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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Welcome back. We took the day off yesterday for the holiday, which means lots of headlines to churn through today. Happy Boxing Day (more on that later.)

In Local News:

  • One man died after being stabbed on a MAX train platform downtown at SW 18th and Morrison Sunday evening. Police say the victim was assaulted, then managed to board a train on Christmas Eve and ride it to Goose Hollow, where police and paramedics responded to the man’s injuries. He died at a local hospital. A suspect hasn’t been caught yet. The stabbing follows another incident in September, when two Black teens were stabbed aboard a MAX train heading for Clackamas.
  • Last Friday, a vigil was held downtown, to bring attention to journalists killed in Gaza while covering the Israel/Palestine war. The Portland event was the latest in a slew of activist-led rallies, protests, and vigils aimed to pressure local elected leaders to push for a cease-fire, and as was the case last week, shed light on what’s being called the deadliest conflict for journalists. To date, at least 69 journalists have been killed, many in airstrikes from Israel. Before their deaths, journalists reported on tragedy and trauma that was often too difficult to put words to, with many of them continuing to report despite being injured or having lost loved ones.
  • It's not uncommon to hear about educational institutions getting grant money, but here’s a strange one: George Fox University, the private Christian university in Newberg, is getting a whopping $1.25 million for a program that teaches women how to “spread gospel.” The money comes from the Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. Apparently, the majority of George Fox’s seminary students and faculty are women.
  • Right about now is when the world seems to collectively decide we’re ready to leave the year behind us and dive into 2024, but first, let’s do some reflecting! The Mercury is recapping this year’s news, one topic at a time. Here are the top transportation-related stories that unfolded this year.

In National/World News:

  • Today, December 26, is known in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and other parts of the world as Boxing Day. Growing up, I never knew what this day was when I saw it marked on calendars, and TBH, I still don’t fully understand it, but USA Today did us the favor of rephrasing parts of the internet (thanks?) that explain its origins as a charitable day, and how it's morphed to be more of a tradition centered around shopping, and boxing up holiday decorations until next year. Get into it!
  • A blizzard warning is in effect for several states, including Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, during a busy week for holiday travel. Winds of 50 to 60 mph are expected to hit some areas, with icy roads already wreaking havoc in Nebraska.
  • On Monday, the US directed airstrikes in Iraq, in response to what's described as "a one-way drone attack" earlier that day by Iran-affiliated militants. The US-led bombing wounded at least 16 people and killed another. 
  • Ever wonder what happens to all the money left unspent on gift cards given out during Christmas? Apparently, big corporations benefit from you forgetting about that Olive Garden gift card your aunt Linda loves to give out (who doesn’t love endless breadsticks?!) even with laws in place that prevent gift cards from expiring until at least five years after their purchase date.