09-28-2022  12:38 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black United Fund Launches Emerging Entrepreneur Program

Pilot program will support promising small business owner ready to take the next step.

After a Rocky Start Oregon Drug Decriminalization Eyes Progress

When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug Addiction Treatment andRecovery Act in 2020, the emphasis was on treatment as much as on decriminalizing possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs. But progress has been slow and Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country yet over half of addiction treatment programs in the state don't have enough staffing and funding to help those who want help

Morgan State University Students Win Zillow’s HBCU Hackathon With App That Measures Financial Credibility Outside of Credit Scoring

Second-annual competition challenged participants to develop new technologies to help consumers during their journey to find a home.

Portland, Oregon, to Use Microphones to Track Gunshots

The decision to advance a pilot program with ShotSpotter was made after Wheeler met with Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

NEWS BRIEFS

Expiring Protections: 10-Day Notices of Nonpayment of Rent And "Safe Harbor" Protections

Effective October 1, a Landlord will be able to resume use of a 72-hour notice or 144-hour notice when issuing a termination notice...

11 Area Post Offices to Host Hiring Events

Over 100 Northwest USPS Hosting Job Fairs ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Champions Oregon Business and Sets Sights on Strengthening Key Industries

Rep. Bynum invited leaders and experts to discuss ways the state can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the...

PPS Renames Headquarters

The central office will be named after Matthew Prophet, Portland Public School's first Black Superintendent from 1982-1992,...

Affordable Housing Plan to Go Before Seattle Voters

If I-135 passes it would create a public development authority ...

Tiny Oregon town hosts 1st wind-solar-battery 'hybrid' plant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A renewable energy plant being commissioned in Oregon on Wednesday that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. The project, which will generate...

Oregon gubernatorial candidates clash over guns, abortion

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The three women who want to be Oregon's next governor clashed Tuesday over gun control, abortions and other hot-button issues at an in-person debate, just six weeks before election day. Democratic nominee and former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek set the tone...

Auburn loses 2nd center, Tate Johnson, to injury

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has lost its second center of the season with Tate Johnson slated for surgery on his left elbow. Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said Monday that Johnson is scheduled for surgery on the elbow Thursday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks but could be out for the...

LSU survives Daniels' injury scare in romp over New Mexico

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU defense held New Mexico to 88 total yards and the Tigers survived an injury scare to starting quarterback Jayden Daniels in a 38-0 victory Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a habit,” LSU...

OPINION

No Room for Black Folk

A recent interview with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and an associate professor, reveals the inability of certain white Americans to share the benefits of our society ...

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In court brief, Musk says the SEC is unlawfully muzzling him

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Securities regulators are unlawfully muzzling Tesla CEO Elon Musk, violating his free speech rights by continually trying to enforce a 2018 securities fraud settlement, Musk's lawyer contends in a court brief. The document, filed late Tuesday with the federal...

Expert questions whether school shooter's mom drank heavily

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz began their rebuttal of the defense case Tuesday by questioning whether his birth mother drank as heavily during pregnancy as some witnesses portrayed. They also showed his sometimes...

NAACP says Jackson's water problems are civil rights issue

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In a federal complaint Tuesday, the NAACP said Mississippi officials “all but assured” a drinking water calamity in Jackson by depriving the state’s majority-Black capital city of badly needed funds to upgrade its infrastructure. The organization asked the...

ENTERTAINMENT

A doc from the Disney family takes aim at the Mouse House

NEW YORK (AP) — Abigail E. Disney has been critical of the company that bears her name before. But for the first time, Disney, the granddaughter of co-founder Roy O. Disney, has put her views into the medium the Mouse House was built on: a movie. In the new documentary “The...

Procedural dramas jump to front in TV's opening week

NEW YORK (AP) — Besides live sports, the one thing broadcast networks can be counted on for these days is franchise procedural dramas. That was evident on opening week of a new television season, when the 10 most-watched scripted programs all fit this tried-and-true formula,...

TV hit ‘Peaky Blinders’ expands story through dance show

LONDON (AP) — Steven Knight looks astounded, almost lost for words. He’s just watched contemporary dance company Rambert run through scenes from the first act of their “Peaky Blinders” production, based on the hit TV show that he wrote and created. Watching the immediate...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Top Pakistan diplomat urges flood aid, patience with Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pakistan's foreign minister says the international community should work with Afghanistan's...

Millions of Americans will save on Medicare fees next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in a decade, Americans will pay less next year on monthly premiums for...

VP Harris seeks computer chip partners in Japan meetings

TOKYO (AP) — Armed with a new law that boosts U.S. support for computer chip manufacturing, Vice President...

'Don't leave me': Survivor recounts Lebanon boat sinking

BOURJ HAMMOUD, Lebanon (AP) — Jihad Michlawi struggled to makes ends meet as a chef in crisis-hit Beirut. The...

China's Xi reappears on state TV amid rumors over absence

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping reappeared on state television Tuesday after a several-day absence...

Iranian lawmaker slams protesters; cleric appeals for calm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A hard-line Iranian lawmaker Tuesday slammed female protesters who have taken...

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.

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

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