06-28-2022  8:51 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Sydney McLaughlin Does It Again, Breaks Own World Record

When asked how she was going to celebrated afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”

Inslee Seeks Abortion Rights Amendment to State Constitution

Gov. Jay Inslee will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within the state, and laws that make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care.

Summer of Sound Celebrates Portland’s Black Jazz and Soul Legacy, Elders

The World Arts Foundation and Albina Music Trust put North Portland’s music history back onstage.

LIV Golf Heads to Oregon, Where Local Officials Aren't Happy

Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf is getting a chilly reception in Oregon, its first stop in the United States.

NEWS BRIEFS

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto Opens at PAM

The Portland Art Museum marks a return to live art inside its galleries with a dance installation by Takahiro Yamamoto, the museum’s...

Portland's First Black Book Festival Launches on Juneteenth Weekend

She’s bringing together the community through books! ...

Interstate 84 closed in eastern Oregon due to wildfire smoke

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Transportation officials said Tuesday evening that Interstate 84 is closed near the border of Oregon and Idaho because of wildfire smoke. The Oregon Department of Transportation said the interstate was closed westbound in Ontario and eastbound in Baker City...

New Nevada abortion order helps blunt outside prosecution

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an executive order Tuesday he says will help guard against outside prosecution of anyone who receives an abortion or other reproductive care in Nevada, and better protect healthcare workers who provide the services. His executive...

OPINION

Quenn Tiye’s Kitchen

Centuries of indoctrination have ingrained into the minds of white and Black Americans that any aspect of Africanness is negative. ...

The Plan for Transforming Public Safety and Policing in the U.S.

Rising crime leaves communities feeling unsafe, however, police violence and killings of unarmed civilians demonstrate that pouring more money into more-of-the-same policing is not the answer. ...

What Is Afrofuturism? An English Professor Explains

Chambliss defines Afrofuturism as an intersection of speculation and liberation that’s inspired by the concerns of people of African descent. ...

Reflections on the Massacre of the Buffalo 10 & Racism

Former NY state senator and Buffalo native knew many of the people killed ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Justices nix 2nd mostly Black district in Louisiana for 2022

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold a lower court ruling that Louisiana must draw new congressional districts before the 2022 elections to increase Black voting power. As a result, Louisiana’s November congressional elections will be held using a...

Spit, 'disrespect' arrive at Wimbledon as tennis turns ugly

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — This is not what one thinks of when pondering the supposedly genteel roots of tennis, and the purportedly proper atmosphere at dates-to-the-1800s Wimbledon, a country club sport being contested at a place officially called the All England Lawn Tennis Club: a player, Nick...

Report: Lack of water access costs U.S. .6B each year

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — At least 2 million Americans don’t have running water or a working toilet at home, a crisis that costs the U.S. economy .58 billion each year, according to a report released Tuesday by nonprofit DigDeep. These water access issues disproportionately...

ENTERTAINMENT

Podcast dramas morph to TV shows in Hollywood reappraisal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Listened to any good television shows lately? If you're glued to a scripted podcast drama, you may be auditioning a potential TV series — a result of Hollywood’s demand for small-screen material and the realization that podcasts beyond nonfiction are a...

'Elvis' is king, alone, of box office after final tallies

NEW YORK (AP) — “Elvis” has won its box-office dance-off with “Top Gun: Maverick.” After the two films reported the same ticket sales Sunday, Monday's final numbers has “Elvis,” alone, as king of the weekend. “Elvis” ultimately grossed .1 million from Friday to...

Britney Spears' ex ordered to trial on stalking charge

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A California judge found Monday that there is enough evidence against a man once briefly married to Britney Spears who showed up uninvited at the pop star's wedding to go to trial on a felony stalking charge. After a two-hour preliminary hearing, Ventura...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

At Wimbledon, Serena Williams loses 1st match in a year

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams began — and ended — her comeback at Wimbledon after 364 days out...

EXPLAINER: Abortion, tech and surveillance

With abortion now or soon to be illegal in over a dozen states and severely restricted in many more, Big Tech...

Maria Ressa: Philippines affirms news site shutdown order

HONOLULU (AP) — Filipino journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa announced in a speech in Hawaii...

Cuban troops report fatal clash with Florida speedboat

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities say they have intercepted more than a dozen speedboats arriving from the United...

EU regulator considers clearing smallpox shot for monkeypox

LONDON (AP) — The European Medicines Agency says it will begin reviewing data to decide if a smallpox vaccine...

Biden, NATO to beef up force posture amid Russian aggression

MADRID (AP) — President Joe Biden opened his three-day visit to a NATO summit Tuesday by pledging to beef up the...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's former ruler and his wife were convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges on Monday after $27 million (euro18.97 million) in jewels and public funds were found in one of his palaces.

Five months after being forced from power, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi were sentenced to 35 years each in prison and fined tens of millions of dollars in the first of what is sure to be a long string of trials.

However, the trial in some ways failed to live up to its billing. With the 74-year-old Ben Ali not present for his judgment, there was a sense of frustration among many. The couple went into exile on Jan. 14 in Saudi Arabia, which failed to respond to an extradition request.

Monday's convictions followed a day-long hearing before the Tunis criminal court.

The ex-president was fined 50 million dinars (about $36 million) and his wife 41 million dinars for embezzlement of public funds and misappropriation.

The trove of jewels, some which the court said had "historic value," and the money were found in a palace in the picturesque town of Sidi Bou Said, outside Tunis, following Ben Ali's departure.

The verdict in a second affair stemming from the discovery of weapons and drugs in the official presidential palace in Carthage, this one targeting only Ben Ali, was postponed. Public defenders assigned to Ben Ali said Monday that they needed time to study the file. The trial was to resume June 30.

Ben Ali vigorously denied the charges in a statement through his French lawyer, calling the proceedings a "shameful masquerade of the justice of the victorious."

"I devoted my life to my country and aspire, at the twilight of my existence, to conserve my honor," Ben Ali said in the statement, referring to his years as interior minister and his 23 years as president.

Ben Ali, and in particular his widely detested wife's Trabelsi clan, are widely accused of treating Tunisia as their personal property to amass money, privilege and power.

An official for the Ministry of State Domains, Mohamed Adel Ben Ismail, has evaluated the fortune amassed by Ben Ali and the Trabelsi clan at a quarter of the value of the Tunisian economy.

The much despised Trabelsi family, alleged to have operated as a mafia, had vast control over the economy of this North African country with stakes in everything from tourist hotels to banks or car dealerships and radio and television.

However, the total value of assets in Tunisia and abroad of Ben Ali and his wife are not known. The Swiss were among the first nations to seize the families' assets and prosecutors said in January they had launched a money laundering investigation into the family's accounts.

Blocked accounts for Ben Ali and some 40 members of his entourage contained tens of millions of Swiss francs, according to the Swiss prosecutors office said.

French judicial authorities are also working to identify any assets, and eventual misdeeds, in France.

According to the act of accusation read at the trial, Ben Ali's monthly stipend skyrocketed during his time in power, which began in 1987 after a bloodless palace coup. Receiving 2,000 dinars per month in 1987, he was taking in nearly 4.7 million dinars by 1998 "with no (fiscal) controls."

The court also accused him of ordering up special privileges "in violation of rules" for the Trabelsi clan and the Ben Ali family.

Ben Ali "vigorously denies" accusations against him, according to a statement issued a day before the trial by his French lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, who was not allowed by Tunisian law to assist in the proceedings.

More serious charges, including plotting against the security of the state and murder, will be dealt with at future trials. Judicial authorities say that Ben Ali and his entourage are implicated in 93 civil affaires and 182 others that fall under military jurisdiction.

He is expected to have to answer for the deaths of 300 people during the uprisings. Numerous cases are likely to be joined together.

Monday's trial was a veritable media show and included, for the first time, TV cameras in the packed courtroom.

One public defender of the ex-president justified his defense of Ben Ali before the court. Abdessatter Massoudi said he accepted the job of defending Ben Ali - refused by at least one other public defender - "to honor the profession and ensure the basis for a balanced trial."

Backed by his powerful party that controlled all sectors, Ben Ali governed with an iron fist, suppressing dissent and quashing all freedom of expression. Ben Ali's regime unraveled with a monthlong uprising around the country triggered by the fatal self-immolation of an unemployed man in the rural heartland. That sparked protests that moved through the countryside to Tunis, the capital, and failed to die down despite concessions from the president. In a surprise move a day after a third televised speech aimed at appeasing the restive population he left for exile.

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Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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