The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

An aerial view of a the steam being released from a coal power plant.
The Supreme Court ruled the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA authority to regulate emissions from power plants.. Bernhard Lang / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! If you happen to be my neighbor who was setting off fireworks into the wee hours of the morning, I'd like to remind you that the use of personal fireworks is banned in Portland, so if you could watch firework compilations on YouTube or jump over a lit candle in the street instead that'd be great. Now that that's out of the way, on to the news!

In local news:

• This afternoon, a golf tournament sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government will take place at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, just 20 miles northwest of Portland. Local officials and club members are publicly opposing the tournament, arguing that it is just the Saudi government’s latest attempt at investing in sports as a public relations strategy following the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

• In city audit news: From skipping workplace anti-discrimination trainings to managers doling out inconsistent discipline to employees, an audit found unreliable oversight mechanisms in place at the Portland Fire Bureau. The inconsistency is particularly harmful to women and staff of color in the bureau, who remain few and far between.

• Blood banks are anticipating another blood shortage this summer as COVID continues to disrupt donations and summer typically brings higher demand for blood transfusions. Current projections indicate that Bloodworks Northwest will hit a critical shortage in mid-July if donations don’t pick up soon. If you’re around and eligible, consider making an appointment to donate some of your sweet, sweet blood—it’s really important!

• In “This is why people say they hate politics” news: During an interview with the New York Times, gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson called Portland “the city of roaches” while talking about the city’s homeless crisis and rise in crime (good one, Betsy). Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek and a Portland homelessness researcher took issue with the comment, telling the Portland Tribune that comparing homeless people to roaches is fucked up (I’m paraphrasing). THEN, Johnson quipped back on Twitter, saying that “tent city Tina” and “some woke professor” intentionally mistook her comment that was actually referring to Portland’s trash issue. And that’s what you missed on Glee.

In national and international news:

• The FBI opened an investigation into sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans earlier this year to investigate whether priests took children across state lines to molest them. According to relevant scholars, this probe is a rare move for the FBI, which has historically “dragged their feet” when it comes to investigating the Catholic Church and its clergy abuse scandals.

• Another one in the Supreme Court’s decisions of doom: The court voted 6-3 to severely limit how the US’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce emissions from power plants Thursday. Limiting the Clean Air Act’s authority is widely recognized as a major blow to the country’s climate change mitigation strategies. Power plants account for 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the nation.

• Today I learned that Cameron Diaz retired from acting in 2014:

• R&B star R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for sexually abusing fans, including some children. Kelly has denied wrongdoing and plans to appeal his conviction.

• A special terrorism court convicted twenty people Wednesday in connection with the 2015 Paris attacks—targeted explosions and shootings at six crowded locations in the city that killed 130 people and injured hundreds more. The one remaining survivor of the team of extremists who coordinated the attacks was sentenced to life in prison.

• Me too, Benny.