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A woman holding a sign reading welcome to hell
Protesters outside of the Russian embassy in Ukraine. Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! It’s getting pretty dang cold out there. The county is expected to open warming shelters this evening, so keep your eyes on MultCo’s severe weather page (or on the Mercury site) for the latest updates. Now onto the headlines!

In local news:

• Local activists and press have identified Benjamin Jeffrey Smith, 43, as the person suspected of killing one person and shooting several others at a racial justice protest last weekend. Portland police have not publicly identified Smith as the shooter, but someone involved in the police investigation confirmed Smith’s identity to the Oregonian. According to Smith’s roommate, he had become increasingly angry with protests in the city and unhoused Portlanders. “I have not been comfortable living with him for a while,” Smith’s roommate told OPB. “I did not feel safe with him, especially this last two years with the whole COVID thing. I think that made him even more angry.”

• A series of nasty crashes involving nearly one hundred vehicles shuttered a portion of Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon Monday. Snowy conditions caused several pile ups, the largest involving 20 cars. Transportation agencies worked through the night to clear vehicles and reopen the freeway. It’s unclear how many people were injured in the crashes.

• As Mayor Ted Wheeler moves with sudden urgency to create large outdoor shelters for unhoused Portlanders, one thing is noticeably missing: support from any of Portland’s homeless service providers. Check out Alex Zielinski’s latest column to find out why Wheeler’s solution is not a solution at all.

• Do you want to watch Peter Dinklage have a sword fight while rapping? The answer is obviously yes, but if you need some more convincing, here's Matt Baume's glowing review of Cyrano.

In national and international news:

• Russia sent troops into two separatists regions of Ukraine Monday to “maintain peace.” While the movement (like everything else Russian officials have done recently) was shrouded with vague language and no details, the White House is now calling the deployment an “invasion.” President Joe Biden has long said that if Russia invades Ukraine, the US would levy sanctions against Moscow.

• All three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of additional hate crimes Tuesday. Lawyers for the men argued that they didn’t kill Arbery because he was Black, but because they were suspicious that Arbery had committed crimes in the area (he hadn’t, he was just out for a jog). However, dozens of text messages and social media posts in which the men made derogatory comments about Black people and used racist slurs were enough for a jury to decide the mens’ actions were racially motivated.

• An explosion near a gold mine in Burkina Faso, a West African country, killed 59 people and injured more than 100 others Monday. Authorities believe the explosion was triggered by a stockpile of chemicals at the site used to treat gold. The gold industry in Burkina Faso employs approximately 1.5 million people with an estimated 800 small gold mines spread across the country. Small gold mines are more dangerous, according to mining experts, because they are less regulated than industrial mines.

• After being banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, former president Donald Trump launched his own social media app last weekend. The app, Truth Social (eyeroll), reportedly shot to the top of the Apple app store with new users being put on a waitlist because of “massive demand,” according to the app's parent company.

• It’s back for 2022! America’s sexiest, funnest dirty movie fest, HUMP! Coming at ya starting THIS THURSDAY, February 24 at Revolution Hall—GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

• Arthur, the PBS Kids show, is entering its 25th and final season this week. In celebration of the iconic show, let’s end today with the Arthur theme song: