07-18-2024  3:58 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

China investigators suspect construction work caused fire that killed 16 people in shopping mall

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese investigators suspect construction work sparked a fire that caused 16 deaths in a...

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...

Pacific island leaders agree to enhance Japan's role in the region amid growing China influence

TOKYO (AP) — Leaders of 18 Pacific island nations and areas agreed to an enhanced role of Japan in the region's...

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...

Mirwais Khan and Sebastian Abbot the Associated Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan youth recounted on Monday the terrifying scene in his home as a lone U.S. soldier moved stealthily through it during a killing spree, then crouched down and shot his father in the thigh as he stepped out of the bedroom.

The soldier, now in U.S. custody, is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in their homes in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday and then burning some of their corpses. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said nine of those killed were children and three were women.

"He was walking around taking up positions in the house - in two or three places like he was searching," said 26-year-old witness Mohammad Zahir, who watched the gunman while hiding in another room. "He was on his knees when he shot my father" in the thigh, he told The Associated Press. His father was wounded but survived.

Even before the shootings, anti-Americanism was already boiling in Afghanistan over U.S. troops burning Muslim holy books, including Qurans, last month on an American base. The burnings came to light soon after a video purporting to show four Marines urinating on Taliban corpses was posted on the Internet in January.

Now, another wave of anti-foreigner hatred could threaten the entire future of the U.S.-led coalition's mission in Afghanistan. The recent events have not only infuriated Afghanistan's people and leaders, but have also raised doubts among U.S. political figures that the long and costly war is worth the sacrifice in lives and money.

Zahir recounted the harrowing scene in his family home when the soldier came in before dawn.

"I heard a gunshot. When I came out of my room, somebody entered our house. He was in a NATO forces uniform. I didn't see his face because it was dark," he said.

Zahir said he quickly went into another room in the house, where animals are penned.

"After that, I saw him moving to different areas of the house - like he was searching," he said.

His father, unarmed, then took a few steps out of his bedroom door, Zahir recalled.

"He was not holding anything - not even a cup of tea," Zahir said. Then he fired.

"My mother was pulling my father into the room. I put a cloth on his wound," he said.

After the gunman left, Zahir said he heard gunshots near the house again. He stayed in hiding for a few minutes to make sure he was gone.

The shooting rampage unfolded in two villages near a U.S. base in southern Kandahar province. An enraged Karzai called it "an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians" that cannot be forgiven. He demanded an explanation from Washington.

Tensions between Afghanistan and the United States rocketed last month after word of the Quran burnings got out. President Barack Obama said the burnings were a mistake and apologized.

But the strains had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control - a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.

In Afghanistan's parliament on Monday, however, lawmakers called for a halt to negotiations on the strategic partnership document until it is clear that soldier behind the shooting rampage is facing justice in Afghanistan.

"We said to Karzai: If you sign that document, you are betraying your country," said Shikiba Ashimi, a parliamentarian from Kandahar. "The U.S. should be very careful. It is sabotaging the atmosphere of this strategic partnership."

Still the public response to the shootings so far has been calmer than the six days of violent protests and clashes that erupted after Qurans were burned at Bagram Air Field. There were no signs of protests Monday.

Afghan forces also turned their guns on their supposed allies in the aftermath of the Quran burnings, killing six U.S. troops.

The Taliban vowed revenge. It also claimed responsibility for several attacks last month that the group said were retaliation for the Americans burning Qurans.

The al-Qaida-linked militant group said in a statement on their website that "sick-minded American savages" committed the "blood-soaked and inhumane crime" in a rural region that is the cradle of the Taliban and where coalition forces have fought for control for years.

U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan have stepped up security following the shootings out of concern about retaliatory attacks. The U.S. Embassy has also warned American citizens in Afghanistan about the possibility of reprisals. As standard practice, the coalition increased security following the shootings out of concern about retaliatory attacks, said German Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a coalition spokesman.

The suspect in the shootings, who is in U.S. military custody, is a staff sergeant who has been in the military for 11 years. He is married with two children. He served three tours in Iraq and began his first deployment to Afghanistan in December, according to a senior U.S. official.

He is from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and was assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs engaged in a village stability operation, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing. Special operations troops pair with local residents chosen by village elders to become essentially a sanctioned, armed neighborhood watch.

Two U.S. defense officials said an investigation has been started by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, but that it was too soon to say when any charges might be filed. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the issue.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said the gunman left the base in Panjwai district and walked about one mile (1,800 meters) to Balandi village. Villagers described how they cowered in fear around 3 a.m. as gunshots rang out and the soldier roamed from house to house, firing on those inside. They said he entered three homes in all and set fire to some of the bodies after he killed them.

Eleven of the 12 civilians killed in Balandi were from the same family. The remaining victim was a neighbor.

From Balandi, the gunman walked roughly one mile to the village of Alkozai, which was only about 500 meters from the American military base. There the gunman killed four people in one house and then moved to Zahir's house, where he shot his father in the leg.

U.S. officials said initial reports indicated that the soldier returned to his base after the shootings and turned himself in.

Some Afghan officials and local villagers expressed doubt that a single U.S. soldier could have carried out all the killings and burned the bodies afterward.

"It is not possible for only one American soldier to come out of his base, kill a number of people far away, burn the bodies, go to another house and kill civilians there, then walk at least 2 kilometers and enter another house, kill civilians and burn them," said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province who visited the area on Monday.

Some villagers also told officials there were multiple soldiers and heard shooting from different directions. But many others said they only saw a single soldier.

Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, another spokesman for the coalition, insisted there was only one gunman.

"There's no indication that there was more than one shooter," he said.

Agha Lalia, member of the Kandahar provincial council who is from Panjwai district, said he talked to two people who were injured in the shooting at a hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where they are being treated by coalition medical personnel. Both said they only saw one soldier shooting.

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Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez, Amir Shah, Heidi Vogt and Deb Riechmann in Kabul and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

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