11-29-2022  1:09 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

James Posey Elected Next President of NAACP Portland Chapter

Co-founder of the National Association of Minority Contractors of Oregon will take office at the beginning of next year. 

The Science of Lullabies: Portland Music Educator Gathers Songs of Soothing from Around the World

Licia Claire Seaman’s new book shares stories, neurobiology and music. 

The KKK in Oregon: Same Wine, Different Bottle

Oregon and the Klan: Guest Column: The tactics and rhetoric deployed by today’s Trump-centric conservative movement read like the playbook of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Faces Snow-Plow Driver Shortage Heading Into Winter

New federal licensing rules for drivers resulted in longer wait times to obtain a commercial driver's license, which contributed to...

Air Pollution Monitoring to Increase for Oregon Communities

Two of Oregon’s most economically disadvantaged and racially diverse communities are getting a boost in their fight against air...

Georgia High Court Reinstates Ban on Abortions After 6 Weeks

The high court put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while it considers an appeal. Abortion providers who had resumed...

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Pose Ongoing Concern to Health of Youth in Los Angeles County, Report from Public Health Shows

Excess consumption of added sugars contributes to the high prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity, and increases the risk for...

Patriot Front member pleads guilty to disturbing the peace

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — One of the 31 members of a white supremacist group arrested near an Idaho Pride event earlier this year has pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace. Alexander N. Sisenstein, 27, of Midvale, Utah, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Monday, the...

Man gets 10 years in shooting that sparked racial protests

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a white man to 10 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Barry Washington Jr. outside a nightclub last year in Bend, Oregon. Ian Cranston, 28, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in state prison and three years of parole on five counts,...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Man gets 10 years in shooting that sparked racial protests

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a white man to 10 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Barry Washington Jr. outside a nightclub last year in Bend, Oregon. Ian Cranston, 28, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in state prison and three years of parole on five counts,...

Lapchick focuses on racism impact in his social-justice work

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — The founder of the institute that examines diversity in sports is taking to Twitter to highlight weekly examples of racism in sports and elsewhere. Richard Lapchick is the founder of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), which was launched...

Missouri prepares to execute man for killing officer in 2005

A Missouri inmate convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer whom he blamed for his younger brother's death was scheduled to be executed Tuesday, barring a last-minute intervention. Kevin Johnson's legal team doesn't deny that he killed Officer William McEntee...

ENTERTAINMENT

Santa's back in town with inflation, inclusion on his mind

NEW YORK (AP) — Don't look for plastic partitions or faraway benches when visiting Santa Claus this year. The jolly old elf is back, pre-pandemic style, and he's got some pressing issues on his mind. Santa booker HireSanta.com has logged a 30% increase in demand this Christmas...

More than 150 agents back striking HarperCollins workers

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 150 literary agents, whose clients include Danielle Jackson, V.E. Schwab and L.A. Chandlar, have signed an open letter to HarperCollins vowing to “omit” the publisher from upcoming book submissions until it reaches an agreement with striking employees. ...

HBO to air Nancy Pelosi doc shot by daughter Alexandra

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A documentary on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s life and groundbreaking political career, shot and edited by her daughter, will debut on HBO next month. Alexandra Pelosi’s “Pelosi in the House” will premiere Dec. 13 and will include footage shot during the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Qatar says worker deaths for World Cup 'between 400 and 500'

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A top Qatari official involved in the country's World Cup organization has put the number of...

Mayor says NYC will treat mentally ill, even if they refuse

NEW YORK (AP) — Bidding to address a mental health crisis on New York City streets and subways, Mayor Eric Adams...

Houston lifts boil-water order affecting more than 2 million

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston officials lifted an order Tuesday that had called for more than 2 million people in the...

Russian diplomat says prisoner swap with US remains possible

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia and the United States have repeatedly been on the verge of agreement on a prisoner...

SAfrica: Convicted killer of anti-apartheid hero stabbed

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The convicted killer of South African anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani has been stabbed in...

Trial starts in Norway for Putin ally's son who flew drone

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The son of a Russian businessman close to President Vladimir Putin denied any...

Robert Burns AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama vowed Thursday the United States will maintain the best-equipped military in history despite deep and looming defense budget cuts, but Pentagon leaders acknowledged the changes present additional risk.

"Our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority," Obama said in a rare appearance in the Pentagon briefing room.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and several top military brass lined up on the stage behind him, underscoring Pentagon support for cuts that Panetta and others said they know will be criticized as too drastic.

Obama said the emerging strategy overhaul is designed to contend with hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts and refocus the United States' national security priorities after a decade dominated by the post.-Sept. 11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The strategy, devised through a comprehensive review by civilian and military leaders, centered on the military the country needs after the "long wars of the last decade are over," Obama said.

Panetta said that smaller military budgets will mean some tradeoffs and that the U.S. will take on "some level of additional but acceptable risk." But Panetta said that at this point in history, in a changing world, the Pentagon would have been forced to make a strategy shift anyway. He says the money crisis merely forced the government's hand.

The president announced that the military will be reshaped over time with an emphasis on countering terrorism, maintaining a nuclear deterrent, protecting the U.S. homeland, and "deterring and defeating aggression by any potential adversary."

Those are not new military missions, and Obama announced no new capabilities or defense initiatives. He described a U.S. force that will retain much of its recent focus, with the exception of fighting a large-scale, prolonged conflict like the newly ended Iraq mission or the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

"As we end today's wars and reshape our armed forces, we will ensure that our military is agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies," the president wrote in a preamble to the new strategy, entitled, "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense."

The strategy hints at a reduced U.S. military presence in Europe, notwithstanding a continuing close relationship with NATO, and says Asia will be a bigger priority. It also emphasizes improving U.S. capabilities in the areas of cyberwarfare and missile defense.

Obama's decision to announce the strategy himself underscores the political dimension of Washington's debate over defense cuts. The administration says smaller Pentagon budgets are a must but will not come at the cost of sapping the strength of a military in transition, even as it gets smaller.

In a presidential election year, the strategy gives Obama a rhetorical tool to defend his Pentagon budget-cutting choices. Republican contenders for the White House already have criticized him on a wide range of national security issues, including missile defense, Iran and planned reductions in ground forces.

Obama also wants the new strategy to represent a pivotal point in his stewardship of defense policy, which has been burdened throughout his presidency by the wars he inherited and the drag these conflicts have placed on military resources.

The new strategy moves the U.S. further from its longstanding goal of being able to successfully fight two major regional wars - like the 1991 Gulf War to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait or a theoretical ground war in Korea - at the same time.

The document released Thursday made clear that while some current missions of the military will be curtailed, none will be scrapped entirely.

"Wholesale divestment of the capability to conduct any mission would be unwise, based on historical and projected uses of U.S. military forces and our inability to predict the future," the document said.

The administration and Congress already are slashing projected defense spending to reflect the closeout of the Iraq war and the drawdown in Afghanistan. The massive $662 billion defense budget planned for next year is $27 billion less than Obama wanted and $43 billion less than Congress gave the Pentagon this year.

The Pentagon announced no specifics on the size of expected troop reductions; the Army and Marine Corps already are set to shrink beginning in 2015. The document said the Pentagon will have to find savings in pay and health care benefits for members of the military, but it offered no specifics.

Panetta in recent months had previewed the main themes of the strategy by emphasizing a need to continue pressuring al-Qaida and paying more attention to Asian security challenges, including China and North Korea.

Factors guiding the Obama administration's approach to reducing the defense budget are not limited to war-fighting strategy. They also include judgments about how to contain the growing cost of military pay and health and retirement benefits. The administration is expected to form a commission to study the issue of retirement benefits, possibly led by a prominent retired military officer.

The administration is in the final stages of deciding specific cuts in the 2013 budget, which Obama will submit to Congress next month. The strategy to be announced by Panetta and Dempsey is meant to accommodate about $489 billion in defense cuts over the coming 10 years, as called for in a budget deal with Congress last summer. An additional $500 billion in cuts may be required starting in January 2013.

A prominent theme of the Pentagon's new strategy is what Panetta has called a renewed commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region.

The administration is not anticipating military conflict in Asia, but Panetta believes the U.S. got so bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 that it missed chances to improve its strategic position in other regions.

China is a particular worry because of its economic dynamism and rapid defense buildup. A more immediate concern is Iran, not only for its threats to disrupt the flow of international oil but also for its nuclear ambitions.

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Ben Feller and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

- Robert Burns can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/robertburnsAP

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