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Violence in Portland after far-right groups rally

Federal authorities intervened after clashes between armed far-right groups, some with "ties to fascist" organizations, and anti-racism protesters near the Justice Center in downtown Portland, Oregon, saw rocks, mace and paint balls used, per the Oregonian.

Of note: Portland Police officers "remained at a distance ... even as people beat others with sticks, and at least two right-wing activists brandished handguns," the Washington Post reports. The police blamed limited resources in a statement on "why the events downtown were not declared a riot and why police did not intervene."


A number of people here in downtown Portland wearing the Proud Boys polo shirt or other gear.

On the other side of the street, inflatable baby Trump pic.twitter.com/Mh7687R5Lc

— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) August 22, 2020

Why it matters: Portland Police have frequently declared riots during unrest in the city since Black Lives Matter protests began 85 days ago, most recently on Friday.

What they're saying: The police said Portland officers "have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police, which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary to interject."

  • According to the police, there were "some physical interactions which quickly resolved themselves" during the two-hour standoff.
"Some members from both groups threw projectiles and deployed aerosols like pepper and bear spray at each other. At times, fireworks were thrown and smoke canisters were deployed. Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene."
Police statement

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

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Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

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Kushner to visit Saudi Arabia and Qatar seeking deal to end crisis

Jared Kushner will travel in the coming days to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in a last-ditch effort to resolve the dispute between the Gulf countries.

Why it matters: Fixing the rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf and notch a last-minute achievement for Kushner and the Trump administration before Jan. 20.

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Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

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Michelle Lujan Grisham is Congressional Hispanics choice to lead Health and Human Services

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.

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Vanderbilt kicker becomes first woman to play in Power 5 football

Vanderbilt senior Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game yesterday "when she delivered the opening kickoff of the second half for Vanderbilt against Missouri," ESPN reports.

Details: "Fuller, a senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt's SEC championship soccer team, sent the low kick to the 35-yard line where it was downed by Missouri," as the play was designed. Vandy lost, 41-0.

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Map: A look at world population density in 3D

This fascinating map is made by Alasdair Rae of Sheffield, England, a former professor of urban studies who is founder of Automatic Knowledge. It shows world population density in 3D.

Details: "No land is shownon the map, only the locations where people actually live. ... The higher the spike, the more people live in an area. Where there are no spikes, there are no people (e.g. you can clearly identify ... the Sahara Desert)."

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Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

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