02-06-2023  1:29 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

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

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County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

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

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NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

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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...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

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Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

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...

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

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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

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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

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

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Avalanches kill 9 in Italy, Austria as heavy snow hits Alps

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EU migration impasse leaves many refugees out in the cold

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Ex-foreign minister will face diplomat for Cyprus presidency

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A center-right former foreign minister and a career diplomat backed by a communist-rooted...

Ben Hubbard and Hadeel Al-Shalchi the Associated Press

BREGA, Libya (AP) -- Libyan government forces unleashed a withering bombardment of rebels outside a key oil town Tuesday as an Obama administration envoy met with the opposition leadership in its de facto capital, a possible step toward diplomatic recognition.

The Skanner News Video here

NATO said nearly a third of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's heavy weapons have been destroyed. But the alliance said Gadhafi's forces had changed tactics in the besieged western city of Misrata by moving tanks and other heavy equipment to civilian areas to prevent pilots from targeting them.

A doctor in Misrata corroborated that, saying Gadhafi's forces have been placing heavy weapons near civilians there for the past two weeks.

"They snuck their anti-aircraft weapons and tanks into the city. They are between the apartment buildings and the trees," said the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. "They disguise their equipment on the big agricultural trucks that the farmers use outside of town. They bring in mortars with civilian cars."

The opposition has controlled much of the eastern half of Libya since early on in the uprising that began in February. Misrata is one of two major cities in the west that have also risen up against Gadhafi's regime, which has responded with a brutal crackdown waged over weeks of battles.

The other front is on a coastal road leading out of the rebel stronghold city of Benghazi in the east toward the capital Tripoli in the west. Gadhafi loyalists and opponents have fought a tug-of-war for weeks on the road, with a few main towns and oil ports changing hands repeatedly. Though Gadhafi's forces are stronger, NATO airstrikes have helped the rebels hold back an onslaught on the east.

The regime has softened its public stance against any compromise that would end the fighting and is putting out feelers for a ceasefire, though it continues to resist rebels' demand that Gadhafi step down. Gadhafi's British-educated son Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, on Tuesday, dismissed reports that his father's inner circle of advisers was crumbling following the defection of Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa.

On the coastal road leading from the east to Tripoli, the rebels had managed to take part of the oil town of Brega on Monday, aided by an international air campaign. But the rocket and artillery salvos unleashed on the rebels Tuesday indicated the government's offensive capabilities remain very much intact.

"When you see this, the situation is very bad. We cannot match their weapons," said Kamal Mughrabi, 64, a retired soldier who joined the rebel army. "If the planes don't come back and hit them, we'll have to keep pulling back."

Rebel attempts to fire rockets and mortars against the government forces were met with aggressive counter bombardments that sent many of the rebel forces scrambling back all the way to the town of Ajdabiya, dozens of miles (kilometers) away. There did not appear to be any immediate response from the international aircraft patrolling the skies that have aided the rebels in the past.

Earlier in the day, however, there was an airstrike against a convoy of eight government vehicles advancing toward rebel positions, rebel officer Abdel-Basset Abibi said, citing surveillance teams.

Brig. Gen. Mark Van Uhm of NATO said Tuesday its U.N.-authorized aerial onslaught to stop Gadhafi from attacking dissenters has so far destroyed 30 percent of the Gadhafi's weapons. On Monday alone, the alliance said it carried out 14 attacks on ground targets across the country, destroying radars, munitions dumps, armored vehicles and a rocket launcher.

Three-quarters of Monday's scheduled strike missions, however, had to return without dropping their bombs or launching their missiles because of Gadhafi loyalists made it more difficult for pilots to distinguish between civilians and regime troops, Van Uhm said.

Rebel forces have been helped by the arrival on the front of more trained soldiers and heavier weapons, but they are still struggling to match the more experienced and better equipped government troops, even with the aid of airstrikes.

Late Monday, Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim reiterated Gadhafi's refusal to step down, as the opposition is demanding. He said any changes in Libya must be led by Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for more than four decades.

"We could have any political system, any changes: constitution, election, anything, but the leader has to lead this forward," he said in Tripoli.

"Don't decide our future from abroad. Give us a proposal for change from within," Ibrahim said, chastising Western powers who have a "personal problem with the leader" and economic interests they believe would be better served if Gadhafi's government collapsed.

The comments were unlikely to appease the rebels fighting to oust the Libyan leader who has a legacy of brutality. Any long-term settlement poses tough questions about the fate of Gadhafi's family and the new leader of a post-Gadhafi nation, and the opposition has rejected any solution that would involve one of his sons taking power.

President Barack Obama's envoy to the opposition, Chris Stevens, was meeting with members of Libya's Transitional National Council in Benghazi to get a better idea of who they are, what they want and what their needs and capabilities are, a U.S. official said. His visit could pave the way for U.S. recognition of the council as Libya's legitimate government although no decision is imminent, the official said.

Stevens was the No. 2 at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli until the mission was shuttered in February amid escalating violence. He will be discussing humanitarian and possible financial assistance to the opposition, the official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending an announcement of the visit by the White House on Tuesday.

Three countries, including NATO allies France and Italy, along with Qatar, have recognized the transitional council as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people but the United States has yet to follow suit. The U.S. has also not made a decision on whether to arm the rebels.

The head of the African Union, meanwhile, voiced his support for Gadhafi, calling for the end to foreign interference into what he called an internal Libyan problem.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema, 69-year-old president of Equatorial Guinea, described Western military efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya as a "so-called humanitarian intervention."

The rebels have seen success in their efforts to establish an internationally recognized government in eastern Libya, forging tighter links with Britain and Italy, both potentially major markets for Libyan oil. Italy offered diplomatic recognition to the Libyan opposition council on Monday, becoming the third country to do so after France and Qatar.

A tanker arrived near the eastern city of Tobruk on Tuesday to load up the rebels' first shipment of oil for export, potentially giving them crucial funding.

The tanker can carry 1 million barrels of oil, less than the 1.6 million barrels Libya produced even day on average before the crisis. Analysts viewed the delivery as a symbolic step forward.

The conflict in Libya caused crude exports from the country, 17th among the world oil producers, to dwindle to a trickle, sparking a surge in global oil prices. Benchmark crude was trading at around $108 a barrel on Tuesday.

Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam shrugged off the notion that the regime was disintegrating after the foreign minister defected.

He said of course there would be defections among senior members of the regime because some of them are old and tired and "not young like us."

He also dismissed the idea that Koussa might have new information to offer British authorities about the Lockerbie bombing in which he was a key negotiator.

"The British and the Americans ... they know everything about Lockerbie so there are no secrets" Koussa can reveal, Seif said.

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Al-Shalchi reported from Tripoli. Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington, Jane Wardell and Cassandra Vinograd in London and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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