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NORTHWEST NEWS

Far-Right and Antifa Groups Both Claim Victory at Portland

With both the left and the right declaring victory following a long-hyped rally that had Portland, Oregon, on edge it seems the liberal city will continue to be a flashpoint in an increasingly divided country

At Least 13 Arrested During Far-Right Protests

Police said there were about 1,200 on the streets, but that number fell throughout the day. Six people suffered minor injuries

Six Arrests Send Message Ahead of Demonstrations

The Oath Keepers pull out but Patriot Prayer's Joey Gibson says: “we don't bend the knee; we show up ten-fold, one hundred-fold...Force them to arrest you for being peaceful."

Portland Mayor Decries Violence, Hatred Ahead of Rally

The mayor of Portland, Oregon, said Wednesday that people planning violence or espousing hatred at a weekend protest by right-wing groups in the liberal city "are not welcome here"

NEWS BRIEFS

Study Finds Lack of Racial Diversity in Cancer Drug Clinical Trials

New research published this week in JAMA Oncology has found a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for cancer drugs ...

Portland Parks, Partners Host Charles Jordan Birthday Celebration

A celebration of the life of one of Portland’s most influential leaders, held at his namesake community center ...

Matt Dishman Community Center Annual Block Party

The event will feature free food, arts and crafts, family fun, live music and more ...

Sara Boone Sworn in as Fire Chief

Boone will be the first African American fire chief in the city’s history ...

Portland Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum Symposium

Oregon State University’s College of Education will host a symposium for educators who will soon be required to teach about the...

Lawsuit says Oregon group falsely advertises dairy products

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A class-action lawsuit says an Oregon creamery association falsely advertises the source of its milk.The Statesman Journal reported Monday that the lawsuit was filed Monday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund against the Tillamook County Creamery Association in western...

Man drowns at Crater Lake

CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a man drowned after jumping off a rock cliff into Crater Lake.The National Park Service says the unidentified 27-year-old jumped at Cleetwood Cove around 4:40 p.m. Sunday, and did not resurface.Crater Lake National Park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe says...

Ex-Clemson star Kelly Bryant takes over at QB for Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Barry Odom never seems stressed about the future, whether the Missouri coach is pondering tough sanctions handed down by the NCAA over a recruiting scandal or the fact that one of the most prolific passers in school history is now in the NFL.When it comes to the...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...

OPINION

Avel Gordly's Statement in Advance of Aug. 17 Rally

'All we have on this planet is one another' ...

A National Crisis: Surging Hate Crimes and White Supremacists

Our history chronicles the range of hate crimes that have taken the lives of Latinos as well as Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and the LGBTQ community ...

Calling Out Racism, White Supremacy and White Nationalism is More Vital Than Ever

Telling the truth, in its entirety, is the most objective stance any journalist can take on any subject ...

A Dog for Every Kind of Hunting: The Hound

The hound, in particular, is considered an all-purpose dog for every kind of hunting, on all types of terrain. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Omar: Go to Israel, see 'cruel reality of the occupation'

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized Israel on Monday for denying them entry to the country and called on fellow members of Congress to visit while they cannot.Omar, of Minnesota, suggested President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin...

Man, 20, pleads not guilty in Jewish center video threat

STRUTHERS, Ohio (AP) — A 20-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to threatening a Jewish community center in a video that authorities say showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle.A judge near Youngstown set bond at 0,000 for James Reardon, ordered a mental health evaluation and told...

Sheriff: Investigation closed in racist videos, threat case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff said Monday that no one else will be charged after last month's arrest of a Catholic high school student accused of making racist videos and charged with threatening to shoot people at his private school.Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Rock announces wedding on Instagram

NEW YORK (AP) — With a simple "We do," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced his wedding to his longtime girlfriend on Instagram.A photo of the movie star and Lauren Hashian was posted on the social media site. Both were wearing white, and they were standing overlooking the ocean. The post...

Vince Gill weighs hard truths with emotional depth on 'Okie'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vince Gill might make people break down in tears when they listen to his vulnerable new record in which he sings about regret, marriage, faith, sexual abuse and hard choices. But then again, so did he.When the country singer recorded his song "When My Amy Prays,"...

Tommy Orange among winners of American Book Award

NEW YORK (AP) — Tommy Orange's novel "There There" and Jeffrey C. Stewart's biography of Harlem Renaissance thinker Alain Locke are among this year's winners of American Book Awards, given for works that highlight the diversity of the country's literature.The awards were announced Monday by...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Cardinal Pell's appeal verdict due but may not be final word

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric found guilty of sexually abusing children will...

Twitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter said Monday it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were...

Pentagon conducts 1st test of previously banned missile

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than...

AP Explains: Brazil's environmental changes under Bolsonaro

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pressure is rising around the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro to comply...

A look at the Islamic State affiliate's rise in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bombing at a wedding party in Kabul claimed by a local Islamic State...

Wide implications as Germany teeters toward recession

BERLIN (AP) — Germany, Europe's industrial powerhouse and biggest economy, with companies like Volkswagen,...

McMenamins
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Raising taxes on millionaires may be a non-starter for Republicans, but they seem to have no problem hiking Medicare premiums for retirees making a lot less.

The House is expected to vote Tuesday on a year-end economic package that includes a provision raising premiums for "high-income" Medicare beneficiaries, now defined as those making $85,000 and above for individuals, or $170,000 for families.

Some would pay as much as several hundred dollars a month additional for Medicare outpatient and prescription coverage. Millions who don't consider themselves wealthy would also end up paying more.

Just the top 5 percent of Medicare recipients currently pay higher premiums, a change that took effect a few years ago. The new GOP proposal would expand that over time to include the highest-earning one-fourth of seniors.

On Monday the White House was mum on the Republican Medicare proposal, while AARP said it's tantamount to a new tax. In the Democratic-led Senate, there's not much enthusiasm.

The plan is modeled on a proposal that President Barack Obama submitted earlier this year to congressional debt negotiators, when he was seeking a "big deal" to cut federal deficits. Continuing pressure to curb spending means the proposal eventually could become the law of the land, even if there's no consensus now.

"This is an idea that seems to have some traction," said Tricia Neuman, a Medicare expert for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

It's also creating a lot of confusion about who is wealthy and who is not.

For example, when Obama talks about raising taxes on the rich, he means individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families above $250,000.

But his health care law fixed the level for paying "high-income" Medicare premiums at the current $85,000 and above for an individual, $170,000 for families.

And the new Republican plan would drop the thresholds to $80,000 for an individual and $160,000 for families.

"If we're considering raising taxes on those with incomes above $250,000, then it seems to me very awkward to raise Medicare premiums on those with much lower incomes," said John Rother, head of the National Coalition on Health Care, an advocacy group.

Baby boomers just signing up for Medicare are more likely to be affected than long-term retirees, since incomes tend to be higher for the newly retired.

AARP calls the proposed premium increases a tax hike. "Most of the time, when you have a payment due to the government because of your income, we call it a tax," said lobbyist David Certner. "It's a form of a tax." High-earning workers already pay more in Medicare payroll taxes, he pointed out.

No way it's a tax, say Republicans. Taxpayers subsidize three-quarters of the cost of Medicare's outpatient and prescription coverage for the typical retiree. Reducing a subsidy for those who can afford to pay more is not the same thing as raising taxes, they contend.

"The proposal doesn't raise taxes," said Michelle Dimarob, spokeswoman for House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. "The provision simply adjusts the subsidy they receive."

To back their argument, Republicans are circulating a letter from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist in support of the broader bill containing the Medicare provision.

The premium hikes are to help pay for legislation that would prevent the Jan. 1 expiration of payroll tax cuts for workers and extra benefits for the long-term unemployed, while also staving off a steep cut in Medicare payments to doctors. With time running short, lawmakers of both parties are still far apart on key aspects of the package.

Tax or not, higher Medicare premiums mean less money in the pockets of those who have to pay. Currently the high-income premiums start at 35 percent of the cost of Medicare's outpatient and drug coverage for individuals making $85,000 year, and rise to 80 percent of the cost at the very top income brackets.

Next year, a typical Medicare recipient will pay $131 a month for outpatient and drug coverage combined, according to Kaiser. Those paying the high-income premiums will pay from $183 to $417. That means beneficiaries at the highest income levels would pay nearly $300 a month more.

The House GOP plan would increase the high-income premium by 15 percent in 2017 and lower the thresholds at which the higher fees kick in.

Most significantly, it freezes those income thresholds indefinitely, until one-fourth of Medicare recipients are paying "high-income" premiums. It's unclear how long that would take, but currently only about 2 million out of 47 million Medicare beneficiaries pay higher premiums. Eventually that number would easily surpass 10 million.

The GOP proposal would reduce taxpayer spending on Medicare by $31 billion over 10 years; Obama's version saved about $20 billion.

"There's a lot of interest in asking higher-income people on Medicare to contribute more," said Neuman.

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