02-06-2023  1:23 am   •   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

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...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pope, Anglican, Presbyterian leaders denounce anti-gay laws

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis, the head of the Anglican Communion and top Presbyterian minister...

Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Kyrsten Sinema won Democrats a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona for the first time in a generation...

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — On Islamabad’s outskirts, burly men bind together in a scrum on a rugby pitch that has seen...

Avalanches kill 9 in Italy, Austria as heavy snow hits Alps

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Nine people died in avalanches in Austria and Italy over the weekend as heavy snow and...

EU migration impasse leaves many refugees out in the cold

BRUSSELS (AP) — Some refugees and asylum-seekers in Brussels have been spending months in between the Street of...

Ex-foreign minister will face diplomat for Cyprus presidency

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A center-right former foreign minister and a career diplomat backed by a communist-rooted...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) -- Moammar Gadhafi's ground forces recaptured a strategic oil town Wednesday as they made new inroads in beating back a rebel advance toward the capital Tripoli. Western powers kept up the pressure to force Gadhafi out with new airstrikes to weaken his military, hints that they may arm the opposition and intense negotiations behind the scenes to persuade Libya's leader of nearly 42 years to step down.

Airstrikes have neutralized Gadhafi's air force and pounded his army, but those ground forces remain far better armed, trained and organized than the opposition. Rebels have few weapons more powerful than rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, and are no match for Gadhafi's tanks and longer-range heavy weapons.

That disparity was obvious as government forces pushed back rebels who had been closing in on the strategic city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown and a bastion of support for the longtime leader. Under heavy shelling, rebels retreated from Bin Jawwad on Tuesday and from the oil port of Ras Lanouf on Wednesday. Gadhafi's forces were shelling another oil port to the east, Brega, and some rebels were retreating farther still.

It looked like a mad scramble: Pickup trucks, with mattresses and boxes tied on, driving east at 100 mph (160 kilometers per hour).

Many regrouped east of Brega at the green, arching western gate of Ajdabiya, sharing water, dates and tuna sandwiches on a sandy, windswept plain next to two burned-out tanks and two burned-out cars from the airstrikes last week that drove Gadhafi's forces back.

"There's something strange about the way he attacked us today," said Abdullah Abdel-Jalil, a 31-year-old ambulance driver. "The Grad rockets, the tanks, the quantity of it all, he's stronger than we thought. It's way too intense."

NATO planes flew over the zone where the heaviest fighting was under way and an Associated Press reporter at the scene heard explosions, in contrast with Tuesday, when rebel fighters' pleas for airstrikes went unheeded. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Clint Gebke, a spokesman for the NATO operation aboard the USS Mount Whitney, said he could not confirm any specific strikes but Western aircraft were engaging pro-Gadhafi forces.

Whatever air support NATO provided, however, did not appear to turn the situation at all to the rebels' advantage.

"We don't know why they're not here," said Moftah Mohammed, a 36-year-old rebel soldier. "Our forces are mainly on the side of the main road. We've heard Gadhafi's forces are pushing deep into the desert" in an attempt to head off rebel forces. "We don't want to be stuck in the middle of that."

Mohammed, however, thought loyalist forces would stop pursuing the rebels. "Gadhafi aims to take back Ras Lanouf and Brega because he's running out of oil. I think he'll stop there," he said.

As Gadhafi's forces push rebels toward their de-facto capital Benghazi, some 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Brega, pressure is growing for NATO members and other supporters of the air campaign to do more.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain believes a legal loophole could allow nations to supply weapons to Libya's rebels - but stressed the U.K. has not decided whether it will offer assistance to the rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that Washington also believes it would be legal to give the rebels weapons. As to whether the country would do so, President Barack Obama told NBC, "I'm not ruling it out, but I'm also not ruling it in."

France, one of the strongest backers of international intervention in Libya, believes arming rebels would require a new U.N. resolution; the existing one includes an arms embargo. But Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, "We are ready to discuss it with our partners."

Under the U.N. resolution authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians, nations supplying weapons would need to be satisfied they would be used only to defend civilians - not to take the offensive to Gadhafi's forces.

Cameron's spokesman Steve Field said British and other diplomats were involved in negotiations with the rebel leadership in Benghazi partly to gauge if the opposition would be trustworthy allies.

"We are in the process of talking to those people and learning more about their intentions," Field told reporters.

Another possibility is to ramp up airstrikes, which so far have been conducted with the stated goal of helping civilians, rather than with helping the rebels advance. But even the airstrikes conducted so far have been criticized by world powers such as Germany and Russia.

There are also hopes for a diplomatic solution.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said negotiations on securing Gadhafi's exit were being conducted with "absolute discretion" and that there were options on the table that hadn't yet been formalized.

"What is indispensable is that there be countries that are willing to welcome Gadhafi and his family, obviously to end this situation which otherwise could go on for some time," he said.

But the Italian diplomat insisted immunity for Gadhafi was not an option. "We cannot promise him a 'safe-conduct' pass," he stressed.

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa visited Tunisia briefly, but there was no word if this was linked to the secret talks.

Uganda appeared to be the first country to publicly offer Gadhafi refuge. The spokesman for Uganda's president, Tamale Mirundi, told the AP on Wednesday that he would be welcome there.

France - which was the first nation to formally recognize the Libyan rebels - confirmed that a diplomatic presence was established in Benghazi on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe stressed that Antoine Sivan will not be a formal ambassador but rather a diplomat there to establish relations with the Council in Benghazi.

Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the Libyan opposition, told reporters in London that, properly equipped, rebels "would finish Gadhafi in a few days."

"We do not have arms. We ask for the political support more than we are asking for the arms, but if we get both that would be great," Shammam said.

Britain, meanwhile, said it expelled five Libyan diplomats loyal to Gadhafi, including the country's military attache, because of their intimidation of opposition supporters and their potential threat to the U.K.'s national security.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

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