03-07-2021  6:41 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Iowa Reporter Fights Charges Connected to Covering Black Lives Matter Protest

The case of Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri who was pepper sprayed and arrested while reporting on a clash between protesters and police, highlights the First Amendment and the right to a free press

Brown Pauses Rollbacks to COVID-19 Extreme Risk Level

Counties that have moved out of the COVID-19 extreme risk level will not be moved back into it without giving them two weeks to improve their case numbers

March to Literacy Confronts the Ways We Fail Black Students

The virtual event aims to empower parents, educators of students who struggle with reading

'Falling Through Cracks': Vaccine Bypasses Some Older Adults

An untold number of older adults are getting left behind, unseen, because they are too overwhelmed, too frail or too poor to fend for themselves.

NEWS BRIEFS

Commercial Rent Relief Program to Open Applications March 8

The program targets landlords with tenant businesses with 100 or fewer employees who are behind on lease payments ...

Powell's Books Presents Richard Brown on Zoom March 5

Richard Brown, long-time Portland activist and photographer, will talk about his memoir, “This Is Not For You, An Activist’s...

Freedmen’s Bureau Among Free Classes at GFO Virtual Open House

This is one of the 18 free classes the Genealogical Forum of Oregon is offering during its 75th anniversary Genealogy Open House. ...

Oregon Worker Relief Fund Creates Fund for Small Businesses

The program received million to support small businesses owned by ITIN holders and impacted by the pandemic. ...

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Oregon governor gets Johnson & Johnson vaccination

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. (AP) — Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday and is encouraging others to get it.Brown said she got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to demonstrate that it’s safe and effective, and to counter rumors and...

At the NBA All-Star Game, HBCUs will take center stage

Mo Williams played for the Eastern Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, and he fully understands the enormity of the event’s platform.His team lost that game.His current team — and a lot of others — should be big winners this time around.Sunday’s All-Star Game in...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bloody Sunday memorial to honor late civil rights giants

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The commemoration of a pivotal moment in the fight for voting rights for African Americans will honor four giants of the civil rights movement who lost their lives in 2020, including the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis.The Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee will mark the 56th...

From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom Perez was a guest on a Spanish-language talk radio show in Las Vegas last year when a caller launched into baseless complaints about both parties, urging Latino listeners to not cast votes at all. Perez, then chairman of the Democratic Party, recognized many of the...

LA County may return beachfront land taken from Black family

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles county officials may return a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.Manhattan Beach used eminent domain in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city's first Black landowners, off the land where they...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: An updated 'Coming 2 America' for a #MeToo world

Once upon a time, dear children, before you were born, they made a fairytale movie about a kingdom called Zamunda. “Coming to America,” starring Eddie Murphy at the height of his popularity and charisma, became a huge hit and a cult classic.In this film, dear children, Murphy played...

Old vs. new school: the best rap album debate at the Grammys

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby have blazed the Billboard charts, but Grammy voters gave the young hip-hop stars the cold shoulder in the best rap album category, instead, surprisingly nominating the genre’s more matured voices like Nas and Jay...

Grammys to partner with Berklee, ASU for study on women

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy is partnering with Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University to complete a study focused on women's representation in the music industry.The academy, which puts on the annual Grammy Awards, said the lack of female creators in music is...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Drones vs hungry moths: Dutch use hi-tech to protect crops

MONSTER, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch cress grower Rob Baan has enlisted high-tech helpers to tackle a pest in...

Murder, but gentler: 'Cozy' mysteries a pandemic-era balm

“A book,” author Neil Gaiman may or may not have said, “is a dream you hold in your...

Biden marking 'Bloody Sunday' by signing voting rights order

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new executive order from President Joe Biden directs federal agencies to take a series...

Drones vs hungry moths: Dutch use hi-tech to protect crops

MONSTER, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch cress grower Rob Baan has enlisted high-tech helpers to tackle a pest in...

China tells Biden to reverse 'dangerous practice' on Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — China’s foreign minister warned the Biden administration on Sunday to roll back...

The Latest: UK students off to class backed by virus tests

LONDON — British children are gearing up to return to school on Monday after a two-month closure, part of...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
Sarah Dilorenzo the Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, leading in polls but lacking in ideas that stick in voters' minds, finally dropped a bombshell: As president, he would levy a 75 percent tax on anyone who makes more than (EURO)1 million ($1.33 million) a year.

The flashy idea from the normally bland Socialist proved wildly popular, fanning hostility toward executive salaries and forcing President Nicolas Sarkozy to defend his ostentatious friendships with the rich. It also unleashed debate in the French press about whether the wealthy would decamp for gentler tax pastures.

As much as France likes the plan, it does not seem to have assured Hollande's victory, which, just three weeks before the first round of voting, is growing more uncertain as Sarkozy reaps the benefits of projecting presidential mettle following France's shooting attacks.

Polls put the two men neck-and-neck in the first round April 22, and show Sarkozy gaining on Hollande for the decisive runoff May 6.

Centrist candidate Francois Bayrou has dismissed the plan as absurd - contending that when all was added up, the top bracket would be taxed at nearly 100 percent. Many economists are also scratching their heads over the tax - seeing it as dangerous at worst and ineffective at best - and even Hollande admits it's not meant to balance the budget.

Still, the "Fouquet's tax" - so named by some in the press after the tony restaurant where Sarkozy celebrated his 2007 presidential win - is riding and in part fueling a resurgence of the French left. The tax-the-rich proposal has garnered as much as 65 percent approval in some polls.

All that has helped Hollande, often perceived as amiable but uninspiring, to distinguish himself from his main opponent, said Jean-Daniel Levy, a pollster and political analyst.

"Nicolas Sarkozy has a double difficulty: On the one hand, he is perceived as a president who is close to the rich, which is not a good sign in France. And he is also seen as a president who oversaw inegalitarian policies," he said. The tax, he added, "allows Francois Hollande to take control again and to paint a negative portrait of Nicolas Sarkozy."

But there is a danger that Hollande hit the nerve too well.

Many voters have swept right past Hollande and into the camp of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has electrified voters with calls for a new French revolution and who some polls say will come in third or fourth in the first round of elections. That could bleed support away from Hollande in the first round, depriving him of crucial momentum going into the second one.

Antipathy for the rich is widespread in France, where wealth is meant to be discreet and climbing the social ladder to build yourself a mansion isn't a common narrative.

Hollande himself once famously declared "I do not like the rich" - a statement that only boosted his political standing among those who think wealth should be redistributed instead of accumulated.

Following his 75-percent tax announcement, front pages treated the rich like some strange, migrating species, declaring that they would decamp to Belgium if the tax was put in place. One presidential candidate, Dominique de Villepin, himself quite wealthy, warned France not to "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

While there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest the wealthy are eyeing the border, tax lawyer Sandra Hazan said there's nothing new in rich people fleeing France. But they don't pull up the stakes simply because taxes are high.

"The problem is not the level of taxation you suffer," said Hazan, who heads the tax department at law firm Salans. "The problem is when you cannot anticipate how much you will be paying."

The French tax code has long been unpredictable, she said, but it has become even more so in recent months. As Sarkozy's administration has tried to keep a series of budget targets that are central to his credibility and reassure markets that France can manage its debt, the number of changes to tax law have come fast and furious.

When he put taxes at the center of his campaign, Hollande unleashed a new flood of tax proposals, creating more uncertainty. Sarkozy, too, has vowed to hunt down French people who have fled the country purely to escape high taxes and make them pay the difference between what they're paying in their haven and what they would have to pay in France.

In all the discussion about how much the rich make and how much they should pay, Sarkozy has also been put on the spot - again - about a lavish party to celebrate his presidential victory at Fouquet's and a vacation on a friend's yacht he took shortly after. These moves quickly earned him the moniker "President Bling Bling," and he has struggled ever since to shed the image of a man too comfortable with money.

Five years after the victory party and the yacht trip, Sarkozy is still fielding questions about them. He most recently defended the vacation in an interview not long after Hollande's proposal when he called it a last-ditch attempt to save his marriage to Cecilia, whom he divorced not long after taking office.

But Hollande has struggled to harness this momentum.

Hollande bungled the announcement of his new tax, initially saying it would apply to households bringing in more than (EURO)1 million - about $1.33 million - a month, before clarifying he meant an individual's annual revenue.

He has also failed to provide a coherent narrative for why the tax is needed. He started out by saying that, in tough times, the rich had to pay their fair share, before later conceding it would only bring in about (EURO)100 million to (EURO)300 million each year. France's public debt is (EURO)1.7 trillion ($2.3 trillion).

Then he said it would put pressure on companies to lower ballooning salaries, noting that that executive pay for France's 40 largest public companies - the ones that make up its CAC-40 stock index - rose 34 percent in 2010, while most of Europe was fighting for its very existence.

In the end, Hollande has settled on casting the tax as simply the right thing to do.

"It's not a question of return," he told RTL radio station. "It's a question of morality."

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.



 



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