07-12-2024  5:54 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

Records Shatter as Heatwave Threatens 130 million Across U.S. 

Roughly 130 million people are under threat from a long-running heat wave that already has broken records with dangerously high temperatures and is expected to shatter more inot next week from the Pacific Northwest to the Mid-Alantic states and the Northeast. Forecasters say temperatures could spike above 100 degrees in Oregon, where records could be broken in cities such as Eugene, Portland and Salem

NEWS BRIEFS

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

UFCW 555 Turns in Signatures for Initiative Petition 35 - United for Cannabis Workers Act

On July 5, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 delivered over 163,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of...

Local Photographer Announces Re-Release of Her Book

Kelly Ruthe Johnson, a nationally recognized photographer and author based in Portland, Oregon, has announced the re-release of her...

Judge rejects effort by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to get records from Catholic church

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state judge said Friday that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is not entitled to enforce a subpoena seeking decades of records from the Seattle Archdiocese, despite his assertion that the records are needed to learn whether the Catholic church used charitable trust funds...

California reports first wildfire death of the 2024 season as fires persist across the West

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wildfires fueled by strong winds and an extended heat wave have led to the first death in California of the 2024 season, while wind-whipped flames in Arizona have forced hundreds to flee from what tribal leaders are calling the “most serious” wildfire on their reservation...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

OPINION

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

A World War I veteran is first Tulsa Race Massacre victim identified from mass graves

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A World War I veteran is the first person identified from graves filled with more than a hundred victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that devastated the city’s Black community, the mayor said Friday. Using DNA from descendants of his brothers, the remains...

Mississippi must move quickly on a court-ordered redistricting, say voting rights attorneys

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi should work quickly to fulfill the court-ordered redrawing of some legislative districts to ensure more equitable representation for Black residents, attorneys for voting rights groups said in a new court filing Friday. The attorneys also said it's...

Georgia sheriff laments scrapped jail plans in county under federal civil rights investigation

ATLANTA (AP) — The sheriff in a Georgia county where prison conditions have led to a federal civil rights investigation criticized a decision not to move forward with plans for a new jail, calling the vote “shortsighted" on Friday. The Fulton County Board of Commissioners on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 14-20

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 14-20: July 14: Actor Nancy Olson (“Sunset Boulevard”) is 96. Football player-turned-actor Rosey Grier is 92. Actor Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos”) is 78. Bassist Chris Cross of Ultravox is 72. Actor Jerry Houser (“Summer of...

Book Review: 'John Quincy Adams' gives the sixth president's life the sweep and scope it deserves

To be clear, Randall Woods' “John Quincy Adams: A Man for the Whole People” is not a leisurely read designed for the beach or airport. Clocking in at more than 700 pages, Woods' biography of the sixth president is massive in both length and scope. But that's the type of book Adams...

Book Review: 'Hey, Zoey' uses questions about AI to look at women's autonomy in a new light

Dolores is going through the motions of life when she finds a potentially marriage-ending surprise in her garage: a high-end, lifelike sex doll imbued with artificial intelligence named Zoey. There are a lot of places that author Sarah Crossan can go from here — when is it cheating?...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Jury ends first day of deliberations in US Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption trial without a verdict

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jury finished its first three hours of deliberations Friday without reaching a...

Increasingly popular 'parametric insurance' helps farmers and others hit hard by extreme weather

MINDANAO, Philippines (AP) — Joemar Flores, a spindly 28-year-old, gestured across his family’s farmland,...

Data of nearly all AT&T customers downloaded to a third-party platform in security breach

The data of nearly all customers of the telecommunications giant AT&T was downloaded to a third-party platform...

Argentina indicts 2 visiting French rugby players in a harrowing case of sexual assault

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine prosecutors on Friday charged two French rugby players with aggravated...

The gods must be angry: Mexico 'cancels' statue of Greek god Poseidon after dispute with local deity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The gods must be angry — or just laughing at the hubris of humanity. ...

The collapse of a school in northern Nigeria leaves 22 students dead, officials say

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A two-story school collapsed during morning classes Friday in north-central Nigeria,...

Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new budget report released Tuesday predicts the government will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in the fiscal year that ends in September, a slight dip from last year but still very high by any measure.

The Congressional Budget Office report also says that annual deficits will remain in the $1 trillion range for the next several years if Bush-era tax cuts slated to expire in December are extended, as commonly assumed - and if Congress is unable to live within the tight "caps" the lawmakers themselves placed on agency budgets last year.

The report is yet another reminder of the perilous fiscal situation the government is in, but it's commonly assumed that President Barack Obama and lawmakers in Congress will be able to accomplish little on the deficit issue during an election year. The report was slightly more pessimistic than CBO's most recent projections last summer and would mean the fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

The first wave of statements from lawmakers had a familiar ring as each party cast blame on the other.

"Four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits, no credible plan to lift the crushing burden of debt," said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., "The president and his party's leaders have fallen short in their duty to tackle our generation's most pressing fiscal and economic challenges."

"We will not solve this problem unless both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are willing to move off their fixed positions and find common ground," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D. "Republicans must be willing to put revenue on the table."

The CBO study also predicts modest economic growth of 2 percent this year and forecasts that the unemployment rate will be 8.9 percent on Election Day. That is based on an assumption that President Barack Obama will fail to win renewal of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits by the end of next month.

That jobless rate is higher than the rates that contributed to losses by Presidents Jimmy Carter (7.5 percent) and George H.W. Bush (7.4 percent). The agency also predicts that unemployment will average 9.1 percent in 2013 and remain at 7 percent or above through 2015.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, however, told reporters that extending the two percentage point cut in Social Security payroll taxes would only lift the economy by perhaps one-fourth of a percentage point this year and would likely yield only a 0.1 to 0.2 percentage point drop in the jobless rate.

The agency's budget projections are worse than those issued last summer, in large part because its views on the economy are more pessimistic now. Last August, CBO predicted a $953 billion deficit for 2012 fiscal year. Corporate tax receipts are sharply lower than anticipated last year.

On the economy as a whole, CBO now predicts 2 percent growth from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of this year, a 0.7 percentage point drop from its August numbers. Its predictions of the jobless rate are 0.4 percent higher.

"We have not had a period of such persistently high unemployment since the Depression," Elmendorf said.

The new figures also show that last summer's budget and debt pact has barely made a dent in the government's fiscal woes.

The pact imposed $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, but lawmakers are already talking about easing across-the-board spending cuts required under the agreement. The modified estimates predict $11 trillion in accumulated deficits over the 2013-2022 if the Bush-era cuts in taxes on income, investments, large estates and on families with children are renewed. Obama has proposed largely extending them, but allowing them to expire for upper-income taxpayers.

Extending the full range of the Bush tax cuts costs $5.4 trillion over the coming decade, CBO says. Elmendorf said allowing tax rates to increase for families making more than $250,000 a year as Obama has proposed would shave perhaps $1 trillion from the 10-year costs of extending the tax cuts.

Last year, Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tried but failed to reach a "grand bargain" on the deficit, an effort that got hung up over taxes and cuts to major benefit programs like Medicare. A subsequent attempt by a congressional "supercommittee" to find smaller saving sputtered over the same issues.

What's left is a heap of unfinished business that comes to a head at the end of the year: expiring tax cuts and painful across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon and many domestic programs. To top it off, another politically toxic increase in the debt limit will be needed at some point shortly after the November elections.

The deficit would require the government to borrow 30 cents of every dollar it spends. Put another way, the deficit will reach 7 percent of the size of the economy, a slight dip from last year's 8.7 percent of gross domestic product.

The CBO report shows that the deficit dilemma would largely be solved if the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 - and renewed in 2010 through the end of this year - were allowed to lapse. Under that scenario, the deficit would drop to $585 billion in 2013 and to $220 billion in 2017.

But expiration of those tax cuts would slam the economy, CBO said, bringing growth down to a paltry 1.1 percent next year. However, the economy would quickly rebound in 2014 and beyond.

Obama is scheduled to release his 2013 budget on Feb. 13.

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