02-05-2023  2:53 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

Q&A: Shania Twain talks rebuilding confidence with new album

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shania Twain felt the need on her new album to empower herself the same way she has uplifted listeners with hits like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face.” So she set aside all feelings of self consciousness — appearing braless...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Election skeptics slow to get sweeping changes in GOP states

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republicans in some heavily conservative states won their campaigns for secretary of state...

Tyre Nichols' mom, chief: Women on two sides of a tragedy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tyre Nichols ’ mother was just steps away from her son but couldn't hear his anguished...

Biden's State of the Union to tout policy wins on economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his second State of the Union address on Tuesday to remind...

US downs Chinese balloon, drawing a threat from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast...

Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner...

Qatar boosts influence in Lebanon amid multiple crises

BEIRUT (AP) — Most wealthy Gulf Arab nations followed Saudi Arabia’s lead in recent years and ostracized...

By Greg Botelho CNN

On Friday, a military jury decided U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will get life in prison without parole for killing 16 Afghan villagers.

Yet victims left behind -- some bearing physical scars, others with emotional ones from seeing their kin indiscriminately, brutally gunned down -- say that, with that sentence, they don't feel they got justice.

Friday's decision was not entirely unexpected. In June Bales' pleaded guilty to more than 30 criminal charges, including 16 premeditated murder counts, spared himself from the prospect of a death sentence. He also pleaded guilty to charges related to illicit steroid and alcohol use.

But it still remained up to a jury of four officers and two enlisted personnel to decide whether Bales should be eligible for parole.

They decided Friday he is not, according to Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield with Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That means the 39-year-old will spend the rest of his life in a military prison.

That's not punishment enough for Haji Wazir. Now 40, Wazir was inside his home in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province in the pre-dawn hours of March 11, 2012, when Bales barged in.

What followed was a nightmare, ending with bloodied, limp and in some instances scorched bodies.

"We wanted this murderer to be executed, but we didn't get our wish," Wazir said through an interpreter Friday from the Washington state U.S. Army base where the sentence was handed down.

The sentence was not just, he added, before appealing to the U.S public to put themselves in his shoes.

"I'm asking the average American right here: If somebody jumps into your house in the middle of the night and kills 11 members of your family and tries to burn them, what punishment would you be passing on that person?"



Wazir and his family weren't the only ones torn on that horrific morning some 18 months ago.

Bales slipped away from Camp Belambay, the remote outpost where he was stationed, and into one village, where he began shooting at civilians. After that, he returned to the base, reloaded and went out again to target another village.

He left a trail of blood and gore in both villages, with nine children among the dead. Witnesses claimed that the U.S. soldier dragged some bodies of his victims' outside and set them ablaze.

The horror ended when Bales returned, once again, to Camp Belambay and turned himself in.

In the subsequent hours and days, some spoke highly about Bales, such as attorney Emma Scanlan who described him as a "devoted husband, father and dedicated member of the armed service."

Yet in Afghanistan and around the world, the massacre quickly spurred outrage.

The Taliban vowed to retaliate "by killing and beheading Americans anywhere in the country." Afghan President Hamid Karzai suggested, after meeting with villagers who'd seen the carnage and wanted Bales to be tried there to "heal our broken hearts," that the incident had put U.S.-Afghan relations at a breaking point.

"It is by all means the end of the rope here," Karzai said then. "The end of the rope that nobody can afford such luxuries anymore."

Bales was identified as the culprit days later and eventually put in solitary confinement at the U.S. military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The military announced last December that Bales faced a court-martial.

The Army soldier spoke at this week's sentencing, calling what he'd done "an act of cowardice."

"I hid behind a mask of Bravado," Bales said, according to a tweet from court from Drew Mikkelsen of CNN Seattle affiliate KING. Also admitting he'd taken steroids and drank sporadically, the soldier apologized to his victims.

"I am responsible," he said.

Because of him, some in Afghanistan are still suffering the consequences.

Haji Mohammad Naim saw Bales come into his southwest Afghanistan home around 2 a.m. and kill women there, as well as some of his children. Bullets struck him in the neck and the face.

That incident and others in which U.S. soldiers have killed civilians -- including another of Naim's sons, in a separate incident, he says -- have disgraced American forces in the eyes of many Afghans. Children in his village used to run toward U.S. troops, Naim said; now, they "run away and try to hide."

If America is to improve its image, there must be accountability, he said. And if Washington wants to help rebuild Afghanistan, "try to send the right people, not maniacs and psychos like (Bales)."

Still, even if the U.S. governments acts differently, some pain and suffering can't be undone.

Recalling tears shed by Bales' mother during the legal proceedings, Naim said, "But at least she can go and visit him.

"What about us?" he asked rhetorically. "Our family members are actually 6 feet under, and there's no way that we can visit them at all.

"They're gone."

CNN's Chuck Johnston, Jason Hanna, Dana Ford and Matt Smith contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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