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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Good news: After searing temps the last couple of days, we're cooling off today...if only a little bit. Temperatures are supposed to hang out at around 90 degrees today, which is still very warm, but slightly more bearable. Perhaps I will face the great outdoors today after hiding inside the last three days. Maybe to get some nachos??? (It's NACHO WEEK, guys!!! Find out more here.) 

But before that...let's face today's headlines.


• Five people in Multnomah County have likely died due to heat-related illness since the historic heatwave began last weekend, and two deaths in Southwest Oregon are also suspected to be related to the high temperatures. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner will continue to investigate local deaths. According to  county reports, the people who died in recent days were mostly older than 64, though a 33-year-old man is reported to have died due to suspected heat-related causes, too. But regardless of age, these deaths are very sad—and although they've become much more common in recent years, they're also preventable. Unfortunately, we now live in the world that the oil executives reaped, and it's a hotter one that continues to warm every day. Climate action + infrastructure adaptation is the only way we'll be able to handle this and prevent further needless loss of life. 

• Remember back in May, when it was revealed that AIPAC-funded super PACs were funneling an unprecedented amount of money into Oregon's 3rd congressional district race—ultimately giving Maxine Dexter a leg up and helping her win the primary election? The story is still important a couple months later, considering how it could impact big, outside money in Oregon politics going forward. Read our Abe Asher's great overview of how that all shook out here

TriMet just received a $39 million federal grant to buy 14 electric buses that will run along 82nd Avenue and help create a high-capacity line on the corridor, like the one on SE Division. Line 72, which travels along 82nd Avenue and Killingsworth Street, is TriMet's most-used bus line—so its users could really benefit from some high-capacity transit. The utility of electric buses is debatable, though, as it would be more effective for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to have frequent and timely bus service than run e-buses. But hopefully, TriMet can combine electric buses and high-capacity transit to create an amazing line along 82nd Avenue. I'm looking forward to it!

• Speaking of TriMet...why is the MAX so bad in the heat? Trains run 15-30 minutes late in hot weather, making it uncomfortable for people sitting outside and waiting for their transportation to arrive. Read BikePortland's story about why the MAX suffers in hot weather, and what TriMet might be able to do about people don't keep warming our planet by driving cars all around Portland instead of taking public transit. 


• Since Israel began its military offensive in Gaza after the Hamas attacks on October 7, Gaza's Ministry of Health reports more than 38,000 Palestinians have been killed. But that number is actually much higher if you consider the widespread impacts of the war, which has deprived people in Gaza of food, water, medicine, and medical treatment. A study recently published in the journal Lancet notes the real death toll could be more than 186,000 people— just about 8 percent of Gaza's pre-war population. It's a dire and alarming statistic that shows how devastating this war has been for people in Gaza, who will have to suffer the ramifications for years to come. 

• Despite President Biden's repeated (and increasingly desperate) attempts to convince fellow Democratic lawmakers and the American people that he's up for another four years in office, many people are still not buying it. Even as many Democrats in Congress express their grave concerns about his candidacy, however, leading lawmakers aren't willing to ask Biden to step down. Today, House and Senate Democrats each held meetings on the subject, which were apparently not very conclusive or productive. According to Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee, not only are the Democrats not on the same page—they're "not even in the same book." These photos represent the mood pretty well"  

For those of us who REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want Trump to be re-elected, though, this is less entertaining than it is extremely nauseating. Not only are presidential election polls showing Biden with a major disadvantage, but polls are now showing that down ballot races are beginning to swing to the right, too. This could leave the country primed for the horrifying Project 2025. Can we get some adults in the room, PLEASE????? 

• More on Project 2025, the far-right plan of action for a second Trump term. Trump himself has tried to distance himself from this recently, knowing how extreme it is, but he's bluffing. At the very least, we shouldn't take his word on anything, and make sure he doesn't get the chance to implement any of these policies. Read this thread for more on Project 2025's absolutely sickening climate plan—but keep in mind that every policy in this plan is terrible and inhumane. 

• Almost three years ago, in October 2021, Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of a film he was acting and producing in New Mexico. He also wounded the film's director, Joel Souza. It was a tragic event for many people, and now, Baldwin is on trial in New Mexico for involuntary manslaughter. Opening arguments for the case are set to start today. If Baldwin is convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison. 

• Finally, your weekly Oregon Zoo report. Happy Wednesday! Byeeee!