07-02-2020  11:34 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Oregon trooper on leave after shop says he didn't wear mask

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State Trooper has been put on paid administrative leave after a coffee shop worker complained that he didn’t wear a mask when entering the establishment as required under a statewide order by the governor designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.The...

Police union contract extended, bargaining to continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend bargaining over the next Portland Police Association contract for a year to increase public involvement in the negotiations.Negotiations over the next contract with the union that represents rank-and-file...

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...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — As protests over the death of George Floyd grew in Iowa’s second largest city, activists demanded the firing of a white officer who shot and paralyzed an unarmed Black man during a 2016 traffic stop.On June 18, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman seemed to...

3 cities pilot South Africa-style truth, reconciliation push

BOSTON (AP) — District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco are teaming up on a pilot effort patterned after South Africa's post-apartheid truth and reconciliation commission to confront racism in the criminal justice system.Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, Philadelphia DA...

Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a little over a month ago, the area around Richmond's iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was as quiet and sedate as the statue itself. But since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the area has been transformed into a bustling hub...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

NEW YORK (AP) — An extraordinary stretch of news with the coronavirus pandemic and racial reckoning triggered by George Floyd's death has led CNN to its biggest audience for any three-month period in the network's 40-year history.Fox News Channel and MSNBC also had record-setting quarters...

Actor says 'Justice League' director Whedon was 'abusive'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Ray Fisher says director Joss Whedon's behavior was “abusive” on the set of the 2017 film “Justice League.”“Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and...

Review: Joe Ely serves up songs of honesty, hope and healing

Joe Ely, "Love In the Midst of Mayhem” (Rack 'Em Records)Joe Ely's leftovers are keepers, as “Love In the Midst of Mayhem” shows. Idled by the coronavirus — the “pandamnit,” as Ely calls it — the West Texas troubadour began digging through his...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Coronavirus concerns freeze Vanilla Ice show

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed a Texas concert that drew fierce criticism due...

Study: World's pile of electronic waste grows ever higher

BERLIN (AP) — The world's mountain of discarded flat-screen TVs, cellphones and other electronic goods grew...

Fish more vulnerable to warming water than first thought

Global warming looks like it will be a bigger problem for the world’s fish species than scientists first...

Landslide at Myanmar jade mine kills at least 162 people

HPAKANT, Myanmar (AP) — At least 162 people were killed Thursday in a landslide at a jade mine in northern...

More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia's unrest

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — More than 80 people have been killed in unrest in Ethiopia after a popular...

Finnish Air Force Command drops swastika logo as insignia

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's Air Force Command has discreetly dropped a swastika logo from its unit emblem...

McMenamins
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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