05-17-2022  1:46 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2022 Midterms: What to Watch as 5 States Hold Primaries

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is the last day for voters to return ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by election day. Ballots deposited in an official drop box must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

NEWS BRIEFS

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Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

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Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

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OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Zealand shooting survivor says violence achieved nothing

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Tensions over racial justice shadow Louisville mayor's race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — On Valentine's Day, a man appeared in the doorway of a Louisville campaign office and fired shots at mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg. He wasn't hit — a bullet grazed his sweater — but some of the tensions still lingering over this city flared once again. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brandi Carlile, Yola, Allison Russell lead Americana noms

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Review: 'Team America' plumbs enduring impact of 4 generals

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Yiyun Li wins PEN/Malamud Award for short stories

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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US vice president, top officials visit UAE to pay respects

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Iraqi merchants struggle on amid series of strong sandstorms

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Kimberly Dozier AP Intelligence Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bruised from their latest diplomatic clash, the U.S. and Pakistan are trying to bandage their relationship by forging a new joint intelligence team to go after top terrorism suspects, officials say.

The move comes after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented the Pakistanis with the U.S. list of most-wanted terrorism targets, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Wednesday. The list includes some groups the Pakistanis have been reluctant to attack, U.S. officials said.

It's one of a host of confidence-building measures meant to restore trust blown on both sides after U.S. forces tracked down and killed al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden during a secret raid in Pakistan last month.

But it also amounts to a new test of loyalty for both sides. The Pakistanis say the U.S. has failed to share its best intelligence, instead running numerous unilateral spying operations on its soil.

U.S. officials say they need to see the Pakistanis target militants they've long sheltered, including the Haqqani network, which operates with impunity in the Pakistani tribal areas while attacking U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

All those interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

The U.S. and Pakistan have engaged in a diplomatic stare-down since the May 2 raid, with the Pakistanis outraged over the unilateral action as an affront to its sovereignty and the Americans angry to find that bin Laden had been hiding for more than five years in a military town just 35 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

The U.S. deliberately hid the operation from Pakistan, recipient of billions in counterterrorism aid, for fear that the operation would leak to militants.

A series of high-level U.S. visits has aimed to take the edge off. Marc Grossman, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell met with intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha last month. Last week, the secretary of state and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, held a day of intensive meetings with top Pakistani military and civilian officials.

After that outreach, Pakistan allowed the CIA to re-examine the bin Laden compound last Friday. Pakistan also returned the tail section of a U.S. stealth Black Hawk helicopter that broke off when the SEALs blew up the aircraft to destroy its secret noise- and radar-deadening technology.

The CIA has also shared some information gleaned from the raid, and Pakistan has reciprocated, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Wednesday.

The investigative team will be made up mainly of intelligence officers from both nations, according to two U.S. officials and one Pakistani official. It would draw in part on any intelligence emerging from the CIA's analysis of computer and written files gathered by the Navy SEALs who raided bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, as well as Pakistani intelligence gleaned from interrogations of those who frequented or lived near the bin Laden compound, the officials said.

The formation of the team marks a return to the counterterrorism cooperation that has led to major takedowns of al-Qaida militants, like the joint arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003.

The joint intelligence team will go after five top targets, including al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri, a possible bin Laden successor, and al-Qaida operations chief Atiya Abdel Rahman, as well as Taliban leader like Mullah Omar, all of whom U.S. intelligence officials believe are hiding in Pakistan, one U.S. official said.

Another target is Siraj Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani tribe in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas. Allied with the Taliban and al-Qaida, the Haqqanis are behind some of the deadliest attacks against U.S. troops and Afghan civilians in Afghanistan. U.S. intelligence officials say their top commanders live openly in the Pakistani city of Miram Shah, close to a Pakistani army outpost.

Pakistani officials say the U.S. has never provided them accurate intelligence as to the Haqqani leadership's location. Pakistani officials also argue that as the Haqqani network has been careful never to attack the Pakistani government, there is no reason to attack them.

One official said a final target on this preliminary list is Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, leader of a group called Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, which the State Department blames for several attacks in India and Pakistan, including a 2006 suicide bombing against the U.S. consulate in Karachi that killed four people.

A second U.S. official confirmed that the Pakistanis and Americans have agreed to go after a handful of militants as a confidence-building measure, but the official would not confirm the specific names on the list.

Pakistani officials say those five have always been top targets, but they also did not confirm that the new agreement specifically names them as joint targets.

Intelligence-sharing operations between the U.S. and Pakistan were already strained before the bin Laden raid, particularly by the arrest and detention in January of CIA security contractor Raymond Davis in the shooting deaths of two Pakistani men. Davis said the two were trying to rob him.

Davis was eventually released in March after the dead men's relatives agreed to accept blood money under Islamic tradition, an agreement Pakistani intelligence officials say they brokered.

But only a day after his release, a covert CIA drone strike killed at least two dozen people in the Pakistani tribal areas - people the CIA said were militants and the Pakistanis said were civilians.

Both sides disputed media reports that Pakistan had completely shut down joint intelligence centers it operates with the Americans following the bin Laden raid.

Two of the five "intelligence fusion centers" where the U.S. shares satellite, drone and other intelligence with the Pakistanis were mothballed last fall, long before either the Davis or bin Laden controversies, the Pakistani official and another U.S. official say. It was part of the fallout of the public embarrassment of the WikiLeaks cables disclosures, which revealed a closer U.S.-Pakistani military relationship than publicly acknowledged by Pakistan.

Two other fusion centers, plus smaller cooperative intelligence-sharing facilities, remain operational, both sides say, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.

The high-value target team is expected to use any intelligence found at the bin Laden compound in the hunt, although a month after the raid analysts have found nothing "actionable," a term describing intelligence that leads to a strike or operation against a new al-Qaida target, two U.S. officials say. The CIA-led teams have gotten through more than 60 percent of the computer files and written material taken from the compound so far.

They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the ongoing review of the now-classified bin Laden files.

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