03-02-2024  6:09 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Agrees $8 Million a Year for Tribes Hit By Opioid Deaths

With Native Americans and Alaska Natives in Washington dying of opioid overdoses at five times the state average Washington lawmakers have agreed to allocate milliona year to 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington from a half-billion-dollar settlement between the state and major opioid distributors. The funds will help tribes address the opioid crisis

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump Receives Honorary Doctorate from Lewis & Clark College

Crump has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Henrietta Lacks. 

Washington State House Overwhelmingly Passes Ban on Hog-tying by Police

The vote on Wednesday came nearly four years after Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died in Tacoma, Washington, facedown with his hands and feet cuffed together behind him.

NEWS BRIEFS

Senate Passes Emergency Housing Stability and Production Package with Bipartisan Support

Major legislation works to stabilize and house Oregonians living on the streets, put affordable housing within reach for everyone ...

House Passes Oregon Drug Intervention Plan (ODIP)

New approach to crisis response aims to increase opportunities for treatment, reduce recidivism, and prevent overdoses ...

House of Representatives Addressed Oregon’s Addiction Crisis

We are committed to closely monitoring the rollout of this bill, particularly with concerns to racial disparities. ...

Moving Ahead to 'A Better Red'

Tri Met’s MAX Red Line trains will begin serving the new Gateway North MAX Station on Monday, March 4. ...

Portland Value Inn Is Renamed Jamii Court

The new name for this affordable housing redevelopment, Jamii, means community and togetherness in Swahili ...

Oregon may revive penalties for drug possession. What will the change do?

Oregon is poised to step back from its first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law with a new measure approved by the state Senate that would reinstate criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of some drugs. The law, which took effect in 2021, decriminalized possession and...

Oregon lawmakers pass bill to recriminalize drug possession

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill recriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs was passed by the Oregon Legislature on Friday, undoing a key part of the state’s first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law as governments struggle to respond to the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S....

Andy Russell, a star outside linebacker who helped turn the Steelers into champions, dies at 82

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Andy Russell, the standout linebacker who was an integral part of the Pittsburgh Steelers' evolution from perennial losers to champions, has died. He was 82. The team confirmed Russell's death on Saturday. There was no immediate word on the cause or place of...

No. 24 Florida takes on No. 18 South Carolina following Samuel's 28-point game

Florida Gators (20-8, 10-5 SEC) at South Carolina Gamecocks (23-5, 11-4 SEC) Columbia, South Carolina; Saturday, 12 p.m. EST FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Gamecocks -2; over/under is 145 BOTTOM LINE: No. 24 Florida visits the No. 18 South Carolina Gamecocks...

OPINION

Message from Commissioner Jesse Beason: February is 'Black History and Futures Month'

I am honored to join the Office of Sustainability and to co-sponsor a proclamation to mark “Black History and Futures Month” ...

Ending Unfair Contracts Harming Minority Businesses Will Aid Gov. Kotek’s Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Bill 1575 will protect small businesses from state and local government’s unfair contract practices while also allowing the building industry to help the governor meet her affordable housing project goals. ...

February is American Heart Month

This month is a time to recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, especially in the African American community ...

Thrilling History of Black Excellence in Our National Parks

In every facet of American life -from exploration; conquest; defense; economy; resistance; conservation and the pursuit of human rights – I can show you a unit of the National Park System where the event took place, where African Americans made the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In a rural California region, a plan takes shape to provide shade from dangerous heat

MECCA, Calif. (AP) — When Limba Contreras moved to the desert community of Oasis, California, about 50 years ago, her family relied on a water cooler to keep temperatures inside their home comfortable. Other times, they sprayed each other with a hose outside. But when the heat...

As an opioids scourge devastates tribes in Washington, lawmakers advance a bill to provide relief

SEATTLE (AP) — A bill that would bring millions of dollars to tribes in Washington state to address the opioid crisis received unanimous support in the House on Friday, opening the door for state funding to address a scourge that some say is claiming a generation. "This bill invests...

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. Now he wants Super Tuesday revenge on his foes

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. On Super Tuesday, he wants political revenge. The Republican, who just six months ago was on the brink of removal from office, is charging into Texas' primaries on a dramatic campaign to oust dozens in his own...

ENTERTAINMENT

Bon Jovi to lead the field to green in IndyCar season-opener in promotion with Meyer Shank Racing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi will be featured at the first two IndyCar races of the season and take a ride in the “Fastest Seat in Sports” with four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. Meyer Shank Racing said Wednesday that...

New varieties of tried-and-true vegetables invite gardeners to experiment

Tomatoes, garlic, chives, basil, parsley, thyme and sage have been permanent residents in my garden for ages. But every year, I experiment with new -– or new to me -- crops. Many turn out to be transient, like the Instagram-worthy Voyager tomatoes that disappointed in the flavor...

Larry David, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Stiller pay tribute to comedian Richard Lewis after death at 76

Fellow comedians, famous fans, co-stars and friends react to the death of Richard Lewis, who died Wednesday at age 76. “Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hard-liners are leading in vote count in Iran’s parliamentary election after record-low turnout

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's hard-liners are leading in an initial vote count in the capital...

A ship earlier hit by Yemen's Houthi rebels sinks in the Red Sea, the first vessel lost in conflict

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A ship attacked by Yemen's Houthi rebels has sunk in the Red Sea after days...

Trump wins caucuses in Missouri and Idaho and sweeps Michigan GOP convention

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination on Saturday,...

French president raised the prospect of Western troops in Ukraine. What was he thinking?

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron appeared isolated on the European stage this week after saying the...

Russians embrace hope amid despair as Alexei Navalny says his final goodbye

Russians have seen many images of Alexei Navalny — a firebrand protest leader with a bullhorn. A government...

Navalny's mother brings flowers to his grave a day after thousands attended his funeral in Moscow

Lyudmila Navalnaya and Alla Abrosimova, the mother and mother-in-law of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny,...

Iraqi men volunteer for army
Ryan Lucas, Associated Press

Iraqi men check in at the main army recruiting center as they volunteer for military services in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 9, 2014, after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

BAGHDAD (AP) — The ethnic and sectarian tensions that threaten to tear Iraq apart flared Wednesday as the prime minister accused the Kurdish self-rule region of harboring the Sunni militants who have overrun much of the country, and 50 bodies were discovered dumped in a village south of Baghdad.

It was not clear who the men were or why they were killed, but such grisly scenes were common during the darkest days of the Iraq war, and the deaths raised fears of another round of sectarian bloodletting. Many of the victims were bound, blindfolded and shot in the head.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's allegations, made in his weekly televised address, are likely to worsen Baghdad's already thorny relationship with the Kurds, whose fighters have been battling the insurgents over the past month.

The accusations would also seem to dampen the prospect of reconciliation that the United States, the U.N. and even Iraq's top Shiite cleric say is necessary to bridge the country's ethnic and sectarian divisions and hold Iraq together.

The militant offensive spearheaded by the Islamic State extremist group has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the last U.S. troops left the country in 2011.

The jihadis have been joined in their assault by other Sunni insurgents, feeding off the anger in their minority community against the Shiite-led government. On the other side, Shiite militias have rallied around al-Maliki's government to fight off the insurgents.

In the far north, meanwhile, Iraq's Kurds have taken advantage of the mayhem to seize disputed territory — including the city of Kirkuk, a major oil center — and move closer to a long-held dream of their own state.

The Kurds say they only want to protect the zones they have entered from the militants, but many of the areas have significant Kurdish populations. The Kurds also have allowed tens of thousands of civilians into the Kurdish-controlled areas to escape the militant onslaught.

Last week, the president of the Kurdish area urged the region's lawmakers to move quickly on preparations for a referendum on independence.

These moves have infuriated al-Maliki, who is under pressure from opponents as well as former allies to step down.

Speaking Wednesday, al-Maliki took aim at the Kurds, whose regional government is based in Irbil, saying, "Everything that has been changed on the ground must be returned."

He went a step further, saying: "We can't stay silent over Irbil being a headquarters for Daesh, Baath, al-Qaida and the terrorists." Daesh is the acronym in Arabic for the Islamic State group, while Baath was the party of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

A spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Safeen Dizayee, called al-Maliki's accusations "baseless."

"The Kurdistan region has never harbored any terrorists, now or ever, because we have been the victim of them before," Dizayee said. "What Mr. al-Maliki is talking about is far from reality."

Al-Maliki provided no evidence to back up his claims, and there is no indication that Baathists or Islamic extremists are operating openly out of Irbil.

But tribal sheiks who oppose the central government whose fighters are battling the military have found refuge in the Kurdish capital.

One of the anti-al-Maliki sheiks, Abdul Razzaq al-Shammari, told The Associated Press that "Kurdistan is not hosting any terrorists — though there are people here who stand against the Iraqi political regime."

The militant offensive has dramatically raised tensions between the country's Shiite Arab majority and Sunni minority, and the discovery of the 50 bodies raised the specter of sectarian massacres.

The bodies were found in the predominantly Shiite village of Khamissiya, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, said military spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim. He said an investigation was underway to determine the identities of the dead and the circumstances of the killings.

The dead were all men between the ages of 25 and 40, and it appeared they had been killed a few days earlier and then dumped in the remote area, said a local police officer and a medical official.

Most of the bodies had bullet wounds in the head or the chest, they said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The area is predominantly Shiite, but there is a belt of Sunni-majority towns to the north.

Such killings hearken back to the worst days of Iraq's sectarian bloodletting in 2006 and 2007.

Sectarian tensions have soared once more since the Sunni insurgent blitz began last month, and authorities have once again begun to find bodies.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast