09-16-2021  9:45 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

“Learning Differently from the Way Our Schooling is Handed to Us”

HELP program celebrates 37th year of teaching students, professionals better ways to process information.

OSU University Day Speaker Gives Blunt Assessment of Where Science, Higher Education Need to Do Better

Science journal Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp provided an unvarnished view of the challenges facing higher education and the scientific community, especially in light of the pandemic

School Vaccine Campaigns Targeting Students Face Blowback

In a total of eight states, Oregon included, providers can waive parental consent requirements

Seattle Council Shifts Money Saved By Officer Departures

More officers are leaving this year than City Hall budgeted for, yielding an estimated million in salary savings

NEWS BRIEFS

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

With a thirty-four year career in corrections Captain Derrick Peterson announces his campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff ...

University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

In-person fall semester classes proceeding with vaccination rates above 96% among faculty, staff, and students; and adherence to...

Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus...

Oregon Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%

This is only the third time in the past 45 years that the rate has dropped below 5% ...

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement after St. Luke's...

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West

MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown. Across...

Kentucky looks to maintain momentum against FCS Chattanooga

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mark Stoops quickly dismisses any notion of FCS Chattanooga being a “breather” game for Kentucky. Not with the Wildcats (2-0) facing another Southeastern Conference challenge looming next week at South Carolina. And certainly not with Kentucky hungry...

After tough L, Mizzou turns focus to SEMO, continued growth

Missouri already has a couple high-profile wins under Eli Drinkwitz in just over one pandemic-shortened season, and the Tigers have been hauling in four- and five-star recruits like never before. Yet their narrow loss at Kentucky last weekend was a reminder: The Tigers are still...

OPINION

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 ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuit seeks jumiM after Michigan teacher cuts girl's hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a jumi million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal...

Chauvin pleads not guilty to violating teen's civil rights

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd pleaded not guilty Thursday to violating the civil rights of a teenager in a separate case that involved a restraint similar to the one used on Floyd. ...

Boston getting mayor of color as Wu, Essaibi George advance

BOSTON (AP) — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November. City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in Tuesday’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

Emmy host Cedric the Entertainer says stuffiness is banned

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As busy as Cedric the Entertainer is with his sitcom “The Neighborhood” and other projects, he quickly said yes when asked to host his first major awards show. Then he sought advice on how to handle Sunday's Emmy ceremony, airing on CBS (8 p.m. EDT). ...

Review: Drag queen dreams in ‘Talking About Jamie’

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” a predictable and glossy “Billy Elliot”-like musical of British working-class aspiration that’s nevertheless a joy, is the kind of movie that might have once been made about the trials of coming out as a young gay man. But such...

Jessica Chastain redeems a televangelist in 'Tammy Faye'

NEW YORK (AP) — In the nearly 10 years it took for Jessica Chastain to get made a film about the Christian televangelist Tammy Faye Messner, she studied many of the kinds of things you'd expect — the hours of television footage, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s 2000 documentary. But one of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Idled Thai taxis go green with mini-gardens on car roofs

BANGKOK (AP) — Taxi fleets in Thailand are giving new meaning to the term “rooftop garden,” as they utilize...

Sequoia National Park's giant trees at risk as fires grow

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — More firefighting resources were being brought in Thursday to battle two...

Polis, 1st openly gay governor elected, marries in Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado's Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be...

Ozone hole over Antarctica larger than usual, scientists say

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say the hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer over the Southern Hemisphere is...

Zimbabwe orders government workers to get COVID vaccinations

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19...

Cuba opens door to more private business, but red tape looms

HAVANA (AP) — Opening a small business is a bureaucratic headache in many parts of the world. In Cuba, it's an...

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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