08-03-2020  7:49 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Shootings Increase During Portland Protests

Between June 1 and end July 31, 2020 there were 125 reported shootings compared to a total of 59 shootings in 2019

Portland Protest Scene Relatively Calm After US Drawdown

Under the deal announced by Governor Kate Brown, the federal agents will withdraw in phases.

Portland Approves $114 M Relief Budget with Focus on Communities of Color

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted no, arguing for better houseless resources.

NEWS BRIEFS

House Approves Legislation to Stop Trump Attack on Fair Housing

Ocasio-Cortez, Blumenauer amendment would block rollback of anti-discrimination rule ...

Louis Mair Named as New Principal at Harriet Tubman Middle School

Louis comes to Harriet Tubman from Georgia, where he was a leader in building an inclusive and supportive learning community. ...

Portland City Council OKs Independent Police Oversight Board

The measure advanced by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty would set up a commission of undetermined size ...

TODAY: Blumenauer holds forum with Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

The forum can be viewed on Youtube and takes place today at 4:00 PM PDT. ...

State Rep. Will Dismukes Called Upon to Take Accountability and Reconcile with Alabama History

The Republican Alabama state representative gave the invocation at an annual birthday celebration for a Confederate general and leader...

Boat passenger missing after mishap on Columbia River

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man is missing after a boat he was in took a sharp turn and ejected two people into the Columbia River near the north end of Broughton Beach Park Sunday afternoon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports emergency responders from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office...

Body of climber who died on Mount Jefferson recovered

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The body of a Kennewick, Washington, climber who died in a fall from Mount Jefferson in central Oregon has been recovered.The Tri-City Herald reports David Freepons, 68, was climbing July 25 with a group at the mountain that is about 50 miles from Bend, Ore., when he...

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

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. ...

Loretta Smith—Vote Yes

The Skanner News endorses Loretta Smith for City Commissioner, Position 2 ...

Essay on War Against Portlanders Who Support Black Lives Matter

The author questions how people can see only the cops' side when their criminality and lawlessness against peaceful protest is fueling the rage on the streets. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'If not now, when?': Black women seize political spotlight

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — The little girl ran up to her, wide-eyed and giddy.“Are you Charisse Davis?” the fourth grader asked. Davis was stunned. A former kindergarten teacher and librarian, she was more accustomed to shuttling her two sons to basketball practice than being seen as...

China accuses US of harassing Chinese students, researchers

BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday accused the United States of “monitoring, harassing and willfully detaining” Chinese students and researchers in the U.S. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s comments follow the denial of a bail request in California for a...

AP VoteCast: How Black women shape Democratic politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black women are often called the backbone of the Democratic Party — reliable and loyal voters whose support can make or break a candidate.In 2018, they were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, according...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Rebuilding Paradise' looks at emotional toll of deadly fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Almost two years since a wildfire swept through his mountain town and virtually wiped it out, Steve “Woody” Culleton got to put the final touches on his new home.Two redwood trees were planted in the ground, a new lawn and stone patio transformed the once...

Wilford Brimley, 'Cocoon' and 'Natural' actor, dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from movie stunt rider to an indelible character actor who brought gruff charm, and sometimes menace, to a range of films that included “Cocoon,” “The Natural” and “The Firm,” has died. He was...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 9-15

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Aug. 9-15.Aug. 9: Actor Cynthia Harris (“Mad About You,” “L.A. Law”) is 86. Jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette is 78. Comedian David Steinberg is 78. Actor Sam Elliott is 76. Singer Barbara Mason is 73. Actor Melanie Griffith is 63. Actor...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

As US milk sales rise amid pandemic, "Got milk?" ads return

The dairy industry has a familiar question for you: “Got milk?”Six years after the popular tagline...

John Hume, who worked to end N. Ireland violence, dies at 83

LONDON (AP) — John Hume, the visionary politician who won a Nobel Peace Prize for fashioning the agreement...

Retail rout gains pace, Lord & Taylor seeks bankruptcy

NEW YORK (AP) — Lord & Taylor, America's oldest retailer, is seeking bankruptcy protection, as is the...

Gold in secret vault is traced to Hugo Chávez's former nurse

MIAMI (AP) — It was 2014 and Venezuela's former treasurer Claudia Díaz was looking for a safe haven to...

Rajapaksa brothers to get strong support in Sri Lanka polls

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s powerful, popular Rajapaksa brothers are likely to get strong...

Isaias near hurricane strength as it crawls toward Carolinas

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Isaias was forecast to become a hurricane Monday as it neared landfall in the...

ODOT I-205 toll
McMenamins
Kimberly Dozier AP Intelligence Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head.

That's how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida's latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan - roughly four months after Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden there.

In an Associated Press interview, Brennan said the death of Atiyah Abd al-Rahman in Pakistan's tribal areas last week was a "huge blow" to the group, damaging the network and keeping al-Qaida's leadership too busy trying to hide to plot new attacks. Al-Rahman reportedly was hit by a CIA drone strike.

In a wide-ranging interview, Brennan credited aggressive U.S. action against militants across the region as the main reason U.S. intelligence has detected no active terror plots before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The former CIA officer described that as proof that the White House has found the right formula to fight al-Qaida, by pairing U.S. intelligence and counterterrorist forces with host nations from Pakistan to Iraq to Yemen, fighting beside them or sometimes through them. The goal is to keep al-Qaida off balance, unable to replace the seasoned terrorists the U.S. campaign is taking out.

"If they're worrying about their security ... they're going to have less time to plot and plan," Brennan said of the militants. "They're going to be constantly looking over their shoulder or up in the air or wherever, and it really has disrupted their operational cadence and ability to carry out attacks."

He pointed to the killing of Al-Rahman as an example of how U.S. pressure is degrading the network.

"There's no longer a management grooming program there. They don't stay in place long enough," Brennan said.

U.S. officials believe al-Rahman is dead after intercepting communications between militant groups in Pakistan's tribal areas reporting to each other that he'd been killed, according to a U.S. official speaking anonymously to discuss matters of intelligence.

Al-Rahman had barely assumed a leadership position since bin Laden's death pushed his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, into the top spot. Brennan described al-Rahman as a "workaholic" and an "operational mastermind" who kept al-Qaida's nodes from Yemen to Europe connected.

"Taking him out of commission is huge," Brennan said. "There's not another bin Laden out there. I don't know if there's another Atiyah Abd al-Rahman out there."

Brennan said the key to keeping another al-Rahman from rising is to keep constant pressure on all locations where al-Qaida operates, working through host countries to target operatives who "are flowing sometimes back and forth" among Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and other parts of Africa.

Brennan brushed off some of the major crises in those relationships of late, from Pakistan's strident objections to drone strikes as a continued affront to its sovereignty in the wake of the bin Laden raid, to the revolts across the Mideast that swept from power U.S. counterterror allies in places like Egypt.

He said the relationship with Pakistan is improving.

And he described the Arab revolts as a "speed bump" that only temporarily disrupted cooperation. He said U.S. contacts in Egypt have been able to recover quickly following longtime leader Hosni Mubarak's ouster earlier this year. The counterterrorism relationship with Tunisia, where the so-called Arab Spring movement began, also remains strong, he added.

Brennan said the uprising in Yemen, however, had kept Yemeni forces engaged in a fight for political survival, and had slowed down the fight against arguably the most dangerous bin Laden affiliate, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. AQAP, as the affiliate is known, has worked with the rebel tribes to grab large swaths of territory in the south.

The unrest has forced the U.S. to draw down the hundred-plus military and intelligence personnel it had working with Yemeni counterterrorism forces. Those Yemeni forces, led by ailing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's sons, have been reluctant to leave the capital unguarded, even when a brigade of conventional Yemeni troops became trapped by al-Qaida in the Abyan region.

U.S. forces had to air-drop food and water to the embattled unit, which was threatening to surrender. Brennan said the U.S. has since persuaded the Yemenis to send enough local troops their way to free them, and he has urged the country's vice president to send more troops into the fight.

"This political tumult is ... leading them to be focused on their positioning for internal political purposes as opposed to doing all they can against AQAP," he said.

Saleh is still recovering in Saudi Arabia, with some 70 percent of his body burned and a lung pierced from an assassination attempt in June. The would-be killers planted explosives inside the palace mosque, which hit Saleh as he attended Friday prayers.

While Brennan says Saudi Arabia would allow Saleh to return from his temporary medical exile, he repeated the White House's earlier calls for Saleh to stay away and let new elections take place.

"I've told him that I do not believe it's in his interests, Yemen's interests or our interests ... to go back to Yemen," Brennan said.

He called Yemen a "tinderbox" that could erupt into a civil war that al-Qaida would take advantage of.

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Associated Press writers Erica Werner, Darlene Superville and Julie Pace contributed to this report.

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