01-29-2023  12:49 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Exhibit "Flowers for Elders" Celebrates Living Portland Artists

Free, public, multimedia exhibit runs through Feb. 25 in SE Portland ...

The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual MLK Breakfast to Air on TV

The sold-out event will air on 5 upcoming dates and times on Comcast Xfinity channels at the start of Black History Month. ...

Fully clothed bathing burglar found in Seattle bathroom

SEATTLE (AP) — A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. A woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the...

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood,...

Krikke scores 30, leads Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Ben Krikke scored 30 points to lead Valparaiso over Evansville 81-69 on Saturday. Krikke added nine rebounds for the Beacons (10-13, 4-8 Missouri Valley Conference). Kobe King added 13 points and Connor Barrett scored nine. Gage Bobe finished...

Russell leads SE Missouri State over Eastern Illinois 79-68

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Phillip Russell scored 19 points and Southeast Missouri State beat Eastern Illinois 79-68 on Saturday. Russell added six assists for the Redhawks (12-11, 7-3 Ohio Valley Conference). Adam Larson and Israel Barnes scored 11 points apiece. Larson blocked three...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

State of emergency declared over Atlanta 'Cop City' protest

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Thursday, giving him the option of calling in the Georgia National Guard in response to a violent protest in downtown Atlanta over the killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. ...

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s...

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since '97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Joe Henry returns with varied 'kind-word blues' set

“All the Eye Can See,” Joe Henry (earMUSIC) “There goes the sun,” Joe Henry sings, sounding nothing like George Harrison as he contemplates our long, cold, lonely winter. “All the Eye Can See” is the most diverse album of Henry’s career, surrounding his...

Smokey Robinson, 'King of Motown,' to release new solo album

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been nearly a decade since Smokey Robinson's last album, but new music from the King of Motown is on the horizon. Robinson will release the nine-track album “Gasms” on April 28, the music legend behind hits like “My Girl” and “The Way You Do the Things...

Jesmyn Ward novel 'Let Us Descend' to be published Oct. 3

NEW YORK (AP) — The next novel by Jesmyn Ward, the two-time National Book Award winner, is the story of an enslaved teenage girl that the publisher is calling a blend of magical realism, historical narrative and Dante's “Inferno.” Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump opens 2024 run, says he's 'more committed' than ever

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops Saturday in...

Pence: 'Mistakes were made' in classified records handling

MIAMI (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he takes “full responsibility” after...

Japan firm opens whale meat vending machines to push sales

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid...

Brutality of Russia's Wagner gives it lead in Ukraine war

Fierce battles in eastern Ukraine have thrown a new spotlight on Russia's Wagner Group, a private military company...

Challenge for Tunisian democracy: Getting voters to show up

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia was once the Arab world’s hope for a new era of democracy. Now it’s in the...

Emhoff says somber Auschwitz visit key to antisemitism work

KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, said he was deeply moved by...

Manuel Valdes the Associated Press

TOLUCA, Mexico (AP) -- For years, three tiny squirrel monkeys led a life of luxury on a 16-acre ranch surrounded by extravagant gardens and barns built for purebred horses.

More than 200 animals, ranging from mules to peacocks and ostriches lived on the ranch in central Mexico and hundreds more stayed on two related properties, many in opulent enclosures. Also kept on the grounds were less furry fare: AK-47 assault rifles, Berrettas, hundreds of other weapons and cocaine.

The ranch's owner was Jesus "The King" Zambada, a leader of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. He had developed a love for exotic species shared with other kingpins. Just two days before Zambada's arrest, police confiscated two tigers and two lions from a drug gang hideout on the forested outskirts of Mexico City.

As federal authorities capture a growing number of gang leaders, many of their pets are being driven from their gilded cages into more modest housing in the country's zoos.

That's proved overwhelming for some institutions, which are struggling to cope with the influx. But it's also giving Mexican animal lovers a bounty of new creatures to admire.

Like Zambada, who was apprehended in October 2008, the squirrel monkeys sit in state custody, chirping away at gawking children at the Zacango Zoo, about an hour outside Mexico City.

Their previous home "was a very big enclosure made of good quality material," said Manlio Nucamendi, the zoo's coordinator. "But they didn't have the right diet and medical attention."

Mexican forces have discovered drug cartel private zoos that housed tigers, panthers and lions among other animals of exotic breeds, though the federal Attorney General's Office, which supervises all seizures from drug gangs, couldn't provide an exact count of the number of animals seized.

Whatever the number, officials have been challenged to house the armies of confiscated drug cartel animals.

"Within the limited resources of the Mexican government, there are a lot of efforts to ensure the welfare of these animals," said Adrian Reuter Cortes of the conservation group the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico. "But even the zoos have limits, and can't welcome all the animals."

The government usually calls zoos for help because they have the expertise, equipment and vehicles to transport large animals, said Frank Carlos Camacho, executive director of the wild animal park Africam Safari in the central Mexico city of Puebla and president of the national association of zoos.

"There's some risk involved in handling animals like big cats, bears and large herbivores," Camacho said.

He said he has heard of drug cartel zoos that included giraffes, buffalos and camels.

As the cinematic gangster film "Scarface" portrayed in 1983, private zoos have long been considered status symbols for drug kingpins eager to show off their wealth.

Descendants of Colombian drug boss Pablo Escobar's hippopotamuses still roam his private zoo in Colombia, which became state property after his killing and is now a tourist attraction. Three of the beasts escaped and lived in the wild for two years.

Some kingpins also use the beasts for more nefarious purposes.

Leaders of the ruthless Mexican Zetas cartel have been rumored to feed victims to lions and tigers kept in their properties, local media have reported.

Animals are also used in the drug trade as smugglers. Over the past couple of years, traffickers have tried to ship drugs inside frozen, cocaine-stuffed sharks, snakes fed with bags of cocaine and bags filled with transparent liquid cocaine inside containers shipping tropical fish, Reuter Cortes said.

As with drugs, Mexico is a main corridor for the illegal trafficking of animals to the United States. The country also has a healthy domestic demand for animals, with big cats found in some urban markets.

In July, Mexican authorities seized more than 5,500 illegal animals and plants during a nationwide three-day operation.

Not all exotic animals, however, are as lucky as Zambada's monkeys. Many animals found in drug cartel captivity or in private homes suffer from malnutrition or have been de-clawed or de-fanged, said Nucamendi.

"It's a symbol of status and power," he said. "It's a bizarre psychology for the people that keep these animals."

As he showed off the zoo's grounds on a recent afternoon, Nucamendi jumped over a barrier and knelt to greet Diego, a 2-year-old jaguar, who responded by pressing his face against the chain-link fence. Diego's former owners in Tijuana used to charge for pictures with him, Nucamendi said.

Elsewhere in the zoo was a 3-decade-old elephant seized from a circus because his owners didn't have the proper permits. Workers joke that the elephant is an illegal immigrant because he was sneaked from the U.S. to Mexico.

An 8-month-old male lion cub, also called Diego, arrived malnourished from private owners. Now fatter, Diego plays with two other lion cubs also on exhibit.

As for the squirrel monkeys, they'll be moved to a bigger exhibit being planned in a remodeling of the zoo.

Although some of the confiscated animals had finer housing before, their new homes offer genuine care from the people watching them.

"It's more important for us to guarantee the welfare of these animals than the criminal investigations," Nucamendi said. "That's our duty. We offer our bodies and souls for the welfare of these animals."

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.