02-06-2023  2:00 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Arrest Made in Stolen Yacht Rescue, 'Goonies' Fish Incident

Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Allen Temple C.M.E. Church Announces Annual Unsung Heroes & Heroines Award Luncheon

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and honor individuals and/or organizations who are unsung heroes/heroines who make a...

Bonamici Invites Portland Community College President to 2023 State of the Union

PCC recently received 0K to advance semiconductor, advanced manufacturing training ...

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...

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...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

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...

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

Civil rights groups seek halt to Missouri execution

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The president of the national NAACP is urging Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to halt the execution of Raheem Taylor, who is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday for the deaths of his girlfriend and her three children. “There are many reasons to spare Mr. Taylor’s...

SC Republicans to appeal redistricting case to Supreme Court

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied South Carolina Republicans' motion for a stay in the ongoing challenge over the state's congressional district map. Leading GOP lawmakers will now take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court in attempt to avoid redrawing the map...

What to Watch: New political vibes this State of the Union

WASHINGTON (AP) — Look for new faces and fresh political dynamics as President Joe Biden delivers this year's State of the Union address, coupled with attention to some old problems brought back into painful focus by recent events. The president on Tuesday night will stand before a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys fashion: Lizzo, Doja Cat, Styles wow on red carpet

NEW YORK (AP) — Lizzo wowed in a bright orange Dolce & Gabbana opera coat adorned with flowers and a huge hood as the wild and wacky Grammys red carpet did not disappoint Sunday. Tattered streetwear, T-shirts and denim mixed with blinged-out couture, wild patterns and plenty of skin. ...

Review: 'Looking for Jane' is gripping, historical, relevant

“Looking for Jane” by Heather Marshall (Atria) Gripping from the moment it begins, Heather Marshall’s novel “Looking for Jane” is getting a well-deserved re-release to hit the post-Roe v. Wade United States market. The story kicks off with a striking prologue:...

List of Grammy winners in top categories

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Winners Sunday in the top categories at the 65th Grammy Awards: — Album of the year: “Harry’s House,” Harry Styles — Record of the year: “About Damn Time,” Lizzo — Song of the year (songwriter’s award): “Just Like...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Survivors scream as desperate rescuers work in Turkey, Syria

ADANA, Turkey (AP) — Rescue workers and civilians passed chunks of concrete and household goods across mountains...

How Manchester City came to face Premier League charges

GENEVA (AP) — The English Premier League vs. Manchester City: a legal fixture for the ages. ...

For Super Bowl ads this year, crypto is out, booze is in

NEW YORK (AP) — The hottest ticket in town for advertisers is officially sold out. Fox said Monday that in-game...

Kosovo PM calls on West not to put pressure over Serb entity

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti has called on Western powers not to pressure his tiny...

Lubomir Strougal, Czechoslovak communist leader, dies at 98

PRAGUE (AP) — Lubomir Strougal, a Czechoslovak communist-era leader who served as prime minister for a record...

The world's deadliest earthquakes since 2000

The Associated Press (AP) — A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing more than...

Barbara Starr and Pam Benson CNN


John Brennan
 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As President Barack Obama's pick for CIA director heads to Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing Thursday, some in the president's own party are threatening to hold up John Brennan's nomination.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden told reporters he would "pull out all the stops" to get answers about the legality of targeting Americans involved with al Qaeda overseas. Wyden was not satisfied with a confidential Justice Department memo that was sent to key congressional committees last year but only became public on Tuesday.

The 16-page white paper indicated the U.S. government could use lethal force against an American citizen overseas if the person is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or one of its affiliates and an attack is imminent. But it was a policy paper rather than the official legal document, which the American Civil Liberties Union says is 50 pages long.

The U.S. drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies has been one of Brennan's biggest legacies in the four years he has served as Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser.

According to a count by the public policy group New America Foundation, at least 28 of al Qaeda's leading members have been killed in drone strikes -- including the U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who played an operational role in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Debate over key question

One of the questions the committee submitted to Brennan in advance of the hearing asked how it was determined that an individual was associated with al Qaeda and that a threat was imminent to justify military force. The question did not distinguish between Americans and others.

Brennan responded in writing that those determinations were made on a "case by case basis through a coordinated interagency process."

Christopher Anders, the ACLU's senior legislative counsel told CNN: "Sen. Wyden was trying to find out that very basic information and has been denied that. So you know the most basic questions about a program that John Brennan has been the architect of and the orchestrator of for four years, the most basic details of it have been withheld."

But late Wednesday, an administration official said some lawmakers will have access to a Justice Department legal opinion on the policy.

"As part of the President's ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the President directed the Department of Justice to provide the Congressional intelligence committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice white paper," the official said. The president, it was said, is turning over the information because he believes the scrutiny and debate is healthy.

Amnesty International weighed in on the debate, saying Congress should grill Brennan on his claim that the Obama administration's drone strikes are "conducted in full compliance with the law."

"Furthermore, Congress should immediately hold public hearings with independent experts to examine the administration's legal reasoning and ensure that the administration is following the 'rule book' for the use of lethal force that already exists: international human rights law and, in the very narrow circumstances to which it applies, international humanitarian law," the group said.

Other controversies at hand

But there are other controversies Brennan faces at his confirmation hearing.

There is his role in administration leaks about covert operations like the so-called STUXNET cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program and a foiled al Qaeda bomb plot in Yemen involving a mole.

Brennan acknowledged in his written responses to committee questions that he voluntarily was interviewed by prosecutors about those two leaked investigations. He said in both cases his counsel told him he was only a witness in those probes, not a target.

Senators also want to know what he knew about harsh interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists when he was at the CIA during the George W. Bush years.

Brennan, who was the deputy executive director of the agency at the time, said in his written responses that he "was aware of the program, but did not play a role in its creation, execution or oversight." He also said he privately discussed his objections to some of the program with some of his colleagues.

Brennan promised "these techniques would not be used again by the CIA if I were the Director."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said last month there have been contradictions in some of Brennan's statements.

"He says that he had opposed 'enhanced interrogations,' or torture, but there are statements that clearly he made several years ago where he supported it," McCain said. "I'd like to see that issue resolved."

Brennan acknowledged in the questionnaire that he still needed to review the conclusions of the committee's 6,000-page classified report on the agency's detention and interrogation program before the hearing, and he may be asked to elaborate further on his response to a question about whether he thought coercive interrogations were "effective in producing reliable intelligence that saved lives."

Although Brennan said he opposed the enhanced interrogation techniques, "a lot of information, both accurate and inaccurate, came out of interrogation sessions conducted by the CIA, including those where EITs were employed."

Brennan says he's ready to lead the CIA

Outrage over the interrogation program scuttled Brennan's chances to lead the CIA in Obama's first term. But now he says he is ready for the political heat.

When Obama nominated him for CIA director last month, Brennan said, "Although I consider myself neither a Republican nor a Democrat, I very much look forward to working closely with those on both sides of the aisle."

As the president's top counterterrorism aide, Brennan continues to be seen as all-powerful.

"I do think John is regarded in terms of the intelligence community, even where he is now, as the first among equals," CNN national security contributor Frances Fragos Townsend said.

As CIA director, Brennan would report to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. But when there's a call for highly secretive covert action, he would have a direct path to the president, talking to him on the phone or walking right into the Oval Office to brief him.

"While the CIA director will keep the director of national intelligence apprised of what he is doing, it is actually the direct responsibility of the CIA director to respond to the president in terms of covert action," Townsend said.

She added that she doesn't foresee a problem because of their long-term relationship. "They know each other, they respect each other and I think they like each other."

As for the confirmation hearing, expect to see some Washington drama, but no state secrets revealed. Any discussion of intelligence crown jewels will happen afterward in a closed-door, classified session.

CNN's Tom Dunlavey and Lesa Jansen contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

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