09-27-2021  5:46 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Use New Ordinance to Crack Down on Street Racing

The offenses have been labeled as “Unlawful Street Takeover” and “Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.”

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree on House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Man convicted in 1999 ranger killing dies in Oregon prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 75-year-old man died Monday in hospice care at the Oregon State Penitentiary while serving a life sentence without parole for the kidnapping and shooting of two Oregon park rangers in 1999, officials said. Corrections officials did not specify Larry Gene...

Health officials see COVID cases tied to Pendleton Round-Up

PENDLETEON, Ore. (AP) — Health officials in Umatilla County, Oregon, say they are starting to see COVID-19 cases linked to the Pendleton Round-Up. Umatilla County Public Health Director Joseph Fiumara told county commissioners Monday the county’s case count last week was 550...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Racial alliances, rivalries on display in LA mayor's race

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The diversity of Los Angeles is on display in the emerging race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti and the winning candidate who emerges from the growing field of hopefuls will need to navigate rivalries and forge alliances across the city’s racial and ethnic communities. ...

Greyhound settles lawsuit over immigration sweeps on buses

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay [scripts/homepage/home.php].2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line’s practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday. ...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo increased its patrols Monday on the border with Serbia in a bid to deescalate tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates. KFOR, with around 4,000 troops from 28 countries, is led by NATO...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated .5 million from 3,364...

'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' sashays home with 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9: Oct. 3: Composer Steve Reich is 85. Singer Chubby Checker is 80. Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden plan seeks to expand education, from pre-K to college

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Democrats push ahead with President Joe Biden’s .5 trillion rebuilding plan, they’re...

Taliban issue no-shave order to barbers in Afghan province

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from...

Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to...

Azerbaijan, Armenia mark anniversary of their war

MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan and Armenia are marking the anniversary of the start of their six-week war in which...

Strong quake hits Greek island of Crete; 1 dead, 20 injured

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A strong, prolonged earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of at least 5.8 struck the...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo increased its patrols Monday on the border with...

Robert Burns and Pauline Jelinek the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned as "utterly deplorable" a video that purports to depict four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters, saying such behavior is "entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military" and those responsible will be held accountable.

Panetta said he had ordered the Marine Corps and Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, to fully investigate.

The Marine Corps said Wednesday it would investigate the YouTube video but had not yet verified its origin or authenticity. The case has been referred to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Navy's worldwide law enforcement arm.

The video, posted on the Internet, shows men in Marine combat gear, standing in a semi-circle over three bodies. It's not clear whether the dead were Taliban or civilians or someone else. The title on the posting called them Taliban insurgents but it was unclear who added that title, Marine Corps officials in Washington said.

The reaction from Afghanistan was angry.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the video as "completely inhumane." The Afghan Defense Ministry called it "shocking." And the Taliban issued a statement accusing U.S. forces of committing numerous "indignities" against the Afghan people.

"First they killed the Afghans with mortars, and they then urinated on their bodies," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. "We strongly condemn this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers."

Panetta said the actions, if true, were inexcusable.

"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms," Panetta's statement said. "Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent."

The video came to light at a delicate time in relations among the United States, Afghanistan's elected government and the Taliban insurgency fighting for both territorial control and cultural and religious preeminence in Afghanistan. The U.S. is trying to foster peace talks between the Karzai government and the Pakistan-based Taliban high command, and has made unprecedented offers to build trust with the insurgents, including the planned opening of a Taliban political office to oversee talks.

One of the largest obstacles to peace discussions has been widespread Afghan contempt for U.S. military tactics that many - both Taliban sympathizers and not - see as heavy-handed. Opposition to the U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan usually centers on civilian casualties from military engagement, although the vast majority of those deaths are caused by the insurgents.

Although the video purports to show Taliban fighters, not civilians, it is likely to resonate with those opposed to the U.S. presence and to peace with the U.S.-backed Karzai government. In his statement, Karzai called on the U.S. military to punish the Marines.

The NATO-led security force in Afghanistan released a statement Thursday saying, "This disrespectful act is inexplicable and not in keeping with the high moral standards we expect of coalition forces."

The actions "appear to have been conducted by a small group of U.S. individuals, who apparently are no longer serving in Afghanistan," the International Security Assistance Force said. The statement did not identify the personnel or explain why the ISAF thought they had left the country.

A spokesman at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina would not confirm reports that the Marines were based there. "We have had elements of that unit that have deployed to Afghanistan and have returned. However, we have not yet confirmed if anyone in the video is from that unit, or whether they are attached to a unit from Lejeune," said Capt. Scott Sasser.

Sen. John McCain, a Navy veteran who fought and was held prisoner in the Vietnam war, said the incident "makes me so sad."

McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the Marine Corps one of America's strongest institutions and said its image has apparently been tarnished by "a handful of obviously undisciplined people."

"There should be an investigation and these young people should be punished," McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

Pentagon officials said the criminal investigation would likely look into whether the Marines violated laws of war, which include prohibitions against photographing bodies and detainees and a range of other rules.

In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Mujahid said, "During these 10 years American soldiers have tortured our people in various ways, they have shown disrespect to the holy Quran and other holy books, they have burned our bodies, they have killed and tortured our women and children and ... have committed other hateful actions."

Mujahid urged the U.N. and other international groups to end such actions by U.S. troops.

On Wednesday, the Council on Islamic-American Relations, a prominent Muslim civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, protested the video in a letter to Panetta.

"We condemn this apparent desecration of the dead as a violation of our nation's military regulations and of international laws of war prohibiting such disgusting and immoral actions," the group wrote.

"If verified as authentic, the video shows behavior that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians," the letter said.

Marine Corps headquarters at the Pentagon said: "The actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated."

A Marine Corps spokesman, Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, added, "Allegations of Marines not doing the right thing in regard to dead Taliban insurgents are very serious and, if proven, represent a failure to adhere to the high standards expected of American military personnel."

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Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic and Deb Reichmann in Kabul, Afghanistan; Anne Gearan in Washington and Susanne Schafer in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.

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