09-16-2021  9:23 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

OSU University Day Speaker Gives Blunt Assessment of Where Science, Higher Education Need to Do Better

Science journal Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp provided an unvarnished view of the challenges facing higher education and the scientific community, especially in light of the pandemic

School Vaccine Campaigns Targeting Students Face Blowback

In a total of eight states, Oregon included, providers can waive parental consent requirements

Seattle Council Shifts Money Saved By Officer Departures

More officers are leaving this year than City Hall budgeted for, yielding an estimated million in salary savings

Commission Grants Conditional Approval to I-5 Proposal

The Oregon Transportation Commission has granted conditional approval to a plan to expand Interstate 5,  as well as build a cap over the freeway to allow for the redevelopment of a Black community destroyed when the interstate was first built.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

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University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

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Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

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Oregon Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%

This is only the third time in the past 45 years that the rate has dropped below 5% ...

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement after St. Luke's...

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West

MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown. Across...

Kentucky looks to maintain momentum against FCS Chattanooga

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mark Stoops quickly dismisses any notion of FCS Chattanooga being a “breather” game for Kentucky. Not with the Wildcats (2-0) facing another Southeastern Conference challenge looming next week at South Carolina. And certainly not with Kentucky hungry...

After tough L, Mizzou turns focus to SEMO, continued growth

Missouri already has a couple high-profile wins under Eli Drinkwitz in just over one pandemic-shortened season, and the Tigers have been hauling in four- and five-star recruits like never before. Yet their narrow loss at Kentucky last weekend was a reminder: The Tigers are still...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuit seeks jumiM after Michigan teacher cuts girl's hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a jumi million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal...

Chauvin pleads not guilty to violating teen's civil rights

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Boston getting mayor of color as Wu, Essaibi George advance

BOSTON (AP) — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November. City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in Tuesday’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

In Sandra Cisneros' new book, an overdue letter to a friend

NEW YORK (AP) — With her new book, “Martita, I Remember You," Sandra Cisneros feels like she's finally answered a long overdue letter. The author of the best-selling novella “The House on Mango Street” is back with her first work of fiction in almost a decade, a story of...

Review: A man. A boy. And a chicken. 'Cry Macho' lays an egg

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Emmy host Cedric the Entertainer says stuffiness is banned

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'New' Van Gogh drawing to go on display in Amsterdam museum

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A drawing newly attributed to Vincent van Gogh that has never been displayed publicly before is...

Hezbollah-organized fuel arrives in crisis-hit Lebanon

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Idled Thai taxis go green with mini-gardens on car roofs

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Latest: Some French health care workers suspended, no shot

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Southwest China earthquake collapses homes, kills at least 3

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Ozone hole over Antarctica larger than usual, scientists say

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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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