05-17-2022  12:35 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2022 Midterms: What to Watch as 5 States Hold Primaries

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is the last day for voters to return ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by election day. Ballots deposited in an official drop box must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

NEWS BRIEFS

2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank,...

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Attorney General Rosenblum Warns Against Price Gouging of Baby Formula

This declaration will allow the Oregon Attorney General to take action against any business, or online vendor, who upsells the price...

WA High Court: Drivers Can Get DUIs for Driving While High

A decision that upholds the state’s decade-old law regulating marijuana use behind the wheel of a car. ...

Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s five-term Republican attorney general has handled his duties in the deeply conservative state for 20 years with a strategy he describes as calling legal “balls and strikes.” He's facing two challengers who see a more activist role for the office. ...

Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Gov. Brad Little is fighting back a primary challenge on Tuesday from his lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, a Donald Trump-backed candidate who twice attempted a power grab last year when Little was out of state on business. The intraparty contest...

OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Zealand shooting survivor says violence achieved nothing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — If the Buffalo supermarket shooter had learned anything from the massacre in New Zealand that apparently inspired him, it should have been that the violence didn't achieve any of the gunman's aims, a survivor said Tuesday. Temel Atacocugu was shot nine...

'Like every other day:' 10 lives lost on a trip to the store

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — They were caregivers and protectors and helpers, running an errand or doing a favor or finishing out a shift, when their paths crossed with a young man driven by racism and hatred and inane theories. In a flash, the ordinariness of their day was broken at Tops...

Tensions over racial justice shadow Louisville mayor's race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — On Valentine's Day, a man appeared in the doorway of a Louisville campaign office and fired shots at mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg. He wasn't hit — a bullet grazed his sweater — but some of the tensions still lingering over this city flared once again. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brandi Carlile, Yola, Allison Russell lead Americana noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell and Yola are the leading nominees for the 2022 Americana Honors and Awards, with each one up for album of the year, artist of the year and song of the year. The nominees were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the...

Review: 'Team America' plumbs enduring impact of 4 generals

“Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged” by Robert L. O’Connell (Harper) Insightful and informative, military historian Robert L. O’Connell’s latest book carries a title that might evoke in today’s readers a group of superheroes...

Yiyun Li wins PEN/Malamud Award for short stories

NEW YORK (AP) — Author Yiyun Li has received one of the top honors for short story writers, the PEN/Malamud Award for “exceptional achievement.” Li, 49, has published the collections “Gold Boy” and “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” along with five novels and two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

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North Korea reports another fever surge amid COVID-19 crisis

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Conspiracy theorists flock to bird flu, spreading falsehoods

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Passenger, cargo trains collide in Spain; 1 killed, 85 hurt

MADRID (AP) — A cargo train smashed into a rush-hour passenger train in Catalonia on Monday, killing an engineer...

Uyghur county in China has highest prison rate in the world

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison...

Turkey objects as Sweden, Finland seek NATO membership

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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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