01-30-2023  12:04 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

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. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trustees picked by DeSantis may change progressive college

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — “Your education. Your way. Be original. Be you.” That's how New College of Florida describes its approach to higher education in an admission brochure. The state school of fewer than 1,000 students nestled along Sarasota Bay has long been known for its...

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

Jay Leno breaks bones in motorcycle wreck months after fire

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two months after undergoing surgery for serious burns, Jay Leno is now contending with a number of broken bones after being knocked off a motorcycle. The comedian and former “Tonight Show” host told a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Thursday that he broke...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Avatar 2' tops box office for 7th weekend

“Avatar: The Way of Water” claimed the No. 1 spot on the domestic box office charts for the seventh weekend in...

Barrett Strong, Motown artist known for ‘Money,’ dies at 81

NEW YORK (AP) — Barrett Strong, one of Motown’s founding artists and most gifted songwriters who sang lead on...

Automakers Renault, Nissan make cross-shareholdings equal

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan and Renault have changed their mutual cross-shareholdings equal at 15%, ironing out a source...

Puerto Rico's southern region fights for cleaner air, water

SALINAS, Puerto Rico (AP) — Shuttered windows are a permanent fixture in Salinas, an industrial town on Puerto...

France must raise pension age to 64, prime minister says

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister insisted Sunday that the government’s plan to raise the retirement age...

Peru's protest 'deactivators' run toward tear gas to stop it

LIMA, Peru (AP) — When police fire tear gas at protesters demanding the resignation of Peruvian President Dina...

Elise Labott CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter

(CNN) -- In an effort to revive peace talks with the Taliban, the Obama administration has sweetened a proposed prisoner swap under which it would transfer five Taliban prisoners to Qatar in exchange for a U.S. soldier held by the Taliban, senior U.S. officials said.

The new proposal involves sending all five Taliban prisoners to Qatar first, before the Taliban releases Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the sources said. The original offer proposed transferring the Taliban prisoners into two groups, with Bergdahl being released in between.

The new offer was first reported by Reuters.

The officials stress that the exchange, should it take place, would be implemented in accordance with U.S. law, which requires consultations with Congress before any detainees are transferred from Guantanamo.

At a State Department briefing Wednesday, Patrick Ventrell, an acting deputy spokesman, said the release of the detainees is not a sure thing.

"At this point, the United States has not decided to transfer the Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay," he said.

He added that the U.S. does not discuss its internal deliberations on the issue.

Washington has hoped the prisoner exchange would be seen as a good-faith gesture in initial talks between U.S. and the Taliban, which would pave the way for formal reconciliation talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai.

For months, U.S. officials have acknowledged ongoing negotiations with the Taliban that include the American proposal for the release of Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009. The officials told CNN there have been a series of "confidence-building measures" discussed for his release in the context of reconciliation talks, which have been stalled.

Bergdahl's family has also told news organizations the fate of their son was part of the negotiations. In May, the family told The New York Times they were speaking out because of frustration over a lack of progress in the talks.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman raised the revised proposal in June with officials in Qatar, which has played a key role in talks over the last two years between the U.S. and Taliban. Grossman had met with Taliban representatives earlier this year and in a series of talks in 2011. The talks have now largely been suspended. The Taliban suspended its diplomatic office in Qatar in March, complaining of the United States' "alternating and ever-changing position."

U.S. officials cite a series of indicators that the Taliban is under pressure from NATO and Afghan forces and could be ready to talk about a deal to end the Afghan war.

James Cunningham, the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, told a Senate panel in July at his confirmation hearing that Taliban leaders are "signaling they are open to negotiations," although he said the Taliban must end its alliances with terrorist groups like al Qaeda before the U.S. would endorse any peace deal.

Other officials have pointed to statements by Taliban representatives distancing themselves from the group's relationship with al Qaeda and saying that they would be willing to accept ideas supported in Afghan society, like sending girls to school. Recently, Karzai invited Taliban leader Mullah Omar to take part in the Afghan political process, and last month, a Taliban representative attended an international conference on Afghan reconciliation in Japan.

"These are choices the Afghans and Taliban make, but we have seen some movement in the past few months," one senior official said. "Increasingly, there is an Afghan population that is turning away from the Taliban and a drumbeat of Taliban saying we don't think we can win this and we are getting left behind, so maybe we should talk."

Given the improved climate, officials suggest the revived prisoner deal could be an impetus to jumpstart talks.

"Whether this is going to work or whether it is going to lead to anything, who knows," one senior official said.

The idea of releasing the Guantanamo prisoners to encourage reconciliation talks has been controversial and met with opposition from some key members of Congress, who warned that the release would send the wrong message to the Taliban.

There have been concerns on the U.S. side that not enough assurances had been given in Qatar that the released detainees would not be able to return to Afghanistan and rejoin the fight.

Officials have long said Bergdahl is believed to be in Pakistan, held by the Haqqani network, which is thought to be moving him around often, making it difficult to track him. The United States, he said, has been pressing the Pakistanis as well to get him released.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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