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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Governor seeks review of police protest response in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Criticism of the law enforcement response to a protest in Portland, Oregon, late Saturday into early Sunday prompted Gov. Kate Brown to ask authorities to review “any alleged incidents” involving their officers.The governor said in a series of tweets...

Arrests in Portland protest follow fairly calm rally

PORTLAND (AP) — Several people in Portland, Oregon, were arrested in anti-police brutality protests that continued into early Sunday, hours after demonstrations ended with few reports of violence.The protests that began Saturday night were declared an unlawful assembly and police began...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's dubious claims on health care, court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn't providing all the facts when he promises that people with preexisting medical problems will always be covered by health insurance if “Obamacare” is ruled unconstitutional.Eager to get conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett quickly...

Louisville protests continue in Breonna Taylor's name

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A crowd marched in Louisville’s streets chanting “Breonna Taylor, say her name” on Sunday evening, the fifth night of protests after a grand jury declined to charge officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer...

Organizer arrested after driving car into California protest

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An organizer of a Southern California demonstration against racism was in jail Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder after authorities say she drove through a crowd and struck two counterprotesters. Tatiana Turner, 40, was arrested Saturday in Yorba Linda after speeding...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Underwood on holiday album and her little drummer boy

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammy Award for cutest collaboration of the year goes to Carrie Underwood and her 5-year-old son Isaiah.He’s the little singing boy providing the adorable vocals on “Little Drummer Boy,” one of the 11 tracks on the country superstar’s new...

Billie Lourd introduces newborn son in surprise announcement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Billie Lourd has announced the birth of her son.Lourd announced on her social media Friday that she and her fiance, Austen Rydell, welcomed their newborn son into the world. She is the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016 at the age of 60 following...

'Beginning' triumphs at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain

SAN SEBASTIÁN, Spain (AP) — Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili’s first feature film “Beginning” triumphed at Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival, scooping up four of its top prizes including best film and best director. The story about...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Church says Cardinal Pell returning to Vatican in crisis

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ former finance minister, will soon...

Trump ex-campaign boss hospitalized amid threat to harm self

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been...

Federal judge postpones Trump ban on popular app TikTok

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday postponed a Trump administration order that would have banned the...

Mali transitional government appoints new prime minister

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali’s transitional president appointed former minister of foreign affairs,...

UN failures on coronavirus underscore the need for reforms

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The coronavirus that has claimed nearly 1 million lives has underscored the failure...

Asia Today: Australian hot spot, South Korea hit new lows

Australia’s coronavirus hot spot, Victoria state, on Monday recorded its lowest number of new infections in...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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Ben Hubbard the Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Rebel forces and armed civilians are rounding up thousands of black Libyans and migrants from sub-Sahara Africa, accusing them of fighting for ousted strongman Moammar Gadhafi and holding them in makeshift jails across the capital.

Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees - all black - clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.

Handling the prisoners is one of the first major tests for the rebel leaders, who are scrambling to set up a government that they promise will respect human rights and international norms, unlike the dictatorship they overthrew.

The rebels' National Transitional Council has called on fighters not to abuse prisoners and says those accused of crimes will receive fair trials. There has been little credible evidence of rebels killing or systematically abusing captives during the six-month conflict. Still, the African Union and Amnesty International have protested the treatment of blacks inside Libya, saying there is a potential for serious abuse.

Aladdin Mabrouk, a spokesman for Tripoli's military council, said no one knows how many people have been detained in the city, but he guessed more than 5,000. While no central registry exists, he said neighborhood councils he knows have between 200 and 300 prisoners each. The city of 1.8 million has dozens of such groups.

Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told reporters this week that he'd visited several detention centers and found conditions "up to international standards."

"We are building a Libya of tolerance and freedom, not of revenge," he said.

Oil-rich but with a relatively small population of 6.6. million, Gadhafi's Libya welcomed hundreds of thousands of black Africans looking for work in recent decades. Many young citizens of Mali and Niger who flocked to Libya in the 1970s and 1980s were recruited into an "Islamic Legion" modeled on the French Foreign Legion. In addition, Gadhafi's military recruited heavily from black tribes in Libya's south.

In February, witnesses reported African fighters shooting at protesters or being captured by anti-Gadhafi forces. Witnesses have described scores of mercenaries being flown in to put down the rebellion, although many of the fighters already were in Libya.

As a result, people with roots in sub-Saharan Africa and black Libyan citizens have been targeted by rebel forces in the messy and confusing fight for control of the country.

In the Khallat al-Firjan neighborhood in south Tripoli, Associated Press reporters saw rebel forces punching a dozen black men before determining they were innocent migrant workers and releasing them.

The Gate of the Sea club near Tripoli's fishing port became a lockup Monday night, when residents rounded up people in the surrounding area.

Guards at the club said they looked for unfamiliar faces, then asked for IDs. Those without papers or whose legal residences were distant cities were marched to the club.

This week, an armed guard stood by a short hallway that led through two metal gates onto a soccer field surrounded by high walls. There was no roof, so the detainees clustered against the wall to get out of the heat.

One black Libyan from the southern city of Sebha said he had worked for a Tripoli cleaning company. A French-speaking man from Niger said he had a shop nearby. One black Libyan said he was in the army but quit during the uprising.

In an office nearby where sports trophies still lined the shelves, Ibrahim al-Rais, a 60-year-old fisherman, acted as prison director. A bag held wallets and IDs taken from the captives. Another was stuffed with cellphones, which occasionally rang.

He acknowledged that many of the detainees were likely innocent migrant workers stranded in the country but he insisted that a "big percentage" were mercenaries.

"These people were fighting against our people," he said.

As proof, his team pointed to ID cards issued in Libya's south that he said were fake and a document issued by the Niger Embassy in Tripoli. He said Gadhafi gave many mercenaries Libyan IDs so they could fight. He also said many had been carrying dollars or euros - which al-Rais said were mercenary wages.

Sabri Taha, a fish merchant in shorts and flip-flops who was guarding prisoners, said one had a video on his phone of a soldier shooting children. When asked by an AP reporter to play it, he couldn't find it. The prisoner said he didn't know how the video got on his phone.

In another detainee's wallet, Taha said he found a photo of the detainee in a green military uniform and accused him of fighting for Gadhafi. The detainee said he had manned a regime checkpoint, but had defected to the rebels when they reached the city.

The captors insist their prison is temporary and that the local military council will question the detainees before releasing them or transferring them elsewhere.

In the meantime, they started a handwritten list of the men's names, ages and nationalities.

"You see, we have no experience, but we have figured out how to get organized," said Abu-Bakir Zaroug, a local volunteer.

They still didn't know how many prisoners they held.

"The danger is that there is no oversight by any authorities, and the people who are carrying out the arrests - more like abductions - are not trained to respect human rights," said Diana Eltahawy of Amnesty International. "They are people who carry a lot of anger against people they believe committed atrocities."

For about a week, the Tripoli Local Prison has been receiving inmates and now holds about 300, said Anwar Bin Naji, a former prison employee who helps run the facility. About 50 are Libyans. The rest are from Ghana, Nigeria, Niger and other African countries.

"They are all arrested by rebels or by civilians who love the homeland," Naji said.

As he spoke, two rebel trucks carrying about a dozen black men entered the prison, honking their horns.

"Those are all mercenaries, or most of them," he said before speaking to the men.

In the cellblock, captives clustered by the barred doors of their cells. All said they were migrant workers who had come to Libya to work. Some said they'd lived here for years.

They said they hadn't been beaten, and were given simple food once or twice a day. They had drinking water, but none for bathing, they said.

Of the 28 people in one five-meter-by-six meter (15-foot-by-18-foot) cell, one had blistering burns on his face, neck and arm. Naji, the guard, said volunteers were still setting up a medical clinic.

The burned man, Ahmed Ali, said he'd come to Libya from his native Chad two years ago and worked as a house painter before the uprising.

"When the rebels entered Tripoli, some guys came and burned down my house," he said. He escaped and ran to some rebel fighters, hoping they'd protect him.

"They brought me here," he said, adding that he'd received no medical care in the six days since his arrest.

"They believe that most of the black in Libya are mercenaries, so now all the blacks on the street, they pick them up," he said.

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