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NORTHWEST NEWS

Far-Right and Antifa Groups Both Claim Victory at Portland

With both the left and the right declaring victory following a long-hyped rally that had Portland, Oregon, on edge it seems the liberal city will continue to be a flashpoint in an increasingly divided country

At Least 13 Arrested During Far-Right Protests

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Six Arrests Send Message Ahead of Demonstrations

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Portland Mayor Decries Violence, Hatred Ahead of Rally

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, said Wednesday that people planning violence or espousing hatred at a weekend protest by right-wing groups in the liberal city "are not welcome here"

NEWS BRIEFS

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Matt Dishman Community Center Annual Block Party

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Portland Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum Symposium

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Lawsuit says Oregon group falsely advertises dairy products

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Man drowns at Crater Lake

CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a man drowned after jumping off a rock cliff into Crater Lake.The National Park Service says the unidentified 27-year-old jumped at Cleetwood Cove around 4:40 p.m. Sunday, and did not resurface.Crater Lake National Park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe says...

Ex-Clemson star Kelly Bryant takes over at QB for Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Barry Odom never seems stressed about the future, whether the Missouri coach is pondering tough sanctions handed down by the NCAA over a recruiting scandal or the fact that one of the most prolific passers in school history is now in the NFL.When it comes to the...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...

OPINION

Avel Gordly's Statement in Advance of Aug. 17 Rally

'All we have on this planet is one another' ...

A National Crisis: Surging Hate Crimes and White Supremacists

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Calling Out Racism, White Supremacy and White Nationalism is More Vital Than Ever

Telling the truth, in its entirety, is the most objective stance any journalist can take on any subject ...

A Dog for Every Kind of Hunting: The Hound

The hound, in particular, is considered an all-purpose dog for every kind of hunting, on all types of terrain. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Omar: Go to Israel, see 'cruel reality of the occupation'

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel on Monday for denying them entry to the country and called on fellow members of Congress to visit while they cannot.Omar, of Minnesota, suggested President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin...

Man, 20, pleads not guilty in Jewish center video threat

STRUTHERS, Ohio (AP) — A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to threatening a Jewish community center in a video that authorities say showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle.A judge near Youngstown set bond at 0,000 for James Reardon, ordered a mental health evaluation and told...

Sheriff: Investigation closed in racist videos, threat case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff said Monday that no one else will be charged after last month's arrest of a Catholic high school student accused of making racist videos and charged with threatening to shoot people at his private school.Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Rock announces wedding on Instagram

NEW YORK (AP) — With a simple "We do," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced his wedding to his longtime girlfriend on Instagram.A photo of the movie star and Lauren Hashian was posted on the social media site. Both were wearing white, and they were standing overlooking the ocean. The post...

Vince Gill weighs hard truths with emotional depth on 'Okie'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vince Gill might make people break down in tears when they listen to his vulnerable new record in which he sings about regret, marriage, faith, sexual abuse and hard choices. But then again, so did he.When the country singer recorded his song "When My Amy Prays,"...

Tommy Orange among winners of American Book Award

NEW YORK (AP) — Tommy Orange's novel "There There" and Jeffrey C. Stewart's biography of Harlem Renaissance thinker Alain Locke are among this year's winners of American Book Awards, given for works that highlight the diversity of the country's literature.The awards were announced Monday by...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cardinal Pell's appeal verdict due but may not be final word

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric found guilty of sexually abusing children will...

Twitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter said Monday it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were...

Pentagon conducts 1st test of previously banned missile

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than...

AP Explains: Brazil's environmental changes under Bolsonaro

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A look at the Islamic State affiliate's rise in Afghanistan

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Wide implications as Germany teeters toward recession

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McMenamins
By 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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