02-27-2020  12:42 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

After passing the House, the bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law ...

Missing fisherman found dead in Newport Bay

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — A body found in Newport Bay has been identified as that of a fisherman who has been missing for nearly three weeks, the Newport Police Department said Thursday.Norman Grant was reported missing on Feb. 9 and hadn't been seen since the evening of Feb. 8, Chief Jason...

Suburban Seattle high school closed over new virus concerns

BOTHELL, Wash. (AP) — A suburban Seattle high school was closed Thursday after a staffer's family member was placed in quarantine for showing symptoms of possibly contracting the new virus that started in China - an action health officials say is unnecessary.Bothell High school, bout 20...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top nominee Polanski to skip French Oscars after rape claim

PARIS (AP) — Filmmaker Roman Polanski is skipping the awards ceremony for France's equivalent of the Oscars — where his latest movie leads this year's nominations — because of protests prompted by a new rape accusation against him.Women's rights activists have called for a...

MLB appoints 1st black umpire crew chief

NEW YORK (AP) — Kerwin Danley became the first African American umpire crew chief in Major League Baseball when a series of promotions, additions and retirements were announced Thursday.The moves included Alfonso Marquez being elevated to the first Hispanic crew chief in MLB history born...

Kosovo offers to ease tariff on neighboring Serbia's goods

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's new prime minister said Thursday his government will partially lift a 100% tariff imposed on Serbian goods, in a goodwill move aimed to help restart suspended talks with Serbia on normalizing relations.Albin Kurti said the measure would come into effect from...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kids shine as Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' goes big

NEW YORK (AP) — The cast of “To Kill a Mockingbird” ditched its somber Broadway home Wednesday for the cavernous Madison Square Garden, performing the play for 18,000 school kids in an electric one-time-only performance that one actor called “primal.”It marks the...

Higdon opera for Philadelphia to have 3 different endings

Jennifer Higdon has been commissioned by Opera Philadelphia to compose "Woman with Eyes Closed," which will open the company's O20 Festival on Sept. 17 and in a novel twist will feature three different endings.Higdon, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a three-time Grammy Award winner,...

A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nazi cautionary dramas wade into political, factual disputes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood mustered its creative forces in the 1940s when Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany...

About 40% of US adults are obese, government survey finds

NEW YORK (AP) — About 4 in 10 American adults are obese, and nearly 1 in 10 is severely so, government...

Former Michigan wrestlers urge more victims to 'speak up'

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The whistleblower whose letter to University of Michigan athletic director Warde...

Putin rejected offer to use body doubles during Chechen war

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had rejected an offer to use body doubles for...

Syrian opposition fighters retake key town, cut highway

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters retook a strategic northwestern town from government...

3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — African leaders have decided to work on deploying 3,000 troops to West...

McMenamins
Sinan Salaheddin the Associated Press

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Muslims from across the world descended on this holy city ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage, many of them with prayers for a peaceful resolution to the wave of uprisings roiling the Arab world.

Some 2.5 million people are expected to take part in the five-day event that starts Saturday, Saudi authorities said. The pilgrimage focuses on Mecca, Islam's holiest site and the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.

This year's hajj takes place amid an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests in the Arab world that has toppled autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Uprisings have also shaken regimes in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.

While hajj is a time to seek forgiveness for one's sins and meditate on the faith, the unrest across the region remained at the forefront of the minds of many pilgrims.

Adil Mohammed al-Saidi, who was making the pilgrimage from neighboring Yemen, said he hopes for a swift resolution to his country's 8-month uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled the impoverished nation for more than 30 years.

"The situation in Yemen is tragic and I pray to God to end this crisis very soon," said al-Saidi, 36, who has taken part in anti-government protests. "I hope that President Ali Abdullah Saleh, his forces and supporters put an end to this situation."

One of the bloodiest government crackdowns against protesters has been in Syria, where the U.N. says some 3,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in mid-March.

Khalaf Jumaa al-Hamidi, a 50-year-old father of five from Aleppo, Syria, said he has asked for peace in his homeland. "We pray to God that security be revealed in our country and other Islamic countries," he said.

While the uprisings in Yemen and Syria are still going strong, the civil war in Libya ended late last month with the capture and death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Youssef Issa Askar, 65, from Nalut, Libya, hailed the end of the Gadhafi regime and urged patience as the country's new rulers try to create a state out of the rubble of Gadhafi's rule.

"We lived 40 years of oppression, slavery and injustice," he said outside Mecca's Grand Mosque, with his identification card bearing the red, green and black flag of the revolution. "I'd like to address the Libyan people who were patient all these 40 years and tell them to be patient one or two more years so that the security be maintained and the situation be better."

Hajj is the oldest and most sacred ritual of Islam that every able-bodied Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform once in a lifetime. The pious journey brings together the many nations that make up the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide.

The pilgrimage is packed with symbolism and ritual aimed at cleansing the soul of sin and winning absolution by tracing the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammed and Abraham, whom Muslims view as a forefather of Islam.

It culminates when the pilgrims gather on Mount Arafat where the Prophet Mohammed is said to have given his last sermon 14 centuries ago. During the ritual Muslims believe God will grant whatever prayers they make.

Pilgrims then cast pebbles at three pillars that represent Satan in a symbolic rejection of temptation, a day that also marks the start of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice, when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son.

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