09-25-2022  11:31 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

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.

Oregon Students' Math, Reading Skills Plummet Post-Pandemic

The tests administered last spring were the first reliable comparison to pre-pandemic testing done in 2019.

Faith Community, Activists Introduce ‘Evidence-Based’ Gun Control Measure to Ballot

Proposed law would require permits to purchase, limit magazine rounds.

NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Merkley, Wyden: Over $3.2 Million in Federal Funds to Address Domestic Violence and Expand Services for Survivors 

The awful threat of domestic violence undermines the safety of far too many households and communities in Oregon and nationwide ...

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces Partnership to Advance Genomics Research at the Nation's Four Historically Black Medical Colleges

New partnership with Charles Drew University College of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and...

Police: Man dead in shooting outside Portland hotel

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man was killed in a shooting outside a hotel in Portland early Sunday, police said. No arrests were immediately made in the shooting, which was reported at around 3:30 a.m. The shooting in the northeast part of the city took place a few blocks...

After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two years after Oregon residents voted to decriminalize hard drugs and dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to treatment, few people have requested the services and the state has been slow to channel the funds. When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug...

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...

Bridges' OT fumble recovery seals Auburn's win over Missouri

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cayden Bridges recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Auburn a 17-14 overtime victory over Missouri in an SEC opener on Saturday. Missouri (2-2) running back Nathaniel Peat dropped the football before a potential game-winning touchdown, and Bridges landed on...

OPINION

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

Democrats in Florida seek to win over Latinos on gun control

MIAMI (AP) — Annette Taddeo walked to a podium overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay and described to her audience how she had fled terrorism as a teenager in Colombia and now feared for the safety of her 16-year-old daughter at an American public school. A blue and bright orange bus...

Biden administration launches environmental justice office

WARRENTON, N.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s top environment official visited what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement Saturday to unveil a national office that will distribute billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. ...

Ex-Nevada deputy attorney general indicted on murder charge

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii grand jury on Friday indicted a former deputy Nevada attorney general on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the 50-year-old cold case of a Honolulu woman killed in 1972. Tudor Chirila, 77, is in custody in Reno, Nevada, where he is fighting...

ENTERTAINMENT

New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in 'Rust' shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has granted funds to pay for possible prosecutions connected to last year's fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday. The state Board of Finance greenlit more than 7,000 to...

Ari Lennox's 'age/sex/location' revels in infatuation

NEW YORK (AP) — Writer’s block confined Ari Lennox during the creation of her latest album, “age/sex/location,” but her label head and friend, rap superstar J. Cole, suggested she begin journaling to unlock her creativity. “He was like, ‘I just want you to write and just...

Early Streisand nightclub recording remastered for release

NEW YORK (AP) — A series of 1962 performances by Barbra Streisand at a Manhattan nightclub before she became a superstar have been remastered and will be released this fall. “Barbra Streisand — Live at the Bon Soir” features songs from a three night stint at the Bon Soir...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Bills would curtail objections at future Jan. 6 counts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress have officially objected to the results in four of the last six...

Japanese leader's trip to China in '72 was diplomatic gamble

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese leader who normalized relations with China 50 years ago feared for his life when he...

False claims, threats fuel poll worker sign-ups for midterms

ATLANTA (AP) — Outraged by false allegations of fraud against a Georgia elections employee in 2020, Amanda...

Iran summons UK envoy amid anti-government protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday it summoned Britain's ambassador to...

Canada struggles to restore power after storm; body found

TORONTO (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people in Atlantic Canada remained without power Sunday and officials...

Cuba prepares evacuations as strengthening TS Ian nears

HAVANA (AP) — Authorities in Cuba suspended classes in Pinar del Rio province and said they will begin...

Rukmini Callimachi and Marco Chown Oved the Associated Press

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) -- Laurent Gbagbo's 10-year grip on the Ivory Coast seemed to be in its final hours Friday after fighters encircled both his residence and the presidential palace and battled to unseat the man who has refused to recognize his defeat in last year's election.

The Skanner News Video here

Even in the face of a rapid military advance that has swept across Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, and arrived at his doorstep, Gbagbo rejected calls to step down.

His aides defiantly said they will never give in, even though nearly 80 percent of the country and now large swaths of its largest city are controlled by an armed group fighting to install the internationally recognized winner of the election, Alassane Ouattara.

"There is no question of ceding," said Gbagbo's presidential aide, Fred Anderson. "It's not up to the international community to impose our leader."

In the Cocody neighborhood where the presidential mansion is located, families slept in bathrooms and on the floor as successive blasts punctuated the all-night assault.

People living near the presidential palace a few miles to the west were awakened by a barrage of explosions, some so strong they made the walls of buildings tremble.

During the day, machine-gun fire could be heard at either end of the waterside highway leading to the palace. It is strategically located on a peninsula surrounded on all sides by a lagoon, and military vehicles mounted with rocket launchers sped by while Mi-24 helicopters circled.

Gbagbo delayed the November election by five years, canceling it every year only to promise, but fail, to hold it the next.

Ouattara's victory with 54 percent of the vote was recognized first by the country's electoral commission and then by the United Nations, which pored over thousands of tally sheets before certifying the results. He has been recognized by governments around the world, and leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to French President Nicolas Sarkozy have made personal appeals to Gbagbo to step down.

"This turn of events is a direct consequence of the intransigence of the outgoing president, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, who has repeatedly refused to heed calls for him to cede the reins of power in the country to the president-elect, Mr. Alassane Ouattara," said a statement Friday by the regional Economic Community of West African States.

Gbagbo, 65, has not been seen in public since the offensive began five days ago, but those in his inner circle say he is still in Abidjan and will fight until the end. It's unclear where he is holed up, with Ouattara's camp speculating he is in a bunker in the palace.

Reached by telephone, however, one of Gbagbo's closest associates, Foreign Minister Alcide Djeje, said he was at Gbagbo's side at the presidential residence in Cocody.

Cocody resident Yeo N'Dri said Friday that he could see a thick column of smoke rising from the area where the residence is located. Abidjan was at a standstill, with people barricaded indoors.

The few cars on the streets had their emergency lights flashing. Some drivers held their right hand on the wheel and their left hand pointed outside to signal that they aren't armed.

Ouattara ordered land and sea borders closed to seal all the exits in case Gbagbo attempts to flee, said Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Marie Kakou-Gervais.

"His inner circle is trying to run, but they won't be able to," he said.

At least 1 million people have fled Abidjan and 494 have been killed during the four months of violence waged by Gbagbo's security forces. Early on, world leaders offered him amnesty and a golden parachute in return for leaving peacefully. The United Nations has said his regime will be investigated for possible crimes against humanity.

Members of Ouattara's administration said the battle would already be over if Ouattara had not given specific instructions to not harm Gbagbo.

"It is not our wish to kill him," Kakou-Gervais said. "We would like the Red Cross to be a witness. We invite them to be with us when we take him."

For most of the standoff, it was Gbagbo's security forces that committed abuses against civilians, according to visits to local morgues by The Associated Press, eyewitness reports by AP reporters and photographers, and interviews with Ivorians and human rights officials. Those reports bolstered Ouattara's international stature, and his supporters only recently started to arm themselves and fight back.

That could change now that Ouattara has accepted help from a northern-based rebel group, whose members make up the majority of the fighters now assaulting Abidjan.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon again called on Gbagbo to step down and transfer power to Ouattara, telling reporters in Nairobi, Kenya, that "there has been too much bloodshed, including hundreds of civilians killed or wounded."

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has received "unconfirmed but worrying reports" that the pro-Ouattara force "has been committing human rights violations" during the advance toward Abidjan.

He added: "The human rights office also says pro-Gbagbo forces have continued to commit violations on a daily basis."

Since the disputed election, Ouattara had worked to rally international support for an armed intervention led by either the U.N. or a regional force to avoid the impression that he had taken the country by violent means. Ouattara's aides said he exhausted all diplomatic options before giving the armed group the go-ahead.

Attacking from the west, the center and the east, the fighters took towns with almost no resistance, seizing more than three-quarters of the country in four days. By the time the military vehicles crossed into Abidjan early Friday, as many as 50,000 members of Gbagbo's security forces had deserted, according to the top U.N. envoy in Ivory Coast, Choi Young-jin.

Gbagbo is still backed by the well-armed Republican Guard and several elite units.

"Do we expect him to go soon? I mean, that's impossible for us to predict from Washington, but it appears that his time is drawing nigh," said State Department spokesman Mark Toner. "We would just urge Mr. Gbagbo to read the writing on the wall."

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Contributing to this story were Associated Press writer Michelle Faul in Johannesburg, Matthew Lee in Washington and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations.

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