04-24-2024  1:57 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Drug War Devastated Black and Other Minority Communities. Is Marijuana Legalization Helping?

A major argument for legalizing the adult use of cannabis after 75 years of prohibition was to stop the harm caused by disproportionate enforcement of drug laws in Black, Latino and other minority communities. But efforts to help those most affected participate in the newly legal sector have been halting. 

Lessons for Cities from Seattle’s Racial and Social Justice Law 

 Seattle is marking the first anniversary of its landmark Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. Signed into law in April 2023, the ordinance highlights race and racism because of the pervasive inequities experienced by people of color

Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

NEWS BRIEFS

Mt. Tabor Park Selected for National Initiative

Mt. Tabor Park is the only Oregon park and one of just 24 nationally to receive honor. ...

OHCS, BuildUp Oregon Launch Program to Expand Early Childhood Education Access Statewide

Funds include million for developing early care and education facilities co-located with affordable housing. ...

Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

A conservative quest to limit diversity programs gains momentum in states

A conservative quest to limit diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is gaining momentum in state capitals and college governing boards, with officials in about one-third of the states now taking some sort of action against it. Tennessee became the latest when the Republican...

Ex-police officer wanted in 2 killings and kidnapping shoots, kills self in Oregon, police say

SEATTLE (AP) — A former Washington state police officer wanted after killing two people, including his ex-wife, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a chase in Oregon, authorities said Tuesday. His 1-year-old baby, who was with him, was taken safely into custody by Oregon...

Missouri hires Memphis athletic director Laird Veatch for the same role with the Tigers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri hired longtime college administrator Laird Veatch to be its athletic director on Tuesday, bringing him back to campus 14 years after he departed for a series of other positions that culminated with five years spent as the AD at Memphis. Veatch...

KC Current owners announce plans for stadium district along the Kansas City riverfront

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The ownership group of the Kansas City Current announced plans Monday for the development of the Missouri River waterfront, where the club recently opened a purpose-built stadium for the National Women's Soccer League team. CPKC Stadium will serve as the hub...

OPINION

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Pro-Palestinian student protests target colleges' financial ties with Israel

Students at a growing number of U.S. colleges are gathering in protest encampments with a unified demand of their schools: Stop doing business with Israel — or any companies that empower its ongoing war in Gaza. The demand has its roots in a decades-old campaign against Israel's...

Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi is 'tickled pink' to inspire a Barbie doll

Like many little girls, a young Kristi Yamaguchi loved playing with Barbie. With a schedule packed with ice skating practices, her Barbie dolls became her “best friends.” So, it's surreal for the decorated Olympian figure skater to now be a Barbie girl herself. ...

A conservative quest to limit diversity programs gains momentum in states

A conservative quest to limit diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is gaining momentum in state capitals and college governing boards, with officials in about one-third of the states now taking some sort of action against it. Tennessee became the latest when the Republican...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...

Book Review: 'Nothing But the Bones' is a compelling noir novel at a breakneck pace

Nelson “Nails” McKenna isn’t very bright, stumbles over his words and often says what he’s thinking without realizing it. We first meet him as a boy reading a superhero comic on the banks of a river in his backcountry hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

A conservative quest to limit diversity programs gains momentum in states

A conservative quest to limit diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is gaining momentum in state capitals...

Pro-Palestinian student protests target colleges' financial ties with Israel

Students at a growing number of U.S. colleges are gathering in protest encampments with a unified demand of their...

The Latest | Germany will resume working with UN agency for Palestinians, following review

Germany said Wednesday that it plans to follow several other countries in resuming cooperation with the U.N....

Villagers in Mexico organize to take back their water as drought, avocados dry up lakes and rivers

VILLA MADERO, Mexico (AP) — As a drought in Mexico drags on, angry subsistence farmers have begun taking direct...

Haiti's government scrambles to impose tight security measures as council inauguration imminent

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Armored vehicles roll slowly past Haiti’s National Palace as police scan the...

Longtime EU hopeful North Macedonia holds presidential polls centered on bloc accession, rule of law

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Presidential elections are being held Wednesday in North Macedonia, a small...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

RAS LANOUF, Libya (AP) -- Libyan warplanes launched multiple airstrikes Monday on opposition fighters regrouping at an oil port on the Mediterranean coast, the second day of a harsh government counteroffensive to thwart a rebel advance toward Moammar Gadhafi's stronghold in the capital Tripoli.

The Skanner News Video

President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its NATO allies are still considering a military response to the violence and Britain and France were drafting a U.N. resolution that would establish a no-fly zone.

The anti-government forces trying to oust Gadhafi say they will be outgunned if the regime continues to unleash its air power on them and are pleading for the international community to impose a no-fly zone to protect them from more strikes. However, they oppose foreign troops on the ground.

"We don't want a foreign military intervention, but we do want a no-fly zone, said rebel fighter Ali Suleiman. "We are all waiting for one," he added. The rebels can take on "the rockets and the tanks, but not Gadhafi's air force" he said.

The government has managed to halt for now a rebel advance that began last week when fighters ventured beyond the opposition-controlled eastern half of the country.

The rebels are now struggling to maintain supply lines for weapons, ammunition and food, with many living off junk food, cookies and cans of tuna. They are waiting for rocket launchers, tanks and other heavy weapons to arrive with reinforcements from their headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has moved military forces closer to its shores to back up its demand that Gadhafi step down. But enforcing a no-fly zone could take weeks to organize, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has noted that it must be preceded by a military operation to take out Libya's air defenses. British Foreign Minister William Hague said Sunday that a no-fly zone over Libya is still in an early stage of planning and ruled out the use of ground forces.

Obama said the U.S. will stand with the Libyan people as they face "unacceptable" violence. He said he has authorized millions of dollars in humanitarian aid. He also sent a strong message to Gadhafi, saying he and his supporters will be held responsible for the violence there.

Hague told the House of Commons Monday that Britain is "working closely with partners on a contingency basis on elements of a resolution on a no-fly zone." A British diplomat at the U.N. stressed that the draft resolution is being prepared in case it is needed but no decision has been made to introduce it at the Security Council. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the draft has not been made public.

Libya appears to be sliding toward a civil war that could drag out for weeks, or even months, as rebels try to oust Gadhafi after 41 years. Resorting to heavy use of air attacks signaled the regime's concern that it needed to check the advance of the rebel force toward Sirte - Gadhafi's hometown and a bastion of support for the longtime leader.

Anti-Gadhafi forces would get a massive morale boost if they can blast through Sirte, a major obstacle on the march toward Tripoli.

Libya's main population centers lie along the country's main east-west highway on the Mediterranean coast and the struggle for control of the country is being waged between the government and the rebels trying to push the front line westward toward the capital.

A force estimated at 500 to 1,000 fighters was pushing steadily down the highway toward Tripoli when it was driven out of the town of Bin Jawwad, 375 east of the capital, on Sunday by pro-Gadhafi forces using helicopter gunships, artillery and rockets. The fighting killed at least eight people and wounded 59, according to medical officials.

The rebels regrouped about 40 miles to the east in Ras Lanouf, where MiG fighters circled over rebel positions Monday before launching airstrikes behind their front lines in the morning and afternoon.

In and around Bin Jawwad, pro-regime forces were running patrols Monday and there were minor reports of skirmishes with rebels on the outskirts.

One strike hit a road near the town's only gas station, destroying at least three vehicles and wounding at least two people.

The opposition also holds two main battleground cities close to Tripoli, and the government appears to have solidified control Monday of one of them - Zawiya. Just 30 miles outside Tripoli, Zawiya had been the city closest to the capital in opposition hands.

A Zawiya resident said government tanks and artillery opened fire on rebels around 9:00 am and the attack hadn't stopped when he left the city at 1:30 p.m. All entrances to the city were under government control and the rebels had been driven out of the city's central Martyr's Square and a nearby mosque by the heaviest attack in several days.

"The tanks are everywhere," he said. "The hospital is running out of supplies. There are injured everywhere who can't find a place to go."

Rebels also held much of Misrata, to the east of Tripoli about halfway to Sirte. But Valerie Amos, United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said in a statement that the Benghazi Red Crescent reported that Misrata was under attack by government forces again Monday. There have been repeated government attempts to regain control of Misrata.

"Humanitarian organizations need urgent access now," she said. "People are injured and dying and need help immediately."

The uprising against Gadhafi is already longer and much bloodier than the relatively quick revolts that overthrew the longtime authoritarian leaders of neighboring Egypt and Tunisia.

Unusually heavy and sustained shooting that erupted before dawn in Tripoli on Sunday gave rise to rumors and reports that there had been an assassination attempt against Gadhafi by someone inside the fortress-like barracks where he lives.

But a government spokesman, Abdel-Majid al-Dursi, denied it on Monday, calling the claims "baseless rumors."

Hundreds if not thousands of people have died since Libya's uprising began, although tight restrictions on media make it near impossible to get an accurate tally. More than 200,000 people have fled the country, most of them foreign workers. The exodus is creating a humanitarian crisis across the border with Tunisia - another North African country in turmoil after an uprising in January that ousted its longtime leader.

The turmoil is being felt more broadly still in the form of rising oil prices. Libya's oil production has been seriously crippled by the unrest.

The conflict in Libya took a turn late last week when government opponents, backed by mutinous army units and armed with weaponry seized from storehouses, went on the offensive. At the same time, pro-Gadhafi forces have conducted counteroffensives to try to retake the towns and oil ports the rebels have captured since they moved out of the rebel-held east.

 

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast