05-29-2024  5:10 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon 2024 Primary Results

Maxine Dexter, Janelle Bynum, Dan Reyfield and Elizabeth Steiner secure nominations; other races too soon to call.

AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

NEWS BRIEFS

First Meeting of Transportation Committee Statewide Tour to be at Portland Community College

The public is invited to testify at the Portland meeting of the 12-stop Transportation Safety and Sustainability Outreach Tour ...

Forest Service Waives Recreation Fee for National Get Outdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day aims to connect Americans with the great outdoors and inspire them to lead healthy, active lifestyles. By...

Acclaimed Portland Author Renée Watson Presents: I See My Light Shining

The event will feature listening stations with excerpts from the digital collection of oral testimonies from extraordinary elders from...

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All Returns for 2024

Parks Local Option Levy brings the city a full slate of free movies, concerts (including pop icon Sheila E), Free Lunch + Play, the...

GFO Library Open on Memorial Day

We are remaining open to give our patrons an opportunity to use the library on a day off from work. ...

A driver with an Oregon-based medical care nonprofit is fatally shot in Ethiopia while in a convoy

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A staff member with an Oregon medical care nonprofit was killed when the team he was traveling with in a convoy was fired upon in Ethiopia, officials said Monday. Mustefa Alkisim was a Medical Teams International driver traveling in the insecure Amhara region...

Oregon wineries and vineyards seek 0 million from PacifiCorp for wildfire smoke damage to grapes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dozens of Oregon wineries and vineyards have sued PacifiCorp over the deadly 2020 wildfires that ravaged the state, alleging that the utility's decision to not turn off power during the Labor Day windstorm contributed to blazes whose smoke and soot damaged their grapes and...

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...

Mizzou uses combined 2-hitter to beat Duke 3-1 to force decisive game in Columbia Super Regional

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Laurin Krings and two relievers combined on a two-hitter and seventh-seeded Missouri forced a deciding game in the Columbia Super Regional with a 3-1 win over Duke on Saturday. The Tigers (48-17) had three-straight singles in the fourth inning, with Abby Hay...

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

South Africans vote in a pivotal election as president says he has no doubt his ANC party will win

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans voted Wednesday at schools, community centers, and in large white tents set up in open fields in an election seen as their country’s most important in 30 years. It could put the young democracy in unknown territory. At stake is the three-decade...

Most AAPI adults think the history of racism should be taught in schools, an AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. schools should teach about issues related to race, most Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders believe. They also oppose efforts to restrict what subjects can be discussed in the classroom, according to a new poll. In the survey from AAPI...

Biden, Harris to launch Black voter outreach effort amid signs of diminished support

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are stepping up their reelection pitch to Black voters, a key part of their 2020 winning coalition that has shown signs of fraying. They'll launch a new Black voter outreach effort during a visit to the...

ENTERTAINMENT

With a new War Rig and a fleet of motorbikes, 'Furiosa' restarts the motorized mayhem of 'Mad Max'

NEW YORK (AP) — When it was time to start making “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” production designer Colin Gibson went to a garage in Australia to find some old friends. It had been years since 2015’s “Fury Road” wrapped production. Many of the vehicles seen in the film had...

The Beach Boys, going into the sunset, look back on years of harmony and heartache in documentary

Both the Beach Boys and “The Beach Boys” — the new documentary dropping Friday on Disney+ — are all about blending a range of voices. The three Wilson brothers — Brian, Carl and Dennis — along with cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, brought a harmonic revolution to...

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who skewered fast food industry, dies at 53

NEW YORK (AP) — Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, an Oscar nominee whose most famous works skewered America's food industry and who notably ate only at McDonald’s for a month to illustrate the dangers of a fast-food diet, has died. He was 53. Spurlock died Thursday in New...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Palestinian prime minister visits Madrid after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognize Palestinian state

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad...

Most AAPI adults think the history of racism should be taught in schools, an AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. schools should teach about issues related to race, most Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians...

Haiti's new leader vows unity, says he's 'very honored' in first statement since being selected

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Garry Conille, Haiti’s new prime minister, said Wednesday that he was “very...

North Korea flies trash balloons over the South as leader Kim doubles down on satellite ambitions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea flew hundreds of balloons carrying trash and manure toward South Korea in...

A bus falls into a ravine in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 28 people and injuring 20

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A speeding passenger bus fell from a highway into a rocky ravine in southwest Pakistan...

AP PHOTOS: Weeks of sweltering heat scorch northern India

BIKANER, India (AP) — People in northern India have been struggling with an unrelenting, weekslong heat wave...

Lateef Mungin and Michael Pearson CNN

(CNN) -- Praise the Internet and pass the ammunition: the blogosphere is roiling with conspiracy theories over a Social Security Administration shopping list for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Depending on whom you believe, police who protect Social Security Administration officers are either preparing for impending financial doom by purchasing lethal ammo to put down rioting citizens, or they're just making a standard purchase of ammunition for a federal police agency.

It all began last month when the agency, which is primarily responsible for distributing benefits to the disabled and retired people, posted an announcement seeking bids for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why? cried some bloggers.

Infowars, a website operated by right-wing talk show host Alex Jones, wanted to know if the agency was preparing for "civil unrest."

"Social Security welfare is estimated to keep around 40 per cent of senior citizens out of poverty. Should the tap run dry in the aftermath of an economic collapse which the Federal Reserve has already told top banks to prepare for, domestic disorder could ensue if people are refused their benefits," it said in a post.

Each bullet potentially "represents a dead American," wrote retired Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, an Army vet.

"If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?" Curry wrote on the conservative website The Daily Caller, founded by commentator Tucker Carlson.

Conspiracy theorists had previously speculated that a purchase of hollow-point bullets by the Department of Homeland Security was similarly meant to quell impending riots. A few years ago, theorists similarly questioned why the Federal Emergency Management Agency was stockpiling body bags and other supplies, suggesting the agency was preparing for civil collapse.

In the face of the furor, the Social Security Administration's public affairs shop -- which spends most of its time issuing releases about speeding disability decisions or looking up benefits information -- issued a statement explaining that its 295 agents need the bullets for target practice and to protect the agency's 66 offices across the nation.

"These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests," the agency said in an August post. "Our investigators are similar to your state or local police officers. They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty."

Hollow point bullets are standard-issue items for many police agencies, the Social Security Administration said. The bullets expand when they hit a target and can help prevent injuries to bystanders from bullets passing through a body, according to police.

Investigators "use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety," the administration added.

This is just the latest in a long history of uniquely American anti-government conspiracy theories, said Kathryn Olmsted, a University of California at Davis history professor and author of "Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy."

That another one would surface in the midst of a contentious election cycle and continued unease over the nation's financial future is not all that surprising, Olmsted said Tuesday.

But this one, she said, seems particularly tenuous.

"It strikes me as one of the more extreme conspiracy theories," Olmsted said. "I'm surprised it has any traction."

Yet it does.

"You don't use hollow point bullets for target practice," one Twitter user posted Tuesday. "Sorry we're not buying it social security agency. #youarefullofit."

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast