Morning Roundup

Photo credit: NPR

New travel ban takes effect March 16, Portland to investigate Uber for evading regulators and legislators want to protect Oregon marijuana users.

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Trump signs second travel ban

The new executive order replaces the previous travel ban that prevented immigrants from seven predominantly-Muslim countries, NPR reports. The order prevents arrivals from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days. Iraq was removed from the list of banned countries. The order also suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and decreases the total allowed number of refugees admitted into the country from 110,000 to 50,000. Trump’s second try doesn’t go into effect until March 16, unlike the first ban which was effective immediately. The order also no longer prioritizes Christian refugees. 

Sen. Ron Wyden says the new order is little more than “a warmed-over rehash of the original.”

“It remains a barely disguised religious ban that will do absolutely nothing to protect our country. If there was any doubt this was about satisfying a far-right wing fantasy, not security, the month-long delay in reissuing the ban is concrete proof.”

Wheeler, Fish demand investigation into Uber ‘Greyball’ use

Uber reportedly used a program known as Greyball to evade authorities in markets where it was banned from operating, including Portland. The software identified city inspectors and blackballed them to prevent them from successfully hailing an Uber. Mayor Ted Wheeler says the city will investigate the allegations and he will reach out to other mayors on the issue, the Portland Business Journal reports. Commissioner Nick Fish, who voted against legalizing Uber, also asks for an investigation. “I’m concerned about skullduggery that went down in 2014,” Fish told Willamette Week.

Lawmakers seek to protect marijuana users

With the future of legalized marijuana unclear, Oregon lawmakers are working to protect users from federal prosecution, OPB reports. A policy has been introduced that would require marijuana businesses to destroy customer information within 48 hours. This information is typically gathered for marketing purposes. 

Oregon Supreme Court reviews Portland arts tax

A hearing on Portland’s $35-per-person tax begins today, the Portland Tribune reports. Opponents argue the law is unconstitutional as it qualifies as a “head tax,” which is prohibited under the Oregon Constitution. Two lower courts upheld the law because it includes exemptions for Portlanders less than 18 years old, households with incomes below the poverty level or those whose incomes come from specific government pensions. The arts tax was approved by voters in November 2012.

Fed interest rate expected to climb

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says interest rates will likely rise this month thanks to a strengthening job market, the Oregonian reports. The rate hike isn’t guaranteed, however. If the February government job report shows a decline or any worrisome developments, the hike could be delayed.  

Study finds active sex life could make employees more engaged

A researcher at Oregon State University found employees who prioritized sex at home were more likely to enjoy their work lives and immerse themselves in work projects. Researcher Kevin Leavitt says the anecdotal “spring in your step” is a real phenomenon that’s worth paying attention to. The study also underlines the importance of leaving work stress at the office, as it can impact healthy sex lives that are apparently necessary for productive employees.