07-02-2020  11:19 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

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Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

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Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

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New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Oregon trooper on leave after shop says he didn't wear mask

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State Trooper has been put on paid administrative leave after a coffee shop worker complained that he didn’t wear a mask when entering the establishment as required under a statewide order by the governor designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.The...

Police union contract extended, bargaining to continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend bargaining over the next Portland Police Association contract for a year to increase public involvement in the negotiations.Negotiations over the next contract with the union that represents rank-and-file...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

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3 cities pilot South Africa-style truth, reconciliation push

BOSTON (AP) — District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco are teaming up on a pilot effort patterned after South Africa's post-apartheid truth and reconciliation commission to confront racism in the criminal justice system.Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, Philadelphia DA...

Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a little over a month ago, the area around Richmond's iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was as quiet and sedate as the statue itself. But since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the area has been transformed into a bustling hub...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

NEW YORK (AP) — An extraordinary stretch of news with the coronavirus pandemic and racial reckoning triggered by George Floyd's death has led CNN to its biggest audience for any three-month period in the network's 40-year history.Fox News Channel and MSNBC also had record-setting quarters...

Actor says 'Justice League' director Whedon was 'abusive'

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Review: Joe Ely serves up songs of honesty, hope and healing

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Coronavirus concerns freeze Vanilla Ice show

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed a Texas concert that drew fierce criticism due...

Wide shift in opinion on police, race rare in US polling

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From big cities to backyards, July 4 not usual blowout bash

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Landslide at Myanmar jade mine kills at least 162 people

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More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia's unrest

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Finnish Air Force Command drops swastika logo as insignia

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McMenamins
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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