01-21-2021  8:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

BIPOC Caucus Unveils Agenda for 2021

12 members of the state House and Senate name 10 areas of focus

NEWS BRIEFS

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...

Portland Center Stage Welcomes New Literary Manager Kamilah Bush Following Nationwide Search

As literary manager, Bush is charged with deepening the literary and artistic core of Portland Center Stage ...

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

Trump gives permit to ranchers whose case led to occupation

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in the final days of the Trump administration issued a grazing permit to Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment sparked the 2016 armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge by right-wing extremists.Interior Secretary David...

2 injured in small plane crash in southwestern Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Two men were hurt when a small aircraft crashed in southwestern Oregon. The Mail Tribune reports the two men were being treated Thursday for non-life threatening injuries, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Moran. Both men are believed to...

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

AKA sorority members celebrate Kamala Harris inauguration

CHICAGO (AP) — Elizabeth Shelby had her inauguration outfit planned weeks in advance: blue jeans, a Kamala Harris sweatshirt, a green coat, and pink Chuck Taylors as an homage to her sorority’s colors and Vice President Harris’ signature shoe. And pearls, just like the ones...

Cesar Chavez's son happy dad's bust is in Biden Oval Office

WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Chavez had no idea where a sculpture of his father, Latino American civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, would end up in the White House. He agreed just this week to lend the bronze bust to President Joe Biden and hustled to get it wrapped up and shipped across...

Biden signs burst of virus orders, vows 'Help is on the way'

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a burst of executive orders, President Joe Biden served notice Thursday that America's war on COVID-19 is under new command, promising an anxious nation progress to reduce infections and lift the siege it has endured for nearly a year.At the same time, he tried to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dustin Diamond undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer

Original “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond has begun undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representative.Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized earlier this month in Florida. Last...

Review: 'Human Factor' gets personal about Mideast peace

Ready for a documentary about three decades of agonizing fits and starts of the Mideast peace process, from the perspective of U.S. negotiators? You're probably thinking that doesn't sound too enticing right about now. But there’s a reason “The Human Factor,” by Israeli...

Natiruts, Marley, Aparicio sing for unity of the Americas

NEW YORK (AP) — With a trilingual song that calls for the people of the Americas to unite in a more fair and loving world, Brazilian reggae band Natiruts, Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley and Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio hope to make the whole continent vibrate. “América...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Judge says Amazon won't have to restore Parler web service

Amazon won't be forced to immediately restore web service to Parler after a federal judge ruled Thursday against a...

Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven Democratic senators on Thursday asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate...

Chicago teachers begin vote to defy order to return to class

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago teachers began voting Thursday to defy orders to report for in-person class next...

Amid crippling sanctions, Iran traders seek lifeline in Iraq

DOHUK, Iraq (AP) — Piles of plush carpets line the floors of a northern Iraq shopping center hosting...

Analysis: Biden faces a more confident China after US chaos

BEIJING (AP) — As a new U.S. president takes office, he faces a determined Chinese leadership that could be...

EXPLAINER: What's next for WHO after US takes steps to stay

GENEVA (AP) — The Biden administration has taken quick steps to keep the United States in the World Health...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Removing a potential political distraction ahead of next year's elections, the Obama administration Friday announced an early end to a health care waiver program that has come under fire from congressional Republicans.

Political considerations were "absolutely not" part of the decision, said Steve Larsen, head of a section of the Health and Human Services department that oversees President Barack Obama's health care law.

Larsen said no new applications for waivers will be considered after Sept. 22. Approvals or renewals received by the deadline will be good through 2013. Starting in 2014, the main coverage provisions of the health care law will take effect, and such waivers will no longer be needed.

The waivers address a provision of the law that phases out annual dollar limits on coverage by health insurance plans. Starting this year, plans could not impose a limit below $750,000. But some plans, offered mainly to low-income workers, currently provide $50,000 a year in coverage, and in certain cases much less.

Those plans would have been forced to close down or jack up premiums significantly, leaving more people uninsured.

The waivers were established to avoid disrupting existing coverage. In 2014, taxpayer-subsidized insurance will be available to most of the people now covered by the affected plans.

Some Republicans charged favoritism in the granting of the waivers, alleging that they were being granted to unions. But a review this week by the Government Accountability Office found that HHS had approved over 95 percent of the 1,400 waiver applications it received, most of them involving employer plans. The nonpartisan investigative agency also found that the administration used objective standards to make its decisions.

Larsen said Friday that insurance experts have advised his office that most plans that needed waivers probably already applied for them this year. For that reason, the effects of ending the program early would be negligible.

A conservative policy expert who has been critical of the program wasn't buying the technical explanation.

"It looks like they finally figured out they were in a public relations hole and decided to stop digging," said Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation think tank.

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