02-05-2023  3:32 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...

Oregon brothers cut food waste and created the tater tot

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — When brothers Golden and Francis Nephi “Neef” Grigg began renting a frozen foods plant in the tiny Idaho border town of Ontario, Oregon, in 1949, they were hoping to expand their existing frozen corn business to include potatoes. Little did they know they’d taken the...

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...

Bradley defeats Northern Iowa 77-69

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Malevy Leons scored 19 points as Bradley beat Northern Iowa 77-69 on Saturday night. Leons was 5-of-8 shooting, including 4 for 6 from distance, and went 5 for 8 from the line for the Braves (17-8, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Rienk Mast went 8 of 12...

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

Jessy Wilson on 'Keep Rising' anthem and the hope it brings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jessy Wilson was ready to give up her musical dream when a film about female African warriors showed her the power of perseverance. Wilson’s Grammy -nominated song “Keep Rising,” was picked by director Gina Prince-Bythewood to be...

Bryan Adams, crafting albums amid Grammy Award nomination

NEW YORK (AP) — Bryan Adams may have nabbed his first Grammy nomination in over two decades, but he won't be at the ceremony. He's got a gig that night. The Canadian rock star had committed to a concert in Las Vegas on Sunday and he didn't want to disappoint his fans or his crew by...

Review: Stafford-Jutz album brings to life forgotten voices

“Lost Voices,” Tim Stafford & Thomm Jutz (Mountain Fever) “Lost Voices” features new songs written in the past tense, and serves as an engaging soundtrack to neglected chapters in American history. The album comes from the formidable singer-storyteller team...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Grammy predictions: AP writers debate who'll win on Sunday

The Beyhive is all abuzz over the possibility that Beyoncé will have a chance to make Grammy history this year,...

Biden makes progress on 'unity agenda' outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top...

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters...

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation,...

Israeli army besieges homes of fugitives in West Bank raid

AQABAT JABR REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli army raided a refugee camp near the Palestinian city of...

Bolsonaro ponders election defeat, as crowd chants ‘fraud’

MIAMI (AP) — Only a few weeks after his supporters stormed the seat of his country's government, former...

Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As a top House Republican signaled new flexibility on White House demands to close wasteful or ineffective tax loopholes, President Barack Obama responded with some of his harshest political rhetoric to date in advance of a Thursday negotiating session on the budget.

Wednesday's salvo came hours after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., opened the door to closing wasteful or unfair tax loopholes in the battle over a must-pass proposal to increase the government's borrowing authority. Obama suggested that Republicans are using the debt limit measure "as a gun against the heads" of Americans to retain breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies.

"If the president wants to talk loopholes, we'll be glad to talk loopholes," Cantor said, adding that revenues raised from those revisions "should be coupled with offsetting tax cuts somewhere else."

Shortly thereafter, at a White House Twitter town hall, Obama fired a sharp response. It was far more partisan than the language he used Tuesday to invite top lawmakers in both parties to the White House to move the budget talks forward. They've been stalled since a bipartisan group led by Vice President Joe Biden broke up last month after Republicans declared an impasse on taxes.

"The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars," Obama said. "I'm happy to have those debates. I think the American people are on my side on this."

Obama is seeking to reduce the deficit, in part, through new tax revenue raised by closing loopholes and tax subsidies. Among the examples the White House cites are tax benefits for companies that buy corporate jets. He also has called for ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, a proposal that would generate about $40 billion in revenue over 10 years.

At the same time, Cantor's comments reflected important, if nuanced, flexibility for Republicans. His earlier position was that closing loopholes should wait for a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code.

Cantor declined to specify what tax cuts should be financed by any new loophole-related revenues. He declined to rule out using them to extend expiring tax cuts, such as a credit for new research and development that's popular with businesses.

The show of flexibility comes in advance of Thursday's meeting between Obama and top congressional leaders to raise the debt limit and avoid a historic default.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that Obama is confident he has enough lawmakers behind him to reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

"The president believes, we believe, that there are enough members of both parties in both houses who support the idea that a big deal has to be balanced and therefore include spending cuts in the tax code," Carney said.

The assertion reinforced and expanded on Obama's comments Tuesday that back-channel talks with congressional leaders last weekend made progress in advance of Thursday's talks. But Carney cautioned that no final deal should be expected.

The president is siding with House Speaker John Boehner in insisting that negotiators resist the temptation to "kick the can down the road" and settle for a makeshift, short-term solution to stave off the U.S.' first default next month.

At issue is the need to raise the government's so-called debt limit to avoid a default on its obligations to bondholders and Social Security beneficiaries. Republicans want deficit cuts in the range of at least $2.4 trillion over 10 years to offset the amount of new government borrowing needed simply to avoid another vote before 2013.

Obama, answering questions Thursday posed through the Twitter online social network, pushed aside a question over whether he would use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling by executive order, a suggestion floated by some Democrats.

The amendment states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Obama said: "I don't think we should even get to the constitutional issue. Congress has a responsibility to make sure we pay our bills. We've always paid them in the past. The notion that the United States would default on its debt is just irresponsible."

Obama met with Boehner on Sunday for the first time since Republicans last month abandoned the Biden-led negotiations. Carney on Wednesday declined to discuss Sunday's meeting, refusing even to acknowledge that it had occurred. He said the talks had a better chance of success if Sunday's details were kept under wraps.

The administration says that if the government's borrowing authority is not increased by Aug. 2, the U.S. will face a historic first default, potentially throwing financial markets into turmoil.

Obama isn't calling for increases in tax rates. On Tuesday, the president urged Republicans to agree to eliminate "certain tax breaks and deductions for the wealthiest of Americans", those in the 35 percent tax bracket.

Boehner attacked the proposal that day as an assault on small businesses but was subdued on questions like oil and gas subsidies or a much-publicized tax provision that gives favorable treatment to companies that buy corporate jets.

"We're not dealing just with talking points about corporate jets or other `loopholes,'" Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "The legislation the president has asked for, which would increase taxes on small businesses and destroy more American jobs, cannot pass the House, as I have stated repeatedly."

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Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

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