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NORTHWEST NEWS

Reimagine Oregon Issues Equity Demands, Gains Legislative Support

Coalition of Black-led and Black-focused organizations takes new approach to concrete change 

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission: Initiative Petition 44 Will Nearly Eliminate Racial Disparities for Drug Arrests, Convictions

The initiative would expand access to drug addiction treatment and recovery services, and decriminalize low-level drug possession.

Inslee, Culp Advance to November Ballot in Governor's Race

In early returns, with nearly 17% of the vote, Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, had the largest share among 35 other candidates.

Portland Police Declare Unlawful Assembly During Protest

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressed event organised by NAACP focused on Black Lives Matter

NEWS BRIEFS

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

New Rule by The U.S. Department of Education Would Misdirect $11M from Oregon Public Schools

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Reps. Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer called a...

Barbara Bush Foundation Partners with Barbershop Books and Penguin to Provide Child-Friendly Reading Spaces in Baltimore and Detroit Barbershops

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All Classical Portland Awards Grant to Support Emmanuel Henreid's 'Livin' in the Light'

Livin’ in the Light documents Onry’s experience as a Black, male, professional opera and crossover singer in Portland, Ore. ...

Portland protesters cause mayhem again, police officer hurt

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland's nightly protests turned violent again even after the city's mayor pleaded for demonstrators to stay off the streets and a police officer hit by a rock early Friday suffered what was described as a serious injury.The protesters who came out Thursday night...

Oregon lawmakers return to big deficit, police questions

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature will meet for its second special session of 2020 beginning Monday to try to fix a jumi.2 billion revenue hole due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While some lawmakers predict the session could be completed within a day or two, that time frame could...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

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...

OPINION

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

Bill Deiz urges Oregonians to Defend their Constitutional Rights

Elements of federal police, sent in by our president, are nightly tormenting our citizens with tear gas, impact munitions, kidnappings and beatings, and other criminal acts, in order to suppress our rights of free speech and free assembly ...

The Power of Love

Powerful lessons for me today on forgiveness. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

How an arrest upended filming of 'Surviving Jeffrey Epstein'

NEW YORK (AP) — The filmmakers behind “Surviving Jeffrey Epstein” moved quickly when Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on federal charges that she acted as a recruiter for the financier’s sexual abuse.The fourth episode of the new Lifetime docuseries, which was intended to...

Job losses, fear of virus complicate Latino voter hopes

PHOENIX (AP) — Every day, 29-year-old Maico Olivares tries to call about 25 people, mostly within the Latino community, to persuade them to register to vote.Some calls go well, but increasingly, they have become frustrating: Many of the people Olivares reaches are out of work or have lost...

'Stockton on My Mind' shows mayor's dreams for hurting city

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ENTERTAINMENT

Viola Davis, LeBron James among honorees at AAFCA TV Honors

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Viola Davis, Sterling K. Brown and LeBron James are among several honorees at the AAFCA TV Honors later this month. The African American Film Critics Association announced the recipients of the second annual event on Wednesday. The virtual ceremony is scheduled to air on...

Review: Deep Purple evokes best years on mighty 'Whoosh!'

Deep Purple, “Whoosh!” (earMUSIC)“Whoosh!” makes it three-for-three for the pairing of Deep Purple and producer Bob Ezrin, an album that at its numerous heights evokes the band’s most successful era of the early ‘70s. With a stable lineup for nearly 20...

Phelps, Ohno open up about suicide, depression in new doc

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Athletes Stephen Scherer, Jeret Peterson and Kelly Catlin have two things in common: They all reached their dream of becoming Olympians, and they all died by suicide.Olympians are known for pushing their bodies to the extreme but much less understood are the mental and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Russia's race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia boasts that it’s about to become the first country to approve a COVID-19...

Ford, Bush presidential adviser Brent Scowcroft dies at 95

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brent Scowcroft, who played a prominent role in American foreign policy as national...

US sanctions leader of Hong Kong, Chinese authorities

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong officials, including the pro-China...

Thousands seek refuge as high heat slams Britain, France

LONDON (AP) — Thousands in Britain sought refuge from the searing heat Friday, mobbing beaches and parks...

The Latest: 7-year-old boy dies of coronavirus in Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A 7-year-old boy with COVID-19 has become the youngest known person to die in Georgia since...

El Salvador political stalemate a drag on pandemic response

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — For months, the strictest measures confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in...

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Katharine Houreld the Associated Press

DOLO, Somalia (AP) -- As she celebrated the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, Somali mother Quresho Mohmoud Dahir counted her blessings: all her children were alive. They had food. They were safe.

"We will eat very well today," she said proudly, gesturing at the food rations she'd received that morning. Her 12-year-old daughter sat protectively atop the two sacks of corn and the beans her mother was going to prepare.

Dahir is one of hundreds of thousands of Somalis forced to flee their homes by war and famine. She and her six children, the youngest only three years old, walked 12 days to get to this United Nations-run camp on the Ethiopia-Somali border after her husband disappeared after some fighting in their area.

Some days they were so hungry they ate leaves from trees. At night, she agonized over lighting a fire; it would protect her children from hyenas but might attract criminals or militias. Finally - sick, starving and exhausted - they stumbled into Dolo, a wind-swept outpost of brushwood buildings scattered among the twisted thorn trees and red sand.

Now the seven of them live in a ragged shelter made of plastic scraps and torn clothing stretched over branches. They depend on donors for everything from cooking pots to sleeping mats to food.

Dahir remembers past years when she used to mark Eid by slaughtering her own goats, having a feast for friends and family and giving charity to her poorer neighbors. But she said this year she will cook her donated rations gladly, and give thanks for the kindness of the people that let her family survive a famine that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives.

"Thank Allah that we were welcomed here and given food and we are safe," she said, squatting in their makeshift shelter. "We are blessed. So many people helped us along the way."

Many times, her children were so weak she had to leave the younger ones under trees and go begging, she said. There was never much to give - parts of the region they walked through are suffering from the worst drought in 60 years - but impoverished families they passed spared a bottle of milk or a handful of millet, she said. It kept them alive until they reached Dolo three months ago.

She counted the other small improvements since they had arrived. Local families donated two battered pots so she could cook, plus a single torn foam mattress and sleeping mat to share. The Italian government and the U.N. provided food, vaccinations and malaria medicine. A local charity set up a blackboard under a tree to serve as a school. Most of all, they were safe from the militias that destroyed her life more thoroughly than the drought.

"My husband disappeared during the fighting," she said. "I don't know where he is."

The U.N. estimates about 3.7 million Somalis currently need aid. Five regions in Somalia are suffering from famine and officials say that will increase in coming weeks.

There's also widespread hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. Overall, more than 12 million people need help, according to the U.N. The situation is most dire in Somalia, where Islamist rebels fighting the weak U.N.-backed government have barred many aid agencies from their territory.

As Somali families in Dolo prepared their evening meal for Eid - porridge or rice for some, donated scraps of meat for a lucky few - many said the a holiday was especially poignant this year.

For Muslims, Eid is as important as Christmas is for Christians. It's a time for families to gather and feast, and remember the less fortunate in their offerings and prayers. Most of the families here are more used to giving charity than receiving it.

"We used to give some of our harvest to the poor," said 26-year-old Habiba Osman Ahmed, a former farmer.

Since then, Somalia's 20-year civil war pushed the drought into famine. Everything has changed. Now she doesn't even have a pot to cook in, and must share with another family. She will wait patiently while they finish their food before preparing her own.

"Solidarity with people in need is very much a part of today's celebration," said Antonio Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "That solidarity should inspire first of all Somalis to allow access to those in need ... and should also inspire the international community to be more engaged."

Freedom for aid agencies to move in and help and lack of funding were the two biggest problems they faced, he said. But on Tuesday those problems were eclipsed by other, more personal pains for many of those in Dolo.

"The last Eid I celebrated with all my children, in my own home," Ahmed said. Since then, she's lost two of her four children to the famine; one died in her home village and one on the agonizing walk toward help.

"They were gifts from God," she said as her baby squirmed in her lap. "He gave them to me, and then he took them away."

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