05-29-2020  3:07 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Agencies Investigate COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Townsend Farms Sites

OHA today named the business responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple locations

Oregon's Top Courts Begin Reversing Nonunanimous Convictions

These are the first of hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of cases that are being scrutinized

Washington Issues New Guidelines for Religious Services

Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the reopening plan. King County, which includes Seattle, is among the 15 counties still in Phase 1.

Multnomah County Weighs Impact to Communities of Color in Decision to Re-Open

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

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Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Employers must provide agricultural workers with face masks, more hand-washing stations and more frequently disinfect work surfaces under new coronavirus rules established Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.Also Thursday, Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed an...

1 dead in helicopter crash near Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A person was killed in a helicopter crash near Roseburg. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on private property south of the Green district of Roseburg, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. Local fire, EMS and police agencies responded and are...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Columbus protest over George Floyd's death turns violent

COLUMBUS (AP) — Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, leaving smashed storefront windows along downtown streets around the statehouse.The crowd of around 400 people...

Trump calls Floyd death 'shocking,' calls protesters 'thugs'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and vowed that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump tweeted after protesters outraged by the death of a black man in police custody torched a police station....

George Floyd protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who...

ENTERTAINMENT

Winfrey, Pitt part of Grammys special for essential workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammys is putting together an event featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr. to honor essential workers across America.The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards annually, announced Thursday that the two-hour special,...

In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert

NEW YORK (AP) — When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in...

Fox's Sean Hannity emerges as critic of Minneapolis police

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity has emerged as an unexpected critic of the Minneapolis police for their actions in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.Hannity spent more than 15 minutes on his Fox show Wednesday replaying video of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

7 shot at Louisville protest over fatal police shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — At least seven people were shot in Louisville as protesters turned out to demand...

Communion ritual unchanged in Orthodox Church despite virus

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — One by one, the children and adults line up for the centuries-old ritual of Holy...

Stranded in paradise: Hundreds of sailors stuck in Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For as long as she can remember, 28-year-old Kristen Pankratz has shared in...

Roam close to home: Europe's tourists play safe in pandemic

BERLIN (AP) — Many a journey to far-flung corners of Europe starts in a dusty industrial yard in east...

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

McMenamins
Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Thursday that Democratic demands that some tax increases be paired with the spending cuts have brought budget negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden to an impasse. Cantor said he's pulling out of the talks.

The Virginia Republican said in a statement that the Republican-dominated House simply won't support tax increases, and that he wouldn't participate in the budget meeting scheduled for Thursday. Cantor said that it's time for President Barack Obama to weigh in directly on the budget because Democrats insist on negotiating some tax increases.

A spokesman for Jon Kyl of Arizona, who's representing Senate Republicans in the talks, said Kyl would not attend Thursday's scheduled meeting either.

The moves seem aimed at drawing Obama more directly into the talks. Cantor expressed frustration earlier this week that the president had not been more involved. Whether the tactic generates hard feelings that could jeopardize an agreement remains to be seen.

Cantor said that plenty of progress has been made in identifying trillions of dollars in potential spending cuts to accompany legislation to raise the $14.3 trillion cap on the government's ability to borrow money. Passage of the legislation this summer is necessary to meet the government's obligations to holders of U.S. Treasuries. The alternative is a market-shaking, first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said that including tax increases on the wealthy is only fair, and that he's disappointed that Cantor has left the talks.

Baucus said that almost every deficit reduction deal in the past has involved a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. He said upper income Americans have seen a significant increase in wealth, so balancing the budget only through cuts in programs that serve the middle class and the poor is not fair.

"Revenues must be included so everyone can participate in addressing a critical national problem," Baucus said.

Cantor said that once the tax issue is solved, negotiators could quickly seal agreement.

"It is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve this tax issue," Cantor said. "Once resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here."

The Biden-led group has been meeting since early May, trying to come up with areas of agreement on curbing a budget deficit that's requiring the government to borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends. Areas of tentative agreement include trimming farm subsidies, auctioning electromagnetic spectrum to communications companies, and cutting student loan subsidies.

But with Republicans unwilling to accept some higher taxes - even in the wake of a sweeping Senate vote to eliminate the ethanol tax subsidy - Democrats were unwilling to agree to tougher steps like curbing Medicare and Medicaid.

All along, it was anticipated that the Biden group would only be able to get so far and that the toughest decisions, such as taxes and cuts to federal health care programs, would be kicked upstairs to Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. That duo sealed agreement in April on legislation to fund the government through the end of September.

"I would to expect to hear from (Obama)," Boehner said Thursday. Of Cantor's decision, Boehner said: "I understand why he did what he did. I think those talks could continue if they're willing to take the tax hikes off the table."

There are only 5 1/2 weeks remaining until an Aug. 2 deadline for enacting an increase in the nation's debt limit to prevent a U.S. default. Economists warn that could damage the nation's credit rating and force the government to pay higher interest rates to continue to borrow the $125 billion a month it needs to finance its operations.

But increasing the borrowing cap is a politically poisonous vote for lawmakers, especially the tea party-backed Republicans controlling the House. Even while there's agreement between Obama and top congressional leaders that the debt cap simply has to be raised, a majority of the public - especially core conservative GOP supporters - says the debt limit shouldn't be lifted.

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AP writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this story.

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