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NORTHWEST NEWS

San Francisco Aims to Rein in Tests of Tech Ideas on Streets

Entrepreneurs would not be allowed to test their products in San Francisco's public space unless the tech in question is declared a "net public good."

Portland-area Residents May Vote on Funding for Homeless

There may be a measure on the November 2020 ballot to fund likely hundreds of millions of dollars for increased social services

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Salem OKs warming shelters for homeless

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Salem City Council has agreed to spend up to 3,000 to open 140 warming shelter beds at two local churches.Warming shelter openings currently are driven by freezing temperatures. But under a proposed deal between the city, nonprofit and church representatives, the...

Man arrested on 25 years’ worth of child sex abuse charges

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man was arrested last week on dozens of child sex abuse charges, some of which date back to 1994. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Michael Hern has pleaded not guilty to 26 counts related to the sexual abuse of at least six children, who were between 4 and 15 years...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Civil rights group sues over Oklahoma bail practices

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A civil rights group has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against court officials in central Oklahoma, alleging a county's bail system unconstitutionally discriminates against poor and disabled people.The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed the suit late...

Soros' role in impeachment drama sparks anti-Semitism debate

Near the end of a marathon impeachment hearing in the House of Representatives last month, former White House national security aide Fiona Hill tied conservative jabs at George Soros to “the longest-running anti-Semitic trope that we have in history.” Anti-Soros theories amplified by...

Jersey City's mayor says gunmen targeted kosher market

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The gunmen in a furious firefight that left six people dead in Jersey City clearly targeted a Jewish market, the mayor said Wednesday, fueling growing suspicions the bloodshed was an anti-Semitic attack.Mayor Steven Fulop refused to call it an anti-Semitic attack but...

ENTERTAINMENT

Cardi B shows up at court in style for strip club fight case

NEW YORK (AP) — Cardi B turned up for a court appearance Tuesday in an attempted assault case, staying mum — except for fashion statements — as it proceeds.The Grammy-winning rapper sported a feather-trimmed black coat with a long train and a wide-brimmed black hat to her court...

Review: Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ offers a flawed critique

“Richard Jewell” is a typically strong late-period Clint Eastwood docudrama that balances grand American themes while captivatingly dramatizing the villainization of the Atlanta Olympics bombing hero, only to needlessly tarnish itself with a wanton and unfounded depiction of a female...

Complete list of nominees for 26th SAG Awards

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — A list of the nominees for the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, announced Wednesday in West Hollywood, California:MOVIESActor: Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”; Adam...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Meet the scholar who diagnosed ‘surveillance capitalism’

A year ago, Shoshana Zuboff dropped an intellectual bomb on the technology industry. She hasn’t stood still...

Weinstein could face jail, bail hike over monitoring issues

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein’s bail was increased from jumi million to million on Wednesday...

Rescuer describes horror of New Zealand's silent eruption

WHAKATANE, New Zealand (AP) — The eruption was so silent that Lillani Hopkins didn't hear it over the hum...

French government raises retirement age as strikes grind on

PARIS (AP) — France's prime minister said Wednesday the full retirement age will be increased for the...

India's Parliament passes contentious citizenship bill

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian lawmakers approved legislation on Wednesday granting citizenship to non-Muslims who...

Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The South Pacific region of Bougainville voted overwhelmingly to become the...

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Andrew Taylor the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As a top House Republican signaled new flexibility on White House demands to close wasteful or ineffective tax loopholes, President Barack Obama responded with some of his harshest political rhetoric to date in advance of a Thursday negotiating session on the budget.

Wednesday's salvo came hours after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., opened the door to closing wasteful or unfair tax loopholes in the battle over a must-pass proposal to increase the government's borrowing authority. Obama suggested that Republicans are using the debt limit measure "as a gun against the heads" of Americans to retain breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies.

"If the president wants to talk loopholes, we'll be glad to talk loopholes," Cantor said, adding that revenues raised from those revisions "should be coupled with offsetting tax cuts somewhere else."

Shortly thereafter, at a White House Twitter town hall, Obama fired a sharp response. It was far more partisan than the language he used Tuesday to invite top lawmakers in both parties to the White House to move the budget talks forward. They've been stalled since a bipartisan group led by Vice President Joe Biden broke up last month after Republicans declared an impasse on taxes.

"The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars," Obama said. "I'm happy to have those debates. I think the American people are on my side on this."

Obama is seeking to reduce the deficit, in part, through new tax revenue raised by closing loopholes and tax subsidies. Among the examples the White House cites are tax benefits for companies that buy corporate jets. He also has called for ending subsidies to oil and gas companies, a proposal that would generate about $40 billion in revenue over 10 years.

At the same time, Cantor's comments reflected important, if nuanced, flexibility for Republicans. His earlier position was that closing loopholes should wait for a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code.

Cantor declined to specify what tax cuts should be financed by any new loophole-related revenues. He declined to rule out using them to extend expiring tax cuts, such as a credit for new research and development that's popular with businesses.

The show of flexibility comes in advance of Thursday's meeting between Obama and top congressional leaders to raise the debt limit and avoid a historic default.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that Obama is confident he has enough lawmakers behind him to reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

"The president believes, we believe, that there are enough members of both parties in both houses who support the idea that a big deal has to be balanced and therefore include spending cuts in the tax code," Carney said.

The assertion reinforced and expanded on Obama's comments Tuesday that back-channel talks with congressional leaders last weekend made progress in advance of Thursday's talks. But Carney cautioned that no final deal should be expected.

The president is siding with House Speaker John Boehner in insisting that negotiators resist the temptation to "kick the can down the road" and settle for a makeshift, short-term solution to stave off the U.S.' first default next month.

At issue is the need to raise the government's so-called debt limit to avoid a default on its obligations to bondholders and Social Security beneficiaries. Republicans want deficit cuts in the range of at least $2.4 trillion over 10 years to offset the amount of new government borrowing needed simply to avoid another vote before 2013.

Obama, answering questions Thursday posed through the Twitter online social network, pushed aside a question over whether he would use the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling by executive order, a suggestion floated by some Democrats.

The amendment states: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Obama said: "I don't think we should even get to the constitutional issue. Congress has a responsibility to make sure we pay our bills. We've always paid them in the past. The notion that the United States would default on its debt is just irresponsible."

Obama met with Boehner on Sunday for the first time since Republicans last month abandoned the Biden-led negotiations. Carney on Wednesday declined to discuss Sunday's meeting, refusing even to acknowledge that it had occurred. He said the talks had a better chance of success if Sunday's details were kept under wraps.

The administration says that if the government's borrowing authority is not increased by Aug. 2, the U.S. will face a historic first default, potentially throwing financial markets into turmoil.

Obama isn't calling for increases in tax rates. On Tuesday, the president urged Republicans to agree to eliminate "certain tax breaks and deductions for the wealthiest of Americans", those in the 35 percent tax bracket.

Boehner attacked the proposal that day as an assault on small businesses but was subdued on questions like oil and gas subsidies or a much-publicized tax provision that gives favorable treatment to companies that buy corporate jets.

"We're not dealing just with talking points about corporate jets or other `loopholes,'" Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "The legislation the president has asked for, which would increase taxes on small businesses and destroy more American jobs, cannot pass the House, as I have stated repeatedly."

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Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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