12-03-2022  3:37 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

The James Museum Opens Black Pioneers: Legacy In The American West

This first-of-its-kind-exhibition explores Black history in the West with a timeline of pictorial quilts. ...

Use of Deadly Force Investigation Involving Clackamas County Sheriff and Oregon State Police Concludes

The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions...

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for jumi.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. ...

Scientists call for action to help sunflower sea stars

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Scientists along the West Coast are calling for action to help sunflower sea stars, among the largest sea stars in the world, recover from catastrophic population declines. Experts say a sea star wasting disease epidemic that began in 2013 has decimated about...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Antisemitic celebrities stoke fears of normalizing hate

A surge of anti-Jewish vitriol, spread by a world-famous rapper, an NBA star and other prominent people, is stoking fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism. Leaders of the...

Both sides see high stakes in gay rights Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is being warned about the potentially dire consequences of a case next week involving a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for same-sex couples. Rule for the designer and the justices will expose not only same-sex...

GOP's Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray on Friday in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year. With virtually all of the ballots counted, Duarte has just...

ENTERTAINMENT

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment

BOSTON (AP) — Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world’s environmental problems through...

LGBTQ chorus in Colorado Springs unifies community with song

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Below the vaulted dome and dark wood beams of a church in Colorado Springs, a gay men's choir rehearsed for a concert that's taken on new meaning after an LGBTQ night club became the site of a shooting that killed five and wounded 17. “There is no...

Britney Spears' massive pop songs to land on Broadway, again

NEW YORK (AP) — A stage musical about woke princesses that uses hit songs by Britney Spears will land on Broadway this summer. "Once Upon a One More Time," featuring Spears' tunes, including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger” and “Toxic,” will start...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Polynesian pride: Three-day canoe voyage in mid-Pacific

RAPA NUI, Chile (AP) — The causes are worthy, the course is daunting – almost 500 kilometers (about 300 miles)...

Defeated election conspiracists seek to lead Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republicans who lost their races for Michigan's top three statewide offices after...

Messi scores, Argentina reaches World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi was pushed into the middle of a joyous post-match huddle as Argentina’s...

AP PHOTOS: Residents face new reality in retaken Kherson

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — When Ukraine wrested back Kherson from Russian occupiers nearly a month ago, it was a...

Russia rejects -a-barrel cap on its oil, warns of cutoffs

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian authorities rejected a price cap on the country's oil set by Ukraine’s Western...

Thousands protest in South Korea in support of truckers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators representing organized labor marched in South Korea’s...

Louis E. V. Nevaer New America Media

MERIDA, Mexico -- In the wake of Mexico's presidential election Sunday, analysts are expecting Mexico to launch a major "blitzkrieg surge" against the drug cartels during current president Felipe Calderon's lame duck period.

President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto won't take office until Dec. 1, leaving a five-month period during which Mexico is expected to intensify its drive against the drug cartels.

To the Mexican electorate – exhausted by six years of being affronted by the daily body count that was the product of Calderon's militarization of the drug war – PRI candidate Peña Nieto promised to change strategy, and work to reduce violence.

"The task of the state, what should be its priority from my point of view, and what I have called for in this campaign, is to reduce the levels of violence," he said in several interviews, by way of explaining his intention in shifting Calderon's hard line against the various drug organizations operating throughout the country.

In private, however, Peña Nieto quietly reassured American officials that they could count on Mexico's continued cooperation in current efforts to continue the war on drugs. A senior Obama official told reporters that Peña Nieto had assured the White House that "he is going to keep working with us."

To make matters more complicated, Peña Nieto and Calderon have been working together, mindful of the opportunity presented by this lame-duck period – between July 1 and Dec. 1 – which affords Mexico the time frame to intensify military strikes against the drug cartels before the new president is sworn in.

It is expected that a blitkreig-style military "surge" against the drug cartels could strike at the heart of these organizations, and debilitate them to such a degree that the new Mexican president can then begin to implement a different set of strategies. Calderon's six-year war against the drug cartels has already wreaked havoc, with hundreds of leaders and operatives from the major cartels and drug organizations killed, imprisoned or extradited to the United States.

For a year Calderon has sent almost 2,000 elite Mexican Army special forces to the border states and during the same period the United States has been sending CIA operatives and retired U.S. forces to Mexico.

Calderon's reputation has already been sullied by a drug war that has left more than 50,000 people dead, and his hope is that a final series of strikes will get the job done before he leaves office. If that happens, in due course his image could be rehabilitated and the Mexican public could come to recognize that his policies prevented Mexico from becoming a narco-state.

The incoming president, meanwhile, can only stand to benefit from a major blitzkrieg before taking office.

Peña Nieto appointed Gen. Oscar Naranjo, the former chief of Colombia's national police, as a "special advisor," signaling his belief in a strong military approach to the "war on drugs." Naranjo lives in Washington, D.C. and has been flying between the U.S. capital and Mexico City in an advisory role.

"Mexico has accumulated achievements, it's delivered lives, enormous sacrifices," Naranjo told reporters last month. "Security, understood as a democratic value, is expressed in policies that are totally inclusive, that protect everyone."

How closely the Obama administration has been working with Peña Nieto – and his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which has been out of power since 2000 – is a matter of speculation.

Rear Adm. Colin Kilrain, a former senior commander of the U.S. Navy's special forces, who worked on anti-terrorism for the National Security Council in 2011, was appointed to the post of military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in February 2012.

For Calderon, who is now a lame-duck president, and desperately wants to be vindicated by carrying out a series of "death blows" to the remaining cartel leaders, it is imperative that the next five months include a series of bold, aggressive and successful military strikes against the eight major drug organizations. For the newly elected president, it is preferable that this blitzkreig take place before being sworn in in December in order to distance the new administration from a war that has bloodied Mexico's international image.

For the Obama administration it is imperative that the surge over the next few months – not unlike the strategy the United States pursued in Iraq and now in Afghanistan – strike mortal blows against the Mexican drug cartels one year after Obama's achievement in taking down Osama bin Laden.

In this sense, a bold series of strikes against Mexico's drug cartels would be a win-win-win strategy for Felipe Calderon, Enrique Peña Nieto and Barack Obama.

Seldom do such opportunities present themselves.

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