12-08-2019  9:41 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Accidental shootings raise questions about arming teachers

SEATTLE (AP) — As the country looks for ways to deal with mass shootings at schools, some have responded by saying more people should carry guns, including teachers.“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” President Donald Trump told the National...

Accidental shootings by police expose training shortfalls

SEATTLE (AP) — When an Iowa mother tried to take her child from her husband during an argument on a snowy sidewalk in 2015, an officer stepped in to stop the scuffle, but he accidentally fired his weapon as a dog approached. The bullet went through the woman’s arm and into her chest,...

AP Source: Mizzou hiring Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri reached an agreement Sunday with Eliah Drinkwitz to take over the Tigers' once-proud football program, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, making Appalachian State's successful coach the second-youngest in a Power Five...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nevada third to vote, still up for grabs for 2020 Democrats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada won its coveted early date in the presidential primary because it was supposed to offer Democrats something different.It’s more racially diverse than the two states that weigh in earlier, Iowa and New Hampshire. Its population is young, working class, largely...

China claims everyone in Xinjiang camps has 'graduated'

BEIJING (AP) — People who were at vocational training centers in China's far west Xinjiang have all ”graduated" and are living happy lives, an official said Monday. But Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities from the region say their family members continue to be...

Shooting survivor sues Southern California synagogue

POWAY, Calif. (AP) — A man wounded in a shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue is suing the house of worship, alleging Chabad of Poway didn't use federal funds meant to hire security to protect worshipers, according to a newspaper report.In the lawsuit obtained by Los Angeles Times, Almog...

ENTERTAINMENT

Let's cancel 'OK Boomer' in 2020, and the humblebrag, too

NEW YORK (AP) — Either loudly sing your own praises or don’t in the new year, but let’s leave the humble brag behind, along with a few other oversaturated, cloying or just plain silly cultural quirks that deserve a big goodbye.Among them are pop-up shops, cancel culture and the...

Singer performs in Vegas for 1st time after mass shooting

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Country singer Jason Aldean has performed in Las Vegas for the first time since he was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival at the beginning of the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting.The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Aldean told a packed house at Park MGM’s...

'Frozen 2' leads box office again; 'Playmobil' flops

NEW YORK (AP) — “Frozen 2” blanketed multiplexes for the third straight weekend, continuing its reign at No. 1 with .7 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Walt Disney Co. animated sequel has already grossed 9.7 million worldwide. It will...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

‘Benson,’ ‘Star Trek’ actor René Auberjonois has died at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows...

Rapper Juice WRLD dies after medical emergency in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Rapper Juice WRLD, who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming...

Father: Navy victim shot standing watch fresh from boot camp

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Fresh out of boot camp, Cameron Walters proudly told his father in Georgia during...

Pope names Manila Cardinal Tagle to major Vatican post

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has named Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to a major Vatican post, in a...

Climate scientists try to cut their own carbon footprints

For years, Kim Cobb was the Indiana Jones of climate science. The Georgia Tech professor flew to the caves of...

Ukraine faces new challenges in peace talks with Russia

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — When new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sits down Monday for peace talks in...

McMenamins
Mark Sherman the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal law says states and localities with a history of discrimination cannot change any voting procedures without first getting approval from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington. Yet Texas is asking the Supreme Court to allow the use of new, unapproved electoral districts in this year's voting for Congress and the state Legislature.

The outcome of the high court case, to be argued Monday afternoon, could be another blow to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. In 2009, the justices raised doubts about whether Southern states still should need approval in advance of voting changes more than 40 years after the law was enacted.

The case also might help determine the balance of power in the House of Representatives in 2013, with Republicans in a stronger position if the court allows Texas to use electoral districts drawn by the GOP-dominated Legislature.

The complicated legal fight over Texas' political maps arises from the state's population gain of more than 4 million people, most of them Latino or African-American, in the 2010 census, and involves federal district courts in Texas and Washington, as well as the Supreme Court. It has come to a head now because Texas needs to be able to use some maps to hold elections this year.

The state has so far failed to persuade three judges in Washington, including two appointees of Republican President George W. Bush, to sign off on new political maps adopted by the Legislature. The justices jumped into the case at Texas' request after judges in San Antonio who are hearing a lawsuit filed by minority groups drew their own political lines for use in the 2012 elections.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, said Monday "the judges disregarded the will and sovereign power of the state of Texas."

Texas Republicans were in complete control of the redistricting process that is required following the once-a-decade census. They faced the happy prospect of adding four new congressional seats by virtue of Texas' huge population gain since the last census in 2000. Texas will have 36 seats in the 435-member U.S. House next year.

Republican lawmakers in Austin, the Texas capital, did what majority parties in statehouses across the country do when given such an opportunity: They made the most of it, drawing maps for the state House and Senate, and the U.S. House aimed at maximizing Republican gains.

To do this they carefully distributed Democratic voters, including Latinos and African-Americans.

But Latino and African-American groups, as well as the Texas Democratic Party, complained that the result ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act's prohibition against diluting the ability of minorities who had suffered under official discrimination from electing representatives of their choice.

The opponents of the new maps had a powerful piece of evidence because Latinos and African-Americans accounted for nearly all the growth in Texas' population.

A divided court in San Antonio drew maps that differed from the Legislature's efforts, giving Democrats a chance to prevail in three or four more congressional districts. Republicans now represent 23 of the 32 current districts.

The narrow legal question for the Supreme Court is whether the judges in Texas went too far in crafting their own plans, unwilling to use the state's maps as starting points. If the court agrees with the state on this point, it then would have to decide what maps to use.

Even without the Washington court's approval, Texas says it should be able to use its own maps just for this year because time is running short before primary elections, already delayed from March to April 3.

But the minority groups, as well as the Obama administration, say such an outcome is strictly forbidden by the Voting Rights Act and would, in essence, eviscerate the law's most potent weapon, its Section 5 requirement of advance approval, also known as preclearance.

Pamela Karlan, a Stanford University law professor who is working with Latino and other minority groups that oppose the state maps, said a court ruling allowing the Texas maps to be used "would be a major retreat from the way Section 5 has operated up till now."

The 1965 law has been the government's chief weapon against racial discrimination at polling places for nearly a half-century. Section 5 requires all or parts of 16 states - mainly in the South and with a history of discrimination in voting - to get Justice Department or court approval before making changes in the way elections are conducted.

According to the Justice Department Web site, Section 5 currently applies to the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. It also covers certain counties in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina and South Dakota, as well as some local jurisdictions in Michigan and New Hampshire. Preclearance coverage has been triggered by past discrimination not only against blacks, but also against American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives and Hispanics.

In the 2009 case, also from Texas, the court avoided deciding whether the advance approval requirement is constitutional in an era marked by dramatic civil rights gains and the election of the first African-American president. That larger issue, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "is a difficult constitutional question we do not answer today."

The constitutional issue also is not directly raised in the current case, but lawsuits from Alabama and North Carolina that ask to strike down the provision could find their way to the Supreme Court. In the past four months, U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington threw out both challenges to the law after finding that discrimination in voting continues to this day and that Congress properly passed legislation to address the problem.

Both rulings have been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has set a Jan. 19 argument for the Alabama case and Feb. 27 for the North Carolina case.

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