02-05-2023  2:15 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Oregon brothers cut food waste and created the tater tot

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — When brothers Golden and Francis Nephi “Neef” Grigg began renting a frozen foods plant in the tiny Idaho border town of Ontario, Oregon, in 1949, they were hoping to expand their existing frozen corn business to include potatoes. Little did they know they’d taken the...

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

Bradley defeats Northern Iowa 77-69

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Malevy Leons scored 19 points as Bradley beat Northern Iowa 77-69 on Saturday night. Leons was 5-of-8 shooting, including 4 for 6 from distance, and went 5 for 8 from the line for the Braves (17-8, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Rienk Mast went 8 of 12...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jessy Wilson on 'Keep Rising' anthem and the hope it brings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson was ready to give up her musical dream when a film about female African warriors showed her the power of perseverance. Wilson’s Grammy -nominated song “Keep Rising,” was picked by director Gina Prince-Bythewood to be...

Bryan Adams, crafting albums amid Grammy Award nomination

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Adams may have nabbed his first Grammy nomination in over two decades, but he won't be at the ceremony. He's got a gig that night. The Canadian rock star had committed to a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday and he didn't want to disappoint his fans or his crew by...

Review: Stafford-Jutz album brings to life forgotten voices

“Lost Voices,” Tim Stafford & Thomm Jutz (Mountain Fever) “Lost Voices” features new songs written in the past tense, and serves as an engaging soundtrack to neglected chapters in American history. The album comes from the formidable singer-storyteller team...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Electronic pollbook security raises concerns going into 2024

ATLANTA (AP) — They were blamed for long lines in Los Angeles during California’s 2020 presidential primary,...

Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who'll win on Sunday

The Beyhive is all abuzz over the possibility that Beyoncé will have a chance to make Grammy history this year,...

Biden makes progress on 'unity agenda' outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top...

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation,...

Israeli army besieges homes of fugitives in West Bank raid

AQABAT JABR REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli army raided a refugee camp near the Palestinian city of...

Bolsonaro ponders election defeat, as crowd chants ‘fraud’

MIAMI (AP) — Only a few weeks after his supporters stormed the seat of his country's government, former...

Sarah Dilorenzo the Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, leading in polls but lacking in ideas that stick in voters' minds, finally dropped a bombshell: As president, he would levy a 75 percent tax on anyone who makes more than (EURO)1 million ($1.33 million) a year.

The flashy idea from the normally bland Socialist proved wildly popular, fanning hostility toward executive salaries and forcing President Nicolas Sarkozy to defend his ostentatious friendships with the rich. It also unleashed debate in the French press about whether the wealthy would decamp for gentler tax pastures.

As much as France likes the plan, it does not seem to have assured Hollande's victory, which, just three weeks before the first round of voting, is growing more uncertain as Sarkozy reaps the benefits of projecting presidential mettle following France's shooting attacks.

Polls put the two men neck-and-neck in the first round April 22, and show Sarkozy gaining on Hollande for the decisive runoff May 6.

Centrist candidate Francois Bayrou has dismissed the plan as absurd - contending that when all was added up, the top bracket would be taxed at nearly 100 percent. Many economists are also scratching their heads over the tax - seeing it as dangerous at worst and ineffective at best - and even Hollande admits it's not meant to balance the budget.

Still, the "Fouquet's tax" - so named by some in the press after the tony restaurant where Sarkozy celebrated his 2007 presidential win - is riding and in part fueling a resurgence of the French left. The tax-the-rich proposal has garnered as much as 65 percent approval in some polls.

All that has helped Hollande, often perceived as amiable but uninspiring, to distinguish himself from his main opponent, said Jean-Daniel Levy, a pollster and political analyst.

"Nicolas Sarkozy has a double difficulty: On the one hand, he is perceived as a president who is close to the rich, which is not a good sign in France. And he is also seen as a president who oversaw inegalitarian policies," he said. The tax, he added, "allows Francois Hollande to take control again and to paint a negative portrait of Nicolas Sarkozy."

But there is a danger that Hollande hit the nerve too well.

Many voters have swept right past Hollande and into the camp of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has electrified voters with calls for a new French revolution and who some polls say will come in third or fourth in the first round of elections. That could bleed support away from Hollande in the first round, depriving him of crucial momentum going into the second one.

Antipathy for the rich is widespread in France, where wealth is meant to be discreet and climbing the social ladder to build yourself a mansion isn't a common narrative.

Hollande himself once famously declared "I do not like the rich" - a statement that only boosted his political standing among those who think wealth should be redistributed instead of accumulated.

Following his 75-percent tax announcement, front pages treated the rich like some strange, migrating species, declaring that they would decamp to Belgium if the tax was put in place. One presidential candidate, Dominique de Villepin, himself quite wealthy, warned France not to "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

While there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest the wealthy are eyeing the border, tax lawyer Sandra Hazan said there's nothing new in rich people fleeing France. But they don't pull up the stakes simply because taxes are high.

"The problem is not the level of taxation you suffer," said Hazan, who heads the tax department at law firm Salans. "The problem is when you cannot anticipate how much you will be paying."

The French tax code has long been unpredictable, she said, but it has become even more so in recent months. As Sarkozy's administration has tried to keep a series of budget targets that are central to his credibility and reassure markets that France can manage its debt, the number of changes to tax law have come fast and furious.

When he put taxes at the center of his campaign, Hollande unleashed a new flood of tax proposals, creating more uncertainty. Sarkozy, too, has vowed to hunt down French people who have fled the country purely to escape high taxes and make them pay the difference between what they're paying in their haven and what they would have to pay in France.

In all the discussion about how much the rich make and how much they should pay, Sarkozy has also been put on the spot - again - about a lavish party to celebrate his presidential victory at Fouquet's and a vacation on a friend's yacht he took shortly after. These moves quickly earned him the moniker "President Bling Bling," and he has struggled ever since to shed the image of a man too comfortable with money.

Five years after the victory party and the yacht trip, Sarkozy is still fielding questions about them. He most recently defended the vacation in an interview not long after Hollande's proposal when he called it a last-ditch attempt to save his marriage to Cecilia, whom he divorced not long after taking office.

But Hollande has struggled to harness this momentum.

Hollande bungled the announcement of his new tax, initially saying it would apply to households bringing in more than (EURO)1 million - about $1.33 million - a month, before clarifying he meant an individual's annual revenue.

He has also failed to provide a coherent narrative for why the tax is needed. He started out by saying that, in tough times, the rich had to pay their fair share, before later conceding it would only bring in about (EURO)100 million to (EURO)300 million each year. France's public debt is (EURO)1.7 trillion ($2.3 trillion).

Then he said it would put pressure on companies to lower ballooning salaries, noting that that executive pay for France's 40 largest public companies - the ones that make up its CAC-40 stock index - rose 34 percent in 2010, while most of Europe was fighting for its very existence.

In the end, Hollande has settled on casting the tax as simply the right thing to do.

"It's not a question of return," he told RTL radio station. "It's a question of morality."

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.