12-02-2022  4:17 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

The James Museum Opens Black Pioneers: Legacy In The American West

This first-of-its-kind-exhibition explores Black history in the West with a timeline of pictorial quilts. ...

Use of Deadly Force Investigation Involving Clackamas County Sheriff and Oregon State Police Concludes

The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions...

Oregon Faces Snow-Plow Driver Shortage Heading Into Winter

New federal licensing rules for drivers resulted in longer wait times to obtain a commercial driver's license, which contributed to...

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity 'very high'

SEATTLE (AP) — Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health. State health officials on Thursday reported over 1,200 new flu cases from Nov. 13-19, which was more than double the case count of previous weeks, KING 5...

Illinois lawmakers OK crime bill cleanup, plan ends bail

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly approved followup clarifications of their watershed criminal justice overhaul Thursday, appeasing critics by adding numerous offenses to a list of crimes that qualify a defendant to remain jailed while awaiting trial. ...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

25 years later, Bangladesh closer to peace in border region

RANGAMATI, Bangladesh (AP) — A quarter century ago, Modhumala Chakma says it was impossible to leave her house in the evening and walk around the nearby hills because they were controlled by a tribal insurgent group seeking autonomy in southeastern Bangladesh. “It was a difficult...

Report: Wide racial disparity in New York prison discipline

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Black and Hispanic people incarcerated in New York state prisons are more likely than white people to face further punishment once they wind up behind bars, according to a state inspector general report released Thursday. A Black person behind bars in New York...

Amazon CEO says company won't take down antisemitic film

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said Wednesday the company does not have plans to stop selling the antisemitic film that gained notoriety recently after Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving tweeted out an Amazon link to it. Pressure has been mounting on Amazon to discontinue sale...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mistrial after jury deadlock in Danny Masterson rape case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday at the rape trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson after jurors, who were leaning strongly toward acquitting him, deadlocked following the monthlong trial in which the Church of Scientology played a supporting role. ...

Prosecutor: Weinstein a 'degenerate rapist' and 'predator'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was a “predator” with unmistakable patterns who used his Hollywood power to lure women into meetings, sexually assault them and escape the consequences, a prosecutor said in closing arguments Wednesday at the former movie mogul's Los Angeles trial. ...

New version of 'The Wiz' to tour and end up on Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — A new production of “The Wiz” is heading out on a national tour next year before following the yellow brick road to Broadway, with its director hoping the show becomes a “touchstone for a new generation.” Director Schele Williams tells The Associated Press...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

High court to rule on Biden student loan cancellation plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether the Biden administration can broadly...

Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to avert what could have been an economically ruinous freight rail strike won...

Lagoon dries up as drought grips Peru's southern Andes

CCONCHACCOTA, Peru (AP) — From her home under the baking sun of Peru's southern Andes, Vilma Huamaní can see...

Arabs unite in celebration as Morocco advances in World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — First Qatar was out, exiting the World Cup with the worst record of a host country. Then the...

'Do something:' Ukraine works to heal soldiers' mental scars

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Sleep plunges the soldier back into the horrors of Ukraine’s battlefields. He can hear...

UK opposition wins special election in blow to Sunak's party

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s opposition Labour Party has handily won a special election for a northwest England...

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."

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events