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Good Morning, Portland! We are currently IN THE BOTTOM of the sunlight crevasse, as the sun has, for the past few days, been setting at the monstrously obscene time of 4:27 pm. If you feel terrible, and can't imagine why you're invited to yet another holiday party where there's no actual food [smash cut to local critic Robert Ham starting an "In Defense of Canapés" rebuttal], the winter solstice bodyslams us back into the light in seven days. We won't feel it for a while after that, but the light WILL return. HOLD ON, and here comes the news.

• Activists with Jewish Voice for Peace PDX and other Jewish-led groups shut down the Burnside Bridge yesterday from 3 pm to approximately 6:30 pm, creating rush hour chaos. According to a press release from organizers, the demonstration hoped to raise awareness of Israel's war on Gaza, and encourage others to join the call for a permanent ceasefire. "American Jews, including in Portland have echoed the call for a ceasefire," the release continued, "rising up in conviction and hope to demand that Israel stops the genocide, saying 'not in our name.'”

• Did you know there was an Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit this week? I sort of did, but certainly the difference between the Portlanders who were in the know about the summit and those who were "just frying up lattes here, boss" feels increasingly vast. If you weren't in the room with Portland's special-est people who "really learned something from that keynote," have no fear. The Mercury's News Editor Courtney Vaughn and News Reporter Taylor Griggs teamed up to bring you reactions to the long-prophesied recommendations from Gov. Kotek's secretive Portland Central City Task Force. LEAK US RECORDINGS, YOU COWARDS.

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• On Tuesday, the Portland Police Association released the "results" of a "poll" which some other news outlets embarrassingly reported out as actual news. Well, our Editor-in-Chief clapped back with an ultra-spicy read on the situation, delivered in the form of his own poll. Biased poll recognize biased poll, take the Mercury's "the Police Union HATES Portland" poll here.

• This Friday morning's ticket drop is full of names you've possibly never heard of—but if you have, you're amped. Prepare for the Letterkenny Presents stand-up show to immediately sell out. Ben Schwartz & Friends? Always great. Wheatus?! Acoustic?! AT THE DOUR FIR? That's fancy. Get the details on the drop and other shows, compliments of our excellent Everout calendar team.

• This week, Republicans in Congress continued to block a funding package that would support Ukraine, in its ongoing war to defend itself against invasion by Russia. The New York Times reports that President Biden accused GOP politicians of digging in to deny aid until Democrats agree to also pass "an extreme Republican partisan agenda on the border." The border security package would restore Trump-era policies, such as restricting who can receive asylum and expediting deportations.

• In the European Union, Hungary blocked a different aid package for Ukraine, delaying the process at least a month. Hungary's Prime Minister—who is widely viewed as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally—said the aid package should wait until after the summer's Europe-wide elections. RARE ENCOURAGING NEWS ALERT: EU leaders finally agreed, this week, to begin negotiations to allow Ukraine to actually JOIN the EU. The process can take a decade, but Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky seemed to view it as encouraging, calling it "motivation" in a late night address.

• Here's the NYT longread people will be asking if you read this weekend, I think.

This could be us, but Portland's transit system is playing:

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