09-16-2019  3:09 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4


Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

‘It’s OK to Struggle’

Two families break the silence on suicide and mental health

If You Need Help

Resources for those struggling with suicidal thoughts, or seeking support after a loss

New Cleveland High Principal Looks Ahead

Leo Lawyer replaces Ayesha Freeman, who resigned last year after a vote of no-confidence from staff


YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Filmmaker Lynne Siefert Wins 2019 Betty Bowen Award

Anthony White and Andrea Joyce Heimer also recognized ...

Doctors Without Borders Brings Traveling Speaker Series to Portland, OR

MSF aid worker Karen Stewart will talk about her experiences working around the globe ...

Mother of teen who died on Boy Scouts trip sues for M

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mother of a Corvallis teen who died on a camping trip has sued Boy Scouts of America for million.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed earlier this month in Lane County Circuit Court, Nolan Henderson died in October...

Oregon bans trapping of rare, cat-like Humboldt marten

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A cat-like creature in Oregon's coastal forests that's so rare it was once thought to be extinct can no longer be hunted, trapped or collected as roadkill under new rules that could go into effect as soon as next week, officials said Monday.The Oregon Fish and Wildlife...

Missouri scores in all phases in 50-0 victory over SEMO

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After a humbling performance in the season opener, Missouri's defense has taken out its frustration on two straight opponents, including a 50-0 shutout of Southeast Missouri on Saturday night.The Tigers (2-1) held the Redhawks (1-2) to 94 total yards."Our defense played...

Missouri aims for complete game as SEMO rolls into town

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Southeast Missouri State coach Tom Matukewicz probably cringed just a little bit when he watched film of Missouri's first-half destruction of rebuilding West Virginia last week.Then he probably cringed a little more when he watched the second half.The Tigers bounced back...


Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

Why Lady Liberty Weeps

The original concept was to have Lady Liberty holding a broken shackle and chain in her left hand, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. ...


'SNL' rescinds cast invitation to Gillis over YouTube video

NEW YORK (AP) — "Saturday Night Live" has rescinded its invitation to a cast member who posted a video last year in which he used a racial slur for Chinese people and derided Asians trying to learn English.A show representative said Monday that the language Shane Gillis used was "offensive,...

Correction: Black 14 Reunion story

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — In a story Sept. 13 about the University of Wyoming honoring black athletes kicked off the football team, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Wyoming won the Sugar Bowl the year before the 1969 season. Wyoming lost the Sugar Bowl after the 1967 season in a...

Video deleted from Minnesota first lady's tense policy forum

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A deleted video from a forum that turned tense over racial issues demonstrates some of the political risks in Minnesota first lady Gwen Walz's push for criminal justice reform.Walz and staffers in the governor's office wanted to promote an upcoming PBS documentary...


Morgan Spurlock takes a second bite of the fast food world

NEW YORK (AP) — Last time out, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate only fast food for a month. This time, he's the one dishing out the fried stuff.Spurlock has gone from being an avid Big Mac consumer in "Super Size Me" to serving his own chicken sandwiches in "Super Size Me 2: Holy...

Actress Jessica Hecht's Emmy night comes down to the dress

NEW YORK (AP) — Jessica Hecht, the "Special" actress, inherited at least a couple of things from her mother: "I'm lucky to be sample size. My mother gave me many gifts and this was a very specific one."That, she laughed, and "a lot of neurosis."Being a size 2 came in handy as Hecht was...

Times faces questions all around for Kavanaugh story

NEW YORK (AP) — Between an offensive tweet and a significant revision, the New York Times' handling of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attracted almost as much attention as the accusation itself.The story also gave President Donald Trump and...


Propane blast kills firefighter, injures his brother, others

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — A fierce propane explosion leveled a newly constructed building after fire crews...

Noise but no breakthrough as Johnson, Juncker talk Brexit

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Boris Johnson was booed by protesters and berated by Luxembourg's leader on a visit to...

Many US women say 1st sexual experience was forced in teens

CHICAGO (AP) — The first sexual experience for 1 in 16 U.S. women was forced or coerced intercourse in...

US urges transparency in Ebola-like death in Tanzania

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Tanzanian authorities must show transparency in the case of a patient who recently...

Big global climate protests on Friday get union support

BERLIN (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join worldwide demonstrations this week ahead...

Israel faces potential deadlock in a closely contested vote

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is headed toward an unprecedented repeat election on Tuesday with no guarantee that...

Amy Forliti the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Tens of thousands of Somalis living in Minnesota might be forced to find another way to send money to relatives in their homeland after a bank that handles the majority of the community's wire transfers said it was halting the service amid fears some funds could go to terrorists.

Sunrise Community Banks plans to close its accounts with several Somali money transfer businesses after determining it could be at risk of violating government rules intended to clamp down on terror financing. Without Sunrise, many money transfer businesses known as hawalas signaled they would close Friday or next week because they can't execute transactions on their own.

Somalia, a country racked by war and famine, has not had a functioning government since 1991 and has no banking system. The U.S. Treasury says it's estimated that Somalis in the U.S. send $100 million back home each year, and Minnesota represents the nation's largest Somali population.

"It will touch every community member," said Dahir Jibreel, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center. "Everybody is scared. Everybody is worried. And they don't know what will come."

Because there are no financial institutions in Somalia, members of the diaspora rely on sending money through hawalas, which require little paperwork and reach even the smallest towns. But the hawalas need banks to do the wiring for them, said Aden Hassan, a spokesman for the Somali American Moneywiring Association.

Many big banks stopped the transfers in recent years, saying they didn't have the manpower to keep up with the complex record-keeping required under rules designed to crack down on terror financing. Banks face huge penalties for violations, and many decided it wasn't worth the risk.

Sunrise Community Banks, a group made up of independently managed banks including Franklin Bank, stepped forward to fill the need.

Sunrise and its affiliates are focused on community development and have branches in the heart of Minnesota's thriving Somali community. Sunrise chief executive David Reiling said when the large banks stopped the wire transfers, the community approached Sunrise, which worked with law enforcement, to come up with a system to keep the lifeline to Somalia going.

But a recent terror financing trial in Minnesota led Sunrise to reconsider. In that case, two Minnesota women were convicted in October of conspiracy to provide support to al-Shabab. Evidence showed the women, who claimed they were sending money to charity, used the hawalas to send more than $8,600 to the terror group, which has ties to al-Qaida.

Reiling said the bank wasn't involved in that case but realized it was vulnerable. Reiling said his bank wants to continue wiring money to Somalia but has to find a way to remove the risk.

"The sheer magnitude of the human need, it weighs very heavily on my shoulders," Reiling said. "Yes, we have a banking issue and we all want to ensure that money does not get into the wrong hands. I think it's up to all of us to try to find a solution."

Reiling has met with representatives of Minnesota's congressional delegation to discuss remedies, including a possible waiver for banks.

It's difficult to quantify the scope of the situation. Hassan's association represents 14 money-wiring services with multiple locations inside and outside Minnesota. He said the majority of the hawalas in Minnesota have accounts with branches of Sunrise Community Banks, and risk closure. One or two smaller hawalas have arrangements with small banks, he said, but they also fear they could lose their accounts at any moment.

Hassan, who manages Kaah Express, a Minnesota-based hawala with locations in six other states, used his company to illustrate the problem. He said the hawalas already have trouble getting bank accounts in other states - and Ohio banks don't accept accounts with hawalas at all. All the Kaah Express locations nationwide route their money through Sunrise, in Minnesota. With no bank account, all of the branches are at risk of closure, he said.

Kulane Darman, president of Virginia-based Qaran Financial Express, said his company has offices in Minnesota and has long banked with Franklin Bank, one of Sunrise's affiliates. Darman said Franklin understands the group's business model better than any other bank, and while Darman recently started working with another bank, he isn't sure how long that relationship will last.

"This is a very serious matter," Darman said. "This may happen to me with my other banks the next day, or the day after."

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has written to the State and Treasury departments asking officials to tell Minnesotans about other options. Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said those agencies believe there are still ways for Minnesotans to use banks to send money to Somalia.

The State Department did not return a call seeking comment, and the U.S. Treasury said money transmitters have indicated they have accounts with other banks.

The hawala system has been under scrutiny since 2001. After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, several money transfer businesses were closed because of security concerns, though most eventually reopened. The hawalas also feared closure years later when the major banks got out of the business.

Hassan said his Somali clients are worried and asking a lot of questions about what will happen. Jibreel said the mosques plan to talk about the issue as well, to keep the community informed.

Jibreel said if he can no longer send money directly to Somalia, he'll have to find another way to get money to his mother, who lives in central Somalia. He said she is in her 80s and in frail health, and depends on the $100 or more he sends each month to help her pay for medical bills and food.

Jibreel said he could send money to a bank in Kenya or another country, ask a third person to pick it up, then have it re-sent from there to an agent in his mother's small town. The process will cost more and take longer, he said.

"That's the only money she gets," he said. "If she cannot get that, probably she will starve to death."

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

mlkbreakfast2020 tickets 300x180

PBOT Drivers Advisory Committee

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Carpentry Professionals