08-12-2020  1:48 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Snapshots From Downtown Portland

View a slideshow of recent photos taken by The Skanner downtown Portland.

Prosecutor Won't Act on Low-level Portland Protest Arrests

At least several hundred people who have been arrested in the past few months will not face criminal prosecution.

Lawmakers Adjourn Special Session, Restrict Choke Holds

Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, says choke holds are "a tool to take a life."

Seattle Police Chief to Resign Following Department Cuts

Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief, said in a letter to the department that her retirement will be effective Sept. 2.

NEWS BRIEFS

MISSING: Michael Bryson Was Last Seen August 5

The Eugene man was last seen at campground SE of Cottage Grove ...

Oregon Housing and Community Services Awards $60,822,101 to Build and Preserve 802 Affordable Homes

Investments address the statewide shortage of affordable housing through the development and preservation of affordable rental homes. ...

Phase Two Re:Imagine Grant Deadline August 11

The fund focuses on supporting ten artists with grants of $5,000 as they reimagine their practices and pivot toward the...

U.S. Bank Announces $1 Million in Grants to Black-Led CDFIs; Additional Support for African American Alliance

A total of 15 CDFIs will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 while the African American Alliance will receive...

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

Dozens of cats, dogs seized from Portland rescue facility

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nearly 120 cats and dogs were seized from a Portland animal rescue and boarding facility Tuesday, officials say.Authorities served a search warrant at Woofin Palooza’s 82nd Avenue facility after receiving complaints alleging possible animal abuse or neglect, The...

Tear gas at Portland protests raises concern about pollution

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The presence of U.S. agents has diminished in Portland, Oregon, but city officials are still cleaning up tear gas residue from the streets, dirt and possibly the storm drains after the chemical was used frequently by both police and federal officers during more than two...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge faces ethics charges over racist, demeaning comments

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pittsburgh judge who allegedly referred to a Black juror as “Aunt Jemima” was accused of misconduct in office Wednesday by the state's entity that investigates and prosecutes judicial wrongdoing.The Judicial Conduct Board complaint alleges that...

Black victims of U-Michigan doc seek equity in settlements

NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Dwight Hicks left New Jersey as a teenager, seeking to take a step toward his NFL dreams by playing football at the University of Michigan.Hicks was willing to do whatever it took to compete in the 1970s and says the price paid included being sexually assaulted by the late...

Editorial Roundup: US

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad:___Aug. 11The Los Angles Times on TikTok and WeChat:Even before President Trump signed an executive order that could soon smother social network TikTok, Microsoft emerged as a potential savior for the U.S.-based but Chinese-owned video...

ENTERTAINMENT

American hopes to charm Brits in soccer series 'Ted Lasso'

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Sudeikis was a huge sports fan growing up in Kansas, especially basketball. Not so much that game where you kick a ball into a goal. “The beautiful game? I didn’t get it a couple of years ago. I thought, ‘Well, good for them for getting that...

Film Review: A teenage political experiment in ‘Boys State’

Teenage political junkies at a leadership conference doesn’t seem like the most riveting subject matter for a documentary. As a product of teenage leadership conferences, I assumed that at best, maybe, it could be fodder for a black comedy. But the new documentary “ Boys State...

Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart to join Country Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart and songwriter Dean Dillon are the newest inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Announced by the Country Music Association on Wednesday, Williams, who often is referred to as Hank Jr. or the nickname Bocephus, will join his...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Stocks rebound on Wall Street, S&P 500 trades above record

Stocks marched broadly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, briefly nudging the S&P 500 above its all-time closing...

Tear gas at Portland protests raises concern about pollution

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The presence of U.S. agents has diminished in Portland, Oregon, but city officials are...

Prosecutors charge 3 with threatening women in R. Kelly case

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors announced charges Wednesday against three men accused of threatening...

China blasts US for Taiwan visit while virus spreads at home

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese official lashed out at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on...

State Department rejects further probe of diplomat's remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report Wednesday by the State Department’s internal watchdog confirms news...

3 dead, 6 in hospital after train derails in Scotland

LONDON (AP) — Three people were killed and six others injured Wednesday when a passenger train derailed in...

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Aron Heller the Associated Press

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (AP) -- A shy 8-year-old schoolgirl has unwittingly found herself on the front line of Israel's latest religious war.

Naama Margolese is a ponytailed, bespectacled second-grader who is afraid of walking to her religious Jewish girls school for fear of ultra-Orthodox extremists who have spat on her and called her a whore for dressing "immodestly."

Her plight has drawn new attention to the simmering issue of religious coercion in Israel, and the increasing brazenness of extremists in the insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

"When I walk to school in the morning I used to get a tummy ache because I was so scared ... that they were going to stand and start yelling and spitting," the pale, blue-eyed girl said softly in an interview with The Associated Press Monday. "They were scary. They don't want us to go to the school."

The girls school that Naama attends in the city of Beit Shemesh, to the west of Jerusalem, is on the border between an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood and a community of modern Orthodox Jewish residents, many of them American immigrants.


The ultra-Orthodox consider the school, which moved to its present site at the beginning of the school year, an encroachment on their territory. Dozens of black-hatted men jeer and physically accost the girls almost daily, claiming their very presence is a provocation.

Beit Shemesh has long experienced friction between the ultra-Orthodox, who make up about half the city's population, and other residents. And residents say the attacks at the girls' school, attended by about 400 students, have been going on for months. Last week, after a local TV channel reported about the school and interviewed Naama's family, a national uproar ensued.

The televised images of Naama sobbing as she walked to school shocked many Israelis, elicited statements of outrage from the country's leadership, sparked a Facebook page with nearly 10,000 followers dedicated to "protecting little Naama" and plans for a demonstration later Tuesday in her honor. As the case has attracted attention, extremists have heckled and thrown eggs and rocks at journalists descending on town.

"Who's afraid of an 8-year-old student?" said Sunday's main headline in the leading Yediot Ahronot daily.

Beit Shemesh's growing ultra-Orthodox population has erected street signs calling for the separation of sexes on the sidewalks, dispatched "modesty patrols" to enforce a chaste female appearance and hurled stones at offenders and outsiders. Walls of the neighborhood are plastered with signs exhorting women to dress modestly in closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts.

Naama's case has been especially shocking because of her young age and because she attends a religious school and dresses with long sleeves and a skirt. Extremists, however, consider even that outfit, standard in mainstream Jewish religious schools, to be immodest.

Thousands of people were expected at Tuesday evening's demonstration. Ahead of the gathering, President Shimon Peres urged the public to attend.

"The demonstration today is a test for the people and not just the police," Peres told a gathering of Israeli ambassadors. "All of us ... must defend the image of the state of Israel from a minority that is destroying national solidarity and expressing itself in an infuriating way."

The abuse and segregation of women in Israel in ultra-Orthodox areas is nothing new, and critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye.

The ultra-Orthodox are perennial king-makers in Israeli coalition politics - two such parties serve as key members of the ruling coalition. They receive generous government subsidies, and police have traditionally been reluctant to enter their communities.

The ultra-Orthodox Jews make up 10 percent of Israel's population and are its fastest growing sector because of a high birth rate. In the past, they have generally confined their strict lifestyle to their own neighborhoods. But they have become increasingly aggressive in trying to impose their ways on others, as their population has grown and spread to new areas.

"It is clear that Israeli society is faced with a challenge that I am not sure it can handle," said Menachem Friedman, a professor emeritus of Bar Ilan University and expert on the ultra-Orthodox, "a challenge that is no less and no more than an existential challenge."

Most of Israel's secular majority, in cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, is not directly affected, but in a few places like Beit Shemesh - a city of 100,000 people that include ultra-Orthodox, modern Orthodox and secular Jews - tensions have erupted into the open.

Last week, a young Israeli woman caused a nationwide uproar when she refused a religious man's order to move to the back of a bus.

In Beit Shemesh, parents in Naama's school take turns escorting their daughters into school property to protect them. The parents, too, have been cursed and spat upon.

Hadassa Margolese, Naama's 30-year-old Chicago-born mother, an Orthodox Jew who covers her hair and wears long sleeves and a long skirt, says, "It shouldn't matter what I look like. Someone should be allowed to walk around in sleeveless shirts and pants and not be harassed."

City spokesman Matityahu Rosenzweig condemned the violence but said it is the work of a small minority and has been taken out of proportion. "Every society has its fringes, and the police should take action on this," he said.

For Margolese, the recent clashes - and the price of exposing her young daughter - boil down to a fight over her very home.

"They want to push us out of Beit Shemesh. They want to take over the city," said Margolese.

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