09-26-2021  4:10 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Police: 3 killed in shooting outside bar near Seattle

DES MOINES, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say three people were killed and three others injured in a shooting early Sunday outside a bar in Des Moines, Washington. Police said shots were fired after a dispute between two people inside the La Familia Sports Pub and Lounge, just...

1 killed, WSU football player hurt in shooting near campus

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed one person and critically injured another near the Washington State University campus early Saturday morning. Police in Pullman, Washington, later identified the injured...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nonprofit grants propel prosecutor push on racial injustice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When Deborah Gonzalez took office in January as the district attorney for the Western Judicial District of Georgia, she noticed that too few defendants, especially Black defendants, qualified for a program that promised treatment for addiction or mental health and not jail. ...

Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A public building in Kosovo was set on fire and another was hit by grenades that did not explode in what government officials described Saturday as criminal acts related to ethnic Serbs protesting a symbolic move on license plates. Serbian media quoted...

Biden risks losing support from Democrats amid DC gridlock

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is losing support among critical groups in his political base as some of his core campaign promises falter, raising concerns among Democrats that the voters who put him in office may feel less enthusiastic about returning to the polls in next year's midterm...

ENTERTAINMENT

'BMF' series explores climb of '80s drug kingpin 'Big Meech'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson remembered hearing stories about how two brothers emerged from rough inner-city Detroit streets to become wealthy drug kingpins and eventually embraced by hip-hop culture. Jackson heard Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory’s...

Elon Musk, singer Grimes 'semi-separated' after three years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk and singer Grimes have ended their romantic relationship after three years. The Tesla and SpaceX founder tells the New York Post's Page Six that he and the Canadian singer are “semi-separated.” But he says they remain on...

Filmmaker revisits case that challenged her and her 2 moms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ry Russo-Young knew she had a story worth hearing, but it was one she was struggling to tell. As a youngster, Russo-Young was at the heart of a legal fight that drew headlines in 1990s America: The two mothers who raised her in New York, including one...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UK counts on vaccines, 'common sense' to keep virus at bay

LONDON (AP) — Britons are encouraged these days — though in most cases not required — to wear face coverings...

Clemson falls to No. 25 in AP poll, snapping top-10 streak

Clemson tumbled to No. 25 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, snapping its streak of 97...

What's the price of Biden’s plan? Democrats drive for zero

WASHINGTON (AP) — What will it cost to enact President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs? ...

In Mexico, some Haitians find a helping hand

CIUDAD ACUÑA, México (AP) — Some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who briefly formed a camp in the Texas...

So close! Iceland almost gets female-majority parliament

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament Sunday, before a...

Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank gunbattles

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops conducted a series of arrest raids against suspected Hamas militants across the...

Robert Burns AP National Security Writer

President Barack Obama confers with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, right, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, following a conference call on Libya with his national security team, in El Salvador, March 23. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon is about to pull its attack planes out of the international air campaign in Libya, hoping NATO partners can take up the slack.

The announcement Thursday drew incredulous reactions from some in Congress who wondered aloud why the Obama administration would bow out of a key element of the strategy for protecting Libyan civilians and crippling Moammar Gadhafi's army.

"Odd," "troubling" and "unnerving" were among critical comments by senators pressing for an explanation of the announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that American combat missions will end Saturday.

"Your timing is exquisite," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said sarcastically, alluding to Gadhafi's military advances this week and the planned halt to U.S. airstrikes. "I believe this would be a profound mistake with potentially disastrous consequences."

Gates and Mullen, in back-to-back appearances before the House and Senate armed services committees, also forcefully argued against putting the U.S. in the role of arming or training Libyan rebel forces, while suggesting it might be a job for Arab or other countries. The White House has said repeatedly that it has not ruled out arming the rebels, who have retreated pell-mell this week under the pressure of a renewed eastern offensive by Gadhafi's better-armed and better-trained ground troops.

"My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States," Gates said.

The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said he saw no contradiction between Gates' remarks and President Barack Obama's statement that "he has not ruled it in or out." As yet, none of Obama's top advisers have publicly advocated a significant expansion of the U.S. role aiding the opposition.

Gates and Mullen were early skeptics of getting involved militarily in Libya, and Gates made clear Thursday that he still worries about the possibility of getting drawn into an open-ended and costly commitment. That explains in part his view that if the rebels are to receive foreign arms, that task - and the training that would necessarily go with it - should not be done by Americans.

Gates said no one should be surprised by the U.S. combat air pullback, but he called the timing "unfortunate" in light of Gadhafi's battlefield gains. He noted that the air attacks are a central feature of the overall military strategy; over time they could degrade Gadhafi's firepower to a point that he would be unable to put down a renewed uprising by opposition forces, he said.

The other major source of U.S. firepower during the two weeks of combat in Libya has been the Navy's Tomahawk cruise missile, launched from ships and submarines in the Mediterranean. None was fired overnight Thursday, U.S. defense officials said Friday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss such details.

It was not clear whether the U.S. would continue attacks with Tomahawks beyond Saturday.

The number of U.S. Navy ships involved in the campaign had shrunk to nine as of Friday, compared to 11 at the start of the operation, and it is likely to shrink further in the days ahead, other defense officials said. Among targets struck in western Libya overnight Thursday by U.S. Air Force F-15 and F-16 fighters were a radar site and a military vehicle that transports and elevates missiles into firing position, one of the defense officials said.

Mullen and Gates stressed that even though powerful combat aircraft like the side-firing AC-130 gunship and the A-10 Thunderbolt, used for close air support of friendly ground forces, will stop flying after Saturday, they will be on standby. Mullen said this means that if the rebels' situation become "dire enough," NATO's top commander could request help from the U.S. aircraft. The U.S. also has used Marine AV-8B Harrier attack jets as well as Air Force F-15 fighters and B-2 and B-1 long-range bombers.

As of Sunday, France, Britain and other NATO countries will handle the task of conducting airstrikes on Libyan military targets, Mullen said. The remaining U.S. role will be support missions such as aerial refueling, search and rescue, and aerial reconnaissance.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., suggested the pullback might jeopardize congressional support for the Libya mission.

"The idea that the AC-130s and the A-10s and American air power is grounded unless the place goes to hell is just so unnerving that I can't express it adequately," Graham said. "The only thing I would ask is, please reconsider that."

Asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., whether he was confident that NATO could sustain airstrikes alone, Gates replied, "They certainly have made that commitment, and we will see."

Many lawmakers were angered by what they said was the administration's lack of candor with Congress ahead of the Libya mission. Several complained that the mission is expensive and ill-defined. Gates defended it, asserting that a potential humanitarian disaster was averted when the U.S.-led intervention stopped Gadhafi's forces as they closed in on Beghazi, the de facto rebel capital in eastern Libya. Gadhafi's forces initially were driven back, but they have since regained their lost ground.

Mullen revealed that a major factor in Gadhafi's ability to drive back the rebels - essentially eliminating the territorial gains they had made last week with the help of international air strikes - was bad weather. He said it grounded most combat missions earlier this week.

Obama had made clear that once U.S. air power silenced Gadhafi's air defenses, permitting the establishment of a no-fly zone over the North African country, the U.S. would reduce its role and let NATO take the lead. On Thursday, NATO assumed control of all aspects of the international campaign - including enforcing the no-fly zone and attacking Gadhafi's military.

The U.S. now finds itself in the unusual position of a back-seat partner in the Libya operation, with no clear path to empowering the rebels. A retired Army general, James Dubick, wrote Thursday in a war commentary that a necessary next step is to place NATO combat air controllers on the ground - to include Americans - to precisely direct air power. Trainers also are needed, he wrote.

"Right now, they (the rebels) are more like `guys with guns' than an organized force and they need help," Dubick wrote. He is a former commander of U.S. training mission in Iraq and is now a senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank.

Mullen said Gadhafi's army had lost as much as 25 percent of its firepower, although his ground forces still outnumber the rebels by about 10-to-1.

---

Associated Press writers Donna Cassata and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events