07-02-2020  12:45 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

More arrests early Thursday after police clear protest zone

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police say they arrested more than two dozen people early Thursday who gathered in an area officers cleared hours earlier after the mayor ordered an end to the city’s “occupied” protest zone.In a statement police said they used pepper spray and...

US sets deadline for wolverines protection decision

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to decide by the end of August whether climate change and other threats are pushing the rare wolverine closer to extinction in the mountains of the West.Government attorneys and conservation groups that had sued to force a decision...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — As protests over the death of George Floyd grew in Iowa’s second largest city, activists demanded the firing of a white officer who shot and paralyzed an unarmed Black man during a 2016 traffic stop.On June 18, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman seemed to...

3 cities pilot South Africa-style truth, reconciliation push

BOSTON (AP) — District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco are teaming up on a pilot effort patterned after South Africa's post-apartheid truth and reconciliation commission to confront racism in the criminal justice system.Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, Philadelphia DA...

Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a little over a month ago, the area around Richmond's iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was as quiet and sedate as the statue itself. But since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the area has been transformed into a bustling hub...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actor says 'Justice League' director Whedon was 'abusive'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Ray Fisher says director Joss Whedon's behavior was “abusive” on the set of the 2017 film “Justice League.”“Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and...

Review: Joe Ely serves up songs of honesty, hope and healing

Joe Ely, "Love In the Midst of Mayhem” (Rack 'Em Records)Joe Ely's leftovers are keepers, as “Love In the Midst of Mayhem” shows. Idled by the coronavirus — the “pandamnit,” as Ely calls it — the West Texas troubadour began digging through his...

Eastwood's ankle forced production shift for 'The Outpost'

LONDON (AP) — An accident requiring two screws in his ankle nearly prevented Scott Eastwood from portraying a real life soldier in Afghanistan in “The Outpost” — a role that required a level of athleticism. Eastwood was tight-lipped about how he was injured, but he said...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Not so random acts: Science finds that being kind pays off

Acts of kindness may not be that random after all. Science says being kind pays off.Research shows that acts of...

Coronavirus concerns freeze Vanilla Ice show

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Vanilla Ice has indefinitely postponed a Texas concert that drew fierce criticism due...

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most...

Finnish Air Force Command drops swastika logo as insignia

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland's Air Force Command has discreetly dropped a swastika logo from its unit emblem...

Photo of toddler sitting on slain grandpa angers Kashmiris

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A photo of a toddler sitting on the chest of of his dead grandfather has outraged...

Bolivia tries to hold elections amid pandemic, risking chaos

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Deserted during months of quarantine, the streets of Bolivia are roiling again with...

McMenamins
Erica Werner the Associated Press


President Obama with Iraq Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki earlier this week

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- President Barack Obama saluted returning troops returning from Iraq Wednesday, declaring that the nearly nine-year conflict is ending honorably, "not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."

Marking the conclusion of the war at this military base that's seen more than 200 deaths over nearly nine years of fighting in Iraq, Obama never tried to declare victory. It was a war that he opposed from the start, inherited as president and is now bringing to a close, leaving behind an Iraq still struggling.

But he sought to declare a noble end to a fight that has cost nearly 4,500 American lives and left about 32,000 wounded.

"The war in Iraq will soon belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages," he said, applauding their "extraordinary achievement."

All U.S. troops are to be out of Iraq Dec. 31, though Obama has pledged the U.S. will continue civilian assistance for Iraq as it faces an uncertain future in a volatile region of the world. Even as majorities in the U.S. public favor ending the war, some Republicans have criticized Obama's withdrawal, arguing he's leaving behind an unstable Iraq that could hurt U.S. interests and fall subject to influence from neighboring Iran.

Obama, appearing with first lady Michelle Obama, highlighted the human side of the war, reflecting on the bravery and sacrifices of U.S. forces now on their way back home. He recalled the start of the war, a time when he was only an Illinois state senator and many of the warriors before him were in grade school.

"We knew this day would come. We have known it for some time now," he said. "But still, there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long."

Obama, who became president in part because of his opposition to the Iraq war, said the war faced twists and turns amid one constant: the patriotism and commitment of U.S. troops.

"It is harder to end a war, than to begin one," he said.

Still, he made only passing mention of the enormous soul-searching the war caused in America, saying it "was a source of great controversy here at home, with patriots on both sides of the debate." He did not mention that he had opposed it.

He noted the early battles that defeated and deposed Saddam Hussein and what he called "the grind of insurgency" -- roadside bombs, snipers and suicide attacks.

"Your will proved stronger than the terror of those who tried to break it," he said.

Upon his arrival in Fort Bragg Wednesday, Obama met with five enlisted service members who had recently returned from combat. He also met with the family of a soldier killed overseas.

Obama has on several occasions addressed his reasons for ending the war, casting it as a promise kept after he ran for president as an anti-war candidate and speaking of the need to refocus U.S. attention on rebuilding the troubled economy at home.

Obama's approval rating on handling the situation in Iraq has been above 50 percent since last fall, and in a new Associated Press-GfK poll, has ticked up four points since October to 55 percent. Among independents, his approval rating tops 50 percent for the first time since this spring.

With the economy foremost on people's minds, fewer now consider the war a top issue. Fifty-one percent said it was extremely or very important to them personally, down from 58 percent in October, placing it behind 13 of 14 issues tested in the poll.

It's the president's first visit to Fort Bragg, which is home to Army Special Operations, the 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne, among others. Special Forces troops from Fort Bragg were among the first soldiers in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and its paratroopers helped lead the 2007 troop increase.

North Carolina, which Obama narrowly won in 2008, also is an important state for the 2012 presidential election and will host the Democratic convention.

To underscore the political significance, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, one of the leading GOP presidential contenders, addressed an open letter to Obama and sent it to the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer decrying the unemployment rate for veterans.

Unemployment for veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001, was 11.1 percent in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Romney called such a statistic a "disgrace."

"In the face of such economic hardship, fine words welcoming veterans home are insufficient," he wrote. "It is time for a fundamental change of direction. If you won't or can't lead our country out of the economic morass you've deepened, then I would suggest that it's time for you to go."

In his speech, Obama said that Iraq "is not a perfect place."

But he added that "we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We are building a new partnership between our nations."

Brig Gen Norman Ham, commander of the 440th Airlift Wing, said in an interview that the end of the Iraq war "means a lot of things."

"For me personally, I served my country and I'm proud of what we've done, what we've accomplished," Ham said. "We set out on a mission and we accomplished that mission."

Ham reflected on the mixed outcome in Iraq.

"The world isn't a perfect place. We try to help where we can and do the best we can," Ham said. "We have limited resources to go everywhere and do everything for everyone, but we do the very best we can and that's what we've done in Iraq - the very best we can."

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Associated Press writer Martha Waggoner in Raleigh, N.C., and AP Deputy Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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