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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

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House Passes Oregon Drug Intervention Plan (ODIP)

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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'

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Portland Value Inn Is Renamed Jamii Court

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

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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....

NAIA record-holder Grace Beyer scores 33 points in final game of career

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — NAIA scoring sensation Grace Beyer finished her collegiate career on Saturday night, scoring 33 points in University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis' 70-62 loss to Columbia College of Missouri in the semifinals of the women's American Midwest Conference...

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...

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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Israeli tank
Ibrahim Barzak, Aron Heller, Associated Press

PHOTO: An Israeli tank moves into position near Israel and Gaza border, Friday, July, 18, 2014. Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing volleys of tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a high-stakes ground offensive meant to weaken the enclave's Hamas rulers. Israel launched the operation late Thursday, following a 10-day campaign of more than 2,000 air strikes against Gaza that had failed to halt relentless Hamas rocket fire on Israeli cities .(AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing volleys of tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a high-stakes ground offensive meant to weaken the enclave's Hamas rulers.

The assault opens a new, potentially extended and bloodier stage in the conflict following a 10-day Israeli campaign of more than 2,000 airstrikes against Gaza that had failed to halt militants rocket fire on Israeli cities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he told his military to prepare for a possible "significant" expansion of the operation.

The government said its goal is to stop rocket attacks, destroy the network of Hamas tunnels into Israel and weaken Hamas militarily. But there are calls from hard-liners in Israel to completely crush Hamas and drive it from power in Gaza. That could mean a longer operation with the danger of mounting casualties in a conflict that has already seen more than 274 Palestinians killed in Gaza, around a fifth of them children.

Israel had been reticent about a ground offensive for fear of endangering its own soldiers and drawing international condemnation over mounting Palestinian civilian deaths.

But after an attempt by Hamas to infiltrate Israel on Thursday — when 13 armed militants sneaked through a tunnel from Gaza, only to be killed by an airstrike as they emerged inside Israel — Netanyahu gave the order that evening for thousands of troops on standby to enter Gaza.

"We chose to begin this operation after the other options were exhausted and with the understanding that without the operation the price we will pay can be very high," he said Friday before a special Cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.

He said he had instructed the military to "be ready for the possibility of a significant expansion of the ground operation."

Israel saw its first military death of the conflict in the early hours of the ground assault. The circumstances behind the death of Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, were not made clear: Hamas's military wing said it ambushed Israeli units in the northern town of Beit Lahiya, but Israeli media said Barak was likely killed by friendly fire. An Israeli civilian died from mortar fire earlier in the week, and several have been wounded.

The Israeli military said it killed nearly 20 militants in exchanges of fire. Gaza health officials said 25 Palestinians have been killed since the ground operation began, including three teenage siblings from the Abu Musallam family who were killed when a tank shell hit their home. At the morgue, one of the victims' faces was blackened by soot and he and his siblings were each wrapped in a white burial shroud.

Their father, Ismail, said the three were sleeping when the shell struck, and that he had to dig them out from under the rubble.

Israel says it is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties and blames them on Hamas, accusing it of firing from within residential neighborhoods and using its civilians as "human shields."

The streets of Gaza City were largely deserted, though some roadside vegetable vendors remained open. The sound of steady shelling could be heard across Gaza as Israel continued to strike targets from the air, and buildings shook as missiles hit.

"The ground offensive does not scare us and we pledge to drown the occupation army in Gaza mud," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

Hamas has survived Israeli offensives in the past, including a major three-week ground operation in January 2009 from which it emerged militarily weaker, but in each case it recovered. The group controls an arsenal of thousands of rockets, some long range and powerful, and it has built a system of underground bunkers.

But Hamas is weaker now than it was during the previous two offensives — from 2008-9 and 2012 — with little international or even regional support, with its main allies Turkey and Qatar largely sidelined by others in the region. Protests against the offensive took place Friday in Jordan, Turkey and the West Bank.

Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama Friday evening, his office said. Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the fighting and said the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza is using civilians as "human shields." He pointed to the rockets found at a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday as an example.

The U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, said that during a routine check it discovered about 20 rockets hidden in one of its vacant Gaza schools and called on militants to respect the "sanctity and integrity" of U.N. property.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was travelling Friday to Egypt, Jordan and Israel as part of a diplomatic push to stop the fighting. He said in a statement that he wants a cease-fire and lasting truce "that responds to Israel's security needs and Palestinian economic needs."

Egypt supports a cease-fire, but not Hamas or its conditions, which include a lifting to the siege of Gaza and completely open borders into the Sinai — where Egypt is already fighting Islamic extremists.

Israeli defense officials said soldiers faced little resistance during the first night of the ground operation. The military said paratroopers had already uncovered eight tunnel access points across the Gaza Strip and engaged in several gun battles with forces that ambushed them.

Forces are expected to spend a day or two staking ground within 3 kilometers (2 miles) of the border. Then, they are expected to move to the second phase, which is to destroy tunnels, an operation that could take up to two weeks.

Tanks, infantry and engineering forces were operating inside the coastal strip. The military said it targeted rocket launchers, tunnels and more than 100 other targets, and that a number of soldiers were wounded.

Israeli public opinion appears to strongly support the offensive after days of rocket fire from Gaza and years of southern Israeli residents living under the threat. Gaza militants have fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israel over the past 11 days. Rocket fire continued across Israel Friday, with one exploding near a kindergarten south of Tel Aviv, lightly wounding a woman nearby, the military said.

Prior to the Israeli Cabinet meeting, several ministers said they expected a prolonged offensive.

"We need to go in and finish the job. We need to eliminate every terrorist. They have no immunity." said Uri Ariel, a Cabinet minister from the hardline Jewish Home party.

___

Heller reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Ian Deitch and Tia Goldenberg and Yousur Alhlou in Jerusalem and Karin Laub in Gaza City contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast