Here’s your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin’!)
• Ordinarily we report local news first in GAN, but this clearly takes precedence: In absolutely devastating news, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—one of America’s most beloved legal and feminist icons—has died at the age of 87. And may god have mercy on all our souls.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) September 18, 2020
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Much needed rainstorms drenched Oregon last night and this afternoon, though flooding, rockfalls, and lightning strikes are still a concern. Air quality warnings continued around much of the state today, but it’s a marked improvement over the past few days, and the weekend looks better still. That said, Oregonians have a long road ahead in dealing with the wildfire disaster—but we’ll take the bits of good news where we can get it.
#Lightning over Portland late last night/early this morning.
📹courtesy of Max Graves pic.twitter.com/b63ub6phmr
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) September 18, 2020
• Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has called for an investigation into members of the Sheriff’s Department who allegedly encouraged the armed vigilantes who blocked roads and terrorized people during the wildfires.
• AND WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT: Three Oregon men have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in the second degree for reportedly setting up an illegal roadblock and frightening citizens.
• Oregon fish hatcheries are racing to save and release millions of chinook salmon, steelhead, and trout following a massive die-off due to wildfires.
• For over 90 minutes, Portland Police did not respond to a call about a man breaking into an apartment and holding a 12-year-old captive with a knife. The cops are once again blaming their inaction on their unnecessarily overwhelming response to Portland’s protests.
Three members of Portland’s Citizen Review Committee abruptly resigned recently. The eleven-member board is a part of the the city’s complex system of police oversight. We’ll talk to @candaceforpdx, the chair of the CRC, about they go from here. https://t.co/eLyPFbDkNv
— ThinkOutLoud on OPB (@OPBTOL) September 18, 2020
• Portland Police predict they’ll be going at least a whopping $1.5 million over budget in the coming year—largely thanks to their own choice to over-police protests and collect juicy overtime. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
• In the city council position four race between Chloe Eudaly and Mingus Mapps, former mayor and candidate for this same seat, Sam Adams, has endorsed Mapps. Eudaly had some rather sharp words about that, and our Blair Stenvick is here to report it.
• Looking for food to go? Well HOLD YOUR HORSES until you read our Suzette Smith’s new takeout column, “Takeout Club!”
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• As they threatened, the Trump administration has banned the Chinese-owned WeChat and TikTok from app sites, with the WeChat ban going into effect and rendered unusable this Sunday, while TikTok is scheduled (thus far) to meet the same fate on November 12. The company says they’ll challenge the order in court.
• The CDC has reversed their earlier guideline (that was forced upon them by Trump’s lying Department of Health and Human Services) and now say that people who come in contact with someone with COVID-19 should definitely get tested. NOTE: Newly released emails demonstrate how Michael Caputo of the HHS regularly attempted to intimidate CDC officials into towing the Trump party line.
• More immigrant women held at a Georgia detainee center have come forward to say they didn’t consent to unwanted hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures forced upon them at the ICE facility.
• After years of shitting on Puerto Rico (and just in time for the election!), Trump is suddenly feeling generous and will offer $13 billion in assistance for the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria… IN 2017.
Analysis: Trump’s Puerto Rico aid reversal is very conveniently timed — for Trump.
The administration apparently is over whatever hang-ups it had about Puerto Rico’s corruption. https://t.co/7yWvl6MA4K
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 18, 2020
• According to testimony heard in a London court, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange was allegedly offered a pardon (AKA a bribe) from Trump if he would help “resolve the ongoing speculation about Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee leaks to WikiLeaks” as it was “damaging to US-Russia relations.”
• The Louisville City Council has leveled a vote of “no confidence” in their mayor for the way he mishandled the Breonna Taylor killing by police and failed to hold those officers accountable.
• Ugh. I guess I’ll just leave this headline right here: “A firefighter has died battling a fire ignited during a gender-reveal party.”
• The WEATHER REPORT: Expect a few more showers tonight with smoke gradually disappearing over the weekend with highs creeping up into the 70s.
• And finally, this is almost too true.
Why does every photo of Jared Kushner look like he’s about to take the last slice of pizza pic.twitter.com/6cmg2bdHDc
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) September 18, 2020