06-12-2024  10:51 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Off-Duty Guard Charged With Killing Seattle-Area Teen After Mistaking Toy for Gun, Authorities Say

Prosecutors charged 51-year-old Aaron Brown Myers on Monday in connection with the death of Hazrat Ali Rohani. Myers was also charged with assault after authorities say he held another teen at gunpoint. His attorney says Myers sincerely believed he was stopping a violent crime.

James Beard Finalists Include an East African Restaurant in Detroit and Seattle Pho Shops

The James Beards Awards are the culinary world's equivalent of the Oscars. For restaurants, even being named a finalist can bring wide recognition and boost business.

Ranked-Choice Voting Expert Grace Ramsey on What Portland Voters Can Expect in November

Ramsey has worked in several other states and cities to educate voters on new system of voting. 

Asylum-Seekers Looking for Shelter Set up Encampment in Seattle Suburb

Asylum-seekers mainly from Angola, Congo and Venezuela have set up an encampment in a Seattle suburb. Some of the camping asylum-seekers were told to leave their shelter at a church while others lost their short-term motel or rental housing when it expired June 1. A notice for the campers to leave by Tuesday afternoon expired with no law enforcement action.

NEWS BRIEFS

Kobi Flowers Crowned 2024 Rose Festival Queen

Flowers has been active in her school community as member of the leadership team at Self Enhancement, Inc., Varsity Cheer...

Summer Events are Shining Through at Multnomah County Library

Start your June by honoring Juneteenth, celebrating Pride and playing the Summer Reading game. ...

PCCEP Forum on Brain Injuries, Policing and Public Safety

This event will feature speakers with lived experience of brain injuries and the criminal justice system, and policy professionals ...

Chaz Ebert Book Signing Event at Powell’s This Weekend

Ebert's new book explores The FECK Principles—a term Chaz coined—of Forgiveness, Empathy, Compassion and Kindness as four...

Portland Trail Blazers Tip-off Summer Series

The Trail Blazers participate in culturally diverse community events throughout the summer ...

Bull that jumped the fence at Oregon rodeo forced to retire from competition, owner says

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Party Bus, a 3-year-old bull bred for bucking, has performed in his first and last rodeo. Party Bus — named after his father, Short Bus — made national headlines last weekend at his first rodeo when he jumped the fence of a crowded arena in central Oregon...

Off-duty guard charged with killing Seattle-area teen after mistaking toy for gun, authorities say

SEATTLE (AP) — An off-duty security guard in a Seattle suburb has been charged with second-degree murder by prosecutors who said that he fatally shot a 17-year-old six times in the back as the teen and his friends tried to return a toy gun that the guard believed was a firearm to a sporting goods...

Josh Sargent out for Colombia friendly, could miss Copa America

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — United States forward Josh Sargent could miss Saturday's friendly against Colombia and could be dropped from the Copa America roster. A 24-year-old from O'Fallon, Missouri, Sargent scored 16 goals in 26 league games with Norwich in England's second-tier League...

Duke tops Missouri 4-3 in 9 innings to win first super regional, qualify for first WCWS

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — D'Auna Jennings led off the top of the ninth inning with a home run to end a scoreless pitching duel between Cassidy Curd and Missouri's Laurin Krings and 10th-seeded Duke held on for a wild 4-3 victory over the seventh-seeded Tigers on Sunday in the finale of the...

OPINION

The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

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...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'Hotel Cocaine' on MGM+ gives viewers disco, drama and plenty of blow in Miami in the late '70s

NEW YORK (AP) — The lapels are wide, “Disco Inferno” is blasting on the dance floor and lines and lines of nose candy are on offer in the new intriguing Miami-based series “Hotel Cocaine.” The eight-episode romp on MGM+ centers on a real-life hotel at the beginning of the...

After years of delays, scaled-back plans underway for memorial to Florida nightclub massacre

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Survivors and the families of victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre had hoped by now to have a permanent memorial in place for Wednesday's eighth anniversary of the attack by a lone gunman who killed 49 people at the gay-friendly club in Orlando, Florida. ...

Virginia NAACP sues school board for reinstating Confederate names

The Virginia NAACP sued a county school board Tuesday over its reinstatement of Confederate military names to two schools, accusing it of embracing segregationist values and subjecting Black students to a racially discriminatory educational environment. The school board in Shenandoah...

ENTERTAINMENT

49ers running back Christian McCaffrey gets honored with Madden cover

Christian McCaffrey grew up playing the Madden NFL video game with his brother, dreaming of being a player in the league one day. Getting on the cover of the famed video game was never even a consideration. Electronic Arts Inc. announced Tuesday that the San Francisco...

Meet Will Butler, the singer-songwriter who makes Broadway's 'Stereophonic' rock

NEW YORK (AP) — The assignment was daunting: Write a song for an onstage moment of transcendence. Make it kind of funny and exciting and for a five-piece band. Write it so it justifies an audience sitting in their seats for two hours before they hear it. And, oh, it must plausibly be a rock hit...

Roger Daltrey talks new tour, thoughts on Broadway’s ‘Tommy’ and future of The Who

NEW YORK (AP) — As Roger Daltrey hits the road on a short solo tour this June, he’s unsure if fans will ever see another tour from The Who. “I don’t see it. I don’t know whether The Who’ll ever will go out again,” he told The Associated Press over Zoom. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US inflation cooled in May in a sign that price pressures may be easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation in the United States eased in May for a second straight month, a hopeful sign that...

Faking an honest woman: Why Russia, China and Big Tech all use faux females to get clicks

WASHINGTON (AP) — When disinformation researcher Wen-Ping Liu looked into China's efforts to influence Taiwan's...

Southern Baptists narrowly reject formal ban on churches with any women pastors

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Southern Baptists narrowly rejected a proposal Wednesday to enshrine a ban on churches with...

US will send Ukraine another Patriot missile system after Kyiv's desperate calls for air defenses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will send Ukraine another Patriot missile system, two U.S. officials said...

Russia, largely excluded from international sports, hosts athletes at BRICS Games

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Thousands of athletes in both major and obscure sports will be vying for medals in the...

Some Syrian refugees risk returning to opposition-held areas as hostility in host Lebanon grows

IDLIB, Syria (AP) — For more than a decade, a steady flow of Syrians have crossed the border from their war-torn...

Hamza Hendawi the Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) -- Osama bin Laden's longtime second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri, has taken control of al-Qaida, the group declared Thursday, marking the ascendancy of a man driven by hatred of the United States who helped plan the 9/11 attacks.

Al-Zawahri is considered the organizational brain of the terror group, highly skilled at planning and logistics. Analysts said he could set his sights on a spectacular attack and on building up al-Qaida's already robust presence in Yemen to establish his leadership credentials.

His fanaticism and the depth of his hatred for the United States and Israel are likely to define al-Qaida's actions under al-Zawahri's tutelage. In a 2001 treatise that offered a glimpse of his violent thoughts, al-Zawahri set down al-Qaida's strategy: to inflict "as many casualties as possible" on the Americans.

"Pursuing the Americans and Jews is not an impossible task," he wrote. "Killing them is not impossible, whether by a bullet, a knife stab, a bomb or a strike with an iron bar."

Al-Zawahri's hatred of America was also deeply personal: His wife and at least two of their six children were killed in a U.S. airstrike following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan after the 9-11 attacks.

The Egyptian-born al-Zawahri had been expected to inherit al-Qaida's leadership, although the delay in announcing his succession led some counterterrorism analysts to speculate about a power struggle following the May 2 killing of bin Laden in a U.S. raid in Pakistan.

"The general command of al-Qaida, after completing consultations, declares Abu Mohammed, Ayman al-Zawahri, God help him, the one leading the group," said a statement attributed to al-Qaida and posted on militant websites, including several known to be affiliated with the group.

It gave no details about the selection process but said the choice of al-Zawahri was the best tribute to the memory of the group's "martyrs."

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. will pursue the new al-Qaida leader just as it did bin Laden.

"As we did both seek to capture and succeed in killing bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahri," he said at a news conference in Washington.

Al-Zawahri, who turns 60 on Sunday and has a $25 million bounty on his head, takes control of al-Qaida at a time when it is struggling to stay relevant in the face of popular uprisings across the Arab world that are demanding Western-style democracy instead of the pan-Islamic nation sought by Islamists.

Still, the lawlessness gripping Yemen, a poor Arabian Peninsula nation, offers al-Qaida a rare opportunity to gain a strategic foothold in the Arab world, bringing it a step closer to the ability to export its extremist brand of Islam to the region.

"He will send his best fighters and organizers there," said Abdel-Rehim Ali, an Egyptian expert on terrorism and extremist Islamic groups. "Yemen is the closest target and a great start for al-Zawahri to realize his dream of an Islamic emirate."

Al-Qaida militants and their allies in Yemen already have taken advantage of the turmoil there to seize control of towns in the south and strike deals with local garrisons to train with weaponry and live openly.

Al-Zawahri, a trained surgeon who hails from an upper-middle-class Cairo family, lacks the populist appeal of his late boss, throwing into doubt whether he would be able to lure young Muslims, particularly in the West, to join al-Qaida's cause.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said al-Zawahri lacks the "peculiar charisma" of bin Laden and said there is suspicion about him among militants because he is Egyptian.

Still, what he lacks in personal magnetism al-Zawahri makes up for with rock solid ideological conviction and organizational and logistical skills, qualities that may have spared al-Qaida a swift demise following its expulsion from Afghanistan in 2001.

It's not clear how much consensus there was over al-Zawahri's succession, but two U.S. officials said he was not a popular choice. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Al-Zawahri and his backers seemed to understand that, so instead of declaring himself bin Laden's successor in his first public video eulogizing the slain al-Qaida leader, al-Zawahri waited for a call by fellow jihadis, said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and al-Qaida expert at the Brookings Institution. The idea was to create the impression of popular support, he said.

U.S. officials said they'll be watching for signs that al-Zawahri is a leader in name only, with affiliates branching out even more on their own.

They noted that communications captured in the attack on bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showed al-Qaida's Yemeni branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, argued against bin Laden's idea of spectacular attacks in the U.S. and in favor of smaller operations.

But al-Zawahri's lack of universal acceptance within the organization, analysts said, could give him added incentive to stage a spectacular attack against a prestige target, most likely American, to boost his leadership credentials.

"He must already be planning a big attack to convince the skeptics that he is qualified as a leader," said Khalil al-Anani, an expert on Islamic groups from Durham University in Britain. "He will be under pressure to do that, and quickly."

Al-Zawahri pledged earlier this month to avenge the slaying of bin Laden and to continue the terror network's campaign against the U.S. and other Western interests.

"He was a given leader from the outset. But he doesn't have the same iconic status or personality as bin Laden," said Magnus Ranstorp, a terror analyst at the Royal Swedish Defense College. "He will focus on attacking the West in a big way. To avenge (bin Laden's death), but also to make himself ... even more effective and relevant."

The son of an Egyptian family of doctors and scholars, al-Zawahri's father was a pharmacology professor at Cairo University's medical school and his grandfather was the grand imam of al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's supreme seat of learning.

He has a long history of radicalism, beginning at age 15 when he founded an underground cell of high school students to oppose the Egyptian government. He later merged his cell with other militants to form Egypt's Islamic Jihad.

Al-Zawahri was arrested in connection with the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and served three years in prison. Many Egyptians remember him as the young man who stuck his head against the bars of the defendants' cage in a Cairo courtroom to answer Western reporters' questions in fluent English.

Upon his release, he headed to Afghanistan in 1984 to fight the Soviets, where he linked up with bin Laden. He later followed the al-Qaida leader to Sudan and then back to Afghanistan, where they found a safe haven under the radical Taliban regime.

Soon after came the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa, followed by the 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen, an attack al-Zawahri is believed to have helped mastermind.

Al-Zawahri has worked in the years since to rebuild al-Qaida's leadership on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Al-Qaida has inspired or had a direct hand in attacks in North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, the 2004 train bombings in Madrid and the 2005 transit bombings in London.

The CIA came close to capturing him in 2003 and killing him in 2004 - both times in Pakistan. In December 2009, they thought they were again close, only to be tricked by a double agent who blew himself up, killing seven CIA employees and wounding six more in Khost, Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban welcomed the appointment of al-Zawahri and vowed to fight alongside the terror group against the U.S. and "other infidel forces" around the world.

"We share the same path with al-Qaida. We are allies," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Al-Zawahri has been in hiding for nearly 10 years and is widely believed to be near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He has appeared in dozens of videos and audiotapes in recent years, increasingly becoming the face of al-Qaida as bin Laden kept a lower profile.

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AP writers Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, Karl Ritter in Stockholm and Kimberly Dozier in Washington contributed to this report.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast