05-29-2020  2:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Agencies Investigate COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Townsend Farms Sites

OHA today named the business responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple locations

Oregon's Top Courts Begin Reversing Nonunanimous Convictions

These are the first of hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of cases that are being scrutinized

Washington Issues New Guidelines for Religious Services

Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the reopening plan. King County, which includes Seattle, is among the 15 counties still in Phase 1.

Multnomah County Weighs Impact to Communities of Color in Decision to Re-Open

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Employers must provide agricultural workers with face masks, more hand-washing stations and more frequently disinfect work surfaces under new coronavirus rules established Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.Also Thursday, Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed an...

1 dead in helicopter crash near Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A person was killed in a helicopter crash near Roseburg. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on private property south of the Green district of Roseburg, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. Local fire, EMS and police agencies responded and are...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Columbus protest over George Floyd's death turns violent

COLUMBUS (AP) — Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, leaving smashed storefront windows along downtown streets around the statehouse.The crowd of around 400 people...

Trump calls Floyd death 'shocking,' calls protesters 'thugs'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and vowed that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump tweeted after protesters outraged by the death of a black man in police custody torched a police station....

George Floyd protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who...

ENTERTAINMENT

Winfrey, Pitt part of Grammys special for essential workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammys is putting together an event featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr. to honor essential workers across America.The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards annually, announced Thursday that the two-hour special,...

In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert

NEW YORK (AP) — When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in...

Fox's Sean Hannity emerges as critic of Minneapolis police

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity has emerged as an unexpected critic of the Minneapolis police for their actions in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.Hannity spent more than 15 minutes on his Fox show Wednesday replaying video of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hello and welcome: Robot waiters to the rescue amid virus

RENESSE, Netherlands (AP) — You can always count on a robot for perfect timing. When Shaosong Hu saw...

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

7 shot at Louisville protest over fatal police shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — At least seven people were shot in Louisville as protesters turned out to demand...

Veterans help UK children keep calm, cope with virus stress

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Hula hoops, camouflage mats and tires aren't typical supplies needed during the...

AP PHOTOS: Italians say 'ciao' to unkempt lockdown locks

ROME (AP) — Two months of lockdown have left style-conscious Italians looking less well-groomed than usual....

Stranded in paradise: Hundreds of sailors stuck in Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For as long as she can remember, 28-year-old Kristen Pankratz has shared in...

McMenamins
Darlene Superville the Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- President Barack Obama signed into law Friday a major overhaul of the nation's patent system, a measure designed to ease the way for inventors to bring their products to market. "We can't afford to drag our feet any longer," the president said.

Passed in a rare display of congressional bipartisanship, the America Invents Act is the first significant change in patent law since 1952. It has been hailed as a milestone that would spur innovation and create jobs.

The bill is meant to ensure that the patent office, now facing a backlog of 1.2 million pending patents, has the money to expedite the application process. It now takes an average of three years to get a patent approved. More than 700,000 applications have yet to be reviewed.

"Somewhere in that stack of applications could be the next technological breakthrough, the next miracle drug," Obama said. "We should be making it easier and faster to turn new ideas into jobs."

The president signed the bill after touring Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, where he examined students' work, including a wheelchair that responds to brain waves. Obama at one point had to step aside as he admired the technological displays. "I don't want to get run over by a robot," he said.

The law aims to streamline the patent process and reduce costly legal battles. It was backed companies including Google and Apple as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Small-scale inventors are divided on the legislation, with some arguing that it gives an advantage to big corporations.

Obama was joined at the signing ceremony by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the two main sponsors of the legislation.

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