01-16-2021  3:44 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Interview: Portland Physician on Coronavirus Vaccine, Reaching Out to Wary Communities

Black Americans report highest levels of distrust as country distributes millions of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Blumenauer Calls for Resignations of Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise

Congressman Blumenauer said: "We need to ensure our Republican colleagues acknowledge and accept the consequences for their own involvement in encouraging this insurrection..."

Officials: Republican Lawmaker Let Protesters into Oregon Capitol

House Speaker Tina Kotek said during a news conference about the Capitol operations safety plan that Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, had allowed protesters into the building.

Inslee Addresses Washingtonians Following Day of Violence in Both the State and Nation's Capital

Rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol and breached the gates of the governor's Executive Residence in Olympia

NEWS BRIEFS

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

NFL Reaches More Than $95M in Contributions to Further Advance Social Justice

The Oregon Justice Resource Center will use funding from the NFL to support the Women’s Justice Project – the first and only...

Oregon State Police Warns Against Armed Takeover of Capitol

The agency also asked Oregonians to report anyone who may be planning an armed takeover to authorities. ...

Oregon Marijuana Sales Soared in 2020, Topping $1B

Oregonians began buying a lot more recreational cannabis in March when Gov. Kate Brown instituted a stay-at-home order ...

3 inmates die, many more ill in COVID-19 prison outbreaks

UMATILLA, Ore. (AP) — Two inmates at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla and another at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras have died in the past week after testing positive for COVID-19. That makes it at least five Oregon prisoners who have died since the new year in...

Police ID 37-year-old as suspect in arson at Salem City Hall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police say they have identified a 37-year-old man as the culprit who set several fires at Salem City Hall last month.The fires, set early on Dec. 26, caused about ,000 in damage. Police said Saturday they had identified the suspect as Scott David Henry, of Salem.Henry is...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

Georgia Senate Races Will Decide the Fate of Biden’s Presidency 

Voter turnout is reportedly lagging in the more rural and conservative areas of Georgia and is higher in more traditionally Democratic areas of the state ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP Exclusive: Selena Gomez: Big Tech 'cashing in from evil’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters took control of the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, Selena Gomez laid much of the blame at the feet of Big Tech.“Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be...

Some in the GOP parrot far-right talk of a coming civil war

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — War-like imagery has begun spreading in Republican circles after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters, with some elected officials and party leaders rejecting pleas to tone down rhetoric calling for a second civil war.In...

Inauguration week prayer event aims to show Christian unity

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a politically divided nation prepares to inaugurate a new president in the wake of a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a group of Christian leaders is hoping to ease tensions through prayer during three days of ecumenical, nonpartisan programming.Using the slogan...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Parasite's' Bong Joon Ho to head Venice Film Festival jury

“Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho has been selected as jury president of the 78th Venice International Film Festival, organizers said Friday. The Oscar-winner will preside over seven jurors to hand out the festival’s top awards, including the prestigious Golden Lion....

Skylar Astin finds new notes to hit on ‘Zoey’s Playlist’

NEW YORK (AP) — By page two of the pilot script for NBC's “ Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist,” Skylar Astin knew he wanted the role of Max Richman.The NBC musical series, now airing season two on Tuesdays, stars Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke, a woman who realizes people's inner-most...

Journalists prepare for protests where they could be targets

NEW YORK (AP) — While monitoring online chatter about protests at state capitols in advance of next week's presidential inauguration, the Seattle Times came across a chilling description for journalists: soft targets.The phrase drove home the importance of safety precautions being put in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Betty White marks 99th birthday Sunday; up late as she wants

LOS ANGELES (AP) — True to form, Betty White has something impish to say about her birthday...

Bus driver in dramatic bridge plunge says it 'just took off'

NEW YORK (AP) — The driver of a New York City bus that plunged off a bridge blamed the dramatic crash on...

State capitols boarded up, fenced off, patrolled by troops

A double row of chain-link fencing circles the Arizona State Capitol. Windows on the Illinois and Ohio statehouses...

In cold weather, anti-Netanyahu protests continue in Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of protesters braved a cold night in Jerusalem on Saturday to press on with their...

China strips license of lawyer for Hong Kong activist

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Chinese lawyer who represented a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was stripped of...

Germany: Merkel's party elects pragmatic Laschet as leader

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party chose Armin Laschet, the pragmatic...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Mark Sherman the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration defended the health care overhaul in a filing Friday with the Supreme Court that calls the law an appropriate response to a "crisis in the national health care market."

The administration filed a written submission in the high court's biggest case this term, with the potential to affect President Barack Obama's bid for re-election.

The government called on the court to uphold the core requirement that individuals buy insurance or pay a penalty. One federal appeals court struck down the so-called individual mandate as exceeding Congress' power under the Constitution. But two other federal appeals courts upheld the law and agreed with the administration's argument that Congress was well within its power to adopt that requirement.

Florida and 25 other states, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business, told the court in separate briefs that if the justices strike down the individual requirement, they should invalidate the rest of the law as well. Thirty-six Republican senators echoed the states' argument in their own filing.

The law is aimed at extending health insurance coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured people and would, by 2019, leave just 5 percent of the population uninsured, compared with about 17 percent today, according to the Congressional Budget Office. About half of the increase would come from the individual requirement; the rest would come from an expansion of Medicaid and other provisions.

The health care law has attracted intense opposition from Republicans, including the party's presidential candidates, all of whom have vowed to repeal it if elected. The individual insurance requirement has been a particular lightning rod because it forces people to buy a product from a private insurer whether they want to or not, or pay a penalty for failing to do so.

This provision was struck down by a divided panel of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the only appeals court that has ruled against the law among the four appeals courts that have considered it. One appeals court held that it was too soon to rule on the law.

But the administration said the requirement falls within Congress' power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause because health care is an issue of supreme national importance that consumes nearly 18 percent of the U.S. economy.

People may lack insurance, but they still get health care, and the costs get passed on the insured, the administration said.

"Congress found that the cost of tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated care provided to the uninsured is passed on to insured consumers, raising average annual family premiums by more than $1,000," the administration said.

The individual mandate also goes hand-in-hand with another part of the law that prohibits insurers from denying coverage to people with existing medical conditions or hiking their premiums, the administration said.

Separately, the insurance industry reinforced this point to the court, arguing that it needs the larger pool of people so that it can afford to cover people regardless of their medical history.

America's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association - major trade groups - said in their court papers that if the individual requirement is struck down, the ban on denial of coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions must also go. Otherwise, premiums will rise and healthy people will drop coverage. The groups did not take a position on the constitutionality of the law.

Additional briefs due later in January and next month will address other aspects of the law. A decision should come by late June.

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