04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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Mayor Charlie Hales talks to a Portland Police Bureau homicide unit supervisor

Mayor Charlie Hales brought a video to Portland’s gang task force meeting Friday morning, with a strong message about violence from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Hales heard the speech in September at the US Conference of Mayors, he said, and wanted to share it with Portlanders.

“Mitch Landrieu is a mayor like me who is passionate about this issue, so I hope you all feel affirmation for what you’re doing and commitment to what we have to do from listening to Mayor Landrieu. He’s somebody who I will be relying on as a partner and an inspiring brother in this work.”

Landrieu spoke about the impact of murder on communities, and particularly on African American communities around the country. Condemning America’s “horrible culture of violence” Landrieu tallied up the damage done in cities around the country noting that young Black men are the demographic group most affected both as victims and perpetrators.

“Last year in New Orleans 193 of our fellow citizens were murdered –193 tragic stories of wake and destruction and heartache,” he said.  “The common thread? Nearly all the victims were young African American men who were killed by young African American men between the ages of 16 and 30. In 88 percent of the cases, they knew each other. And in almost all of the cases they were unemployed, had dropped out of school and society too.”

Landrieu said New Orleans has created a plan called NOLA for Life, to tackle violence in a holistic way. As well as strengthening the city’s homicide and gang units, the city raised $1 million to increase prevention services.

“We know that prevention and helping our families succeed is the name of the game,” Landrieu said. “We’ve doubled the number of summer jobs for youth and created new job training and placement opportunities through partnerships with local businesses and universities.  We’ve launched midnight basketball to interrupt violence and to connect young men with resources they need.”

As well as viewing the video, the gang task force reviewed recent events in Portland. To date Portland has seen 98 incidents of gang-related violence this year, said Officer Russ Corno. But although numbers are lower than in 2012, this week has seen 25 injuries, he said, some serious.

Two funerals were held this week: for Precious Jackson, 24, who was shot and killed Nov. 1 at Southeast Powell and 124th, and for Durieul Harris, 30, who was shot Nov. 9 outside the Fontaine Bleau nightclub on Northeast Broadway.

A Multnomah County Grand Jury yesterday indicted two men in Jackson’s death—Corey Hill, 21, and Antonio Lorenzo Sanders Jr., 21.

So far, despite the presence of numerous witnesses, nobody has been named a suspect in Harris’ death. Hales said it was important that the OLCC moved to shut down the club immediately.  

Hales said it was important that the OLCC moved to shut down the club immediately.  

“A liquor license is a privilege. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege,” he said. “A driver’s license is a privilege; an electrician’s license is a privilege; and a liquor license is a privilege.”

Hales is taking advice on whether to recommend that the club could reopen with restrictions, such as an 11 pm closing and security measures.

Israel Hill, a street level outreach worker gave a passionate speech about the importance of relationships in preventing violence.  Through their relationships with relatives of victims, outreach workers can help stop the cycle of violence, he said.

It’s an arena where Black men and women can more easily reach out to gang-affected youth, he said. “Gangs were originally around because dudes were trying to help other dudes in this community,” he pointed out.

Multnomah County Community Justice manager, Kate Desmond said she was working to strengthen partnerships with the Department of Corrections.

Commander Mike Leloff said the outreach work is crucial.

“When our gang violence statistics started to go down, we started to lose our outreach workers,” he said. “Now we’ve got them back and we can never go there again.”

Jenny Glass from the Rosewood Initiative on SE Stark an 162nd and  said employment services are underway at the center twice a week. Boys and Girls Clubs are opening a new youth center on 165th and Stark, she said, which will make a huge contribution to prevention services for youth in Rockwood.

Abdul'Hafeedh bin Abdullah said ex-offenders who have learned from their experiences and want to prevent further violence should be offered  training and support to do outreach work.

“They are an untapped resource,” he said.  

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