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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

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Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

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AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

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National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

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Democrats: Oregon climate bill is priority. GOP resists

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Power still out, no school for some as storms continue

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New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

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I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

How Being 'Tough on Crime' Became a Political Liability

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 more linked to neo-Nazi group arrested in Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base were charged with conspiring to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group, police in Georgia announced Friday, a day after three other members were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and...

Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally

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Trump's black voter outreach looks in part to the pews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In the eight years since he became a pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church, Todd Johnson says he's seen his congregation's politics make a subtle shift.The Philadelphia church, which recently hosted a Donald Trump campaign event reaching out to black voters, has...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'

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Nashville songwriters spread outside country at Grammys

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Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show

PARIS (AP) — Guests crammed into Dior's annex in Paris' Place de la Condorde on Friday amid chaos before the show. Some guests had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit as cars came to unload celebrities, including David Beckham and Robert Pattinson, at an industrious pace. Mayhem such...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

PHOTO GALLERY: A selection of pictures from the past week

Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page...

Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines

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US to screen airline passengers from China for new illness

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AP Exclusive: AT&T under pressure to defy Maduro's censors

MIAMI (AP) — Last April, as a military uprising roiled Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro’s socialist...

Portrait found in gallery's walls verified as missing Klimt

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AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

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McMenamins
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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