01-29-2023  11:13 pm   •   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

Chiefs top Bengals 23-20 on last-second kick for AFC title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes was forced to rely on his badly sprained right ankle rather than his...

'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...

Elon Musk's mysterious ways on display in Tesla tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk’s enigmatic personality and unconventional tactics are emerging as key exhibits...

Erdogan might approve Finland's NATO bid, 'shock' Sweden

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's president has suggested his country might approve Finland's application for NATO...

Russians gone from Ukraine village, fear and hardship remain

KALYNIVSKE, Ukraine (AP) — When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours...

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...

By CNN Staff




Attorney General Eric Holder called the leaks about U.S. surveillance programs "extremely damaging" and vowed that the person responsible would be held accountable.

Appearing at a U.S.-European Union ministerial meeting Friday in Dublin, Ireland, Holder was asked by a reporter why the United States hasn't requested the arrest of Edward Snowden, the self-avowed National Security Agency leaker.

Holder didn't mention Snowden's name and said the case remains under investigation. Snowden provided documents to journalists revealing the existence of secret programs to collect records of domestic telephone calls in the United States and the Internet activity of overseas residents.

"The national security of the United States has been damaged as a result those leaks. The safety of the American people and the safety of people who reside in allied nations have been put at risk as a result of these leaks," Holder said. "We are presently in the process of that investigation, and I'm confident the person who is responsible will be held accountable."

The leaks have spurred great concern in Europe. EU officials in Dublin raised questions, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel told CNN in an interview that European officials are particularly concerned about the PRISM program -- the secret set of tools used to collect data about overseas Internet communications. The NSA and FBI have obtained massive numbers of U.S. phone logs through a court order.

Merkel intends to discuss the PRISM surveillance program with President Obama, she told CNN in Berlin on Friday. She wants the greatest possible transparency on all these issues, she said.

The European Union has "serious concerns" about the reported large-scale surveillance of online data by U.S. authorities, European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding said.

Holder discussed the leak about Verizon turning over details of phone calls.

The Obama administration invoked the Patriot Act's Section 215 -- as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- as the basis for a secret court order demanding Verizon records that show originating and terminating phone numbers, their location, time and duration. That information, called telephony metadata, requires a court order.

Holder explained that the surveillance programs are overseen by courts, strictly monitored and focused on wrongdoing such as terrorism. He said the program does not allow the government to listen in on anyone's phone calls and the information required doesn't include "the content of any communication or the identity of any subscriber."

"The court only allows that data to be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion based on specific facts that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization," he said.

"Only special cleared counter-terrorism personnel who are specifically trained in the court-approved procedures may even access those records. All information that is required under this order is subject to strict restrictions on handling and is overseen by the Department of Justice and the FISA court. And only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed because the vast majority of the data is not responsive to any terrorism-related query that might be posed," he said.

Holder was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

As for PRISM, he said the program "facilitates the targeted acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning foreign targets located outside the United States under again court oversight."

He stressed that the program is subject to extensive "internal and external" oversight.

"The government cannot target anyone under the court-approved procedures for this program unless there is an appropriate and documented foreign intelligence purpose for the acquisition, such as for the prevention of terrorism, hostile cyber activities or nuclear proliferation," he said. "The foreign target is reasonably believed to be outside the United States. We cannot target even foreign persons overseas without a valid foreign intelligence purpose."

Snowden went public about NSA surveillance programs Sunday in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian. As an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the U.S. electronic intelligence agency, he had been working at an NSA facility in Hawaii and had worked for the CIA in the past.

He provided fresh fuel Wednesday for the controversy he has sparked, telling a Hong Kong newspaper that U.S. intelligence agents have been hacking networks around the world for years, including hundreds of computers in China.

China quiet about Snowden

China has remained tight-lipped about its stance on Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in a safe house somewhere in the semiautonomous territory of Hong Kong

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he also said he plans to stay in Hong Kong to fight any attempt to force him to return to the United States because he has "faith in Hong Kong's rule of law." His comments come as the FBI is investigating his case.

His presence in the southern Chinese territory, which has a separate system of government from the mainland, has raised questions about how an effort by the U.S. government to extradite him would unfold and what role Beijing might play in the process.

"We have no information to offer at the moment," a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, said in response to a question about Snowden at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Thursday. She repeated the same answer to several follow-up questions.

There are "no signs or indications" that Snowden had accomplices or tried to sell secrets, a U.S. official said. Investigators think the leaker is still in Hong Kong and have a general sense of where he is in that Asian metropolis.

Snowden's case has become a hot issue in that coastal city, making local newspaper front pages, stirring legal debates and prompting plans for a rally in support of him over the weekend.

The reaction in mainland China, on the other hand, has been muted. State-run media outlets have covered the case cautiously, appearing to try to avoid focusing too much attention on some of the sensitive issues his disclosures have raised, such as government surveillance of citizens.

The Snowden story has also so far failed to make big waves among China's tens of millions of highly active social media users.

Some Chinese state media have taken the opportunity to highlight Snowden's comments to the South China Morning Post alleging that the U.S. government has hacked Chinese targets.

In recent years, the Global Times newspaper said in an editorial, "the United States has always claimed itself to be a victim of Chinese hacking activities. Many speculate that it's a coverup for hacking activities conducted by the U.S. government. Now, Snowden's revelation proves that such activities have already been going on for a long time."

Among some 61,000 reported targets of the National Security Agency, Snowden told the Hong Kong newspaper, are hundreds of computers in China.

U.S. officials have increasingly accused China of being the source of thousands of attacks on U.S. military and commercial networks. Beijing has denied such attacks.

The South China Morning Post said it had seen documents provided by Snowden but was unable to verify their authenticity. The newspaper also said it was unable to independently verify allegations of U.S. hacking of networks in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009.

Snowden told the paper that some of the targets included the Chinese University of Hong Kong, public officials and students. The documents also "point to hacking activity by the NSA against mainland targets," it reported.

The claims came just days after Obama pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to address cyberattacks emanating from China that Obama described as "direct theft of United States property."

CNN's Joe Sterling, Jethro Mullen, Bridget Fallon and Richard Quest contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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