06-29-2022  12:58 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! ...

Minimum wage increase initiative qualifies in WA city

TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) — An initiative to increase the minimum hourly wage in Tukwila, Washington, by more than has qualified for the November ballot. The Seattle Times reports the Raise the Wage Tukwila campaign has submitted enough signatures to qualify for a vote, according to a...

Feds looking at finances of Native American boarding school

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — One of only a few boarding schools for Native American students still run directly by the federal government in Oregon is undergoing a close look at the school’s finances by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General. The office confirmed last...

OPINION

Justice Clarence Thomas and the Conservative Supreme Court Have Fanned the Flames of Racism in America

Former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again cry proved an easy between-the-lines moniker, but even that stood as a dog whistle – until now. ...

Portland Will Be Center of the Golf Universe as $25 Million Event Debuts in the Rose City

The last time Oregon hosted a PGA Tour event was the Portland Invitational Open back in 1966. ...

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in sex trafficking case

NEW YORK (AP) — Disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were just children, in a systematic scheme that went on for decades. Through tears and anger, several of Kelly's...

Pro-Palestine mapping website raises alarm in Jewish groups

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ Jewish community is on edge after a mysterious pro-Palestine website launched earlier this month listing the names and addresses of scores of local institutions — a number of them Jewish — and calling to “dismantle” and disrupt them. Creators...

Piquet apologizes to Hamilton over 'ill thought out' comment

SAO PAULO (AP) — Former Formula One champion Nelson Piquet apologized to Lewis Hamilton on Wednesday, saying the racial term he used about the Mercedes driver was “ill thought out” but was not meant to be offensive. The 69-year-old Brazilian has faced heavy criticism this week...

ENTERTAINMENT

'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...

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts reaches labor deal with workers

BOSTON (AP) — Employees at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts ratified their first labor deal Tuesday, becoming the latest prestigious art institution to protect workers with a union contract. The collective bargaining agreement is the first since museum workers voted to join the United...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Crews battle Maryland summer camp fire, no injuries reported

THURMONT, Md. (AP) — Crews battled a fire at an overnight summer camp in western Maryland on Wednesday morning,...

Hard-line conservative Reps. Boebert, Miller win primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist alternatives to lock up...

US stocks waver, on track for 4th monthly loss this year

Stocks shifted between gains and losses on Wall Street Wednesday, keeping the market on track for its fourth...

Powell: 'No guarantee' Fed can tame inflation, spare jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said there's “no guarantee'' the central bank can tame...

EXPLAINER: How was Turkey’s veto of Nordic NATO bid avoided?

ISTANBUL (AP) — When the leaders of Finland, Sweden and Turkey met with NATO’s chief Tuesday, the potential...

Rice fields dry up as Italy's drought lingers on

MORTARA, Italy (AP) — The worst drought Italy has faced in 70 years is thirsting paddy fields in the river Po...

Ben Fox the Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Suleiman al-Nahdi waits with dozens of other prisoners in a seemingly permanent state of limbo five years after he was cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.

"I wonder if the U.S. government wants to keep us here forever," the 37-year-old al-Nahdi wrote in a recent letter to his lawyers.

Open for 10 years on Wednesday, the prison seems more established than ever. The deadline set by President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo came and went two years ago. No detainee has left in a year because of restrictions on transfers, and indefinite military detention is now enshrined in U.S. law.

The 10th anniversary will be the subject of demonstrations in London and Washington. Prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba plan to mark the day with sit-ins, banners and a refusal of meals, said Ramzi Kassem, a lawyer who represents seven inmates.

"They would like to send a message that the prisoners of Guantanamo still reject the injustice of their imprisonment," said Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York.

Human rights groups and lawyers for prisoners are dismayed that Obama not only failed to overcome resistance in Congress and close the prison, but that his administration has resumed military tribunals at the base and continues to hold men like al-Nahdi who have been cleared for release.

Critics are also angry over the president's Dec. 31 signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision allowing indefinite military detention without trial.

"Now, we have Guantanamo forever signed into law," said Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. "Instead of pushing forward with the agenda of closure, he has accepted the idea of indefinite detention for the duration of some undefined hostilities."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Obama still wants to close Guantanamo because "it's the right thing to do for our national security interest," a view that he says is shared by senior members of the military. He noted President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, while running for president in 2008, also supported closing the prison.

"The commitment that the president has to closing Guantanamo Bay is as firm today as it was during the campaign ... I think this is a process that faces obstacles that we're all aware of and we will continue to work through them," Carney said.

Today, Guantanamo holds 171 prisoners and it's an odd mix. Thirty-six await trial on war crimes charges, including the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. There are 46 in indefinite detention as men the U.S. considers dangerous but who cannot be charged for lack of evidence or other reasons. The U.S. wants to release 32 but hasn't, largely because of congressional restrictions, and 57 men from Yemen, like al-Nahdi, aren't being charged but the government won't let them go because their country is unstable.

"There is not a thing keeping them from going home except that our clever government is waiting for conditions to improve in Yemen, where they have only deteriorated," said John Chandler, a lawyer based in Atlanta, Georgia, who represents al-Nahdi.

Few expected Guantanamo to reach this milestone. The prison, which occupies a portion of the 45-square-mile (115-square-kilometer) U.S. base at the southeastern corner of Cuba, started as an impromptu place to hold men scooped up at the start of the Afghanistan war, a mix that turned out to range from hard-core al-Qaida members to hapless bystanders.

Al-Nahdi seems to be in the middle. He was detained because he attended an al-Qaida-linked training camp in Afghanistan but he was not accused of any specific attacks on U.S. forces. The military classified him as a "low level" mujahedeen who could be transferred out of Guantanamo, where he has been held since June 2002.

The first prisoners, brought to the base shackled and hooded and clad in bright orange jumpsuits, were kept in outdoor cages and interrogated in wooden huts when they arrived on Jan. 11, 2002. With detainees later kept in steel mesh cells, the population grew to nearly 700 by mid-2003.

From the start, the camps seethed with tension. Prisoners, some subjected to harsh interrogations and sleep deprivation, staged mass hunger strikes, and banged on their cell doors for hours and hurled bodily fluids at guards.

In ensuing years, the military erected a modern prison complex virtually indistinguishable from a typical jail, keeping most men in communal blocks with amenities such as video games and cable TV.

U.S. officials have rejected most allegations of abusive conditions, and reports of clashes with guards and turmoil have dropped along with the decline in the prison population.

But the U.S. government also decided Guantanamo's reputation was more trouble than it was worth and began trying to empty it under Bush. His administration released 537 prisoners, transferring them to other countries or freeing them outright.

Under Obama, Congress balked at releasing prisoners, citing concerns that some already let go had rejoined the Taliban or al-Qaida. Congress imposed a requirement that the Defense Department certify a prisoner did not pose a threat if released, a guarantee that officials said was nearly impossible to grant. The law Obama signed Dec. 31 softened the language, but it's been a year since a single man has been transferred out.

"These are men who were in their early 20s when they were picked up and now they are in their early 30s and a significant amount of their lives has slipped away while this debate has gone on and on and on," said Cori Crider, a lawyer for the British human rights group Reprieve who represents several Guantanamo prisoners.

Zachary Katznelson, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Congress was more interested in scoring political points, and should listen to security experts.

"We are not talking about releasing anyone who is dangerous. We're talking about releasing people who the intelligence and military communities have unanimously agreed should be released," Katznelson said.

Congress also has prohibited moving any Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. for detention or trial, which effectively blocked Obama's goal of closing the prison by January 2009 and trying the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and others accused of war crimes in a civilian court. Mohammed is expected to be arraigned at the base later this year.

Congress also stripped the prisoners of the right to challenge their detention in the courts by filing writs of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court returned that right, but the courts have said the U.S. can still detain men even if there is little evidence against them and no intention of charging them. When prisoners have won their cases in a lower court, the government has appealed and won.

With such a bleak legal landscape, Chandler and his co-counsel withdrew al-Nahdi's appeal rather than face certain defeat. It's made for difficult meetings when the lawyers must explain why so many others, including prisoners who were convicted of war crimes, have been released.

"He says: 'How come I can't go home? I've never been charged and I'm never going to be charged. And of course, I have no answer to those questions," Chandler said.

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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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