09-18-2021  6:04 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Illegal Marijuana Farms Take West's Scarce Water

Deer Creek has run dry after several illegal marijuana grows cropped up in the neighborhood last spring, stealing water from both the stream and nearby aquifers

Biden Slammed for Challenging Nuclear Workplace Health Law

The Biden Administration is picking up where the Trump administration left off, challenging a 2018 Washington state law that made it easier for sick Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to qualify for compensation benefits.

After Humble Beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros Launches IPO

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Portland Scraps Texas Boycott, Allocates Abortion Funds

 The City Council in Portland, Oregon, has scrapped a plan to boycott Texas businesses because of a new law that prohibits most abortions there, deciding Wednesday to instead set aside 0,000 to fund reproductive care.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

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...

Autonomous robots prepped for cave search and rescue mission

PITTSBURGH (AP) — After practicing in a former limestone mine and an abandoned hospital outside of Pittsburgh, a fleet of robots from Carnegie Mellon University is headed to Kentucky for the final test of the ability to autonomously navigate an uncertain, underground course. ...

Oregon expands wolf kill due to threat to livestock

BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Oregon are stepping up efforts to kill wolves from a pack in the eastern part of the state due to continued attacks by the animals and evidence they are now focusing on livestock. KTVZ reports the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

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...

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

The Latest: Pakistani PM to prod Taliban on inclusive govt

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister says he has “initiated a dialogue" with the Taliban to prod them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region. Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the...

Police: Prison guard beat banker, used racial slur over mask

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — A California prison guard was arrested this week on suspicion of beating a Wells Fargo branch manager and calling him a racial slur after being asked to wear a mask inside the bank, police said. James Allen Jones, Jr., 50, was arrested at his job...

Prison reform advocate calls solitary confinement revenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A longtime prison reform advocate asked a federal judge on Thursday to move him out of solitary confinement, claiming the punitive treatment violates his Constitutional rights. Alex Friedman was arrested last year and accused of hiding loaded guns and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actor L. Steven Taylor is the king behind 'The Lion King'

NEW YORK (AP) — L. Steven Taylor got the call that would change his life in 2005: Would he like to make his Broadway debut in “The Lion King”? It was just a six-month contract but he took it, uprooting his family and moving to New York. “Six months has turned into 16...

Sotheby's puts rare U.S. Constitution copy for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — A very special document will be auctioned off later this year — a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. Sotheby's announced Friday — appropriately on Constitution Day — that in November it will put up for auction one of just 11...

'The Crown,' 'Ted Lasso,' streaming seek Emmy Awards glory

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The miniature statutes given at the Emmy Awards on Sunday can be an outsized boon to egos, careers and guessing games. Will “The Mandalorian” bow to “The Crown” as best drama series? Can the feel-good comedy “Ted Lasso” charm its way into...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Abu Dhabi removes test rule for other emirates

DUBAI — The capital of the United Arab Emirates has ended a policy requiring those coming in from other emirates...

Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul strike an error

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians...

Photos show North Korea expanding uranium enrichment plant

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Recent satellite images show North Korea is expanding a uranium enrichment plant at...

US envoy: Qatar plane takes more Americans from Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Qatar Airways flight on Friday took more Americans out of Afghanistan, according to...

France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over sub deal

PARIS (AP) — America’s oldest ally, France, recalled its ambassador to the United States on Friday in an...

To unseat Trudeau, Conservative leader seeks middle ground

TORONTO (AP) — The man who could oust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from power advertised himself a year ago as...

Alan Fram Associated Press

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans are greeting the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's financial overhaul law by trying to weaken it, nibble by nibble.

Wary of attempting to dismantle the entire statute and being portrayed as Wall Street's allies - banks are among the nation's most unpopular institutions - GOP lawmakers are attacking corners of it. They can't prevail because they don't control the White House or Senate, but they may be able to force some compromises on agency budgets, pressure regulators and influence some of Obama's nominations.

Days ago, one Republican-run House committee approved bills diluting parts of the law requiring reports on corporate salaries and exempting some investment advisers from registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Another House panel voted to slice $200 million from Obama's $1.4 billion budget request for the SEC, which has a major enforcement role.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are continuing a procedural blockade that has helped prevent Obama from putting Elizabeth Warren or anyone else in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which opens its doors in two weeks.

The law hurts "the formation of capital, the cost of capital and access to capital, and you can't have capitalism without capital," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a leader of the House Financial Services Committee. "So Republicans in the House will be examining each and every one of the 2,000-plus pages" of the law, which he called "a job creator's nightmare."

Confident that Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate can prevent the House from doing major damage, Democrats view the Republican drive as a political exercise - for now.

"It's mostly setting a marker for the election. And it helps with their campaign contributions," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who chaired the Financial Services Committee last year and was a chief author of the law. "But it also tells people in the financial community that if they win the next election, they'll be able to undo it all."

The financial industry leans Republican in its campaign contributions but not overwhelmingly. Sixty-one percent of the $9 million that commercial banks gave federal candidates for the 2010 elections went to Republicans, while 54 percent of the securities and investment industry's $9 million went to Democrats, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Democrats are using the GOP drive for their own fundraising.

In one email sent last week under Frank's name soliciting money for House candidates, the party wrote that Republicans want to "bring back the days of unrestrained excess, deception and de-regulation of Wall Street." The mailing called it "payback to their big contributors in the financial services industry."

Obama signed the banking and consumer protection measure last July 21, a keystone achievement that responded to the biggest financial crisis and most severe recession since the 1930s. It passed Congress with solid Democratic support and near-uniform GOP opposition.

Among its provisions, the law:

- Created the consumer protection agency to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

- Established a body of regulators to scan the economy for threats to the financial system.

- Required banks to hold back money for protection against losses.

- Curbed the trading of derivatives, speculative investments partly blamed for the 2008 financial crisis.

- Gave the Federal Reserve powers to oversee huge companies whose failures could jeopardize the entire financial system.

Yet the law was just a start, since it ordered federal agencies to craft rules to enforce it. As of July 1, out of an estimated 400 regulations to be written, 38 are complete. That leaves 362 proposed, facing a future deadline or having missed due dates for completion, according to the law firm Davis Polk.

Republicans say the overhaul went too far and has saddled banks and other companies with requirements that harm their competitiveness. The House Financial Services panel alone has held more than a dozen hearings on the law, in part to underscore to administration witnesses that some provisions - like forcing banks to hold back capital as a hedge against losses - will hurt business, according to the committee's chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.

"What we are doing is rational, it is sensible, it is entirely practical, it is compassionate," said Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., a tea party-backed freshman on that panel. "So we are doing the right thing, and it behooves the Senate and the administration to follow suit."

The highest-profile fight has been over Warren, picked by Obama to set up the new consumer bureau. Many Democrats and liberal groups want her to become its first director.

Following a May clash between Warren and a House subcommittee chairman, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to question the Harvard law professor and long-time consumer activist at a July 14 hearing about her role shaping the new agency.

Meanwhile, 44 GOP senators have promised to block a vote on any nominee unless the bureau is made "accountable to the American people" by replacing the director with a board of directors and giving Congress control over its budget. Forty-one senators can prevent a nomination from coming to a vote.

"You try to get leverage where you can. In the Senate, nominations are your leverage," said Mark A. Calabria, who monitors financial regulation at the conservative-leaning Cato Institute.

On another front, Republicans want to cut the budgets of agencies that are supposed to enforce the overhaul.

Besides denying the SEC extra money next year, the House Appropriations Committee would limit the consumer protection bureau to $200 million, well below the $329 million Obama wants. The full House has voted to hold the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives, to $171 million, short of this year's total and less than two-thirds of what Obama wanted.

Republicans cast the cuts as part of their deficit-cutting drive, but Democrats say the reductions are designed to obstruct the new law.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro said in a speech this spring that budget cuts would mean "an investor protection effort hobbled."

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