02-22-2020  11:43 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
The Skanner Black History Month
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Jeremy Christian Guilty of Killing 2 Who Tried to Stop His Slurs on Max

Today jurors found Christian guilty of the May 26, 2017 stabbing deaths of Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best

States Step Up Funding for Planned Parenthood Clinics

A spokesman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon said the agency has been "working closely with state officials to create critical backstops and protect access to care for all Oregonians who need it, regardless of federal action on Title X"

Oregon Denies Permit for Pipeline Before Federal Decision

Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development says a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay would have significant adverse effects on the state's coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, endangered species and critical habitat

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

African American Initiative Breast Cancer Survivor Celebration to be Held Saturday

Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington celebrate breast cancer survivors in the African American community with a free gala this...

Dr. Karin Edwards Named New President of Clark College

Board of Trustees names Dr. Karin Edwards as the college’s 15th leader in its 87-year history ...

OneUnited Bank Launches New Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Card

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, introduces the new limited-edition Harriet Tubman Card in celebration of...

Oregon House Votes to End Driver’s License Suspensions for Failure to Pay Fines

Bipartisan Vote Underscores Consensus for Reforms, Makes Way for Senate Action ...

Black History Month 2020: “African Americans and the Vote”

In our celebration of Black History Month 2020, the DPO Black Caucus looks forward to the screening of the award-winning documentary,...

Man charged in truck stop stabbing sent to state hospital

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — A Colorado man charged in what Oregon prosecutors say was a hate crime stabbing has been found unfit for trial and will be sent to the Oregon State Hospital before his legal case can move forward.The Argus-Observer in Ontario reports Malheur County Circuit Court Judge...

Oregon highway between Bend and Salem reopens

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The main Oregon highway connecting Salem and Bend reopened Saturday after a tanker crash and gas spill forced a week-long closure.The double tanker trunk spilled an estimated 7,800 gallons of petroleum products into the soil at the crash site east of Idanha, the Statesman...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Warren reports big haul of cash on debate week

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times local):10 a.m.Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says her presidential campaign has raised million in the past 10 days.In a tweet, the Democratic hopeful says the haul is double what the campaign had hoped to raise...

Lizzo, Nyong'o, Eddie Murphy vying for NAACP Image Awards

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Hollywood's awards season isn't over quite yet, with the NAACP Image Awards putting the spotlight Saturday on the achievements of actors and musicians of color.The evening's honorees include Oscar contenders, namely Cynthia Erivo, who starred in the Harriet Tubman...

Ryanair CEO criticized for singling out Muslim men as threat

LONDON (AP) — Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is facing criticism for suggesting Muslim men should be singled out for extra scrutiny at airports. The boss of the Irish budget carrier told Saturday’s Times of London that families with young children should not be...

ENTERTAINMENT

Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' readies for Garden visit

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kyle Scatliffe has gone to Madison Square Garden plenty of times — for a Rangers game, a Muse concert and a WWE event. Next week, he's going back again, but this time he won't be in the seats.Scatliffe on Wednesday will be starring in the hit Broadway play...

Former Ukraine diplomat Marie Yovanovitch has book deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the career diplomat who during the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump offered a chilling account of alleged threats from Trump and his allies, has a book deal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt confirmed Friday to The...

OWN's 'Cherish the Day' is a rare celebration of black love

LOS ANGELES (AP) — To separate filmmaker and TV producer Ava DuVernay’s trenchant, history-driven projects, including “Selma” and “When They See Us,” from her new romantic drama series is to sell short the determined thoughtfulness that shapes all her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Netflix series explores the assassination of Malcolm X

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new Netflix series is tackling questions around the 1965 assassination of civil...

AP FACT CHECK: Donald Trump and the audacity of hype

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their boisterous presidential debate, several Democrats sold short the health care...

Germany admits there's a far-right problem, but what to do?

BERLIN (AP) — As Germany's president expressed his sympathy and shock during a candlelight vigil for nine...

Italy towns close down amid virus case clusters, 2 deaths

CODOGNO, Italy (AP) — A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown Saturday after the...

US leads training exercises in Africa amid focus on Sahel

THIES, Senegal (AP) — Crouching in the sparse brush, maneuvering into formations through a divide, and then...

At Trump's India rally, Modi bets on bolstering his image

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A festive mood has enveloped Ahmedabad in India’s northwestern state of...

McMenamins
Hadeel Al-Shalchi the Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- A former U.S. congressman invited by Moammar Gadhafi arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday on a self-described private mission to urge the Libyan leader to step down as rebels and pro-government forces waged near stalemate battles.

Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who has visited Libya twice before, said he leading a private delegation and had informed the White House and some members of Congress about his trip. He was in Libya's capital as a White House envoy, Chris Stevens, was meeting rebels in their de facto capital, Benghazi, to gauge their intentions and capabilities.

Gadhafi has been widely excluded from international efforts to broker a peace plan, with rebels insisting that his four-decade rule must end. Weldon would be one of the few high-profile Westerners to meet with Gadhafi since the rebellion began in February.

Weldon, who served two decades in Congress before losing his seat in 2006, was part of a bipartisan delegation that visited Libya in 2004 after Gadhafi agreed to abandon his nuclear program. The seven-member U.S. team included then-Sen. Joe Biden and included an address by Weldon to the Libyan Peoples' General Conference - a pro-Gadhafi forum - to urge greater understanding between Libya and the United States.

Weldon also visited Libya last year to study U.S. business opportunities.

"There is no question that America should play a critical role in helping the Libyans build a new government," Weldon wrote in an editorial published Tuesday in The New York Times. "Sadly, in the years since my first trip, Washington has squandered many opportunities to achieve that goal without bloodshed. And unless we begin to engage with the country's leaders - even those close to Col. Gadhafi - we may again lose our chance to help build a new Libya."

The rebels, aided by U.N.-authorized airstrikes intended to protect civilians from Gadhafi's forces, have maintained control of much of the eastern half of Libya since early in the uprising, while Gadhafi has clung to much of the west. Gadhafi has been putting out feelers for a cease-fire, but he refuses to step down.

Neither government forces nor the rebels have made any serious gains in recent days, and the conflict has shifted to smaller objectives on both sides, such as control of the key oil port of Brega.

Rebels have complained that NATO airstrikes come too slowly to seriously disrupt the pro-Gadhafi troops. But the French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, defended the air campaign, saying the missions are becoming more complicated as Gadhafi's forces position themselves in heavily populated civilian areas to make targeting difficult.

Juppe said airstrikes have destroyed most of Gadhafi's aircraft and armored vehicles, but that his troops are increasingly blending in with the rebels by using pickups and less sophisticated weapons similar to those the opposition uses.

"The military situation in the field is confused and uncertain and the risk of engulfing exists," he said in a radio interview.

In Misrata, the only major western Libyan city held by the rebels, Juppe said it has become more difficult for NATO to attack Gadhafi forces besieging the city because government troops have gotten closer to civilian populations.

A NATO spokeswoman also dismissed rebels' criticism, saying the number of airstrikes is increasing every day and that Misrata remains a priority of the air campaign.

Carmen Romero said the alliance flew 137 missions on Monday, 186 on Tuesday, and planned 198 on Wednesday.

But Romero also noted that NATO's priority is to avoid harming civilians and therefore "all operations are carried out in a very vigilant way."

"The ambition and precision of our strikes has not changed. The facts speak for themselves," Romero said in Brussels.

Rebels, meanwhile, were trying to sharpen their front-line forces.

Former Libyan military officers who have joined the opposition were trying to keep untrained fighters from advancing from the eastern gateway city of Ajdabiya toward Brega. But that was causing tensions within the rebel ranks.

"We only allow the people who have training to pass," said Walid al-Obeidi, a 25-year-old from nearby Benghazi who was a private in the Libyan army before defecting and was manning a checkpoint on the western outskirts of Ajdabiya.

Trained rebels flew through the checkpoints in pickups mounted with anti-aircraft weapons. One rebel in uniform got out with several grenades and military medals hanging from his vest and a Kalashnikov rifle flung across his shoulder. Others gathered around him, chanting: "God, Libya and freedom!"

But a scuffle broke out at the when one of the untrained fighters tried to go through toward the front line.

"Kill me here if you don't want to let me in! Let me in, I am trained to use weapons and mortars. My friends are there, let me in," he said, refusing to give his name to reporters. Guards in camouflage uniforms prevented him from passing while others tried to calm things down.

In another incident, a pickup truck carrying a group of ragtag rebels tried to go around the gate, but a rebel army officer fired warning shots in the air, then near the truck's tires to stop it.

Rebels who were not allowed to advance sat around, chanting anti-Gadhafi songs and clapping.

Raib bin Aruz, a 23-year-old student from the coastal town of Darna, said he hoped they would be allowed to go to the front in the afternoon, after an expected airstrike.

Saeed Imbarak, 43, a businessman, said he wanted to fight but didn't have a weapon.

"Gadhafi has weapons but we don't have enough. The Libyan people need more support from NATO. If we don't get it we expect a lot of massacres from Gadhafi. We expect him to take over all of Libya and to massacre all of us," he said.

In a step for the rebels toward getting more money for weapons and other needs, a Liberian-flagged oil tanker left the eastern port of Tobruk after loading up the rebels' first shipment of oil for export in nearly three weeks as part of a deal with Qatar.

The tanker can carry 1 million barrels of oil, less than the 1.6 million barrels Libya produced every day on average before the crisis.

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Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot in Ajbadiya, Libya; Jenny Barchfield in Paris and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

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