07-09-2020  11:13 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Urged to See a 'World Without Law Enforcement'

Proposals include removal of 911 dispatch from Seattle Police control, budget cuts of 50%

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

NEWS BRIEFS

Adams Joins Lawmakers in Move to Repeal Trump’s Birth Control Rule

Without action, SCOTUS decision clears way for Trump Admin rule to take effect ...

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

The fund will help support artists during COVID crisis and beyond ...

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Seattle urged to see a 'world without law enforcement'

SEATTLE (AP) — Representatives from a new coalition urged the Seattle City Council to immediately begin redirecting millions of dollars in funding from the Police Department to community-based solutions, affordable housing and a new approach to public safety.“I really, truly do not...

Oregon Appeals Court affirms Portland renter relocation law

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.Presiding Judge Darleen Ortega said she agreed with a...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mayor helps paint 'Black Lives Matter' outside Trump Tower

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grabbed a roller Thursday to paint “Black Lives Matter" in front of the namesake Manhattan tower of President Donald Trump, who tweeted last week that the street mural would be “a symbol of hate.”De Blasio was flanked...

Trump faced issues with Asian Americans even before virus

SEATTLE (AP) — Sonny Vinuya hasn’t decided if he’ll vote again for Donald Trump in the battleground state of Nevada.The Filipino American businessman in Las Vegas is personally offended by the president's use of a racist slur at recent re-election rallies, where he mocked China...

US sanctions Chinese officials over repression of minorities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, including a member of the ruling Politburo, for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic and religious minorities that China has detained in the western part of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

MSNBC appoints Joy Reid as Chris Matthews' replacement

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC says Joy Reid will move into the early evening time slot vacated in March by former “Hardball” host Chris Matthew's retirement in March.Reid, who has been a weekend anchor at the cable news network and lately has subbed in the 7 p.m. Eastern time slot, now...

Rolling Stones to release unheard tracks from 1973 album

The Rolling Stones will release a new version of their 1973 album “Goats Head Soup” featuring three unheard tracks, including one featuring Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.The band announced on Thursday that the release on Sept. 4 will include a four-disc CD and vinyl box set editions that...

Family re-imagines Bob Marley classic for COVID-19 relief

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Marley’s Grammy-winning children and chart-topping grandson have re-imagined one of his biggest hits to assist children affected by the coronavirus pandemic.Stephen Marley, Cedella Marley and her son, Skip Marley, have joined forces to produce a new version of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police: 5 arrested in Los Angeles death of rapper Pop Smoke

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three men and two juveniles have been arrested in connection with the February...

Trump faced issues with Asian Americans even before virus

SEATTLE (AP) — Sonny Vinuya hasn’t decided if he’ll vote again for Donald Trump in the...

AP Explains: Confederate flags draw differing responses

Public pressure amid protests over racial inequality forced Mississippi to furl its Confederate-inspired state...

VIRUS DIARY: In Saudi Arabia, a photographer finds new focus

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — I moved to Saudi Arabia from Egypt last year, eager to photograph a national...

COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching 'full speed'

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa...

25 years on, Srebrenica dead still being identified, buried

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A quarter of a century after they were killed in Europe’s...

McMenamins
Matt Volz the Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Two Montana lawmakers are trying to start a class-action lawsuit against "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, claiming they were duped into buying Mortenson's best-selling book and donating to his charity based on lies they thought were true.

The claim filed Thursday in federal court in Missoula is the latest fallout from reports by "60 Minutes" and author Jon Krakauer last month that alleged that Mortenson lied in "Three Cups of Tea" about how he became involved in building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The reports also questioned whether Mortenson financially benefited from his charity, Central Asia Institute, and whether CAI built the number of schools it claimed.

The complaint, which tells only one side of a legal argument, alleges Mortenson and CAI induced state Rep. Michele Reinhart of Missoula to buy the book and Rep. Jean Price of Great Falls to donate to the charity. Reinhart and Price claim Mortenson and the charity engaged in fraud, deceit, breach of contract and racketeering under a statute normally used for prosecuting mobsters.

The Democratic legislators are seeking class-action status, saying the lawsuit potentially could be joined by millions of people who bought Mortenson's books, heard his speeches or donated to his charity.

"They purchased the book because of his heart-wrenching story which he said was true," said Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett, who is representing Reinhart and Price. "If people had known all of this was fabricated, they would not have given the money."

Mortenson was in his Bozeman home awaiting word on whether he could safely undergo surgery to repair a hole in his heart, according to a statement by his doctor posted on the Central Asia Institute's website.

Anne Beyersdorfer, a Mortenson family friend who is running the charity in Mortenson's absence, told The Associated Press that officials at CAI have not seen the complaint and she could not comment on the particulars. But, she said, Mortenson has done nothing wrong and he is looking forward to refuting the accusations against him when his health improves.

"He's weak, his oxygen levels are low and he's not well," Beyersdorfer said. "He is not able to speak because of his health issues, but he (will be) ready to tell his version of the story, which is very important."

Mortenson has previously denied any wrongdoing, though he has admitted some of the events in his book were compressed over different periods of time. CAI has pledged full transparency and posted years of financial statements on its website.

Reinhart heard Mortenson speak at the University of Montana in 2007 and bought "Three Cups of Tea" in 2009. Price heard a presentation by Mortenson or CAI in Great Falls in 2009 and made a donation "relying on the truthfulness of his statements," according to the complaint.

Neither immediately returned calls for comment. Their attorney, Blewett, is the father of another Democratic state lawmaker, Sen. Anders Blewett.

The plaintiffs are asking a judge to rule that Mortenson and CAI violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO. They made the RICO claim because Price gave CAI a second donation after receiving a solicitation in the mail, which Alexander Blewett said constitutes mail fraud.

The racketeering claim allows the plaintiffs to seek triple the amount Mortenson and CAI have made from book sales, speeches and donations.

The complaint asks the judge to place the money into a trust administered by a court-appointed charity that would direct it to schoolchildren in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Three Cups of Tea" was released in 2006 and sold more than 3 million copies. That notoriety helped Mortenson grow the Central Asia Institute by generating more than $50 million in donations.

The fallout from the "60 Minutes" and Krakauer reports prompted Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock to open an inquiry into the charity last month.

Blewett said a class-action lawsuit represents the best way for the public to find out the truth because it could result in Mortenson's sworn testimony.

"We welcome the opportunity to let Mr. Mortenson testify under oath to all these things. To us, it seems overwhelmingly false and we will give him ample opportunity to explain away all of the falsehoods," Blewett said.

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