07-08-2020  3:01 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

NEWS BRIEFS

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Chip Miller Named Associate Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage

Miller originally joined the company in the spring of 2019, in the role of associate producer. ...

Police: million lost due to ongoing Portland protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Downtown businesses in Portland, Oregon, have sustained about million in damages and lost customers because of violent nightly protests that have wracked the city, authorities said Wednesday.At a police briefing, Deputy Chief Chris Davis said the intensity of the...

Coronavirus kills funding of 37 projects in Oregon

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A steep drop in lottery funds due to the COVID-19 crisis has killed the sale of 3 million in state bonds to pay for major projects in Oregon, the Bulletin newspaper of Bend reported Wednesday.The 37 projects authorized by the Legislature at the end of the 2019 session...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Five takeaways from Facebook's civil rights audit

A two-year audit of Facebook’s civil rights record found that the company’s elevation of free expression — especially by politicians — above other values has hurt its progress on other matters like discrimination, elections interference and protecting vulnerable users....

Biden-Sanders task forces unveil joint goals for party unity

WASHINGTON (AP) — Political task forces Joe Biden formed with onetime rival Bernie Sanders to solidify support among the Democratic Party's progressive wing recommended Wednesday that the former vice president embrace proposals to combat climate change and institutional racism while...

Mississippi board votes 'no' on moving Confederate monument

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Officials in a Mississippi county unanimously voted to keep a Confederate monument where it stands, saying moving the statue wouldn't fix racial tensions.In a 5-0 vote, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to relocate the Confederate statue,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Network: Shepard Smith joins CNBC for weeknight news program

NEW YORK (AP) — Shepard Smith, who abruptly quit Fox News Channel last October amid the ascendancy of opinionated programming, will bring a nightly newscast to CNBC this fall.CNBC announced Wednesday that Smith will anchor a one-hour weeknight newscast at 7 p.m. Eastern, the time slot he...

Coppola and Henson companies get loans for winery, puppetry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From a godfather of cinema to Kermit the Frog, the U.S. government’s small-business lending program sent money into unexpected corners of the entertainment industry. While legendary names like Francis Ford Coppola and Jim Henson hardly evoke the image of...

Review: Hanks lends steady, sober hand to taut naval drama

He’s Forrest Gump. He’s Mr. Rogers. He’s Woody.But with all the famous titles Tom Hanks has owned, few have fit as snugly and as smoothly as “captain” — whether it’s fending off Somali pirates in “Captain Phillips,” landing a plane on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Network: Shepard Smith joins CNBC for weeknight news program

NEW YORK (AP) — Shepard Smith, who abruptly quit Fox News Channel last October amid the ascendancy of...

Justice Department plows ahead with execution plan next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is plowing ahead with its plan to resume federal executions next...

Health official: Trump rally 'likely' source of virus surge

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of...

Ivory Coast PM, presidential candidate Amadou Coulibaly dies

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, the presidential candidate of Ivory...

UK gets creative: Job bonus and eating out schemes announced

LONDON (AP) — The British government unveiled a raft of measures Wednesday it hopes will limit an...

Hong Kong inaugurates Beijing's national security office

HONG KONG (AP) — Beijing’s national security office was inaugurated in Hong Kong on Wednesday, just...

McMenamins
Pete Yost the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday the Justice Department opened a record number of more than 100 new investigations into possible voting rights discrimination across the country last year.

During an appearance at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Holder praised the federal government's aggressive enforcement efforts while vowing to defend a landmark voting rights law that is increasingly under attack in this presidential election year.

On Thursday, Holder said that nowhere is the Justice Department's commitment to equal opportunity clearer than in efforts to expand access to voting nationwide.

It was the attorney general's third speech in little more than a month focusing on voting rights, coming amid a flurry of activity by states, largely those controlled by Republicans, to redraw political boundaries and impose requirements that could reduce voting by minorities who enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

"The reality is that - in jurisdictions across the country - both overt and subtle forms of discrimination remain all too common - and have not yet been relegated to the pages of history," Holder told the audience.

Pointing to some of the Justice Department's efforts, Holder cited as success stories the cases of two Ohio counties - Cuyahoga and Lorain - which agreed to ensure that bilingual ballots are available on county voting machines and that bilingual poll workers are on hand to help. In another positive outcome, said Holder, a northeast Ohio school board let a federal court determine how to structure elections to give blacks a greater chance of being elected.

In December in Austin, Texas, Holder urged the country to "call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success."

Earlier this month in Columbia, S.C., Holder told thousands of people commemorating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that in his travels "I've heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who - often for the first time in their lives - now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideals."

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires all or parts of 16 states to obtain advance approval from either the Justice Department's civil rights division or a federal court in Washington before carrying out changes in elections. The states are mostly in the South and all the jurisdictions have a history of discriminating against blacks, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives or Hispanics.

Despite congressional reauthorization in 2006 of Section 5 for 25 years, its future has come under constitutional challenges in federal courts by Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Shelby County, Ala., and some voters in Kinston, N.C.

As of last week, there were 833 Section 5 submissions for proposed electoral changes awaiting approval at the Justice Department from state, county and local units of government.

In one Section 5 action, the civil rights division in December rejected a new South Carolina law that requires voters to present a photo ID when they go to the polls. It was the first time in nearly two decades the Justice Department had reached such a conclusion about a voter ID law.

A pending Section 5 review involves Texas, where the Justice Department has raised questions over a new photo ID requirement. The state reacted by taking its case for the new law to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., where lawyers from the Justice Department and the state will square off. The Justice Department's civil rights division also is immersed in a court battle with Texas over allegedly discriminatory boundaries drawn by the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

The challenges to Section 5's constitutionality followed a 2009 Supreme Court opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts which seemed to raise doubts about whether the provision was still needed.

Section 5 "imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs," Roberts wrote. "Today, the registration gap between white and black voters is in single digits" in the states covered by the act's preclearance provision and "in some of those states, blacks now register and vote at higher rates than whites."

The stakes would be enormous if the Supreme Court got involved.

In 2006, Congress held hearings and created a 15,000-page record to justify renewing Section 5. Congress found that the Justice Department protected the interests of some 663,503 minority voters from 2000 to May 2006 by refusing to approve changes in political boundaries drawn by states, counties and local units of government. The Justice Department filed over 700 objections to proposed voting changes from 1982 to 2006 in states and counties covered by Section 5. From 1982 to 2003, states and local entities withdrew more than 200 proposed voting changes when the Justice Department started asking questions about them.

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