08-16-2022  6:04 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Basic Guaranteed Income Program to Launch for Black Portlanders

Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund argues the impact of direct cash payments. 

Oregon Justice Fires Panel Due to Lack of Public Defenders

Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit in May that alleges the state is violating their constitutional right to legal counsel and a speedy trial.

River Chief Imprisoned for Fishing Fights for Sacred Rights

Wilbur Slockish Jr. has been shot at, had rocks hurled at him. He hid underground for months, and then spent 20 months serving time in federal prisons across the country — all of that for fishing in the Columbia River.

Starbucks Asks Labor Board to Halt Union Votes Temporarily

A store in Overland Park, Kansas is one of 314 U.S. Starbucks locations where workers have petitioned the NLRB to hold union elections since late last year. More than 220 of those stores have voted to unionize.

NEWS BRIEFS

Measure on Portland Government to Appear as-Is on Ballot

Politicians, business leaders and civic activists have called for reshaping Portland’s form of government, which they say...

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Rolls Out New Grant Program

The Arts3C grant program is designed to be fully responsive to what artists and art makers in the community need funding to support ...

OHA Introduces New Monkeypox (hMPXV) Website

As of Aug. 10, 95 people have tested positive for monkeypox in Oregon ...

Wyden, Colleagues Renew Request for FDA to Address Concerns about Dangerous Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies Affecting Communities of Color

“There are decades of research showing inaccurate results when pulse oximeters are used to monitor people of color” ...

Inslee Issues Directive Outlining Monkeypox Virus Response

As of Friday, Washington state had confirmed 265 monkeypox cases. ...

After firing public defense commissioners, new members named

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The day after Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters fired all nine members of the state commission that oversees public defense, she said Tuesday that she was appointing four new commissioners and reappointing five commissioners from the previous group. ...

Names of 3 killed in collision along Oregon Coast released

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (AP) — The three people killed in a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 101 near Lincoln City have been identified. Claude Segerson, 69, Matthew Phillips, 31, and Christopher Padilla, 30, all of the Oregon town of Otis, died Monday, Oregon State Police said. ...

Mizzou full of optimism with new QB, defensive coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, and the Tigers are about to start their fifth different quarterback in the season opener in the last five years. Sounds like a program that should be on shaky ground. ...

Hoosiers looking for a turnaround after dismal 2021 season

Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and quarterback Jack Tuttle took matters into their own hands this offseason. They called their teammates together to discuss the goals and aspirations of the program, the need to always play with an edge and to break down precisely why things went wrong...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

R Kelly jury picked in child pornography, trial-fixing case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal jury was impaneled Tuesday in R. Kelly's hometown of Chicago to decide multiple charges against the R&B singer, as prosecutors and defense attorneys argued toward the end of the process about whether the government was improperly attempting to keep some Blacks from...

Lawsuit: Mississippi police 'terrorized' small town

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Police have “terrorized” Black residents in a small Mississippi town by subjecting them to false arrests, excessive force and intimidation, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by a civil rights organization. The organization, JULIAN, is seeking a...

Honor or cultural appropriation? Hospital name spurs debate

ST. LOUIS (AP) — While segregation was still casting its ugly shadow over the U.S., the Homer G. Phillips Hospital was providing top-notch medical care to a predominantly African American part of St. Louis and training some of the world's best Black doctors and nurses. The 660-bed...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mark Hoffman out as CNBC chief, KC Sullivan replacing him

NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran CNBC chief Mark Hoffman is leaving the network after 28 years, with London-based executive KC Sullivan replacing him early next month, the network said on Tuesday. Hoffman was named president of the financial news network in 2005 and elevated to chairman in...

Fox News gets into movies with story from romance novelist

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News is getting into the movies by producing its first feature film, an adaptation of “The Shell Collector” from romance novelist Nancy Naigle. The movie, which debuts Sept. 1, is the first of four films planned over the next year on the Fox Nation streaming...

Long-hidden synagogue mural gets rehabbed, relocated

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A mural that was painted in a Vermont synagogue more than 100 years ago by a Lithuanian immigrant — and hidden behind a wall for years— has been termed a rare piece of art and has been painstakingly moved and restored. The large colorful...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Afghanistan marks 1 year since Taliban seizure as woes mount

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday marked a year since they seized the Afghan capital in a rapid...

Putin blasts US 'hegemony,' predicts end to 'unipolar' world

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trying to encourage extended...

DHS watchdog rebuffs lawmakers on Secret Service testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general has refused congressional requests for...

Putin blasts US 'hegemony,' predicts end to 'unipolar' world

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trying to encourage extended...

Palestinian President Abbas skirts apology for Munich attack

BERLIN (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed no regret Tuesday for the deadly attack by...

South African miners mark 10th anniversary of killings

MARIKANA, South Africa (AP) — A somber gathering of about 5,000 people marked the 10th anniversary of what has...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's former ruler and his wife were convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges on Monday after $27 million (euro18.97 million) in jewels and public funds were found in one of his palaces.

Five months after being forced from power, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi were sentenced to 35 years each in prison and fined tens of millions of dollars in the first of what is sure to be a long string of trials.

However, the trial in some ways failed to live up to its billing. With the 74-year-old Ben Ali not present for his judgment, there was a sense of frustration among many. The couple went into exile on Jan. 14 in Saudi Arabia, which failed to respond to an extradition request.

Monday's convictions followed a day-long hearing before the Tunis criminal court.

The ex-president was fined 50 million dinars (about $36 million) and his wife 41 million dinars for embezzlement of public funds and misappropriation.

The trove of jewels, some which the court said had "historic value," and the money were found in a palace in the picturesque town of Sidi Bou Said, outside Tunis, following Ben Ali's departure.

The verdict in a second affair stemming from the discovery of weapons and drugs in the official presidential palace in Carthage, this one targeting only Ben Ali, was postponed. Public defenders assigned to Ben Ali said Monday that they needed time to study the file. The trial was to resume June 30.

Ben Ali vigorously denied the charges in a statement through his French lawyer, calling the proceedings a "shameful masquerade of the justice of the victorious."

"I devoted my life to my country and aspire, at the twilight of my existence, to conserve my honor," Ben Ali said in the statement, referring to his years as interior minister and his 23 years as president.

Ben Ali, and in particular his widely detested wife's Trabelsi clan, are widely accused of treating Tunisia as their personal property to amass money, privilege and power.

An official for the Ministry of State Domains, Mohamed Adel Ben Ismail, has evaluated the fortune amassed by Ben Ali and the Trabelsi clan at a quarter of the value of the Tunisian economy.

The much despised Trabelsi family, alleged to have operated as a mafia, had vast control over the economy of this North African country with stakes in everything from tourist hotels to banks or car dealerships and radio and television.

However, the total value of assets in Tunisia and abroad of Ben Ali and his wife are not known. The Swiss were among the first nations to seize the families' assets and prosecutors said in January they had launched a money laundering investigation into the family's accounts.

Blocked accounts for Ben Ali and some 40 members of his entourage contained tens of millions of Swiss francs, according to the Swiss prosecutors office said.

French judicial authorities are also working to identify any assets, and eventual misdeeds, in France.

According to the act of accusation read at the trial, Ben Ali's monthly stipend skyrocketed during his time in power, which began in 1987 after a bloodless palace coup. Receiving 2,000 dinars per month in 1987, he was taking in nearly 4.7 million dinars by 1998 "with no (fiscal) controls."

The court also accused him of ordering up special privileges "in violation of rules" for the Trabelsi clan and the Ben Ali family.

Ben Ali "vigorously denies" accusations against him, according to a statement issued a day before the trial by his French lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, who was not allowed by Tunisian law to assist in the proceedings.

More serious charges, including plotting against the security of the state and murder, will be dealt with at future trials. Judicial authorities say that Ben Ali and his entourage are implicated in 93 civil affaires and 182 others that fall under military jurisdiction.

He is expected to have to answer for the deaths of 300 people during the uprisings. Numerous cases are likely to be joined together.

Monday's trial was a veritable media show and included, for the first time, TV cameras in the packed courtroom.

One public defender of the ex-president justified his defense of Ben Ali before the court. Abdessatter Massoudi said he accepted the job of defending Ben Ali - refused by at least one other public defender - "to honor the profession and ensure the basis for a balanced trial."

Backed by his powerful party that controlled all sectors, Ben Ali governed with an iron fist, suppressing dissent and quashing all freedom of expression. Ben Ali's regime unraveled with a monthlong uprising around the country triggered by the fatal self-immolation of an unemployed man in the rural heartland. That sparked protests that moved through the countryside to Tunis, the capital, and failed to die down despite concessions from the president. In a surprise move a day after a third televised speech aimed at appeasing the restive population he left for exile.

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