12-03-2022  8:11 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

The James Museum Opens Black Pioneers: Legacy In The American West

This first-of-its-kind-exhibition explores Black history in the West with a timeline of pictorial quilts. ...

Use of Deadly Force Investigation Involving Clackamas County Sheriff and Oregon State Police Concludes

The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions...

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for jumi.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. ...

Scientists call for action to help sunflower sea stars

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Scientists along the West Coast are calling for action to help sunflower sea stars, among the largest sea stars in the world, recover from catastrophic population declines. Experts say a sea star wasting disease epidemic that began in 2013 has decimated about...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Antisemitic celebrities stoke fears of normalizing hate

A surge of anti-Jewish vitriol, spread by a world-famous rapper, an NBA star and other prominent people, is stoking fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism. Leaders of the...

Both sides see high stakes in gay rights Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is being warned about the potentially dire consequences of a case next week involving a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for same-sex couples. Rule for the designer and the justices will expose not only same-sex...

GOP's Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray on Friday in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year. With virtually all of the ballots counted, Duarte has just...

ENTERTAINMENT

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment

BOSTON (AP) — Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world’s environmental problems through...

LGBTQ chorus in Colorado Springs unifies community with song

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Below the vaulted dome and dark wood beams of a church in Colorado Springs, a gay men's choir rehearsed for a concert that's taken on new meaning after an LGBTQ night club became the site of a shooting that killed five and wounded 17. “There is no...

Britney Spears' massive pop songs to land on Broadway, again

NEW YORK (AP) — A stage musical about woke princesses that uses hit songs by Britney Spears will land on Broadway this summer. "Once Upon a One More Time," featuring Spears' tunes, including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger” and “Toxic,” will start...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Defeated election conspiracists seek to lead Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republicans who lost their races for Michigan's top three statewide offices after...

Messi scores, Argentina reaches World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi was pushed into the middle of a joyous post-match huddle as Argentina’s...

Body of 7-year-old Texas girl found, FedEx driver arrested

PARADISE, Texas (AP) — A 7-year-old Texas girl has been found dead, two days after being reported missing, and a...

AP PHOTOS: Residents face new reality in retaken Kherson

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — When Ukraine wrested back Kherson from Russian occupiers nearly a month ago, it was a...

Russia rejects -a-barrel cap on its oil, warns of cutoffs

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian authorities rejected a price cap on the country's oil set by Ukraine’s Western...

Thousands protest in South Korea in support of truckers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators representing organized labor marched in South Korea’s...

Jaime A. Florcruz CNN

Editor's note: Jaime's China" is a weekly column about Chinese society and politics. Jaime FlorCruz has lived and worked in China since 1971. He studied Chinese history at Peking University (1977-81) and was TIME Magazine's Beijing correspondent and bureau chief (1982-2000).

BEIJING (CNN) -- When it comes to fighting corruption, virtually all Chinese give the "thumbs up."

They liken it to "a rat scampering across the street -- everyone is crying 'beat it up!'"

This resentment is mirrored in recent public opinion polls, which list graft among the respondents' top grievances, along with pollution and the rising cost of living, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Far from ignoring this growing discontent, President Xi Jinping's new administration has been targeting Communist Party officials and government bureaucrats whom they believe to be guilty of "severe breaches of discipline," a favored euphemism for corruption.

The Chinese refer to more minor officials accused of corruption as "flies" and their more senior counterparts as "tigers."

So far, the campaign has claimed more flies than tigers.

But the list of high-flying officials who have gone from fame to shame include Bo Xilai, the fallen former party chief of Chongqing, who was recently put on trial and is now awaiting the court's verdict.

The campaign has also snared the former railway minister, Liu Zhijun, who was meted a suspended death sentence, and Liu Tienan (no relation), a former vice minister of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission.

Big catch

However, the big news this week has been the dismissal of Jiang Jiemin, 58, the minister of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), for "serious disciplinary violations."

Jiang's dismissal is stunning news. He is a member of the Central Committee, the Communist Party's policy-making body, and has supervised all the central state-owned Enterprises (SOEs), which generate massive revenue and jobs.

He was promoted into the post only last March. Before that, he was the former chairman of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), one of the biggest Fortune-500 companies in China.

His dismissal follows investigations into Li Chuncheng, a former deputy party chief of the southwestern Sichuan province, and four other top oil executives.

Many of these officials are known to be allies of Zhou Yongkang, who held senior positions in China's oil industry. He wielded enormous influence over China's security apparatus when he served as a member of the nine-person Politburo Standing Committee until he retired last November.

Rumors

This has prompted rumors on Chinese social media that Zhou is also being investigated.

"If the stories about Zhou Yongkang are true -- and the naming of his associates as targets of corruption investigations surely indicates he is under pressure -- then Xi Jinping is taking China in an especially dangerous direction," said Gordon G. Chang, author of the book "The Coming Collapse of China." "I think the Communist Party is in the early stages of tearing itself apart," he added.

Chang says Xi faces grave political risks if he is indeed targeting Zhou.

"Since the end of the Cultural Revolution, senior leaders, as a means of ensuring unity and continuity of Communist Party rule, have honored the agreement not to prosecute each other," Chang said. "If they can no longer be sure they are safe in retirement, politics will inevitably return to the brutishness of the Maoist era. Deng Xiaoping lowered the cost of losing political struggles. Xi Jinping is raising the stakes, perhaps to extremely high levels."

Other analysts are not convinced that Xi is going after Zhou just yet.

"It will be too destabilizing, "said Joseph Cheng, professor at the City University of Hong Kong. "Xi Jinping wants to use the anti-corruption campaign to enhance his popularity and consolidate his power.

"Cases of Bo Xilai and Liu Zhijun were initiated by his predecessors. Xi wants to show that he too is also going after important officials and is ready to tackle vested interests. He wants to do this before the Third Plenum of the Communist Party."

Economic reforms

The plenum, a bi-annual conclave which sets major policies, is now scheduled to convene in Beijing in November.

The new Chinese leadership is expected to unveil a package of economic reforms later this year to stimulate domestic consumption as an alternative source of growth instead of relying on investment and exports that have propelled the economy for the past 30 years.

Cheng says Xi is showing strength, not weakness, by going after powerful vested interests.

He says Xi's anti-graft campaign is tied to economic reform. "He wants to reduce the privileges of the state sector, to make it more competitive and innovative, and to offer a level playing field to the private sector," Cheng explained.

On the political front, however, Xi has shown little sign of loosening up.

A document, known as "Document No. 9" and distributed internally by the Communist party's central committee, warns that "Western forces hostile to China and dissidents within the country are still constantly infiltrating the ideological sphere." These opponents, the document says, "have stirred up trouble about disclosing officials' assets, using the Internet to fight corruption, media controls and other sensitive topics, to provoke discontent with the party and government."

Public pressure

But with China's economy slowing, the rich-poor gap growing and social tension intensifying, analysts say Xi needs to champion initiatives that resonate with the public, such as fighting graft.

Since taking over the reins as China's paramount leader, Xi has issued warnings about how corrupt practices risk soiling the party's image and threaten national stability.

"We must uphold the fighting of tigers and flies at the same time, resolutely investigating law-breaking cases of leading officials and also earnestly resolving the unhealthy tendencies and corruption problems which happen all around people," Xi said in a speech addressing the Communist Party's top discipline body, Xinhua reported in January.

Xi has even directed the spotlight on the People's Liberation Army, where his wife Peng Liyuan serves as a senior officer. He has issued directives banning drinking and extravagant dining -- particularly among senior officers -- and called for audits of military-owned assets.

More recently, the PLA issued a directive tightening approval of gala performances by army singers and dancers. Military performers, like Peng, are now asked not to perform in privately-funded performances and casinos, and not to take part in local TV talent shows.

They are also ordered not to set up companies or studios for personal financial purposes.

While Xi may earn praise for showing his resolve in tackling corruption, it remains to be seen if he can sustain the campaign long enough to eradicate "all the rats which still roam the corridors of power" in China.

 

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