11-21-2017  4:18 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- A ship attempting to break Israel's sea blockade of Gaza hopes to dock at its destination Saturday morning, a spokesman said, despite repeated warnings by Israeli officials.

Sailing under the Finnish flag, the 53-meter vessel is carrying two olive trees, 41 tons of cement, books, toys, and medical equipment.

"The Estelle is around 80 naval miles from Gaza right now," said ship spokesman Mikael Lofgren. It "is moving forward as planned to dock on Saturday morning."

Those on board the ship are hoping to call attention to the blockade of the Palestinian territory, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

Among those sailing are a priest, a lawmaker, and Reut Mor, an Israeli activist.

"I want to say that we are here to give a message of solidarity to the people of Gaza," Mor said from aboard the Estelle. "The siege is inhuman and immoral, and this is the reason -- as non-violent peaceful activists -- (we) decide(d) to risk ourselves and break the siege."

A spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces said early Saturday that she had no information as to when the ship would be intercepted.

Vessels attempting to break Israel's blockade of Gaza have sparked controversy -- and violence -- in the past.

In 2010, an Israeli raid on one flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara, resulted in nine Turkish activists being killed, a development that led to the deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey, once close allies. Israel was roundly criticized by many over the deaths.

A U.N. report criticized Israel for its use of excessive force in the incident but described the blockade -- which activists call illegal -- as a "legitimate security measure."

Israel says it is concerned about the smuggling of arms to Gaza militants intent on attacking the Jewish state. Gaza is controlled by the anti-Israel Hamas militant group, regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and Israel.

But activists say Israeli embargoes of goods into Gaza from land and sea are collective punishment of civilians in what is a tiny and densely populated strip of land along the Mediterranean coast.

Israel has said any organization or state that wants to give humanitarian aid to Gaza can do so in coordination with Israeli authorities via existing land crossings into the Palestinian territory.

Journalist Kareem Khadder contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)

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