07-18-2024  4:56 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

Tens of millions of dollars raised by a landmark climate law in Washington state will go to Native American tribes that are at risk from climate change and rising sea levels to help them move to higher ground, install solar panels, buy electric vehicles and restore wetlands. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

NEWS BRIEFS

UNCF Celebrating 80 Years of Transforming Lives

The UNCF Each One Teach One Luncheon is Sunday, July 21, 2-5 p.m., Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center. ...

Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Awarded $1.499 Billion

Federal support again demonstrates multimodal replacement of the Interstate Bridge is a national priority ...

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

Oregon authorities recover body of award-winning chef who drowned in river accident

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities said Wednesday that they have recovered the body of award-winning chef Naomi Pomeroy following her drowning in a river accident. The Benton County Sheriff's Office said it located her body Wednesday morning in the Willamette River between...

Aging bridges in 16 states will be improved or replaced with the help of B in federal funding

Dozens of aging bridges in 16 states will be replaced or improved with the help of billion in federal grants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden's administration, the latest beneficiaries of a massive infrastructure law. The projects range from coast to coast, with the...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

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...

OPINION

The 900-Page Guide to Snuffing Out American Democracy

What if there was a blueprint for a future presidential administration to unilaterally lay waste to our constitutional order and turn America from a democracy into an autocracy in one fell swoop? That is what one far-right think tank and its contributors...

SCOTUS Decision Seizes Power to Decide Federal Regulations: Hard-Fought Consumer Victories Now at Risk

For Black and Latino Americans, this power-grab by the court throws into doubt and potentially weakens current agency rules that sought to bring us closer to the nation’s promises of freedom and justice for all. In two particular areas – fair housing and...

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Mexico governor cites 'dangerous intersection' of crime and homelessness, wants lawmakers to act

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Citing what she calls the “dangerous intersection” of crime and homelessness, New Mexico's governor is calling on lawmakers to address stubbornly high crime rates as they convene Thursday for a special legislative session. In issuing her proclamation, Gov....

City council vote could enable a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark — and the old site's transformation

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A key city council vote Thursday on a major redevelopment project in St. Petersburg could pave the way to give baseball's Tampa Bay Rays a new ballpark, which would guarantee the team stays for at least 30 years. The .5 billion project, supporters say,...

John Deere ends support of 'social or cultural awareness' events, distances from inclusion efforts

NEW YORK (AP) — Farm equipment maker John Deere says it will no longer sponsor “social or cultural awareness” events, becoming the latest major U.S. company to distance itself from diversity and inclusion measures after being targeted by conservative backlash. In a statement...

ENTERTAINMENT

NBA agrees to terms on a record 11-year, billion media rights deal, AP source says

The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deals, a record 11-year agreement worth billion that would assure player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come. A person familiar with...

On anniversary of Frida Kahlo's death, her art's spirituality keeps fans engaged around the globe

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Frida Kahlo had no religious affiliation. Why, then, did the Mexican artist depict several religious symbols in the paintings she produced until her death on July 13, 1954? “Frida conveyed the power of each individual,” said art researcher and curator Ximena...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27: July 21: Actor Leigh Lawson (“Tess”) is 81. Singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is 76. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) is 76. Actor Jamey Sheridan (“Homeland”) is 73. Singer-guitarist Eric Bazilian of The Hooters is 71....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hundreds attend vigil for man killed at Trump rally in Pennsylvania before visitation Thursday

SARVER, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of people who gathered to remember the former fire chief fatally shot at a weekend...

The Latest | Israeli minister's visit to Jerusalem holy site puts pressure on cease-fire talks

A leading far-right figure in the Israeli government visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a...

Student protesters vow 'complete shutdown' in Bangladesh as clashes continue

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Police clashed Thursday with student protesters attempting to impose a “complete...

In landmark verdict, South Korea's top court recognizes some rights for same-sex couples

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s top court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples are eligible to receive...

China Communist Party policy meeting endorses leader Xi's high-tech vision for economy

BEIJING (AP) — China’s ruling Communist Party wrapped up a top-level meeting on Thursday by endorsing policies...

The Latest | Israeli minister's visit to Jerusalem holy site puts pressure on cease-fire talks

A leading far-right figure in the Israeli government visited Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Thursday, a...

Beth Duff-Brown the Associated Press

Singer and actor Common, at left, and Justin Dillon, right, also filmed a documentary about enslaved laborers around the world that aired on CNN this past Thanksgiving.



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Justin Dillon's rock band was touring Eastern Europe when he met some college students who told him they were about to get work in the West. They were eager to begin what they were sure would be their new MTV-like lives.

Dillon dug deeper and asked to see their documents. He warned the young women they likely were about to be trafficked into the sex trade or sweatshops.

They brushed him off. They wanted desperately to believe the $2,200 they had paid a facilitator to get them service industry jobs would make all their dreams come true.

"They immediately felt embarrassed, but then emboldened," he recalls of the 2003 exchange. "They said, `I mean, look around. I'll take my chances on this. You think I'm going to stick around here?'"

That conversation changed his life - and his life's mission.

Today, the 42-year-old Berkeley rocker heads up a popular social media campaign to combat slavery. With a $200,000 grant from the State Department, he recently launched www.slaveryfootprint.org , which helps people identify the slave labor used for their own consumer goods. It is approaching 2 million hits.

He belongs to a coalition of anti-slave labor groups sharing an $11.5 million grant from Google's philanthropy arm.

And now - with the help of a groundbreaking anti-slavery retail law going into effect across California on New Year's Day - Dillon believes the movement is reaching that tipping point where the average consumer can make a difference.

"We need cultural critical mass on this," Dillon said in a recent interview. "Modern-day slavery and human trafficking is far too easy to execute, and far too profitable."

After that 2003 band tour, the singer and songwriter became a man obsessed. He learned there are an estimated 27 million modern-day slaves around the world. He wondered how he could fight the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls, bonded labor and indentured sweatshop servitude.

Dillon started offering up his band for benefit concerts. He produced a 2008 documentary, "Call+Response," which included songs and interviews with the likes of Julia Ormond, Ashley Judd, Cornel West and Madeleine Albright.

His first Website, www.chainstorereaction.com , which helps consumers send e-letters to companies, was cited by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and used in the research for the California law signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010.

While some states already prohibit forced labor and criminalize trafficking, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act is the first to tackle the global supply chain.

The law affects an estimated 3,200 companies with a presence in California, including Walmart and Macy's. It requires retailers and manufacturers with gross annual receipts of more than $100 million to disclose what they've done to eliminate slavery in the global supply chain of their goods.

Slavery can mean a sweatshop in India or a cotton field in Burkina Faso, where indentured slaves or child laborers dyed or picked the cotton for those cheap-but-chic garments that found their way under Christmas trees.

The legislation introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg requires companies to audit and certify that their suppliers are complying with international labor standards, as well as provide training to supply-chain managers.

The California Chamber of Commerce and California Retailers Association were among those who argued the requirements would carry huge costs and that private businesses were being enlisted as de facto law enforcement agencies.

Supporters note the law simply requires companies to disclose their efforts - even if they've made none - to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains. While there are no monetary penalties, the state tax board will provide the attorney general a list of those businesses that have not complied and the AG's office will determine what legal action to take.

Monica Richman, a New York partner with the law firm SNR Denton who represents large retailers and fashion brands, said some clients are concerned the law is too broad and the details too murky. But most companies want to do the right thing, she said, and view the law as a tool to benefit business and burnish their brands.

"There are so many really impressive companies in the fashion industry," Richman said. "And they don't want to be known for offering a $500 pocketbook made by a 9-year-old child."

Many big companies, such as GAP, Nike and Ford Motor Co, already adopted clean-labor policies after ugly reports about bonded, child or forced labor in their own supply chains.

Dillon insists Slavery Footprint is not about shaming businesses. It's about educating consumers and allowing them to determine where they will shop - then getting them to tell that story via social media.

"We let everyone know that we're not handing out torches and pitchforks," he said. "But we are developing very sharp carrots in the marketplace."

Slavery Footprint asks visitors to take a survey about consumer products, clothing and food to determine how many slaves might have worked along the supply chain for those goods.

When women are asked about cosmetics, for example, a box notes: "Every day tens of thousands of American women buy makeup. Every day tens of thousands of Indian children mine mica, which is the little sparkles in the makeup."

The consumer can then share the total slave score on Twitter or Facebook, encourage others to take the survey and then get involved by sending ready-made electronic letters to retailers calling on them to be more diligent when sourcing supplies. A mobile app "Free World," allows you to find out more about your products at point of purchase.

"It allows you to mobilize your value set in a way that uses your free time to be able to free people," Dillon said. "We think the only brand that can really ever make sense is, `Made in the Free World.'"

The State Department provided the Slavery Footprint grant so Dillon could try to replicate the highly successful "carbon footprint" campaign by environmentalists.

"He's on the cutting edge," said State Department Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, who heads up the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and believes social media are key to fighting slavery.

CdeBaca recalls the case of an 8-year-old girl whose Egyptian parents sold her into slavery to a Cairo couple, who then smuggled her into Irvine, Calif. She was forced to work for years as a domestic, living in squalor and not allowed to go to school.

She was eventually rescued and in December, at 22, became a naturalized citizen who hopes to become federal agent.

"You see something like that and you realize that every one of those 27 million is an individual," CdeBaca said. "And we can save them. We can walk with them on their path to freedom, because these are all people who, if you just give them a chance, can do amazing things."

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On the Internet:

Slavery Footprint: www.slaveryfootprint.org

State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons: http://www.state.gov/g/tip

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