12-03-2022  8:58 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

Colorado hires Deion Sanders to turn around program

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Deion Sanders is taking over as head coach at Colorado, bringing his charisma and larger-than-life persona to a beleaguered Pac-12 program that’s plunged to the bottom of college football. The deal was announced Saturday night by CU athletic director Rick...

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...

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...

By Steven Jiang CNN

Prosecutors in eastern China have charged six Communist Party investigators who allegedly drowned a local official during interrogation with intentional assault, the victim's family told CNN.

The news reignites debate over the existence of a secretive extrajudicial process faced by accused party members.

Yu Qiyi, 41, who was the chief engineer of state-owned Wenzhou Industrial Investment Group in Zhejiang province, died in a local hospital on April 9. The night before, the six investigators made Yu strip and sit in a bathtub filled with icy water, and then repeatedly held his head under water despite his struggling and cries for help, according to the indictment paper, a copy of which was provided to CNN by the Yu family.

The Wenzhou branch of the ruling Communist Party's Discipline Inspection Commission had detained Yu for more than a month to question his role in a land deal. Prosecutors in nearby Quzhou, who were assigned the case, said that evidence has clearly shown that, frustrated by his perceived lack of cooperation, the investigators tortured Yu in an attempt to extract a confession.

Yu's body was covered with bruises in photos taken in the hospital by a family lawyer. The official autopsy sent to the family said Yu died of "lung malfunction caused by inhaled fluids, caused by others."

"He looked so painfully thin that he became almost unrecognizable," Yu's wife Wu Qian told CNN, adding that she was disappointed by the authorities' handling of the aftermath despite the indictment.

"They came only once after his death and told me they would deal with the case in a civilized way," she said. "During the autopsy and investigation, I was not informed at all."

As Chinese President Xi Jinping vows to eradicate rampant corruption, Yu's case has become the latest example of the controversial "shuanggui" process, which often involves lengthy detention and what critics call brutal treatment of accused officials, especially those who refuse to admit wrongdoings.

"Shuanggui" literally means "dual designation" in Chinese, which is short for a probe conducted in a designated time and designated location. Since it is based on the Communist Party's own regulations instead of formal legislature, the procedure is even less transparent than the party-controlled judicial system.

Recent state media reports have highlighted torture allegations in several shuanggui cases, including the sudden deaths of a court official in Henan province in April and a seismological agency director in Hubei province in June. Both families have described the officials' bruised bodies as signs of torture and demanded thorough investigations.

During his high-profile trial last month, disgraced Communist Party leader Bo Xilai mentioned making false confessions under pressure while in shuanggui confinement.

"The investigators took care of me and spoke to me politely," Bo said in his closing remarks, according to a court-released transcript. "But I was under pressure during the process."

Some of Bo's courtroom comments expunged from the official account, however, include his detailing of threats made against him and his family by investigators, two individuals with detailed knowledge of the trial told CNN.

During his incarceration, according to those sources, Bo said investigators warned him of the possibility of his wife's execution and his son's arrest, and told him about the cases of other prominent officials -- one of whom confessed and was spared, and another who did not cooperate and was executed.

Although many legal experts view the prosecution of Yu's alleged torturers as a small step forward, they say the key is to address the root cause of his death.

"The six investigators arrested were mere scapegoats," said Pu Zhiqiang, one of the lawyers representing the Yu family, blaming the legal team's difficulty to access the case files on political sensitivity of the shuanggui issue. "Shuanggui is an illegal process -- abuse and torture during interrogation have become standard operating procedure."

Pu calls for the abolition of shuanggui, comparing it to the notorious "laojiao" -- or "re-education through labor" -- another extrajudicial system in China that allows police to jail offenders in labor camps for up to four years without trial.

The horrific details of Yu's case seem to have jolted ordinary Chinese citizens into reassessing a procedure that has long been hailed as an effective weapon against corrupt party officials. Many had just applauded the party leadership's recent decision to launch corruption investigations against several senior officials tied to the state oil industry, including a member of the elite Central Committee whose sacking was announced earlier this week.

As Internet users condemn Yu's torture on social media, a number of state-run news outlets have also voiced their concern over an unchecked process.

"Power without powerful supervision makes everyone a potential victim -- whether you are a subject of the shuanggui rules like Yu Qiyi or an imprisoned former enforcer of those rules," read a commentary published in the Yunnan Information Daily on Thursday, with an apparent reference to Bo Xilai, who once governed the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing with an iron fist.

"Cracking down on corruption and punishing the corrupt are the common aspiration of the people," it added. "But no matter how just the end is, it has to be achieved through just means."

By Thursday night, the article had disappeared from the newspaper's website.

CNN's Feng Ke contributed to this report.

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