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NORTHWEST NEWS

Fitzpatrick to Retire

Longtime leader of PCRI moving on; organization interviewing candidates this week

Read May 21 Election Results

Penson, De Pass, Peterson win election bids

Pension Reform Plan Advances, Kicker Rebate Not Targeted

A plan to rein in the growing costs of Oregon's public pension system was sent to the Senate floor Tuesday after passing two key committees.

Multnomah County Election Day: Ballots Due Before 8:00 P.M.

Tuesday, May 21 is the last day to vote in the May Special District Election. Ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 for them to count.

NEWS BRIEFS

Community Celebrates New Evelyn Crowell Center African American Exhibit at Cascade

On Monday, June 3, the PCC Cascade campus will host an official opening ceremony for the Evelyn Crowell Center for African American...

James Bible Seeks Bellevue City Council Seat

Civil rights attorney says he wants to prioritize housing, wages ...

North Clackamas School Named in Honor of Supreme Court Judge Adrienne Nelson

The Rock Creed Middle School will be converted and renamed in honor of Oregon Supreme Court Justice, Adrienne C. Nelson. ...

Write Around Portland 56th Book Release and Free Public Readings

Write Around Portland is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two free community readings ...

Family of Terrell Johnson Files Suit Against City of Portland and Portland Police

Johnson was shot in May 2017 by a PPB officer at a MAX station in SE Portland ...

Bill would allow cities to lower residential speed limits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The city of Bend is backing legislation that would allow it to lower speed limits in some residential areas below what is currently allowed by state law.Senate Bill 558 is before the Senate for approval. It advanced Monday from the Joint Committee on Transportation on an...

Washington state farmers commit to increasing hemp crops

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Washington state farmers have committed to plant significantly more hemp than they did in the previous two years, officials said.Farmers plan to plant more than 9 square miles (or 23 square kilometers) of hemp this year, Capital Press reported Wednesday.The state...

Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant finds new home at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — By the end of last season, Missouri fans were enjoying quarterback Drew Lock's final days running the Tigers' offense and wondering who would take over this fall.The answer came in a Twitter post the night of Dec. 4 when Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring to...

Missouri files brief as it seeks to overturn NCAA sanctions

Missouri submitted its appeals brief to the NCAA on Monday, taking the next step in attempting to limit or overturn what it believes are overly harsh sanctions in the case of a rogue former tutor.The school argued in the 64-page brief to the NCAA's appeals committee that the penalties handed down...

OPINION

On the History of Medical Marijuana

The recent legalization of cannabis medicinally throughout the United States of America has made Cannabis sativa L., colloquially termed marijuana, hemp, or weed, the growing topic of conversation. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements May 2019

The Skanner endorses candidates in upcoming school board, PCC races ...

How Should We Handle Right-Wing Disrupters?

Liberal and progressive individuals and institutions should expect disruptions to not only continue but to increase in scale. ...

Our Democracy Is on the Line, Congress Must Act Now

While the debate whether President Trump obstructed justice should be over with the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, unfortunately, it is not ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Museum apologizes to minority students told: 'No watermelon'

BOSTON (AP) — Boston's venerable Museum of Fine Arts has apologized to a group of minority middle school students who say they were subjected to racism by staff and some other patrons during a field trip.Museum officials in a letter posted on its website Wednesday apologized to the students...

GLAAD: LGBTQ representation in film is up, but not for all

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The advocacy organization GLAAD says that LGBTQ representation is up for major studio films released in 2018, but that none included transgender characters.Of the 110 movies surveyed, 20, or 18.2%, contained an LGBTQ character. This is a significant improvement from 2017's...

Making history: Rihanna launches brand Fenty in Paris store

PARIS (AP) — Rihanna, the first black woman in history to head up a major Parisian luxury house, is unveiling her first fashion designs for Fenty at a pop-up store in Paris.The collection, named after the singer-turned-designer's last name, comprises ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Daniel Craig to undergo minor ankle surgery for Bond injury

LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Bond is out of commission for a few weeks. Star Daniel Craig is undergoing minor ankle surgery after sustaining an injury while filming the 25th installment in the franchise in Jamaica.The news comes Wednesday in a tweet from the official James Bond twitter account....

Rotten Tomatoes to link audience ratings to ticket purchases

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rotten Tomatoes is taking another step to verify that users posting a rating of a movie have actually seen it.The review aggregator says Thursday that users who have purchased tickets on Fandango will get a verified badge next to their review, beginning with films out this...

GLAAD: LGBTQ representation in film is up, but not for all

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The advocacy organization GLAAD says that LGBTQ representation is up for major studio films released in 2018, but that none included transgender characters.Of the 110 movies surveyed, 20, or 18.2%, contained an LGBTQ character. This is a significant improvement from 2017's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

D-Day veterans revisit Normandy, recall horror and triumph

Planes spread out across the sky, nearly wingtip to wingtip. A sniper's bullet whizzing by the ear. Squeezing a...

China has more weapons in US tariff war - but do they work?

BEIJING (AP) — Looking for ways to hit back at Washington as a tariff fight escalates, President Xi Jinping...

Yes or No: Who's in charge? Power struggles roil Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — A dozen times, Rep. Ayanna Pressley asked the witness for a yes or no answer on housing...

'War is ugly': For French vet, D-Day's lessons are timeless

OUISTREHAM, France (AP) — There were countless times on D-Day and in the fighting in Normandy that followed...

India's Modi paints image of Hindu ascetic called to power

NEW DELHI (AP) — The man in the saffron robe sat cross-legged with his eyes closed, back to the wall of a...

Fascist symbols and rhetoric on rise in Italian EU vote

MILAN (AP) — A banner emblazoned with the words "Honor to Mussolini," unfurled just steps from the Milan...

McMenamins
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."

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