01-23-2021  11:08 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

FEMA Site Will House Survivors of Wildfires

Mill City site will offer temporary housing for up to 16 families who lost their homes in last year's wildfires

Portland Police Shooting of Man Under International Scrutiny

Aaron Campbell, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man was shot in the back and killed Jan. 29, 2010 by Portland Police Officer Ronal Frashour

John Hairston Becomes First Black CEO of Bonneville Power Administration

29-year employee appointed to new role by U.S. Secretary of Energy  

Natural Gas Terminal Plans In Oregon Hit Snag Over Permit

The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states.

NEWS BRIEFS

Everybody Reads Program to Hold Event with Author Ross Gay

Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights will speak at a special event in April—free for people in financial hardship ...

The Mayor Turns 90: A Paul Knauls Celebration to be Held Friday, January 22

Albina legend Paul Knauls, Sr. will be celebrated with a virtual event featuring public officials, musicians, and community...

People For the American Way Supports Congressional Gold Medal for Officer Eugene Goodman

Goodman, a Black U.S. Capitol Hill police officer, diverted a white mob away from the unprotected Senate chambers during the violent...

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Applicants Sought for Free Girls’ Summer Wilderness Science Education Expeditions

The programs provide 16- and 17-year-old young women opportunities to travel with professional scientists, artists and wilderness...

Crews recover body of Oregon woman swept away in mudslide

Sheriff's deputies and firefighters on Saturday recovered the body of an Oregon woman whose vehicle was swept away in a deep mudslide during a winter storm last week, authorities said.Jennifer Camus Moore, a registered nurse from Warrendale, Oregon, was driving in the Columbia River Gorge near the...

Washington, Oregon report cases of new strain of coronavirus

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington and Oregon are now confirming additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last September, has been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County,...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain, GOP governor

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump.The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic. But...

Police: Black teens wrongly detained at Target in California

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department has said three teens, who are Black, were wrongly detained at a Target store in Westlake Village during a grand theft investigation last week.The teens — a 17-year-old and two 16-year-olds — from Thousand...

Judge: Kenosha shooter can't associate with supremacists

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — An 18-year-old Illinois teen charged with fatally shooting two people during a protest in southeastern Wisconsin last year is prohibited from associating with known white supremacists under a judge's recently modified bail conditions. Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 during the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Tom Brokaw says he's retiring from NBC News after 55 years

NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, once television news' most popular broadcaster as he told viewers about the biggest events of that late 20th Century, said Friday that he's retiring from television.Brokaw, who is 80, said he'll continue writing books and articles. He's...

Screenwriter Walter Bernstein dies at 101

NEW YORK (AP) — Screenwriter Walter Bernstein, among the last survivors of Hollywood’s anti-Communist blacklist whose Oscar-nominated script for “The Front” drew upon his years of being unable to work under his own name, died Saturday. He was 101.The cause was pneumonia,...

'Barney Miller,' 'Sanford and Son' actor Gregory Sierra dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Gregory Sierra, who had memorable roles in the 1970s sitcoms “Barney Miller" and “Sanford and Son," has died after battling cancer. He was 83.Sierra's widow, Helene, said Saturday in a phone interview with The Associated Press that the actor died on Jan. 4 in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Poirier knocks out Conor McGregor in 2nd round at UFC 257

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor with a flurry of punches...

Michigan Mega Millions ticket wins jumi.05 billion jackpot

DETROIT (AP) — Someone in Michigan bought the winning ticket for the jumi.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot,...

3,000 arrested at protests demanding Navalny's release

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people Saturday in nationwide protests demanding the...

The Latest: New Zealand reports 1st community case in months

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine...

UK doctors seek review of 12-week gap between vaccine doses

LONDON (AP) — A major British doctors' group says the U.K. government should “urgently...

Asia Today: New Zealand reports 1st community case in months

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Julie Pace the Associated Press

President Barack Obama confers with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, right, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, left, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, following a conference call on Libya with his national security team, in San Salvador, El Salvador, March 23. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defying congressional criticism, the White House insisted Wednesday that President Barack Obama has the authority to continue U.S. military action in Libya even without authorization from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

In a detailed, 30-page report sent to Congress, the administration argued that the U.S. has a limited, supporting role in the NATO-led bombing campaign in Libya. Because U.S. forces are not engaged in sustained fighting and there are no troops on the ground there, the White House contended the president is within his constitutional rights to direct the mission on his own.

It's the first time the administration has publically detailed its legal rationale for continuing the Libya campaign without receiving congressional authorization within the 60-day window set in the War Powers Act.

"The president is of the view that the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of "hostilities" contemplated by the resolution's 60-day termination provision.," the White House said.

The report also put the cost of U.S. military operations and humanitarian assistance in Libya at about $800 million, as of June 3. Officials estimate U.S. costs in Libya will total $1.1 billion by early September.

The administration's defense of the Libya mission comes in response to a nonbinding House resolution passed this month that chastised Obama for failing to provide a "compelling rationale" for U.S. involvement in Libya.

The resolution gave the administration until Friday to respond to a series of questions on the mission, including the scope of U.S. military activity, the cost of the mission and its impact on other U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It remained to be seen whether the administration's reasoning would be enough to quell congressional criticism. Shortly after receiving the report, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the White House was using "creative arguments" that raised additional questions.

"We will review the information that was provided today, but hope and expect that this will serve as the beginning, not the end, of the president's explanation for continued American operations in Libya," spokesman Brendan Buck said.

A bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers stepped up the congressional pressure on Obama Wednesday, suing the president for taking military action against Libya without war authorization from Congress. The lawmakers said Obama violated the Constitution in bypassing Congress and using international organizations like the United Nations and NATO to authorize military force.

While Obama did not seek congressional consent before ordering U.S. airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces nearly three months ago, the White House maintained that the president is not in violation of the War Powers Act. Boehner sent Obama a letter this week stating that the 90-day window runs out on Sunday.

Previous presidents, Republicans and Democrats, have largely ignored the War Powers Act.

While the U.S. led the initial airstrikes on Libya, NATO forces have since taken over the mission. The U.S still plays a significant support role that includes aerial refueling of warplanes and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance work. Obama has ruled out sending U.S. ground forces to Libya.

"U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors," the report said.

The president has said the U.S. joined the international effort in Libya to prevent the slaughter of civilians at the hands of Gadhafi's forces, a development Obama said could have shaken the stability of the entire region.

Though Obama emphasized that U.S. involvement would be limited in time and scope, the mission has already dragged on longer than many expected. The bombing campaign has halted some of Gadhafi's advances on rebel forces and there are increasing calls from world leaders for him to leave power, but the administration is still struggling to define an exit strategy for U.S. forces.

The report released Wednesday said that if the U.S. were to end its participation in the NATO operation, it would "seriously degrade the coalition's ability to execute and sustain its operations to protect Libyan civilians."

The White House and Capitol Hill have been at odds throughout much of the campaign over whether the administration has fully consulted Congress on the mission. Congressional leaders and key committee members were only summoned to the White House the day before Obama ordered airstrikes against Gadhafi's forces. Several lawmakers attended in person, others by phone as Congress had just begun a weeklong break.

Obama aides insist they have briefed Congress extensively throughout, citing more than 30 briefings with lawmakers and their staff, and 10 hearings where administration officials have testified on Libya.

The White House has called the House resolution chiding Obama, as well as a similar resolution in the Senate, unhelpful and unnecessary. The administration much prefers a resolution sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., that would signal support for the Libya operation.

The fate of that measure is in limbo, however, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed plans to discuss so lawmakers could review the House report.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president expects Congress to support the Libya campaign as it continues. With Gadhafi under pressure to leave power, he said now is not the time to send "mixed messages" about U.S. commitment to the campaign.

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Associated Press writer Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

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