09-20-2019  2:52 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

NEWS BRIEFS

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

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New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Man suspected of theft critically hurt outside Home Depot

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a Home Depot customer and a man suspected of theft near a Northeast Portland store got into an altercation that left the suspect critically injured.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a security guard was on a bike trail confronting a suspect Thursday when a...

Cowlitz Fire battalion chief dies in line of duty

KELSO, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a firefighter died in the line of duty in southwestern Washington.The Kelso Police Department said Thursday that Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue battalion chief Mike Zainfeld died Thursday.Police have not released further details surrounding his death.Zainfeld's...

South Carolina tries to keep success against Missouri going

The only player on the Missouri roster who knows what it's like to beat South Carolina is Kelly Bryant, and the quarterback transfer didn't even accomplish the feat with the Tigers.He did it two years ago while playing for Clemson.The Tigers, who welcome South Carolina to Faurot Field for their SEC...

SEC building some of the top defenses in college football

While defenses are still a work in progress around the Southeastern Conference, they still rank as some of the best in college football.Florida leads the nation with 16 sacks, including 10 in the opener against rival Miami. Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia combined to shut out overmatched opponents...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP Explains: Brownface part of racist face makeup history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The scandal surrounding Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after a yearbook photo showing him in brownface at a 2001 costume party was published is bringing attention to a practice that scholars say white people have been using for years to demean minorities.In...

Canada's Trudeau comes under fire over brownface photo

TORONTO (AP) — At a time when bigotry seems on the rise around the world and doors are being shut, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has become known as a champion of diversity. Now, amid his bid for re-election, that reputation is under attack in a furor triggered by a photo of him in...

Feds cite Islam focus in review of Duke-UNC language grant

The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it's misusing a federal grant to advance "ideological priorities" and unfairly promote "the positive aspects of Islam" but not...

ENTERTAINMENT

Benefit concert to feature "Supergirl" co-stars, newlyweds

NEW YORK (AP) — "Supergirl" co-stars and real-life newlyweds Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood will join performers Jane Lynch, Wayne Brady and Laurie Metcalf for a concert being livestreamed Saturday to benefit low-income migrants.The show will also feature Marcia Cross, Grant Gustin, Cheyenne...

Theater-related podcasts find a hub in new digital network

NEW YORK (AP) — Podcasts are exploding and the world of theater isn't immune. Now comes a digital hub that pulls together a lot of that theater talk — the Broadway Podcast Network.The network , unveiled Thursday, is the brainchild of Tony-winning producer and filmmaker Dori Berinstein...

'No path is easy': Black opera singers detail struggles

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 60 years after Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera, black singers still face unique obstacles in building their careers within the industry."We've made some strides, but not a whole lot," said Naomi Andre, a professor at the University...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Central America's dengue epidemic deadly in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — In a ward usually reserved for juvenile burn victims, children lay listlessly...

Music starts for Earthlings around Area 51 events in Nevada

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Iraq's stability on the line as US, Iran tensions soar

BAGHDAD (AP) — As the United States and Israel escalate their push to contain Iranian influence in the...

Zimbabwe doctor is found alive after alleged abduction

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean doctor whose alleged abduction led to days of protests has been freed,...

Kiribati cuts ties with Taiwan, presaging switch to China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The Pacific island nation of Kiribati cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan on Friday,...

NKorea welcomes Trump's call for 'new method' in talks

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has praised President Donald Trump for saying Washington may pursue...

McMenamins
Katharine Houreld Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Parts of southern Somalia are suffering from famine, a U.N. official said Wednesday, and tens of thousands of Somalis have probably already died in the worst hunger emergency in a generation.

The Horn of Africa is suffering a devastating drought compounded by war, neglect and spiraling prices. Some areas in the region have not had such a low rainfall in 60 years, aid group Oxfam said.

The U.N. needs $300 million in the next two months, said Mark Bowden, the U.N.'s top official in charge of humanitarian aid in Somalia. The last time conditions were this bad was in 1992, when hundreds of thousands of Somalis starved to death. That famine prompted intervention by an international peacekeeping force, but it eventually pulled out after two American Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in 1993.

The southern Somali regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions are suffering from famine, Bowden said. Across East Africa, more than 11.3 million people need aid, the World Food Program said.

"Somalia is facing its worst food security crisis in the last 20 years," Bowden said. "This desperate situation requires urgent action to save lives."

Famine is officially defined as when two adults or four children per 10,000 people die of hunger each day and a third of children are acutely malnourished. In some areas of Somalia, six people are dying a day and more than half of children are acutely malnourished, Bowden said. Prices of staple foods have increased 270 percent over the last year.

"If we don't act now, famine will spread to all eight regions of southern Somalia within two months, due to poor harvests and infectious diseases," Bowden said. "We still do not have all the resources for food, clean water, shelter and health services to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Somalia."

He said it was unlikely there would be any respite from the drought until the end of the year and that he believed tens of thousands had already died in regions the U.N. was unable to access.

The drought has killed up to 90 percent of livestock in some regions, Oxfam said. But poor governance is also to blame.

Most of Somalia has been wracked by civil war since its last government collapsed in 1990. Islamist rebels currently hold most of southern Somalia. They banned most aid agencies from working there two years ago but rescinded the ban earlier this month.

Somalia is the most dangerous country in the world to work in, according to the U.N.'s World Food Program, which lost 14 relief workers in the past few years. Looting and attacks on aid convoys occur frequently.

WFP head Josette Sheeran said the group is willing to return to southern Somalia if the insurgents guarantee safe passage.

"We are absolutely fully committed to going where the hungry are," she said.

Some factions of the Islamist al-Shabab militia had already agreed to let aid workers back in, said the U.N.'s top humanitarian coordinator Valerie Amos.

"What has been stopping us and our partners from operating in the south and the center have been the insecurity and the restrictions imposed by al-Shabab," she said.

Her colleague Amir Mahmoud Abdulla, the deputy executive director of the World Food Program, said "once you start feeding in certain areas you will get a rift within al-Shabab ... It is already starting to happen."

Neighboring Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya have also been badly affected, and Eritrea is also believed to be hard hit, though its repressive government does not release figures. Oxfam says the drought has been exacerbated by poor governance and neglect, war in Somalia and land policies that restrict grazing land for nomadic communities.

Oxfam criticized those policies in a report released Wednesday, but also said several rich European countries should do more to provide emergency aid. The aid agency says there is a $800 million shortfall in funds. They say $1 billion is needed to fund relief efforts through January.

Oxfam Regional Director Fran Equiza released a statement Wednesday saying it was "morally indefensible" that countries have only pledged $200 million in addition to long-running programs.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. will give another $28 million, on top of the $431 million in assistance it has given to the Horn of Africa this year.

Britain has pledged $145 million in the past two weeks - about 15 percent of what is needed - and the European Union pledged around $8 million, with more expected in coming days. Spain has promised nearly $10 million and Germany around $8.5 million but Oxfam said France has so far not pledged any more money and Denmark and Italy have said no significant new sums are available.

"There is no time to waste if we are to avoid massive loss of life," Equiza said in a statement. "We must not stand by and watch this tragedy unfold before our eyes. The world has been slow to recognize the severity of this crisis, but there is no longer any excuse for inaction."

Some donors, like the U.S., have expressed fears that aid might be diverted by Islamist groups. But Bowden said the U.N. had done its utmost to minimize the risks that aid might be diverted.

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Associated Press writers Luc van Kemenade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Frank Jordans in Geneva contributed to this report.

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