02-02-2023  3:51 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

"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

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...

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

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Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

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

Kidnapper leaves bloody trail in Oregon, hides under house

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police converged in force on the tiny, unincorporated community of Wolf Creek in southwest Oregon the night of Jan. 26 as they hunted for a suspect who was wanted for kidnapping and torturing a woman nearly to death — and who had previously been convicted of a similar crime...

REI lays off 167 at HQ, cites ‘increasing uncertainty’

SEATTLE (AP) — Outdoor company REI has laid off more than 100 people from its headquarters in and around Seattle, citing “increasing uncertainty” and a need to be profitable. President and CEO Eric Artz said in a letter to employees on Tuesday that 167 people lost their jobs,...

Penn, DeVries lead Drake to 88-81 2OT win over N. Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Roman Penn scored 28 points and distributed six assists and Drake pulled off a dramatic 88-81 double overtime win again Northern Iowa on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs overcame a career-high tying, 30-point effort from Bowen Born who made a 3-pointer at the...

Brown's near perfect shooting effort sends Missouri past LSU

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Kobe Brown scored 26 points on 10-for-11 shooting and Noah Carter scored 14 points and Missouri won its third straight, beating LSU 87-77 on Wednesday night. Brown tied his career high with 10-made shots having accomplished the feat twice before. Reserve Deandre...

OPINION

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. ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black history class revised by College Board amid criticism

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DeSantis pushes ban on diversity programs in state colleges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced plans to block state colleges from having programs on diversity, equity and inclusion, and critical race theory in his latest step onto the front lines of the nation's culture wars. The Republican governor...

Child welfare algorithm faces Justice Department scrutiny

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Justice Department has been scrutinizing a controversial artificial intelligence tool used by a Pittsburgh-area child protective services agency following concerns that the tool could lead to discrimination against families with disabilities, The Associated Press has...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dr. Dre celebrates 'Chronic' anniversary with re-release

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr. Dre will celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Chronic” with a re-release of his highly acclaimed debut studio album. The multi-Grammy winner’s iconic first solo album will make a return to streaming services on Wednesday. His 1992 release became a...

Missy, Willie and George Michael among Rock Hall nominees

NEW YORK (AP) — Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, Kate Bush, Iron Maiden, Cyndi Lauper, Soundgarden, Sheryl Crow and the late George Michael are the 2023 nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, reflecting a mix of country, soul, hip-hop, metal, pop, rap-rock and grunge. ...

'Dr. Phil' talk show to end daytime TV run after 21 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Daytime television psychologist “Dr. Phil” McGraw says he plans to end his talk show after 21 years in the coming months, but viewers haven't seen the last of him. “Dr. Phil” was the most prominent spinoff from Oprah Winfrey's show, which once dominated...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Dances With Wolves' actor due in court in sex abuse probe

NORTH LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former “Dances With Wolves” actor who faces at least five felonies for allegedly...

Lawsuit can proceed against Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse

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Florida city highlights conflicts over local gerrymandering

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India's Adani scraps [scripts/homepage/home.php].5B share sale after fraud claims

NEW DELHI (AP) — Embattled Indian billionaire Gautam Adani said Thursday his conglomerate will review its plans...

Turkey slams West for security warnings 'harming' tourism

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Thursday slammed a group of Western countries which temporarily closed down...

Israeli settler population in West Bank surpasses 500k

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's West Bank settler population now makes up more than half a million people, a...

Sara Sidner and Laura Smith-Spark CNN

(CNN) -- A decision by world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking not to attend a conference in Israel in support of an academic boycott of the country has sparked controversy in Israel and a vitriolic debate online.

Hawking, who's a professor at Britain's Cambridge University, had initially accepted an invitation to the high-profile Israeli Presidential Conference, taking place in Jerusalem in June.

His change of heart this week appears to be the result of pressure from Palestinian academics to abide by a boycott set up in protest over Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

"A letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli president's office from Stephen Hawking regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott," a Cambridge University spokesman told CNN on Thursday.

Hawking is also unable currently to fly for health reasons, the spokesman said.

Cambridge University initially said Hawking's poor health was the reason he was no longer attending, according to local media reports. Hawking, who is quadriplegic as a result of an incurable degenerative disease, has had repeated health problems.

Hawking's letter said he had first accepted the invitation "to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank," the conference organizers said.

His decision to boycott the conference, hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace laureate, has prompted a "Twitterstorm."

Some tweeters accuse him of anti-Semitism or comment on his physical disabilities, while others applaud his support for the Palestinian academics.

One tweeter, Ali Abunimah, observes: "Amazing how many Israelis on Facebook want Stephen Hawking dead, electrocuted or made to suffer in other nasty ways."

Haaretz writer Chemi Shalev, who describes himself as a "political junkie, proud father, concerned Israeli, veteran journalist," tweets: "My take: Stephen #Hawking is now the academic boycott movement's unlikely poster boy."

'Outrageous and improper'

Israel Maimon, chairman of the Presidential Conference, said Hawking's decision to pull out of the event was wrong.

"The academic boycott against Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission," he said in a statement.

"Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be. The imposition of a boycott is incompatible with open, democratic dialogue."

Some 5,000 people from around the world are expected to attend, Maimon said, to hear speakers who include global technology company executives, academics, Nobel laureates, artists and past and present world leaders.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Soviet-era President Mikhail Gorbachev and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair are all expected to attend, he added.

Hawking, who's also a cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician, is the author of books including the best-seller, "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes."

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was established in 2005 by Palestinian civil society groups, which called for international groups and "people of conscience" to boycott or put pressure on Israel "until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights."

Omar Barghouti, one of the founding members of the movement, told CNN: "Stephen Hawking is the most prominent academic today to respect the Palestinian boycott guidelines and to refuse to visit Israel. This reminds us of the moral weight of academics in the boycott of apartheid of South Africa."

He said Hawking had been convinced by the "unanimous Palestinian voice" he heard from his contacts within the Palestinian community.

"There is deep appreciation among the Palestinians for Professor Hawking's respecting the boycott, and we sincerely hope that we convince many hesitant academics to follow suit and to shoulder a moral responsibility of boycotting Israel until it complies with international law," Barghouti said.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Hawking has visited Israel four times, most recently in 2006, when he lectured at Israeli and Palestinian universities.

West Bank housing

Israel's government gave initial approval Wednesday to plans to build 296 housing units in the settlement of Bethel, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned the decision, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Thursday.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina, in a media statement quoted by WAFA, said the Israeli move would sabotage the peace process and efforts made by the U.S. administration to move it forward.

A U.N. Human Rights Council report in January said Israeli settlements had taken a "heavy toll" on the rights and sovereignty of Palestinians.

It outlined the consistent violation of Palestinians' rights in what it called a "creeping annexation" by Israel in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinians welcomed the report's findings, but Israel, which considers the Human Right Council to be biased, said the report would hurt the peace process.

There are about 250 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the report said, all started since Israel seized the lands after the Six Day War in 1967.

Israel's consistently growing presence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has caused great tension between Israel and the Arab world, including Palestinians. Israel says its presence is needed for security.

CNN's Kareem Khadder, Stephanie Halasz, Michael Schwartz and Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

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