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Good morning, Portland! It's... February? Expect light rain and highs in the upper 40s today. Now let's get caught up on the weekend's news:
- Russia saw its second weekend in a row of massive demonstrations protesting the incarceration of Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader allegedly poisoned by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin over the summer. Russian riot police arrested more than 5,000 protest participants at rallies spanning the entire country. Some were assaulted by police in the process.
- Myanmar’s military has kicked off a coup, detaining the country’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and seizing power from the country's democratic government—which was established only five years ago. Military leaders are driven by a baseless claim of widespread voter fraud, due to a November election that didn't swing in their favor (sound familiar?). Meanwhile, the internet has gone down in major Myanmar cities, and journalists are in hiding out of fear of being targeted by the military-led uprising.
- A group of ten centrist-ish Republican senators have drafted a smaller alternative to Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which they'll present to President Biden today. The pitch: The group's modest $618 billion plan would collect enough Senate votes to pass and, if approved, will be clear evidence that Biden's inauguration pledge to seek bipartisanship and unity wasn't just talk.
- A heartfelt apology:
- Donald Trump is scrambling to pull together a legal defense team before his second impeachment trial is scheduled to begin on February 9. Strangely enough, it seems like few lawyers want to associate themselves with Trump, especially when it means defending his false claims of widespread election fraud and watering down his role in inciting a fatal riot at the US Capitol.
- A police officer in Rochester, New York pepper sprayed a 9-year-old girl having a mental health crisis after she kicked an officer who was trying to put her in a patrol car. The local police union is defending the decision.
- Actress Evan Rachel Wood made public allegations of sexual and mental abuse by her ex-partner Marilyn Manson. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years, she writes in a social media post. "I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission." At least four other women have since come forward to share their similar experiences of abuse by Manson.
- Today's the day:
- A judge has ordered the federal government to reassess its decision to deny the Chinook Indian Nation funds it promised 50 years ago for the vast territory surrounding the Lower Columbia River, land native to Chinook tribes. Chinook Chairman Tony Johnson says its not about the money (a small sum of $48,000). “Our interest in these dollars is not in using them,” Johnson told Courthouse News last week. “Our interest is in the justice of not having another part of our history erased.”
- This six month check-in with Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt is an interesting read, but it buries an alarming piece of news: Schmidt was doxxed by a Portland police officer last year, in an attempt to throw a tantrum about the new DA's leniency on protest charges. A reminder that Portland officers have spent the past year stoking fears about members of the public doxxing cops.
- Since April 2020, local rental provider Income Property Management, has become the region's top evictor. OPB found that nearly half of the 63 evictions have come from properties the company manages for the county's public housing authority, Home Forward.