06-19-2024  7:47 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Leaders Urge County to Continue Funding Multnomah Mothers Trust

The program has been entirely funded by American Rescue Plan grants, which run out after this year.

‘Feeling Our Age’: Oregon Artist Explores Aging Through Portraiture

64 women were painted and asked to reflect on lives well lived.

Off-Duty Guard Charged With Killing Seattle-Area Teen After Mistaking Toy for Gun, Authorities Say

Prosecutors charged 51-year-old Aaron Brown Myers on Monday in connection with the death of Hazrat Ali Rohani. Myers was also charged with assault after authorities say he held another teen at gunpoint. His attorney says Myers sincerely believed he was stopping a violent crime.

James Beard Finalists Include an East African Restaurant in Detroit and Seattle Pho Shops

The James Beards Awards are the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. For restaurants, even being named a finalist can bring wide recognition and boost business.

NEWS BRIEFS

University of Portland Honored with Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

UP recognized as one of 25 institutions nationwide committed to advancing leadership in pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and...

The National Civil Rights Museum Announces 33rd Freedom Award Honorees

This is the museum's signature event, which pays tribute to individuals who have shown unwavering commitment to promoting equity and...

Word is Bond, Portland Art Museum, Portland Sneaker Week Announce Juneteenth Celebration Event, June 20

This Juneteenth program uses the shoe as a medium to amplify the creative voices and visions of Black men and their communities ...

Southeast Portland Natural Area Improvements Coming, Funded by Development Fees

Kelly Butte Natural Area trails, park amenities planned ...

Montavilla Pool to Reopen in July After Mandatory Maintenance

The pool will open later this summer due to an upgrade to the pool’s plumbing that required a more complex solution to achieve...

Nurses in Oregon take to the picket lines to demand better staffing, higher pay

More than 3,000 nurses at six Oregon hospitals spent a second day on the picket lines Wednesday carrying signs that say, “Patients over profits” and “We're out to ensure it's safe in there,” as they continued to demand fair wages and better staffing levels. Nurses are...

With pardons in Maryland, 2.5 million Americans will have marijuana convictions cleared or forgiven

Maryland this week became the latest state to announce mass pardons for people convicted of marijuana-related crimes as the nation wrestles with how to make amends for the lives disrupted in the decadeslong war on drugs. Under Gov. Wes Moore's plan, more than 175,000 convictions for...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

Kansas lawmakers to debate whether wooing the Chiefs with new stadium is worth the cost

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators trying to lure the Kansas City Chiefs to their state argue that helping the Super Bowl champions build a new stadium could bring Kansas millions of dollars in income taxes from players and coaches, which are currently going to Missouri. Some...

OPINION

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

On Juneteenth, monument dedicated in Alabama to those who endured slavery

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Thousands of surnames grace the towering monument, representing the more than 4 million enslaved people who were freed after the Civil War. The Equal Justice Initiative, a criminal justice reform nonprofit, invoked the Juneteenth holiday — the day that...

Pharrell at Louis Vuitton celebrates the diversity of human skin in Paris UNESCO show

PARIS (AP) — With just over a month before the Paris Olympics, Louis Vuitton celebrated the beauty of humans and their skin in a star-studded menswear showcase at the headquarters of U.N. cultural agency UNESCO in Paris. Models wearing garb in all the hues of human flesh paraded around a giant...

Rickwood Field, Willie Mays' first pro park and monument of opportunity and oppression, welcomes MLB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Gerald Watkins watched Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and other New York Yankees wade through stalks of corn onto an Iowa field in 2021, near the filming site for the 1989 baseball movie “Field of Dreams.” Watkins thought about Rickwood Field, the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Margo’s Got Money Troubles’ tells a tale of modern love and success

The cover art and title of “Margo’s Got Money Troubles” don’t quite convey the wild ride readers who crack open this new fiction from Rufi Thorpe will take. There’s a reason Apple TV optioned it as a series starring Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning before it was even published. This is a...

Music Review: Paul McCartney and Wings' oft bootlegged 1974 'One Hand Clapping' deserves applause

The sound of Paul McCartney and Wings' “One Hand Clapping” used to only be heard on bootlegs, or in snippets available on archival releases over the years. But it's new (mostly) complete official release deserves two-handed applause. As aging rockers empty their...

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group warns archenemy Israel against wider war

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s Hezbollah has new weapons and intelligence capabilities that could help it target more...

On Juneteenth, a journalist honors ancestor at ceremony for Black soldiers who served in Civil War

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was the middle of the night in the summer of 2021 when I finally found the missing piece of...

Rickwood Field, Willie Mays' first pro park and monument of opportunity and oppression, welcomes MLB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Gerald Watkins watched Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and other New York Yankees wade...

EU criticizes France for excessive debt, putting pressure on Macron during election campaign

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's executive arm on Wednesday criticized France for running up excessive debt,...

Jihadis from Africa’s Sahel have crossed into Nigeria’s north, a new report says. A lot is at stake

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Jihadi fighters who had long operated in Africa’s volatile Sahel region have settled in...

2 French boys are accused of raping a 12-year-old Jewish girl in an act of antisemitism

PARIS (AP) — Two adolescent boys in a Paris suburb have been given preliminary charges of raping a 12-year-old...

Alan Fram Associated Press

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans are greeting the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's financial overhaul law by trying to weaken it, nibble by nibble.

Wary of attempting to dismantle the entire statute and being portrayed as Wall Street's allies - banks are among the nation's most unpopular institutions - GOP lawmakers are attacking corners of it. They can't prevail because they don't control the White House or Senate, but they may be able to force some compromises on agency budgets, pressure regulators and influence some of Obama's nominations.

Days ago, one Republican-run House committee approved bills diluting parts of the law requiring reports on corporate salaries and exempting some investment advisers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Another House panel voted to slice $200 million from Obama's $1.4 billion budget request for the SEC, which has a major enforcement role.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are continuing a procedural blockade that has helped prevent Obama from putting Elizabeth Warren or anyone else in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which opens its doors in two weeks.

The law hurts "the formation of capital, the cost of capital and access to capital, and you can't have capitalism without capital," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee. "So Republicans in the House will be examining each and every one of the 2,000-plus pages" of the law, which he called "a job creator's nightmare."

Confident that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate can prevent the House from doing major damage, Democrats view the Republican drive as a political exercise - for now.

"It's mostly setting a marker for the election. And it helps with their campaign contributions," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who chaired the Financial Services Committee last year and was a chief author of the law. "But it also tells people in the financial community that if they win the next election, they'll be able to undo it all."

The financial industry leans Republican in its campaign contributions but not overwhelmingly. Sixty-one percent of the $9 million that commercial banks gave federal candidates for the 2010 elections went to Republicans, while 54 percent of the securities and investment industry's $9 million went to Democrats, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Democrats are using the GOP drive for their own fundraising.

In one email sent last week under Frank's name soliciting money for House candidates, the party wrote that Republicans want to "bring back the days of unrestrained excess, deception and de-regulation of Wall Street." The mailing called it "payback to their big contributors in the financial services industry."

Obama signed the banking and consumer protection measure last July 21, a keystone achievement that responded to the biggest financial crisis and most severe recession since the 1930s. It passed Congress with solid Democratic support and near-uniform GOP opposition.

Among its provisions, the law:

- Created the consumer protection agency to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

- Established a body of regulators to scan the economy for threats to the financial system.

- Required banks to hold back money for protection against losses.

- Curbed the trading of derivatives, speculative investments partly blamed for the 2008 financial crisis.

- Gave the Federal Reserve powers to oversee huge companies whose failures could jeopardize the entire financial system.

Yet the law was just a start, since it ordered federal agencies to craft rules to enforce it. As of July 1, out of an estimated 400 regulations to be written, 38 are complete. That leaves 362 proposed, facing a future deadline or having missed due dates for completion, according to the law firm Davis Polk.

Republicans say the overhaul went too far and has saddled banks and other companies with requirements that harm their competitiveness. The House Financial Services panel alone has held more than a dozen hearings on the law, in part to underscore to administration witnesses that some provisions - like forcing banks to hold back capital as a hedge against losses - will hurt business, according to the committee's chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

"What we are doing is rational, it is sensible, it is entirely practical, it is compassionate," said Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., a tea party-backed freshman on that panel. "So we are doing the right thing, and it behooves the Senate and the administration to follow suit."

The highest-profile fight has been over Warren, picked by Obama to set up the new consumer bureau. Many Democrats and liberal groups want her to become its first director.

Following a May clash between Warren and a House subcommittee chairman, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to question the Harvard law professor and long-time consumer activist at a July 14 hearing about her role shaping the new agency.

Meanwhile, 44 GOP senators have promised to block a vote on any nominee unless the bureau is made "accountable to the American people" by replacing the director with a board of directors and giving Congress control over its budget. Forty-one senators can prevent a nomination from coming to a vote.

"You try to get leverage where you can. In the Senate, nominations are your leverage," said Mark A. Calabria, who monitors financial regulation at the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

On another front, Republicans want to cut the budgets of agencies that are supposed to enforce the overhaul.

Besides denying the SEC extra money next year, the House Appropriations Committee would limit the consumer protection bureau to $200 million, well below the $329 million Obama wants. The full House has voted to hold the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives, to $171 million, short of this year's total and less than two-thirds of what Obama wanted.

Republicans cast the cuts as part of their deficit-cutting drive, but Democrats say the reductions are designed to obstruct the new law.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said in a speech this spring that budget cuts would mean "an investor protection effort hobbled."

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast