08-09-2022  1:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

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Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

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Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

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NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

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Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

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King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

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Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

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Justice Department asks judge to pause Idaho abortion ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge this week to bar Idaho from enforcing its near-total abortion ban while a lawsuit pitting federal health care law against state anti-abortion legislation is underway. Meanwhile, the Republican-led Idaho...

US sued in bid to force decision on Rockies wolf protections

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates sued federal officials Tuesday after the government missed a deadline to decide if protections for gray wolves should be restored across the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains, where Republican-led states have made it easier to kill the predators. ...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Town honors Ahmaud Arbery day after end of hate crimes case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A crowd of dozens chanted on a sweltering street corner Tuesday as Ahmaud Arbery's hometown unveiled new street signs honoring the young Black man who was fatally shot after being chased by three white men in a nearby neighborhood — a crime local officials vowed to never...

Marine general takes over Africa Command, sees challenges

STUTTGART, Germany (AP) — Marine Gen. Michael Langley took over as the top U.S. commander for Africa on Tuesday, heading U.S. military operations on a continent with some of the most active and dangerous insurgent groups and a relatively small Pentagon footprint. Langley, who made...

'P-Valley' explores Black strip club culture, gay acceptance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Katori Hall first pitched the idea to convert her popular play about Black strip club culture into the television series “P-Valley,” the Pulitzer Prize winner was either quickly rejected after meeting with networks or denied before she could fully explain the concept. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Rough-start novel with redemptive, touching finish

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David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Vatican cardinal honors Jewish convert, tells his own story

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Biden signs 0B CHIPS act in bid to boost US over China

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Ilhan Omar faces centrist rival; open House seat in Vermont

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Lawmakers in India pass energy conservation bill

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Hamas issues, then rescinds, sweeping rules on Gaza coverage

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In reversal, Brazil court reopens case of rainforest park

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Alan Fram the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he's confident that congressional Republicans are ready to move ahead with legislation that would continue a payroll tax cut.

"I feel confident in our ability to move ahead," the Ohio Republican told reporters after GOP leaders previewed legislation to extend the Social Security payroll tax cuts - and long-term unemployment benefits as well - in a meeting of the rank and file Thursday morning. He said the party would aim for a vote next week.

One official who attended the closed-door meeting said lawmakers responded particularly favorably to a provision that would assure construction of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

The measure has been in the drafting stage for more than a week, as Boehner and other leaders sought to coax lawmakers to support a payroll tax cut extension. Critics of that legislation have said they don't believe payroll tax relief helps create jobs.

In addition to extending the Social Security payroll tax cut and benefits for the long-term unemployed, the measure has been broadened to avert a threatened 27 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients. All three items carry a Dec. 31 deadline for action.

The House measure varies on several points from legislation that Obama and congressional Democrats want, but the president seemed eager on Wednesday to draw a line at items he described as extraneous His veto threat was specifically linked to any requirement for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project that he recently put on hold until after the 2012 election.

"Efforts to tie a whole bunch of other issues to what's something that they should be doing anyway will be rejected by me," he said.

Obama did not say which other items he had in mind.

Republicans said they welcomed a fight over the pipeline, which they have described as shovel-ready and promising 20,000 new jobs at a time of high unemployment.

"We are working on a bill to stop a tax hike, protect Social Security, reform unemployment insurance and create jobs," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "If President Obama threatens to veto it over a provision that creates American jobs, that's a fight we're ready to have."

Obama would lower the 6.2 percent payroll tax that workers normally pay to 3.1 percent next year, part of his effort to breathe life into the country's ailing job market. He also wants to trim the payroll taxes that employers pay to give them an incentive to hire people.

The House bill would drop next year's payroll tax to 4.2 percent, the same as this year's level, with no tax breaks for companies. It would be financed by extending the current pay freeze on federal workers through 2015 and a host of smaller savings, including charging higher Medicare premiums to higher-earning seniors.

A 2 percentage point reduction in the payroll tax means a tax cut of $1,000 to an earner making $50,000 a year.

A similar battle is brewing in the Democratic-run Senate, where leaders plan a symbolic vote as early as Thursday that is designed for political purposes.

That Democratic-written bill would lower next year's payroll tax to 3.1 percent. It is financed chiefly by a 1.9 percent surtax on income over $1 million, a proposal that is almost universally opposed by Republicans, who say it would discourage business owners from hiring.

GOP senators are expected to easily kill the measure, but Democrats hope the roll call will produce fodder for campaign ads against Republicans.

Asked Wednesday by reporters whether he might eventually accept spending cuts to pay for the bill, Reid showed some flexibility.

"We're ruling nothing out, OK?" Reid said, other than budget cuts to federal agencies, which have already been sliced twice this year.

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