01-29-2023  11:42 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

'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...

Barrett Strong, Motown artist known for ‘Money,’ dies at 81

NEW YORK (AP) — Barrett Strong, one of Motown’s founding artists and most gifted songwriters who sang lead on...

Automakers Renault, Nissan make cross-shareholdings equal

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan and Renault have changed their mutual cross-shareholdings equal at 15%, ironing out a source...

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...

France must raise pension age to 64, prime minister says

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister insisted Sunday that the government’s plan to raise the retirement age...

Peru's protest 'deactivators' run toward tear gas to stop it

LIMA, Peru (AP) — When police fire tear gas at protesters demanding the resignation of Peruvian President Dina...

The Associated Press

A man leading the Taliban side of peace talks with the Afghan government was an impersonator, an Afghan close to the negotiations said Tuesday, an embarrassing revelation for Afghan officials who have promoted reconciliation efforts as the best chance for ending the war.

Quickly moving to do damage control, President Hamid Karzai dismissed the reports as "propaganda," saying neither he nor any other members of his government had ever met with a man named Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour — one of highest ranking members of the Taliban council leading the insurgency.

The report about the impostor first appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

An Afghan familiar with the reconciliation efforts, speaking confirmed that a delegate claiming to be Mansour "was a fraud." He spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize his contacts with both sides.

Karzai denied that anybody named Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was ever brought by NATO to Afghanistan for meetings with him and other officials.

"I did not see Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour and Mullah Mansour did not come to Afghanistan. Don't accept this news from the foreign press regarding meetings with the elders of the Taliban because most of them are propaganda," Karzai said.

NATO, which was reportedly deeply involved in the meetings and purportedly flew the impostor to Kabul, did not immediately comment on the reports.

Mansour, a former civil aviation minister during Taliban rule, is a senior member of the Taliban's ruling council in the Pakistani city of Quetta. That council, or shura, is run by Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

If confirmed, the claims that he was not really involved would be a blow to the Afghan government's push to find a political resolution to the nine-year-old war. It also raised questions about the credibility of some NATO officials who have said they facilitated contacts between Taliban figures and Afghan officials.

According to the reports, the impostor met with Afghan and NATO officials three times — including once with Karzai — before they discovered he was not Mansour. He was allegedly paid to attend.

Mansour was a well-known Taliban leader and had a high profile job in the movement's Cabinet. It is not clear why officials would have had such a difficult time identifying him. There are a number of former Taliban in parliament and in the 70-member High Peace Council recently formed by Karzai to find a political solution to the insurgency. It was reported that the man was believed to be a shopkeeper in Quetta.

Although quite senior in the Quetta Shura, Mansour was not promoted to second-in-command of the Quetta shura following last February's arrest in Pakistan of Abdul Ghani Baradar. The Afghan Taliban's No. 2 leader was arrested in a joint raid with the CIA.

Mansour was passed over in favor for Maulvi Zakir Qayyum — a former Guantanamo detainee. Released into Afghan custody in 2007, Qayyum was freed four months later and rejoined the Taliban.

In Pakistan last week President Barack Obama's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, played down reports about that senior Taliban leaders were holding talks with the Afghan government.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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