
Smoke coming from CA wildfires has been spreading north into OR today. It will continue moving north tonight and through Tuesday and Wednesday. This may affect how hot the temperatures get both days, however the smoke layer is quite thin, so the effect will be small. #ORwx #WAwx pic.twitter.com/4GlZe36klc— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) July 26, 2022
• For the second time in 48 hours, a Portland Police Bureau officer shot at a member of the public. This morning, PPB says "a person they believed to be involved" with reports of gunfire allegedly rammed a police car with a truck, before attempting to run over another officer, who was on foot. That unnamed officer on foot then fired his gun at the truck driver.
• Hahaha, here it is! The cute animal today is a lamprey! It's actually the stuff of nightmares, but so so important to river ecosystems. Lamprey numbers have been dwindling in the Pacific Northwest so scientists are implanting them with ADORABLE tiny trackers to try to understand their migratory patterns. Stick with this article and you'll be rewarded with lamprey recipe suggestions three quarters of the way through!
• If you, like me, saw the Naturist Northwest nude bike ride scoot through downtown on July 13 and thought the World Famous Naked Bike Ride had already happened, it turns out THERE'S MORE THAN ONE nude bike ride in Portland now! Read up on the impending World Naked Bike Ride (for real this time)—and other affairs to which one might wear a fanny pack—in our calendar team's 56 Events in Portland This Week.
NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
• Following an announcement from Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly, which said it would reduce natural gas sales to Germany, the European Union banded together to reduce gas consumption across a majority of the 27 unified countries. The agreement asks countries that are less dependent on Russian gas to share the burden of cutting consumption with those who are more dependent and encourages all nations to cut their overall consumption 15 percent by next spring.
• Today the new head of Russia’s space agency announced its plans to leave the International Space Station project and instead build their own orbital station. One White House space adviser thought it might all be bluster. The space station project also involves Canada, Europe and Japan, but it's unclear if it could continue without Russian partnership.
• Facebook—who wants to be called "Meta" and is still largely called "Facebook"— is once again setting an intention to compete with TikTok. Sources on the inside told the New York Times that founder Mark Zuckerberg has circled his nerd wagons. Memos from management have been titled things like "Operating With Increased Intensity.” There cuts have already been deep:
• Today's TOP STORY is the discontinuation of the Choco Taco, to which many people are apparently devoted. Just as a brutal heatwave rolled over the Pacific Northwest, Breyers Ice Cream arm Klondike confirmed that they are pulling the chocolatey treat from store shelves. What's interesting is the Portland-area food world Choco Taco-lovers, who seem to be throwing flirtatious glances at creating their own crunchy frozen wonders: Zuckercreme's theme next month is Ice Cream Truck, and its already encouraged pop-up vendors to make their own versions.
• Okay, here's the actual cute animal we promised! This is also the energy I have for anyone trying to do small talk outside today:
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