09-26-2021  3:42 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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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

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

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Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

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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

Harry and Meghan visit with students at a Harlem school

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offered lots of hugs to kids at a Harlem public school Friday where she read her children's book to about two dozen students who sat cross-legged with her husband in the play yard. The hourlong visit to PS 123,...

'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...

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

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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...

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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