12-04-2020  9:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Mental Health Oregon Offers Free Computers, Internet Access

Organization wants to help elderly and those with mental illness stay connected

Black Restaurant Owners Keep Doors Open, Often at Great Loss

Blumenauer’s RESTAURANT Act could prove a lifeline -- if it makes it through Senate 

Merkley, Clay Propose Constitutional Amendment to Close Slavery Loophole in 13th Amendment

Indisputably racist exception permitting slavery as punishment for crime has fueled systemic racism in criminal justice for 150 years

Police Guide That Calls BLM a Terrorist Group Draws Outrage

The document contains misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric that could incite officers against protesters and people of color, critics said

NEWS BRIEFS

Commissioner Fritz Directs Portland Parks & Rec to Remove the Name 'Custer Park'

The park at SW 21st Avenue and Capitol Hill Road will temporarily be known as “A Park” as PP&R engages with the community to...

Oregonians May Qualify for Help Paying for Health Insurance

The deadline to apply for coverage is Tuesday, December 15. ...

Additional Food Benefits To Be Distributed in December

The Oregon Department of Human Service will issue emergency supplemental allotments to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program...

Multnomah County Opens Applications for Restaurant and Food Cart COVID-19 Relief Grants

Caterers, B&Bs and benevolent groups can also apply; application deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 15 ...

OHS Shares Update on Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt Conservation Efforts

The historical quilt was damaged during a vandalism incident at the Oregon Historical Society’s downtown facility last month ...

Ex-OSU employee says he was fired for taking parental leave

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A former Oregon State University employee has filed a lawsuit saying he was fired because he took parental leave. Joseph McQuillin was assistant director of facilities maintenance and custodial manager in the university’s department of recreational sports when his...

Bighorn sheep could be in danger from domestic sheep

OKANOGAN, Wash. (AP) — Bighorn sheep in central Washington could be in danger if domestic sheep continue to graze nearby. That’s the concern from two groups suing the U.S. Forest Service.Domestic sheep or goats can pass a deadly bacteria to bighorns, the Northwest News Network...

Missouri takes on ex-coach Odom, Arkansas in rivalry game

Missouri quarterback Conor Bazelak should have a pretty good idea how to dissect the Arkansas defense on Saturday.His old coach is the one running it.Barry Odom didn't wander far after he was fired by as the head coach of the Tigers late last year, accepting a job as the defensive coordinator under...

Vanderbilt women's soccer player receives SEC football honor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has named Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller as the league's co-special teams player of the week after she made history becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 conference football game. Fuller shared the award Monday with Florida punt...

OPINION

All Eyes on Georgia

Senate control is crucial for the nation ...

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Macron calls racial profiling 'unbearable,' announces survey

PARIS (AP) — France plans to launch a government-monitored online tool in January that is designed to identify and root out discrimination by police, President Emmanuel Macron said Friday. Macron called it “unbearable” that people of color are more likely to be stopped by law...

Rams players award 0,000 to social justice programs

This week, Los Angeles Rams players took part in awarding 0,000 to 25 nonprofits focused on social justice across the greater Los Angeles region. Following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others, Rams players focused on long-term, systemic change and decided to pool resources to...

Man linked to white supremacist group to plead guilty

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man who is scheduled to plead guilty Tuesday in a case stemming from his alleged membership in a white supremacist group wants a federal judge to immediately sentence him at the hearing, a court filing shows.William Bilbrough IV agreed to a specific term...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hillary, Chelsea Clinton to tell unheralded heroes' stories

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, are forming a film production company that they say will tell the stories of people whose voices are often overlooked. Their first project of their HiddenLight company is to be a documentary series called “Gutsy...

Alison Lurie, prize winning novelist, dead at 94

NEW YORK (AP) — Alison Lurie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose satirical and cerebral tales of love and academia included the marital saga “The War Between the Tates” and the comedy of Americans abroad “Foreign Affairs,” died Thursday at age 94.Lurie, a...

In seismic shift, Warner Bros. to stream all 2021 films

NEW YORK (AP) — In the most seismic shift by a Hollywood studio yet during the pandemic, Warner Bros. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate — including a new “Matrix” movie, “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the Lin-Manuel Miranda adaptation...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

India's winter of discontent: Farmers rise up against Modi

NEW DELHI (AP) — A chilly breeze whirls through New Delhi in the mornings and the sun is partly obscured by...

Fugitive is killed, 2 US marshals shot in Bronx gunfight

NEW YORK (AP) — A fugitive who shot a Massachusetts state trooper in the hand during a traffic stop two...

In southern Madagascar, 'nothing to feed our children'

ANKILIMAROVAHATSY, Madagascar (AP) — “It’s the hunger that killed him,” the grieving...

AP PHOTOS: Peru's monuments mostly left alone in protests

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Attacked in other countries during social and political protests, historical monuments...

The Latest: Alabama man beats COVID-19, marks 104th birthday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A World War II veteran from Alabama has recovered from COVID-19 in time for his 104th...

As hospitals cope with a COVID-19 surge, cyber threats loom

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — By late morning on Oct. 28, staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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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