12-18-2017  2:39 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Ben Brumfield CNN

U.S. troops arrived in Turkey on Friday to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border, according to Turkish state media.


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Syria has previously launched Scud missiles at cities near the Turkish border in a desperate bid to extend its firepower.



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In response, the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands deployed Patriot air defense missiles to the border region to intercept any Syrian ballistic missiles.



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The missiles and troops will be under the overall control of NATO, but the missiles will be operated by U.S. forces



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A group of 27 U.S. troops landed in Gaziantep, Turkey, where they will survey the Patriot deployment, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.



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U.S. officials did not release any information about the troops' arrival, but had said last month that forces would be deployed to Turkey.



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"We've made very clear to them that we're going to protect countries in this region," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last month. "We have to act to do what we have to do to make sure that we defend ourselves and make sure that Turkey can defend itself."



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The fight for a helicopter airport



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Taftenaz air base in northern Syria has been a deadly thorn in the side of rebels for months.



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For the third day, Free Syrian Army fighters tried to wrest control of the helicopter base from government forces.



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If successful, the assault would shut down President Bashar al-Assad's military helicopter pads and diminish his airstrikes in the region.



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Both opposition and government sources reported that the extremist Nusra Front, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group, is taking part in the assault on the airport.



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Al-Assad has exacted retribution on the nearby city of Binnish, where amateur video shows dozens of smoke plumes marking the spots where deadly ordnance has struck.



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On Thursday, rebels published videos of themselves firing on the air base with heavy truck-mounted machine guns and a captured tank, destroying one government tank and appearing to shoot down a helicopter.



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CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of videos from the Syrian conflict posted online.



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Gas station attack in Damascus



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An explosion at a gas station in Damascus near a hospital killed 10 people Friday, Syrian TV reported.



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An opposition organization expects the toll to rise as many of the injured are in critical condition after fire spread to nearby cars and buildings.



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The explosion came from a car bomb, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted on its Facebook page.



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Appeal for missing U.S. journalist



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In New Hampshire, the parents of American journalist James Foley appealed Thursday to his kidnappers to release him and inform them of his whereabouts and condition of his health.



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Foley's father choked up while reading a statement directed at the abductors. "We'd like them to contact us," he said. "I ask the captors for their compassion and James' quick release."


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