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Good morning, Portland! We got some nice autumn sun yesterday, but the rain is set to make an appearance today. But the news keeps coming...and you can read it HERE, NOW.

IN LOCAL NEWS: 

• The Mercury's HOLIDAY GUIDE is here, and will be available in print near you soon. If you can't wait to grab one of the paper copies, check out our holiday stories online right now. YAY! 

• As the Portland Public Schools strike continues (today marks two weeks since the strike began), Portland's teachers have received some big national endorsements. United Auto Workers prez Shawn Fain— perhaps the most famous figure in the American labor movement right now— has spoken up in support of the Portland teachers's union, as has Senator Bernie Sanders.

• You know we at the Mercury love Wynne, and our music writers are your go-tos for info about the Portland-based rapper. Check out Jenni Moore's profile on the artist—if you didn't know, you should know: 

• Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Mingus Mapps has announced that, as part of a holiday promotion, parking will be free in two downtown SmartPark garages on Saturdays and Sundays from November 24 to December 31. The move is an attempt to get people back into downtown Portland and support economic recovery. This is smart, because everyone knows 1) people who are unwilling to pay $1.80 an hour for parking are obviously big spenders at small businesses and ought to be relied on as the pillars of economic recovery, 2) there are no other ways to get to downtown Portland other than by driving a car, and 3) Portland's transportation bureau is flush with cash and needs no extra income from holiday parking revenues. (All of this is sarcasm, for the record.) SIGH. 

An elephant named Rose-Tu at the Oregon Zoo is pregnant with a baby who will arrive in 2025. WHAT? That's right, elephants stay pregnant for almost TWO YEARS so their babies can get all big and elephant-like. Personally, that sounds really rough, but I guess lady elephants are just built different. 😤 I hope Rose-Tu's mate, Samson, will spend the next two years at her beck and call, as she deserves. I expect to see him at some elephant Lamaze classes. 

IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:

Members of the U.S. Congress seem intent on bringing us back to the good ol' dueling days, when politicians could get their anger out physically instead of having to go through the hoops of "using your words" like "adults" who have a lot of "power" or whatever. 

Yesterday, Republican congressmen Tim Burchett and (former House Speaker) Kevin McCarthy had a dramatic altercation, apparently involving a physical chase through the halls of the Capitol of these United States after McCarthy shoved Burchett, who is one of the far-right loonies who voted for the former Speaker's ousting. Meanwhile, Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin (quite a name) challenged the head of the Teamsters union to a fight during a Senate hearing, requiring Bernie Sanders to step in and break things up. Bernie banged a gavel and told Mullin to sit down, reminding him he's a "United States senator."

"God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress, let’s not make it worse,” Bernie said. 

Watch the whole exchange here. And dear God, help us.

• In other Congress news, the House has appeared to avoid a government shutdown after new House Speaker Mike Johnson reached across the aisle to Democrats and managed to get the votes to keep the government running. This is the kind of thing that got Kevin McCarthy kicked out of the job, so watch it, Johnson! Keep the bipartisanship and desire to keep the American government running to a minimum, or you'll face the wrath of Lauren "Beatlejuice" Boebert, et al. 

The Israeli military gained more control of northern Gaza yesterday, capturing its legislature building and police headquarters, and surrounding a hospital Israeli officials believe to be secret Hamas headquarters. Hundreds of people in the hospital are dying without electricity and other supplies, and without refrigeration in the morgue, staff had to dig a mass grave for 120 bodies. Even though the Palestinian death toll has now surpassed 11,000 and the bombardment is continuing, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said because its fuel storage facility in the area is empty, it will soon end relief operations in Gaza— which will likely result in many more deaths. 

• HUGE NEWS: The Pope is Catholic. Oops, I meant to share an even less-surprising piece of information, courtesy this AP News headline: "Vehicles with higher, vertical front ends raise risks for pedestrians." OMG, who could've guessed? Maybe the traffic safety advocates who have been sounding the alarm on this issue since enormous truck and SUV grills started becoming the vehicle feature du jour for the millions of Americans who are, ahem, compensating for something? My snark aside, the more publicity on this issue, the better. 

• Ok, it's time to bid you adieu, but first...watch this video of frogs being spooned up. Have a good Wednesday.