02-05-2023  8:00 pm   •   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...

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

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

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

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

Boyhood collides with masculinity in Oscar-nominated 'Close'

NEW YORK (AP) — When Lukas Dhont was 12, a camera was thrust into his hands. For Dhont, who would come out as gay as a young adult, the camera was an escape from the strains and stereotypes he was beginning to feel pushed on him. “I needed this other reality in which I could...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cubans respond with zeal to new US migration policy

HAVANA (AP) — In barely a week, 25-year-old engineer Marcos Marzo went from riding his small electric motorcycle...

It wasn’t me: Ex-UK PM Truss blames 'system' for her failure

LONDON (AP) — Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss says her failure wasn't her fault. Truss on...

Grammys 2023 live updates: Latest news from red carpet, show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Follow along for real-time, on-the-carpet and behind-the-scenes updates on the 2023 Grammy...

Former Israeli PM: Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A former Israeli prime minister who served briefly as a mediator at the start of...

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters...

Pope makes final bid for peace, forgiveness in South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Pope Francis made a final appeal for peace in South Sudan on Sunday as he celebrated...

Elizabeth A. Kennedy and Zeina Karam the Associated Press


Syria President Bashar Assad

BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say more than 250 Syrians have been killed so far this month as the political unrest escalates dramatically.

Less than two weeks in, November is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest months yet in Syria's 8-month-old uprising.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network says 250 Syrians have been killed since the start of the month. Most of the dead are civilians, and about 20 are soldiers.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented more than 200 civilian deaths. But the observatory has a far higher toll for soldiers, saying more than 100 were killed.

The differing death tolls could not be immediately reconciled. But the startling figures point to the spike in violence recently.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian security forces fired on anti-government protests Friday and conducted sweeping raids during violence that killed at least 13 people, activists said.

The bloodshed came as Human Rights Watch accused the regime of crimes against humanity.

Mass protests after Friday prayers, followed by swift and deadly crackdowns by security forces, have become a weekly cycle throughout Syria's 8-month-old uprising. The U.N. estimates some 3,500 people have been killed in the crackdown since the uprising began in mid-March.

But in recent weeks, the violence has spiked dramatically amid increasing signs that some protesters are taking up arms to protect themselves. There have also been reports of intense battles between soldiers and army defectors, setting the stage for even more bloodshed.

The unrest in Syria could balloon into a regional disaster. Damascus' web of allegiances extends to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran's Shiite theocracy. And although Syria sees Israel as its enemy, the countries have held up a fragile truce for years.

On Friday, Human Rights Watch said Syrian forces have tortured and killed civilians in the rebellious province of Homs in an assault that indicates crimes against humanity. The group urged the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership during an emergency meeting Saturday.

The Arab League will meet at its headquarters in Cairo to discuss the regime's failure to abide by its agreement to stop the violence. Damascus agreed to the Arab League-brokered plan last week, but the violence only accelerated.

Homs, Syria's third-largest city in a province of the same name, has emerged as the epicenter of the uprising.

"Homs is a microcosm of the Syrian government's brutality," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Arab League needs to tell President (Bashar) Assad that violating their agreement has consequences, and that it now supports (U.N.) Security Council action to end the carnage."

In a 63-page report released Friday, Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 587 civilians in Homs from mid-April to the end of August - the highest number for any single province.

In the report, which focuses on that period, the rights group said former detainees reported torture, including security forces' use of heated metal rods, electric shocks and stress positions. Witnesses also reported large-scale military operations in which security forces used heavy machine guns, including anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles.

The group also acknowledged that some protesters and army defectors took up arms to protect themselves - a development that some fear plays directly into the regime's hands by giving it an excuse to use extreme violence against a mostly peaceful movement.

"Violence by protesters or defectors deserves further investigation," the report said. "However, these incidents by no means justify the disproportionate and systematic use of lethal force against demonstrators, which clearly exceeded any justifiable response to any threat presented by overwhelmingly unarmed crowds."

Although the crackdown has led to broad international isolation, Assad appears to have a firm grip on power. Sanctions are chipping away at the regime, but the economy has not collapsed. There have been defections from the army, but most appear to be low-level conscripts.

The government has largely sealed off the country from foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting, making it difficult to confirm events on the ground. Part of the Arab League plan, accepted by Syria, was to allow reporters and observers into the country.

In the absence of firsthand reporting, key sources of information are amateur videos posted online and details gathered by witnesses and activist groups.

On Friday, the country's two main activist groups reported at least 10 deaths in Homs and three others in Daraa in the south and elsewhere. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordinating Committees, an activist coalition, reported protests in the Damascus suburbs, Daraa and Idlib near the Turkish border.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

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