06-25-2017  5:13 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

St. Johns Center for Opportunity to Host Meet the Employer Event June 27

Employers represented will include Mary’s Harvest and Del Monte ...

New Self-Defense Organization Offers Training to Youth in Multnomah County

EMERJ-SafeNow offers July classes for children ages 8-10 and youth ages 15-19 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House has agreed to provide members of the Senate Intelligence Committee with additional legal opinions related to targeted killings of Americans in counter-terrorism operations, the panel's chairman said on Tuesday.

The agreement eased concerns of some key senators about the program and the related involvement of John Brennan, who has been nominated to head the CIA.

The opinions by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel detail the justification for lawfully targeting Americans overseas who are involved in terror-related activities that threaten the United States or its interests.

"I am pleased the (Obama) administration has made this information available. It is important for the committee to do its work and will pave the way for the confirmation of John Brennan to be CIA director," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and intelligence panel chairman, said in a statement.

Three other key members of the panel, Democrats Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said they were satisfied with the White House cooperation.

"We are pleased that we now have the access that we have long sought and need to conduct the vigilant oversight with which the committee has been charged. We believe that this sets an important precedent for applying our American system of checks and balances to the challenges of 21st century warfare. We look forward to reviewing and discussing these documents in the days ahead," the lawmakers said in a statement.

The three said they anticipate supporting Brennan's nomination.

The panel planned to vote on the nomination as early as Tuesday although several Republicans continue to challenge the selection over the drone issue and questions about last year's deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House previously turned over opinions about the drone operation to the committee, but some members wanted more information before agreeing to vote on Brennan's nomination.

The issue was brought into focus in 2011, when an American drone was used to kill New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki - who officials said played an operational role in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Most congressional concern involved the legality of carrying out the drone program overseas.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, took the matter a step further.

He has sought any information on whether there is legal justification for carrying out drone strikes against U.S. citizens on American soil.

Brennan defended their use at his confirmation hearing, but acknowledged there should be more public discussion.

In a written response to the intelligence panel, Brennan also said the administration has "no intention" of killing Americans with drones in the United States.

But Wyden, Udall and Collins said in their statement that the administration would provide "public, unclassified answers" to questions raised over that issue.

"These are obviously questions of fundamental importance, and we are grateful to Sen. Paul for the effort he has made to ensure that these questions get answered," they said.

 

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