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!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! After yesterday's cloudy Sunday, we're bouncing back to sunny skies today with a high of 85. And this is a great time to remind you that, starting next Monday, you can start enjoying the Mercury's SUMMER OF SLUSHIES featuring frosty, boozy cocktails from 23 local bars (and only $8 each) throughout the entirety of July! Check 'em out here, and now? Let's read some boozy NEWS.


• First things first... reminder! The national Women's Strike is TODAY.

• Despite the fact that more than 3,000 striking Providence nurses announced they would be returning to work on Friday, management barred them from coming back on the job, saying they had hired temporary replacement staff that would continue working through Sunday. Our Abe Asher describes how this will affect ongoing negotiations between healthcare workers and Providence management.

• To help curb Oregon's current public defender crisis—which have left roughly 2,500 people accused of crimes without legal representation—the Oregon Public Defense Commission has kicked off a new division of 20 public defenders across the state who are tasked with getting people the representation they need. While Oregon will eventually need about 480 more defenders, you gotta start somewhere.

• Starting on July 1, the minimum wage in the Portland metro area will increase to $15.95 per hour, a jump of $1.25. Since the minimum wage varies by region, most Oregonians will see an increase of 50 cents, bringing the standard average to $14.70 per hour. 

• In case you missed last week's Juneteenth 8 Second Rodeo—featuring Black cowboys, ropers, and bull riders—Sean Bascom busted out a gorgeous photo essay following some of these cowpokes around town, documenting the parties, open bar tabs, and how the city welcomed them with open arms. It's really good!


• The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging a Tennessee law banning transgender medical care for minors. Twenty-three states have enacted similar shitty bans, and this is the first time the Supremes have agreed to make a decision (probably during the next session which starts in October) on the constitutionality of these cruel, draconian laws. 
•  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to agree to a full cease fire in his deadly war against Gaza, which has thus far killed 35,000 Palestinians. During an interview he said he would consider a partial cease fire if some hostages were returned, but vowed that after a brief pause he would continue the war until all of Hamas (and most likely thousands more Palestinians) are exterminated.
• Taking place months earlier than usual, President Biden and convicted felon Donald Trump will debate each other this Thursday on CNN at 6 pm Pacific, as well as on Home Box Office (which I steadfastly refuse to call "MAX"). A major difference this time? CNN will call all the shots (instead of letting the candidates make the rules), and there will be no live audience, thank god.
• For those who are sick of the onslaught of terrible polling news, there's this: "Young voters backing Biden over Trump by 23-point margin."
• And finally... me, whenever I read an Oregonian Editorial Board opinion piece.