02-22-2020  11:55 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
The Skanner Black History Month
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Jeremy Christian Guilty of Killing 2 Who Tried to Stop His Slurs on Max

Today jurors found Christian guilty of the May 26, 2017 stabbing deaths of Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best

States Step Up Funding for Planned Parenthood Clinics

A spokesman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon said the agency has been "working closely with state officials to create critical backstops and protect access to care for all Oregonians who need it, regardless of federal action on Title X"

Oregon Denies Permit for Pipeline Before Federal Decision

Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development says a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay would have significant adverse effects on the state's coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, endangered species and critical habitat

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

African American Initiative Breast Cancer Survivor Celebration to be Held Saturday

Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington celebrate breast cancer survivors in the African American community with a free gala this...

Dr. Karin Edwards Named New President of Clark College

Board of Trustees names Dr. Karin Edwards as the college’s 15th leader in its 87-year history ...

OneUnited Bank Launches New Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Card

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, introduces the new limited-edition Harriet Tubman Card in celebration of...

Oregon House Votes to End Driver’s License Suspensions for Failure to Pay Fines

Bipartisan Vote Underscores Consensus for Reforms, Makes Way for Senate Action ...

Black History Month 2020: “African Americans and the Vote”

In our celebration of Black History Month 2020, the DPO Black Caucus looks forward to the screening of the award-winning documentary,...

Man charged in truck stop stabbing sent to state hospital

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — A Colorado man charged in what Oregon prosecutors say was a hate crime stabbing has been found unfit for trial and will be sent to the Oregon State Hospital before his legal case can move forward.The Argus-Observer in Ontario reports Malheur County Circuit Court Judge...

Oregon highway between Bend and Salem reopens

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The main Oregon highway connecting Salem and Bend reopened Saturday after a tanker crash and gas spill forced a week-long closure.The double tanker trunk spilled an estimated 7,800 gallons of petroleum products into the soil at the crash site east of Idanha, the Statesman...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nevada Democrats getting their say in picking 2020 nominee

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Just past the roulette wheel and slot machines, the smoky bars and blinking lights, Nevada Democrats soon will have their say in helping determine their party's presidential nominee. Seven casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip are among 200 caucus locations statewide hosting...

The Latest: Warren reports big haul of cash on debate week

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times local):10 a.m.Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says her presidential campaign has raised million in the past 10 days.In a tweet, the Democratic hopeful says the haul is double what the campaign had hoped to raise...

Lizzo, Nyong'o, Eddie Murphy vying for NAACP Image Awards

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Hollywood's awards season isn't over quite yet, with the NAACP Image Awards putting the spotlight Saturday on the achievements of actors and musicians of color.The evening's honorees include Oscar contenders, namely Cynthia Erivo, who starred in the Harriet Tubman...

ENTERTAINMENT

Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' readies for Garden visit

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kyle Scatliffe has gone to Madison Square Garden plenty of times — for a Rangers game, a Muse concert and a WWE event. Next week, he's going back again, but this time he won't be in the seats.Scatliffe on Wednesday will be starring in the hit Broadway play...

Former Ukraine diplomat Marie Yovanovitch has book deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the career diplomat who during the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump offered a chilling account of alleged threats from Trump and his allies, has a book deal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt confirmed Friday to The...

OWN's 'Cherish the Day' is a rare celebration of black love

LOS ANGELES (AP) — To separate filmmaker and TV producer Ava DuVernay’s trenchant, history-driven projects, including “Selma” and “When They See Us,” from her new romantic drama series is to sell short the determined thoughtfulness that shapes all her...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Netflix series explores the assassination of Malcolm X

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new Netflix series is tackling questions around the 1965 assassination of civil...

AP FACT CHECK: Donald Trump and the audacity of hype

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their boisterous presidential debate, several Democrats sold short the health care...

Germany admits there's a far-right problem, but what to do?

BERLIN (AP) — As Germany's president expressed his sympathy and shock during a candlelight vigil for nine...

Italy towns close down amid virus case clusters, 2 deaths

CODOGNO, Italy (AP) — A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown Saturday after the...

US leads training exercises in Africa amid focus on Sahel

THIES, Senegal (AP) — Crouching in the sparse brush, maneuvering into formations through a divide, and then...

At Trump's India rally, Modi bets on bolstering his image

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A festive mood has enveloped Ahmedabad in India’s northwestern state of...

McMenamins
By Paul Schemm and Hadeel Al-Shalchi of the Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- An intense battle has erupted between about 1,000 rebels surrounding two buildings filled with Moammar Gadhafi loyalists in the neighborhood next to the Libyan leader's captured compound.

Associated Press reporters on the scene Thursday said rebels were hammering the buildings with heavy gunfire and a huge explosion from the battle scene sent a large plume of white smoke.

Mahmoud Bakoush, a rebel commander at the site, says there are rumors that one of Gadhafi's sons might be in the buildings, but they are unconfirmed. BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Moammar Gadhafi is safely in hiding and leading the battle against the Libyan rebels, his spokesman said Thursday, as fierce gunfights broke out in Tripoli while the opposition tried to assert control over the oil-rich country.

Moussa Ibrahim said in a phone call to the Associated Press the longtime dictator was in Libya and his morale was high. Gadhafi "is indeed leading the battle for our freedom and independence" said Ibrahim, who was recognizable by his voice.

Ibrahim refused to say where in Libya Gadhafi was hiding Ibrahim, who had for months appeared daily in televised news conferences since the start of the rebellion six months ago, added he himself was in an undisclosed location in Libya and constantly on the move.

"All of the leader's family are fine," Ibrahim said, adding that top military and political aides remained with Gadhafi.

He said Gadhafi was capable of continuing resistance for "weeks, months and years."

Ibrahim claimed Gadhafi's forces controlled a "good portion" of the capital - a claim that contradicts what reporters are seeing on the ground - and other cities and towns. He also accused NATO of besieging Gadhafi strongholds such as Sirte.

The call came as an intense gunbattle broke out in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Salim, a pro-Gadhafi stronghold. Another battle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel where many foreign journalists are staying, as about a dozen rebels with machine guns and an anti-aircraft gun fired on what appeared to be loyalist gunmen shooting from nearby high-rise buildings.

The rebels are struggling to take complete control of Tripoli, four days after they swept into the capital and sparked the collapse of Gadhafi's regime. The autocrat has refused to surrender and has vowed from hiding to fight on "until victory or martyrdom."

The rebel leadership has offered a $2 million bounty on Gadhafi's head, and British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Thursday that NATO was helping in the search for the longtime dictator.

Fox told BBC Radio 4 that NATO was "providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to help in the hunt," and had been heavily active in carrying out overnight airstrikes against Gadhafi loyalists, but refused to say if British special forces were involved.

In Brussels, a NATO official said some airstrikes were launched because Gadhafi's forces had been detected trying to restore some of their damaged weapons systems, including surface-to-air missiles, which the official called a "huge threat" to alliance aircraft and humanitarian aid flights.

The official could not be identified under NATO rules. A months-long NATO air campaign, which included about 7,500 attacks on Gadhafi's forces, was key to helping the rebels sweep through the country.

Rebels say one of their key targets now is Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from Tripoli, but acknowledged that capturing that city would not be easy because Gadhafi's fellow tribesmen were expected to put up a fierce fight. Opposition leaders have said they were trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the city.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the rebel National Transitional Council, called on people living in loyalist-held towns to join the fight against Gadhafi's soldiers.

"I am appealing to the areas not yet liberated to join the revolution," he told reporters in Benghazi. "There is no excuse for them not to join."

Fawzi Abu Ketf, deputy defense minister of the rebel National Transitional Council, said fighting was raging Thursday outside Bin Jawad, 400 miles (650 kilometers) south of Tripoli, but he had no details. Gadhafi loyalists ambushed rebels advancing toward the city on Wednesday, killing at least 20 of them.

Wednesday's attack was carried out by pro-Gadhafi forces who had retreated from the oil city of Ras Lanouf after rebels captured that city earlier this week, said Ahmed Zeleity, a rebel commander.

The ambush showed that pro-regime forces retain the ability to strike back even as the rebels tighten their control over the nation's capital.

Rebels also have seized several parts of Sebha, another Gadhafi stronghold still holding out, including the main commercial Gamal Abdel-Nasser street, according to rebel official Adel al-Zintani, who is in daily telephone contact with rebel commanders in the desert city.

He said mercenaries from sub-Saharan African nations who had been paid by Gadhafi have fled the city, but loyal soldiers were continuing to hold firm.

Ketf said another challenge was the need to supply troops at the front. "The supply lines will be too long and we are short of funds and supplies," he said.

The humanitarian situation there is increasingly difficult, he said, with lengthy power and water outages.

In Milan, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Italy was preparing to release $505 million in frozen assets in Italian banks, calling it the first payment. Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler and biggest trading partner, has not disclosed the total Libyan assets held there.

Berlusconi made the announcement after meeting with the leader of Libya's rebel Cabinet, the second stop on a European diplomatic tour by Mahmoud Jibril aimed at securing the release of billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets.

The Libyan opposition says they urgently need at least $5 billion of those assets to pay state salaries, maintain vital services and repair critical oil facilities.

The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, is preparing to vote this week on a resolution that would release $1.5 billion in Libyan assets in U.S. banks that the world body froze to thwart Gadhafi. Analysts estimate as much as $110 billion is frozen in banks worldwide.

Reflecting the continuing unrest in parts of Libya, a Maltese ship sent to evacuate foreigners from Tripoli turned back Thursday after fighting in the Libyan capital made the operation too risky.

The vessel was to evacuate at least 24 foreigners trapped in the Libyan capital, but the Maltese government said the mission was aborted Thursday after it became impossible for people to reach the harbor due to fighting in the capital.

The Geneva-based group the International Organization for Migration, however, said a ship chartered to rescue hundreds of foreigners in Tripoli had managed to dock there, after waiting offshore for days due to fighting.

The group is "very optimistic that we will be able to carry out the evacuation today," spokeswoman Jemini Pandya said.

In more positive news, four Italian journalists taken at gunpoint in Libya were freed Thursday in a raid on the house where they were being held, an official said.

Details of the raid, first reported on Corriere della Sera's website, and who conducted it were not immediately available. The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the four were freed, but had no further details.

The four were taken at gunpoint Wednesday by forces loyal to the regime of fugitive Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. Their Libyan driver was killed.

"They shot the driver dead in front of us. We are fine, but our thoughts are with the driver who died. We have become close friends with him," Claudio Monici of Avvenire, the daily of the Italian bishops conference, told reporters in Tripoli after their release.

The others released include two correspondents from the Milan daily Corriere della Sera and one from Turin's La Stampa.

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Associated Press writer Rami al-Shaheibi in Benghazi and Donna Bryson in Cairo contributed to this report.

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