06-22-2024  4:08 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

Black Leaders Urge County to Continue Funding Multnomah Mothers Trust

The program has been entirely funded by American Rescue Plan grants, which run out after this year.

NEWS BRIEFS

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

University of Portland Honored with Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

UP recognized as one of 25 institutions nationwide committed to advancing leadership in pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and...

The National Civil Rights Museum Announces 33rd Freedom Award Honorees

This is the museum's signature event, which pays tribute to individuals who have shown unwavering commitment to promoting equity and...

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and...

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Africa's new government brings Black and white together. It's also reviving racial tensions

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — In a country where racial segregation was once brutally enforced, South Africa's new coalition government has brought a Black president and a white opposition leader together in an image of unity. Yet the power-sharing agreement sealed a week ago...

Buttigieg tours Mississippi civil rights site and says transportation is key to equity in the US

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday toured the home of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi's capital city, saying afterward that transportation is important to securing equity and justice in the United States. ...

Celebrations honor Willie Mays and Negro League players ahead of MLB game at Rickwood Field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — As Ajay Stone strolled around historic Rickwood Field and gazed at tributes displayed in honor of Willie Mays and other Negro Leaguers, he clutched a cherished memory under his arm. It was a picture from 2004 of Mays holding Stone's then-10-month-old daughter...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

List of winners at the 2024 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Winners at the 2024 Tony Awards, announced Sunday. Best Musical: “The Outsiders” Best Play: “Stereophonic” Best Revival of a Musical: “Merrily We Roll Along” Best Revival of a Play: “Appropriate” ...

Sony Pictures acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the dine-in movie theater chain

Sony Pictures Entertainment is getting into the exhibition business. The studio behind recent films like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “The Garfield Movie” has acquired the distinctive theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the companies said Wednesday. Included in the deal is the genre film...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, criticized for saying West provoked Putin to invade Ukraine

LONDON (AP) — Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing Reform U.K party, is facing wide-ranging criticism across...

US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as a show of force against nuclear-armed North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier arrived Saturday in South Korea for a...

A year ago, Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin challenged the Kremlin with a mutiny

On a lazy summer weekend a year ago, Russia was jolted by the stunning news of an armed uprising. The swaggering...

How does heat kill? It confuses your brain. It shuts down your organs. It overworks your heart.

As temperatures and humidity soar outside, what's happening inside the human body can become a life-or-death...

Italian coast guard recovers 14 more bodies of shipwreck victims off Calabria, dozens still missing

ROME (AP) — The Italian coast guard has recovered 14 more bodies from last week's shipwreck in the Ionian Sea...

As U.S.-supplied weapons show impact inside Russia, Ukrainian soldiers hope for deeper strikes

KHARKIV REGION, Ukraine (AP) — Weeks after the decision allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons for...

Ali Akbar Dareini the Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran claimed Wednesday that it has achieved two major advances in its program to master production of nuclear fuel, a defiant move in response to increasingly tough Western sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

In a further show of resistance to international pressure, state media reported Iran was taking steps to cut oil exports to six European countries in retaliation for new European Union sanctions, including a ban on Iranian oil.

The semiofficial Mehr agency said that Iran has halted exports to France and the Netherlands, and has given an ultimatum to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece to either sign long-term contracts with Iran or be cut off. State-run Press TV had earlier reported that exports were being cut off outright for all six. The contradiction in the reports could not immediately been resolved.

The EU ban on oil imports is to go into effect in July. Iranian officials say their country's earlier cutoff will hit European nations before they can line up new suppliers, and that Tehran has already lined up buyers for the 18 percent share of its oil that goes to Europe.

Iran's tough tone comes as tensions have mounted dramatically with Israel and the United States over its nuclear program, which Washington and its allies say is aimed at producing a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is intended solely for research and generating electricity. Israel has increasingly warned of the possibility of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and it has accused Iran of being behind attempted attacks on Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and elsewhere. Iran denies any role in the attacks, which have resembled recent bombing-assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists that Tehran has blamed on Israel.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator on Wednesday formally notified the European Union's foreign policy chief that Tehran is willing to return to talks with the world powers on its nuclear program. Many in the West however feel that negotiations are a ploy to buy time.

Iran is meanwhile pushing ahead on what it says is a drive toward nuclear-self-sufficiency.

On Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad oversaw the insertion of the first Iranian domestically made fuel rod into a research reactor in northern Tehran, the country's official IRNA news agency reported.

Separately, the semiofficial Fars agency reported that a "new generation of Iranian centrifuges" had been installed and had gone into operation at the country's main uranium enrichment facility at Natanz in central Iran.

The moves were aimed at showing that Iran is mastering the entire cycle of producing nuclear fuel on its own despite the restrictions of sanctions that have hampered its ability to procure materials from abroad. In the fuel cycle, mined uranium is processed into gas, then that gas is spun in centrifuges to purify it. Low-enriched uranium - at around 3.5 percent - is used to produce fuel rods that power a reactor; however, the same process can be used to produce highly enriched uranium - at around 90 percent purity - that can be used to build a warhead.

The Tehran facility where IRNA said the new fuel rods were installed is a research reactor intended to produce medical isotopes used in the treatment of cancer patients. It requires fuel enriched to around 20 percent, considered a threshold between low and high enriched uranium.

Iran has been producing uranium enriched up to 5 percent for years, and began enriching up to near 20 percent in February 2010 after attempts at a deal with the West to import the fuel rods broke down. In January, Iran said it had produced its first such fuel rod. IRNA said the nuclear fuel rods were produced at a plant in Isfahan, central Iran.

Iranian officials have long spoken of introducing faster, more efficient centrifuges at the Natanz facility. The Fars news agency report did not give details on the advanced models that were installed.

A diplomat accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iran's known nuclear programs said the "new generation" of centrifuges appeared to be referring to about 65 IR-4 machines that were recently set up at an experimental site at Natanz. The new model can churn out enriched material at a faster rate than the more rudimentary IR-1 centrifuges, thousands of which are at work in Natanz producing low-enriched uranium, said the diplomat.

The newer machines were set up at a separate operation at Natanz used to test its more advanced centrifuges, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his information is privileged.

Iran has been slow to expand its more advanced models, apparently because strict international embargoes make procurement of parts and materials difficult, and 65 of the newer generation machines are not nearly enough to set up an effective enrichment operation.

Still, the fact that Iran continues to build the newer machines, even at a slow pace, shows that it is able to circumvent sanctions - or produce materials it needs domestically.

Tehran's announcement that it had started loading domestically produced fuel roads into its research reactor had less potential proliferation implications than its expanding enrichment program. The diplomat said IAEA inspectors had seen the rods recently and - while they showed some flaws - they were crafted well enough to work inside the reactor.

Apart from the EU's recent measures on Iran, which include an oil embargo and a freeze of the country's central bank assets, Washington also recently levied new penalties aimed at limiting Iran's ability to sell oil - which accounts for 80 percent of its foreign revenue. Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said several days earlier that Tehran could cut off oil exports to "hostile" European nations.

Members of Iran's parliament have been discussing a draft bill, although not finalized, which would cut off the flow to the European Union before the latest EU sanctions on Iran go into effect this summer.

Iran's unchecked pursuit of the nuclear program scuttled negotiations a year ago, but Iranian officials last month proposed a return to the talks with the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

IRNA news agency on Wednesday reported that Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili had written to the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, to formally announce its readiness to start those negotiations.

In the past, Iran has angered Western officials by appearing to buy time through opening talks and weighing proposals even while pressing ahead with the nuclear program.

---

AP correspondent George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this report.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.