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The Skanner Black History Month
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

NEWS BRIEFS

DOJ to Investigate Wrongful Arrest of Black Man in Oregon

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Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

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A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

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Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

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Fatal Portland light-rail stabbings case goes to jury

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Concordia University in Missouri to own Boise law school

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota has agreed to become the new “parent institution” for Concordia Law in Boise, law school officials announced Thursday. The law school has been looking for a new owner since its current parent parent institution,...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

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Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

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Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

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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

Israel calls on Belgium to scrap parade over anti-Semitism

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German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 people

HANAU, Germany (AP) — A 43-year-old German who posted a rant calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish citizens, in an attack on a hookah bar and other...

Syracuse University lifts suspensions of racism protesters

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud has lifted the suspensions of 30 student protesters to allow the university to "step back from the edge” and address reports of racist graffiti and other bias-related incidents on campus, he told the university's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Success of 'To All the Boys' puts stars on Hollywood's radar

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No conspiracy this time: Dan Brown writing children's book

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Review: A CGI canine yearns to be free in 'Call of the Wild'

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Computer scientist who pioneered 'copy' and 'paste' has died

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New Mexico sues Google over collection of children's data

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NFL Saints backed by church in effort to keep emails secret

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Amid protests, Portugal lawmakers vote to allow euthanasia

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Defense lawyers say they will seek French asylum for Assange

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Germany's immigrant community in Hanau reeling after attack

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Shannon Mccaffrey the Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain went on the offensive Tuesday against the only woman to publicly accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior, the latest in a series of claims that have threatened his White House ambitions.

"Who is Sharon Bialek?" Cain's advisers asked in a statement that outlines the Chicago-area woman's "long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances." Bialek on Monday accused Cain of behaving inappropriately when the two were alone more than a decade ago.

The statement from Cain's campaign included references to civil lawsuits in the Cook County Court system in Illinois allegedly relating to Bialek, and cited news reports of her involvement in a paternity case and a bankruptcy filing.

The statement, coming less than 24 hours after Bialek went public, presumably was an effort to make her appear less credible.

"In stark contrast to Mr. Cain's four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek has taken a far different path," the campaign said.

Cain has vowed to "set the record straight" at a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Phoenix.

"There is not an ounce of truth to all these allegations" and the graphic account from Bialek is "totally fabricated," the Georgia businessman told late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

Bialek stood by her accusation when questioned Tuesday morning in the wake of Cain's denial, saying in a nationally broadcast interview that she had "nothing to gain" by coming forward. She said "it's not about me. I'm not running for president."

With the controversy now stretching into its second week, Cain was reversing his position from just a few days ago when he told reporters he was done answering questions about the issue.

"I'm going to talk about it," Cain said, adding "we are taking this head on."

That was before Bialek went on national television Monday and put a name and a face to what had, until then, been at least three anonymous sexual harassment allegations against Cain. Bialek's accusations - that Cain groped her in a car after she asked for his help finding a job - spun his unorthodox campaign into an uncertain new territory.

An upstart in the presidential race, Cain shot to the top of public opinion polls and emerged, however temporarily, in surveys as the main conservative challenger to Mitt Romney. Tea party activists and conservatives unenthused with the former Massachusetts governor have flocked to Cain's tell-it-like-it-is style and self-styled outsider image in recent weeks.

There were, however, growing signs of unease in conservative circles as, one by one, a handful of women claimed Cain acted inappropriately toward them while the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

"He deserves a fair chance. But that doesn't mean he gets a pass. These are not anonymous allegations anymore unfortunately," said New Hampshire conservative activist Jennifer Horn, who last week had condemned media coverage of the allegations against Cain. "He does need to take another step and answer a few more questions."

"Oh," exclaimed South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly when told details from Bialek's news conference. He said character issues matter in a state where the last governor tearfully confessed an affair and the current governor faced unproven allegations from two men that she had affairs. "Our voters care about moral attitude," Connelly said. "Character does matter."

Still, Cain backers remained solidly behind the former pizza company executive. They pointed to the presence of Gloria Allred - a high-profile attorney with Democratic ties - alongside Bialek at Monday's news conference in New York as proof that the latest claim was a partisan smear.

"The fact that she's involved removes all credibility," Georgia Christian Coalition president Jerry Luquire said. "If he says he didn't do anything then I believe him."

Bialek said Tuesday she had no financial motivation to come forward, wasn't offered a job and wasn't being asked by Allred to pay a legal fee.

"I'm just doing this because it's the right thing to do," she said in one interview. Bialek said she waited so long to come forward because "I was embarrassed ... and I just kind of wanted it to go away."

Asked about Cain's characterization of her charges as a "total fabrication," Bialek stood her ground. "I wanted to give him a platform to come clean, to tell the truth," she said. "I was trying to be nice about it and it just didn't work."

Bialek is the fourth woman to say that Cain engaged in inappropriate behavior during his time at the helm of the restaurant group.

At least two women who worked there at the time filed sexual harassment complaints.

A third woman told The Associated Press last week that she considered filing a workplace complaint against Cain over what she deemed sexually suggestive remarks and gestures that included a private invitation to his corporate apartment. And a former pollster for the restaurant association has said he witnessed yet another episode involving a different woman.

Bialek said Monday that Cain, an acquaintance, made a sexual advance in mid-July 1997, when she had traveled to Washington to have dinner with him in hopes he could help her find work or get her job back at the restaurant association. She had been fired from a job in the group's education arm.

The two met in Washington, she said, and after dinner were in a car for what she thought was a ride to an office building.

"Instead of going into the offices he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt toward my genitals," she said. "He also pushed my head toward his crotch."

She said she asked Cain what he was doing and recalled he replied, "You said you want a job, right?"

None of Cain's other accusers has provided details as graphic as Bialek's account. But Joel Bennett, an attorney who represents one of them, said her details were "similar in nature" to what his client encountered.

In his only public appearance of the day, Cain told Kimmel during the late-night interview that he got angry and disgusted as he watched Bialek and Allred. He said his wife didn't watch it but that he called her immediately afterward.

Minutes after Bialek's news conference, the Cain camp flatly denied the charges.

"Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone," spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a statement. Aides insisted that the newest allegation changed nothing and said Cain would move forward with his plans to attend a private speech in Phoenix on Tuesday and a debate Wednesday night in Michigan.

"We are staying on message and talking about the issues," Gordon told The Associated Press.

As if to prove the point, the Cain campaign released a new web video - targeting voters in the lead-off caucus state of Iowa - highlighting what it says are excessive federal regulations on farmers that are driving up costs for consumers.

But, behind the scenes, the campaign appeared to hunker down in damage-control mode; voicemails for Gordon and campaign manager Mark Block were full by mid-afternoon. Later Monday, the campaign announced Cain's Phoenix news conference.

Aides made it clear he would fight the allegations, casting them as baseless and seeking to undermine the credibility of Bialek and her attorney.

"The questions the media should be asking are who's paying for Gloria Allred's fee, how did Ms. Bialek get introduced to Ms. Allred, and was she paid to come forward with these false accusations or was she promised employment?" a campaign statement said.

Allred has said Bialek approached her and that her client received no compensation for stepping forward.

Bialek appeared in interviews Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS' "The Early Show," NBC's "Today" show and CNN.

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Associated Press writers Steve Peoples in New Hampshire and Jim Davenport in South Carolina contributed to this report

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Follow Shannon McCaffrey at http://www.twitter.com/smccaffrey13

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