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NORTHWEST NEWS

'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

US Appeals Court Upholds Trump Rules Involving Abortions

The 7-4 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned decisions issued by judges in Washington, Oregon and California

Jeremy Christian Guilty of Killing 2 Who Tried to Stop His Slurs on Max

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States Step Up Funding for Planned Parenthood Clinics

A spokesman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon said the agency has been "working closely with state officials to create critical backstops and protect access to care for all Oregonians who need it, regardless of federal action on Title X"

NEWS BRIEFS

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

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New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

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

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Laugh Yourself Clean Recovery Comedy Show to be Held March 20 in Portland

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'No way out': Demographics drive GOP nosedive on West Coast

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Deputies cited for excessive speed in separate crashes

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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

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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!

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Louisiana governor: Judge should resign after racial slurs

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards called Wednesday on a Louisiana judge to step down after she admitted to using racial slurs in angry text messages. The Democratic governor said the “state deserves better.” Edwards said in a statement that District Judge Jessie...

Biden claims momentum as Sanders marches past debate fray

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Eyeing a South Carolina victory to rescue his presidential ambitions, Joe Biden claimed one of the state's most coveted endorsements on Wednesday as Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders marched past the blistering assault from his rivals on the debate stage the...

The Latest: Sharpton sees socialism-civil rights parallel

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential primary contest (all times local):11 a.m.Rev. Al Sharpton is reminding black voters in South Carolina that civil rights leaders faced the same political flak for being alleged socialists that Bernie Sanders, a democratic...

ENTERTAINMENT

Next for Weinstein: Sentencing, appeal and another rape case

NEW YORK (AP) — A day after a jury branded Harvey Weinstein a convicted rapist, the former film producer remained at a New York City hospital on Tuesday, his new life as an inmate interrupted by concerns about high blood pressure and heart palpitations.Lawyers for the 67-year-old Weinstein...

Review: An unlikely friendship is at the heart of 'Burden'

It was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling to adapt the real-life events surrounding a museum in South Carolina that celebrated the Ku Klux Klan.The museum opened in the mid-1990s, prompting protests. One of the Klansmen eventually had a change of heart and hands the deed to the...

Jude Law among narrators of 'Beedle the Bard' audiobook

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Virus outbreak stalks markets as 2020 gains get wiped out

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Placido Domingo apology prompts new accuser to step forward

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5-time major champ Maria Sharapova retires from tennis at 32

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Putin: Russian opposition provoked summer police violence

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says the opposition provoked police violence during mass...

Ethiopia skips latest US talks with Egypt over dam dispute

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Egypt holds full-honors military funeral for Mubarak

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt held a full-honors military funeral Wednesday for the country's former autocratic...

McMenamins
Elizabeth A. Kennedy and Zeina Karam the Associated Press


Syria President Bashar Assad

BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say more than 250 Syrians have been killed so far this month as the political unrest escalates dramatically.

Less than two weeks in, November is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest months yet in Syria's 8-month-old uprising.

The Local Coordination Committees activist network says 250 Syrians have been killed since the start of the month. Most of the dead are civilians, and about 20 are soldiers.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented more than 200 civilian deaths. But the observatory has a far higher toll for soldiers, saying more than 100 were killed.

The differing death tolls could not be immediately reconciled. But the startling figures point to the spike in violence recently.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian security forces fired on anti-government protests Friday and conducted sweeping raids during violence that killed at least 13 people, activists said.

The bloodshed came as Human Rights Watch accused the regime of crimes against humanity.

Mass protests after Friday prayers, followed by swift and deadly crackdowns by security forces, have become a weekly cycle throughout Syria's 8-month-old uprising. The U.N. estimates some 3,500 people have been killed in the crackdown since the uprising began in mid-March.

But in recent weeks, the violence has spiked dramatically amid increasing signs that some protesters are taking up arms to protect themselves. There have also been reports of intense battles between soldiers and army defectors, setting the stage for even more bloodshed.

The unrest in Syria could balloon into a regional disaster. Damascus' web of allegiances extends to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran's Shiite theocracy. And although Syria sees Israel as its enemy, the countries have held up a fragile truce for years.

On Friday, Human Rights Watch said Syrian forces have tortured and killed civilians in the rebellious province of Homs in an assault that indicates crimes against humanity. The group urged the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership during an emergency meeting Saturday.

The Arab League will meet at its headquarters in Cairo to discuss the regime's failure to abide by its agreement to stop the violence. Damascus agreed to the Arab League-brokered plan last week, but the violence only accelerated.

Homs, Syria's third-largest city in a province of the same name, has emerged as the epicenter of the uprising.

"Homs is a microcosm of the Syrian government's brutality," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The Arab League needs to tell President (Bashar) Assad that violating their agreement has consequences, and that it now supports (U.N.) Security Council action to end the carnage."

In a 63-page report released Friday, Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 587 civilians in Homs from mid-April to the end of August - the highest number for any single province.

In the report, which focuses on that period, the rights group said former detainees reported torture, including security forces' use of heated metal rods, electric shocks and stress positions. Witnesses also reported large-scale military operations in which security forces used heavy machine guns, including anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles.

The group also acknowledged that some protesters and army defectors took up arms to protect themselves - a development that some fear plays directly into the regime's hands by giving it an excuse to use extreme violence against a mostly peaceful movement.

"Violence by protesters or defectors deserves further investigation," the report said. "However, these incidents by no means justify the disproportionate and systematic use of lethal force against demonstrators, which clearly exceeded any justifiable response to any threat presented by overwhelmingly unarmed crowds."

Although the crackdown has led to broad international isolation, Assad appears to have a firm grip on power. Sanctions are chipping away at the regime, but the economy has not collapsed. There have been defections from the army, but most appear to be low-level conscripts.

The government has largely sealed off the country from foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting, making it difficult to confirm events on the ground. Part of the Arab League plan, accepted by Syria, was to allow reporters and observers into the country.

In the absence of firsthand reporting, key sources of information are amateur videos posted online and details gathered by witnesses and activist groups.

On Friday, the country's two main activist groups reported at least 10 deaths in Homs and three others in Daraa in the south and elsewhere. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordinating Committees, an activist coalition, reported protests in the Damascus suburbs, Daraa and Idlib near the Turkish border.

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