12-01-2022  9:33 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

The James Museum Opens Black Pioneers: Legacy In The American West

This first-of-its-kind-exhibition explores Black history in the West with a timeline of pictorial quilts. ...

Use of Deadly Force Investigation Involving Clackamas County Sheriff and Oregon State Police Concludes

The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions...

Oregon Faces Snow-Plow Driver Shortage Heading Into Winter

New federal licensing rules for drivers resulted in longer wait times to obtain a commercial driver's license, which contributed to...

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity 'very high'

SEATTLE (AP) — Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health. State health officials on Thursday reported over 1,200 new flu cases from Nov. 13-19, which was more than double the case count of previous weeks, KING 5...

Illinois lawmakers OK crime bill cleanup, plan ends bail

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly approved followup clarifications of their watershed criminal justice overhaul Thursday, appeasing critics by adding numerous offenses to a list of crimes that qualify a defendant to remain jailed while awaiting trial. ...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Report: Wide racial disparity in New York prison discipline

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Black and Hispanic people incarcerated in New York state prisons are more likely than white people to face further punishment once they wind up behind bars, according to a state inspector general report released Thursday. A Black person behind bars in New York...

Amazon CEO says company won't take down antisemitic film

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said Wednesday the company does not have plans to stop selling the antisemitic film that gained notoriety recently after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to it. Pressure has been mounting on Amazon to discontinue sale...

Feds announce settlement over Iowa disability center abuse

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a settlement with the state of Iowa to resolve allegations of abuse and inadequate care at the state-run Glenwood Resource Center, a center for people with intellectual disabilities. A proposed consent decree announced Thursday by the DOJ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mistrial after jury deadlock in Danny Masterson rape case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday at the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson after jurors, who were leaning strongly toward acquitting him, deadlocked following the monthlong trial in which the Church of Scientology played a supporting role. ...

Prosecutor: Weinstein a 'degenerate rapist' and 'predator'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was a “predator” with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape the consequences, a prosecutor said in closing arguments Wednesday at the former movie mogul's Los Angeles trial. ...

New version of 'The Wiz' to tour and end up on Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — A new production of “The Wiz” is heading out on a national tour next year before following the yellow brick road to Broadway, with its director hoping the show becomes a “touchstone for a new generation.” Director Schele Williams tells The Associated Press...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Chinese users play cat-and-mouse with censors amid protests

HONG KONG (AP) — Videos of hundreds protesting in Shanghai started to appear on WeChat on Saturday night....

Biden, Macron vow unity against Russia, discuss trade row

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron vowed to maintain a united front against Russia on...

Germany out of World Cup despite 4-2 win over Costa Rica

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Back-to-back early exits at the World Cup have Germany coach Hansi Flick wanting to go...

Chinese users play cat-and-mouse with censors amid protests

HONG KONG (AP) — Videos of hundreds protesting in Shanghai started to appear on WeChat on Saturday night....

EU edges closer to -per-barrel Russian oil price cap

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union was edging closer to setting a -per-barrel price cap on Russian oil — a...

In new role as G-20 chair, India set to focus on climate

BENGALURU, India (AP) — India officially takes up its role as chair of the Group of 20 leading economies for the...

Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is taking up a bill Tuesday that would repeal about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House negotiate a deal later this year to increase the government's ability to borrow.

The evening vote is expected to fail. But Democrats hope to build their case to include the measure in a deficit-reduction package being negotiated by key lawmakers and the Obama administration. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding deficit reduction as part of deal to increase the government's ability to borrow and avoid an unprecedented default on U.S. Treasury bonds.

The oil companies are "doing just fine at every level of their business, and we're giving them a taxpayer subsidy?" said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "This is a place to start."

The heads of the five oil companies defended the tax breaks at a Senate hearing last week, saying they just want the same tax advantages enjoyed by other industries. The companies are Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP America and Chevron Corp.

Together, they logged profits totaling $36 billion during the first quarter. The Democrats say that with profits that high, the big oil companies wouldn't miss tax breaks that average $2 billion a year.

Senate Republicans and some Democrats oppose the tax increases. They note that the bill would do nothing to lower gas prices.

"With Americans looking for real relief, symbolic votes like this that aim to do nothing but pit people against each other will only frustrate the public even more," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "Americans aren't interested in scapegoats. They just want to pay less to fill up their cars."

A GOP measure designed to increase offshore drilling is scheduled for a Senate vote on Wednesday, though it is not expected to pass, either. The GOP bill would direct the secretary of the Interior to conduct previously scheduled offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, Virginia and Alaska.

Republicans argue that their bill would increase domestic oil production which would eventually lead to lower gas prices.

President Barack Obama has directed his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and by holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska. The moves, however, are not expected to calm spiraling prices at the pump any time soon.

Gasoline is more than $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. The national average is $3.94 a gallon for regular unleaded, up from $2.87 a gallon a year ago, according to AAA.

Five Democratic senators, led by Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill, asked the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday to investigate "potential price fixing of gasoline by U.S. refiners." The senators said U.S refineries have cut back production even as gas prices rose, increasing their profit margins.

Obama has called for eliminating tax breaks for all oil and gas companies every year since he took office in 2009, a proposal that would raise an estimated $44 billion over the next decade. Lawmakers, including Democrats from oil-producing states, complained that Obama's proposal would raise taxes on many small and medium-sized businesses involved in oil production.

The bill being voted on Tuesday would target only the five largest oil companies, raising about $21 billion over the same period.

The most generous tax break is a deduction available to U.S. manufacturers across industries. Under the provision, oil and gas companies were classified as manufacturers, but their deduction was capped at a lower rate than other industries.

Another subsidy, established in 1913 to encourage domestic drilling, allows oil companies to deduct more quickly the costs of preparing a site for drilling. Another allows oil companies to reduce their American taxes by deducting royalties paid to foreign governments.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded that eliminating the tax breaks would be unlikely to result in higher gasoline prices, which are influenced by a host of factors. The report said eliminating the tax breaks would raise about $1.2 billion in 2012. By comparison, the five oil companies had combined revenues of $1.5 trillion last year.

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