09-26-2022  12:12 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

After a Rocky Start Oregon Drug Decriminalization Eyes Progress

When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug Addiction Treatment andRecovery Act in 2020, the emphasis was on treatment as much as on decriminalizing possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs. But progress has been slow and Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country yet over half of addiction treatment programs in the state don't have enough staffing and funding to help those who want help

Portland, Oregon, to Use Microphones to Track Gunshots

The decision to advance a pilot program with ShotSpotter was made after Wheeler met with Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

Oregon Students' Math, Reading Skills Plummet Post-Pandemic

The tests administered last spring were the first reliable comparison to pre-pandemic testing done in 2019.

Faith Community, Activists Introduce ‘Evidence-Based’ Gun Control Measure to Ballot

Proposed law would require permits to purchase, limit magazine rounds.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rep. Janelle Bynum Champions Oregon Business and Sets Sights on Strengthening Key Industries

Rep. Bynum invited leaders and experts to discuss ways the state can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the...

PPS Renames Headquarters

The central office will be named after Matthew Prophet, Portland Public School's first Black Superintendent from 1982-1992,...

Affordable Housing Plan to Go Before Seattle Voters

If I-135 passes it would create a public development authority ...

Merkley, Wyden: Over $3.2 Million in Federal Funds to Address Domestic Violence and Expand Services for Survivors 

The awful threat of domestic violence undermines the safety of far too many households and communities in Oregon and nationwide ...

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces Partnership to Advance Genomics Research at the Nation's Four Historically Black Medical Colleges

New partnership with Charles Drew University College of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and...

Police: Man dead in shooting outside Portland hotel

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man was killed in a shooting outside a hotel in Portland early Sunday, police said. No arrests were immediately made in the shooting, which was reported at around 3:30 a.m. The shooting in the northeast part of the city took place a few blocks...

After rocky start, hopes up in Oregon drug decriminalization

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two years after Oregon residents voted to decriminalize hard drugs and dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to treatment, few people have requested the services and the state has been slow to channel the funds. When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug...

LSU survives Daniels' injury scare in romp over New Mexico

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU defense held New Mexico to 88 total yards and the Tigers survived an injury scare to starting quarterback Jayden Daniels in a 38-0 victory Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a habit,” LSU...

Bridges' OT fumble recovery seals Auburn's win over Missouri

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cayden Bridges recovered a fumble in the end zone to give Auburn a 17-14 overtime victory over Missouri in an SEC opener on Saturday. Missouri (2-2) running back Nathaniel Peat dropped the football before a potential game-winning touchdown, and Bridges landed on...

OPINION

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Democrats in Florida seek to win over Latinos on gun control

MIAMI (AP) — Annette Taddeo walked to a podium overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay and described to her audience how she had fled terrorism as a teenager in Colombia and now feared for the safety of her 16-year-old daughter at an American public school. A blue and bright orange bus...

Biden administration launches environmental justice office

WARRENTON, N.C. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s top environment official visited what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement Saturday to unveil a national office that will distribute billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution. ...

Ex-Nevada deputy attorney general indicted on murder charge

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii grand jury on Friday indicted a former deputy Nevada attorney general on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the 50-year-old cold case of a Honolulu woman killed in 1972. Tudor Chirila, 77, is in custody in Reno, Nevada, where he is fighting...

ENTERTAINMENT

New Mexico allows funds for prosecutions in 'Rust' shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has granted funds to pay for possible prosecutions connected to last year's fatal film-set shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday. The state Board of Finance greenlit more than 7,000 to...

Ari Lennox's 'age/sex/location' revels in infatuation

NEW YORK (AP) — Writer’s block confined Ari Lennox during the creation of her latest album, “age/sex/location,” but her label head and friend, rap superstar J. Cole, suggested she begin journaling to unlock her creativity. “He was like, ‘I just want you to write and just...

Early Streisand nightclub recording remastered for release

NEW YORK (AP) — A series of 1962 performances by Barbra Streisand at a Manhattan nightclub before she became a superstar have been remastered and will be released this fall. “Barbra Streisand — Live at the Bon Soir” features songs from a three night stint at the Bon Soir...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Bills would curtail objections at future Jan. 6 counts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress have officially objected to the results in four of the last six...

Analysis: Backups, be ready. NFL's QB carousel is spinning

The NFL’s quarterback carousel may start spinning a bit faster. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh...

Powerful typhoon leaves 5 rescuers dead in north Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Typhoon Noru blew out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving five rescuers...

Cardinal Zen, 5 others stand trial in Hong Kong over fund

HONG KONG (AP) — A 90-year-old Catholic cardinal and five others stood trial in Hong Kong on Monday for...

New Zealand marks queen's death with holiday, church service

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand on Monday marked the death of Queen Elizabeth II with a public...

Seoul says North Korea, China reopen freight train traffic

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea and China resumed freight train service Monday following a five-month...

Jill Lawless the Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Rupert Murdoch's media empire apologized and agreed to cash payouts Thursday to 37 people - including a movie star, a soccer player, a top British politician and the son of a serial killer - who were harassed and phone-hacked by his tabloid press.

The four - Jude Law, Ashley Cole, John Prescott and Chris Shipman - were among three dozen victims who received financial damages from Murdoch's British newspaper company for illegal eavesdropping and other intrusions, including email snooping.

Financial details of 15 of the payouts, totaling more than 640,000 pounds (about $1 million), were made public at a court hearing Thursday. The amounts generally ran into the tens of thousands of pounds - although Law received 130,000 pounds (about $200,000), plus legal costs, to settle claims against the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid and its sister tabloid, The Sun.

Law was one of 60 people who have sued Murdoch's News Group Newspapers, claiming their mobile phone voicemails were hacked. Others whose settlements were announced Thursday at London's High Court included former government ministers Chris Bryant and Tessa Jowell, rugby player Gavin Henson, Princess Diana's former lover James Hewitt, singer Dannii Minogue and Sara Payne, the mother of a murdered girl.

It was the largest group of settlements announced yet in the long-running hacking scandal, which has shaken Murdoch's global empire, spurred the resignations of several of his top executives and reverberated through Britain's political, police and media elite.

Law, the star of "Sherlock Holmes" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," said he was "truly appalled" at the scale of surveillance and privacy invasion that his case had exposed.

"No aspect of my private life was safe from intrusion by News Group Newspapers, including the lives of my children and the people who work for me," he said in a statement. "It was not just that my phone messages were listened to. News Group also paid people to watch me and my house for days at a time and to follow me and those close to me, both in this country and abroad."


Soccer star Ashley Cole

News Group Newspapers admitted that 16 articles about Law published in the News of the World between 2003 and 2006 had been obtained by phone hacking, and that the actor had also been placed under "repeated and sustained physical surveillance." The company also admitted that articles in The Sun had misused Law's private information - although it didn't go as far as to admit hacking by that paper.

Law said Murdoch's tabloids had been "prepared to do anything to sell their newspapers and to make money, irrespective of the impact it had on people's lives."

"I changed my phones, I had my house swept for bugs but still the information kept being published," Law said. "I started to become distrustful of people close to me."

The slew of settlements is one consequence of the revelations of phone-hacking and other illegal tactics at the News of the World, where journalists routinely intercepted voicemails of those in the public eye in a relentless search for scoops.

Murdoch closed the 168-year-old paper in July amid a wave of public revulsion over its hacking of the voicemails of missing 13-year-old Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. More than a dozen ex-Murdoch employees have been arrested by police investigating phone hacking and bribery.

British politicians and police have also been ensnared in the scandal, which exposed the cozy relationship between senior officers, top lawmakers and Murdoch newspaper executives. A government-commissioned inquiry set up in the wake of the scandal is currently investigating the ethics of Britain's media and its links to police and politicians.

Law's ex-wife and actress Sadie Frost received 50,000 pounds (about $77,000) in damages for phone hacking and deceit by the News of the World. Bryant received 30,000 pounds (about $46,000), while Prescott - a prominent member of the Labour Party who was Britain's former deputy prime minister - accepted 40,000 pounds (about $62,000).

After each statement, News Group lawyer Michael Silverleaf stood to express the news company's "sincere apologies" for the damage and distress its illegal activity had caused.

Many of the statements ended with victims saying they felt vindicated after years in which Murdoch's company denied phone hacking had been widespread at the News of the World. The company had initially vowed to fight the claims in court.

"Today's court decision at long last brings clarity, apology and compensation for the years of hacking into my telephone messages by Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers," Prescott told his local newspaper, the Hull Daily Mail. "It follows years of aggressive denials and a cavalier approach to private information and the law."

The claimants described feeling mistrust, fear and paranoia as phone messages went missing, journalists knew their movements in advance or private information appeared in the media.

Frost said the paper's activity had caused her and Law to suspect one another. Henson said he accused the family of his then-wife, singer Charlotte Church, of leaking stories to the press.

Other claimants included Guy Pelly, a friend of Prince William who was awarded 40,000 pounds (about $62,000), and Tom Rowland, a journalist who wrote for one of Murdoch's own newspapers, the Sunday Times. He received 25,000 pounds ($39,000) after News Group admitted hacking his phone.

In a handful of cases the company admitted hacking into emails, as well as telephone voice mails. Christopher Shipman, whose father, Dr. Harold Shipman, was a notorious serial killer thought to have murdered more than 200 of his patients, had emails containing sensitive legal and medical information intercepted by the News of the Word. He was awarded "substantial" undisclosed damages.

The settlements announced Thursday amount to more than half of the phone-hacking lawsuits facing Murdoch's company, but the number of victims is estimated to be in the hundreds.

Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many victims, said in an email that the fight against Murdoch's media empire wasn't over.

"While congratulations are due to those (lawyers) and clients who have settled their cases, it is important that we don't get carried away into thinking that the war is over," Lewis said. "Fewer than 1 percent of the people who were hacked have settled their cases. There are many more cases in the pipeline. ... This is too early to celebrate, we're not even at the end of the beginning."

Many victims had earlier settled with the company, including actress Sienna Miller - whose on-again, off-again romance with Law generated widespread press interest - and the parents of murdered teenager Dowler, who were awarded 2 million pounds (about $3.1 million) in compensation.

Ten further cases are due to go to court next month, though lawyers said more settlements are likely.

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Associated Press Writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.

Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless

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