06-25-2024  8:37 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Parts of Washington State Parental Rights Law Criticized as a ‘Forced Outing’ Placed on Hold

A provision outlining how and when schools must respond to records requests from parents was placed on hold, as well as a provision permitting a parent to access their student’s medical and mental health records. 

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Art Exhibit 'Feeling Our Age-Sixty Over Sixty' Opens

The exhibition runs through mid-August, 1540 NW 13th Ave. at NW Quimby. ...

PCCEP Forum on Brain Injuries, Policing, and Public Safety

This Wednesday, June 26, 6-8:30 p.m. in person at The Melody Event Center ...

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

Olympic champion Athing Mu's appeal denied after tumble at US track trials

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Track officials denied an appeal by 800-meter Olympic champion Athing Mu, who got tangled in a pack of runners and fell at the U.S. trials, denying her a chance to defend her title. Mu's coach, Bobby Kersee, said Mu got clipped by another runner on the...

Jury awards more than million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded .1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top European rights court says Russia responsible for breaching rights in Crimea after 2014 takeover

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Europe's top human rights court ruled Tuesday that Russia was responsible for a string of human rights violations in Crimea since overrunning and later illegally annexing the Black Sea peninsula in 2014. The European Court of Human Rights said in a...

Alabama town's first Black mayor, who had been locked out of office, will return under settlement

NEWBERN, Ala. (AP) — The first Black mayor of a small Alabama town, who said white officials locked him out of town hall, will return to the role under the terms of a proposed settlement agreement. Patrick Braxton will be recognized as the lawful mayor of the town of Newbern, under...

California lawmakers abandon attempt to repeal law requiring voter approval for some public housing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Monday abandoned their attempt to repeal the nation's only law requiring voter approval for publicly funded affordable housing projects, a provision added to the state Constitution more than half a century ago that aimed to keep people of color...

ENTERTAINMENT

What to stream this weekend: 'Kung Fu Panda 4' chops, PBS hits the disco and Kevin Hart chats

The debut of “Echoes,” a sequel series to “Orphan Black," and the documentary “Bread & Roses” looking at how Afghan women’s lives were impacted after Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021 are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. ...

Music Review: Concert album from the Tomasz Stanko Quartet explains the jazz lineup’s staying power

Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko ’s first notes on the new album "September Night,” dark and slightly distant, sound as though they’re coming from the hereafter. Stanko died in 2018, and his new album is a previously unreleased recording of a 2004 concert by his quartet. Along with...

Music Review: Linda Thompson’s family and friends sing her songs on 'Proxy Music'

Linda Thompson, who ranks among the finest singers of her generation, hardly sings a note on “Proxy Music," her first album in over a decade. Instead, Thompson makes herself heard through her songwriting. She’s often remembered for music she made with Richard Thompson, including...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US surgeon general declares gun violence a public health emergency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday declared gun violence a public health crisis, driven by...

On heartland roads, and a riverboat, devout Catholics press on with two-month nationwide pilgrimage

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — “Bye bye, Jesus!” a child called out as the riverboat chugged away from shore into...

A potential Trump VP pick backs a controversial CO2 pipeline favored by the Biden White House

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is one of Donald Trump’s most visible and vocal backers,...

With another setback for cease-fire talks, worries of full-scale war for Israel and Lebanon escalate

BEIRUT (AP) — The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group terrifies...

International court seeks arrest of Russian officials over attacks on Ukrainian power plants

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it issued arrest warrants for...

South Sudan says its 6M antelope make up world’s largest land mammal migration, but poaching on rise

BADINGILO and BOMA NATIONAL PARKS, South Sudan (AP) — Seen from the air, they ripple across the landscape — a...

Matthew Barakat Associated Press

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- The calls have reached a point of repetitive regularity for civil rights lawyer Gadeir Abbas: A young Muslim American, somewhere in the world, is barred from boarding an airplane.

The exact reasons are never fully articulated, but the reality is clear. The traveler has been placed on the government's terror watchlist - or the more serious no-fly list - and clearing one's name becomes a legal and bureaucratic nightmare.

On Monday Abbas sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting assistance for his two most recent clients. One is a resident of Portland, Ore. who is trying to fly to Italy to live with his mother. The other, a teenager and U.S. citizen living in Jordan, has been unable to travel to Connecticut to lead prayers at a mosque.

"All American citizens have the unqualified right to reside in the United States," Abbas wrote Monday in a letter to secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking a change in status for the client in Jordan.

Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tries to piece together the reason why a client has been placed on the list. Perhaps a person has a similar name to a known terrorist. Maybe their travels to Yemen or some other Middle East hot spot have garnered suspicion. Maybe they told the FBI to take a hike when they requested an interview.

Ultimately, though, the reasons are almost irrelevant. From Abbas' perspective, the placement on the no-fly list amounts to a denial of a traveler's basic rights: U.S. citizens can't return home from overseas vacations, children are separated from parents, and those under suspicion are denied the basic due process rights that would allow them to clear their name.

Abbas describes the security bureaucracy as Kafkaesque, a labyrinthine maze of overlapping agencies, all of which refuse to provide answers unless they are threatened with legal action. One lawsuit is still pending in federal court in Alexandria, Va. That case has followed what has become a familiar pattern: Abbas either files a lawsuit or exposes the case to public scrutiny through the media, and within a few days the individual in question is able to travel. Government officials then ask a judge to dismiss any lawsuits that were filed, saying the cases are now moot.

"The amount of people who experience tragic, life-altering travel delays is significant," said Abbas, who estimates he gets a call at least once a month from a Muslim American in dire straits because their travel has been restricted.

Government officials, of course, see it differently. They say they have a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program that lets people wrongly placed on the no-fly list, or the much broader terrorist watchlist, fix their circumstances.

More broadly, the government has argued in court that placing somebody on the no-fly list does not deprive them of any constitutional rights. Just because a person can't fly doesn't mean they can't travel, the government lawyers argue. They can always take a boat, for example.

"Neither Plaintiff nor any other American citizen has either a right to international travel or a right to travel by airplane," government lawyers wrote in their defense against a lawsuit by another of Abbas' clients. The teenager from Virginia had found himself stuck in Kuwait after suspicions about has travel to Somalia apparently landed him on the no-fly list.

Exactly how many people are on the government's lists is unclear. Some of the most recent estimates, from late 2009, state that about 400,000 individuals are on the "watchlist," which requires a "reasonable suspicion" that the person is known or suspected to be engaged in terrorist activities. A much smaller number - about 14,000 - is on the "selectee list," meaning they will likely have to undergo rigorous screening to travel. And officials estimated that 3,400 individuals, including roughly 170 U.S. residents, are on the no-fly list.

Calls and emails to the Department of Homeland Security and State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs were not returned.

Michael Migliore was told by security officials last month that he is on the no-fly list after he tried to take a flight from Portland, Ore., to Italy following his college graduation. Migliore, a Muslim and a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy, was planning a permanent move to Italy to live with his mother.

Migliore, 23, suspects he was placed on the no-fly list after he refused to talk to the FBI without a lawyer in November 2010, when the bureau was investigating an acquaintance charged in a plot to detonate bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

"I feel that I did the right thing," Migliore said of his decision to exercise his rights when questioned by the FBI. "I didn't do anything wrong. ... It's very frustrating, not knowing what's going to happen, if I'm ever going to get off this list."

For now, he's waiting in Portland until he can get his name cleared for travel.

In another case, an 18 year-old U.S. citizen living in Jordan with his parents was bounced from an EgyptAir flight to New York. Amr Abulrub had planned to lead Ramadan prayers at a Connecticut mosque.

After a few days of confusion, Abulrub learned from airline officials that the U.S. government had instructed EgyptAir to cancel his ticket. U.S. embassy officials in Amman have subsequently told Abulrub he can travel under certain restrictions, including a requirement that his flight to the U.S. be booked on an American airline. But Abulrub is leery of traveling at all for fear that he won't be allowed to go back to Jordan.

Abulrub's father, Jalal Abulrub, suspects his son has come to the attention of U.S. authorities because of his own writings. Jalal is a Salafist scholar who has sometimes written provocative articles and antagonized Christian evangelists he believed were disrespectful to Muslims. While Jalal says his family is Salafist - generally considered a fundamentalist sect of Islam - he is quick to point out that he has a long history of writing in opposition to the ideology espoused by Osama bin laden and al-Qaida.

"I am not going to let this go," Jalal said, referring to his son's inability to travel. "We don't allow anyone to oppress us."

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