08-16-2022  6:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Basic Guaranteed Income Program to Launch for Black Portlanders

Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund argues the impact of direct cash payments. 

Oregon Justice Fires Panel Due to Lack of Public Defenders

Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit in May that alleges the state is violating their constitutional right to legal counsel and a speedy trial.

River Chief Imprisoned for Fishing Fights for Sacred Rights

Wilbur Slockish Jr. has been shot at, had rocks hurled at him. He hid underground for months, and then spent 20 months serving time in federal prisons across the country — all of that for fishing in the Columbia River.

Starbucks Asks Labor Board to Halt Union Votes Temporarily

A store in Overland Park, Kansas is one of 314 U.S. Starbucks locations where workers have petitioned the NLRB to hold union elections since late last year. More than 220 of those stores have voted to unionize.

NEWS BRIEFS

Measure on Portland Government to Appear as-Is on Ballot

Politicians, business leaders and civic activists have called for reshaping Portland’s form of government, which they say...

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Rolls Out New Grant Program

The Arts3C grant program is designed to be fully responsive to what artists and art makers in the community need funding to support ...

OHA Introduces New Monkeypox (hMPXV) Website

As of Aug. 10, 95 people have tested positive for monkeypox in Oregon ...

Wyden, Colleagues Renew Request for FDA to Address Concerns about Dangerous Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies Affecting Communities of Color

“There are decades of research showing inaccurate results when pulse oximeters are used to monitor people of color” ...

Inslee Issues Directive Outlining Monkeypox Virus Response

As of Friday, Washington state had confirmed 265 monkeypox cases. ...

After firing public defense commissioners, new members named

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The day after Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters fired all nine members of the state commission that oversees public defense, she said Tuesday that she was appointing four new commissioners and reappointing five commissioners from the previous group. ...

Names of 3 killed in collision along Oregon Coast released

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (AP) — The three people killed in a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 101 near Lincoln City have been identified. Claude Segerson, 69, Matthew Phillips, 31, and Christopher Padilla, 30, all of the Oregon town of Otis, died Monday, Oregon State Police said. ...

Mizzou full of optimism with new QB, defensive coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, and the Tigers are about to start their fifth different quarterback in the season opener in the last five years. Sounds like a program that should be on shaky ground. ...

Hoosiers looking for a turnaround after dismal 2021 season

Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and quarterback Jack Tuttle took matters into their own hands this offseason. They called their teammates together to discuss the goals and aspirations of the program, the need to always play with an edge and to break down precisely why things went wrong...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

California appeals court rejects COVID-19 fines for church

A California church that defied safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic by holding large religious services won't have to pay about 0,000 in fines, a state appeals court ruled. Calvary Chapel San Jose and its pastors were held in contempt of court and fined in 2020 and 2021...

R Kelly jury picked in child pornography, trial-fixing case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal jury was impaneled Tuesday in R. Kelly's hometown of Chicago to decide multiple charges against the R&B singer, as prosecutors and defense attorneys argued toward the end of the process about whether the government was improperly attempting to keep some Blacks from...

Lawsuit: Mississippi police 'terrorized' small town

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Police have “terrorized” Black residents in a small Mississippi town by subjecting them to false arrests, excessive force and intimidation, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by a civil rights organization. The organization, JULIAN, is seeking a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Mark Hoffman out as CNBC chief, KC Sullivan replacing him

NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran CNBC chief Mark Hoffman is leaving the network after 28 years, with London-based executive KC Sullivan replacing him early next month, the network said on Tuesday. Hoffman was named president of the financial news network in 2005 and elevated to chairman in...

Fox News gets into movies with story from romance novelist

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News is getting into the movies by producing its first feature film, an adaptation of “The Shell Collector” from romance novelist Nancy Naigle. The movie, which debuts Sept. 1, is the first of four films planned over the next year on the Fox Nation streaming...

Long-hidden synagogue mural gets rehabbed, relocated

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A mural that was painted in a Vermont synagogue more than 100 years ago by a Lithuanian immigrant — and hidden behind a wall for years— has been termed a rare piece of art and has been painstakingly moved and restored. The large colorful...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Afghanistan marks 1 year since Taliban seizure as woes mount

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday marked a year since they seized the Afghan capital in a rapid...

Putin blasts US 'hegemony,' predicts end to 'unipolar' world

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trying to encourage extended...

DHS watchdog rebuffs lawmakers on Secret Service testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general has refused congressional requests for...

Putin blasts US 'hegemony,' predicts end to 'unipolar' world

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of trying to encourage extended...

Palestinian President Abbas skirts apology for Munich attack

BERLIN (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed no regret Tuesday for the deadly attack by...

South African miners mark 10th anniversary of killings

MARIKANA, South Africa (AP) — A somber gathering of about 5,000 people marked the 10th anniversary of what has...

Bassem Mroue the Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian activists accused regime forces of carrying out execution-style killings and burning homes Friday as part of a scorched-earth campaign in a restive neighborhood in the city of Homs, and the Red Cross said the regime blocked the group's access to the area following a bloody, monthlong siege to dislodge rebel forces.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it received permission from the government Thursday to enter Baba Amr, and a convoy with seven truckloads of aid was poised to do so on Friday. Humanitarian conditions were believed to be catastrophic, with extended power and water shortages during frigid, snowy winter.

"It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help," said ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger. "We are staying in Homs tonight in the hope of entering Baba Amr in the very near future."

The Syrian regime has said it was fighting "armed gangs" in Baba Amr, and vowed to "cleanse" the neighborhood over the past month. Activists' videos have shown scenes of devastation, with flattened and burned-out buildings. Residents also were seen gathering snow to use for drinking water and piles of rubble.

Syria has faced mounting international criticism over its bloody crackdown on the uprising, which started with peaceful protests but has become increasingly militarized. The U.N. has estimated that more than 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising began nearly a year ago. Activists put the death toll at over 8,000.

France said Friday it is closing its embassy in Syria, a day after two French journalists escaped to Lebanon after being trapped for days in the central city of Homs. The United States and Britain already have closed their embassies in Syria.

Syrian forces retook control of the district, called Baba Amr, on Thursday, and there were growing fears of revenge attacks after the rebels withdrew. The Red Cross reached Homs, but had yet to enter Baba Amr.

Bassel Fouad, a Syrian activist who fled to Lebanon from Baba Amr two days ago, said a colleague there told him Friday that Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen known as shabiha were conducting house-to-house raids.

"The situation is worse than terrible inside Baba Amr," Fouad said. "Shabiha are entering homes and setting them on fire."

His colleague said the gunmen lined 10 men up early Friday and shot them dead in front of a government cooperative that sells subsidized food. He said Syrian forces were detaining anyone over the age of 14 in the three-story building.

"They begin at the start of a street and enter and search house after house," he said. "Then they start with another street."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said it had received reports of 10 people slain in front of a co-op and called on the Red Cross team heading to Homs to investigate claims by residents the building is being used a prison. Another group, the Local Coordination Committees, said 14 were killed.

The claims could not be independently verified. Information from inside Baba Amr has been difficult to obtain in recent days. Activists elsewhere in the city said those in Baba Amr stopped using satellite connections for fear the government could use them to target strikes. Others accuse the government of scrambling signals.

The central city of Homs, Syria's third largest, has emerged as a key battleground in the uprising against President Bashar Assad that began in March 2011. Activists said hundreds were killed during the nearly monthlong siege, and many lived for days with little food and no electricity or running water.

The U.N. said it was alarmed by the reports of execution-style killings after the Syrian army seized Baba Amr from rebel forces in a major blow to the opposition.

In Geneva, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said the agency had received unconfirmed reports of "a particularly grisly set of summary executions" involving 17 people in Baba Amr after government forces entered.

Rupert Colville did not provide details but said his office was seeking to confirm the reports and called on both government and rebel forces to refrain from all forms of reprisal.

The Red Cross, meanwhile, sent a convoy of aid trucks to Homs along a snow-covered route from the capital Damascus early Friday.

Khalid Arqsouseh, a spokesman for the Syrian Red Crescent in Homs, said the seven 15-ton trucks were carrying food, milk powder, medical supplies and blankets.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the events in Syria a "scandal," adding that the European Council "condemned in the harshest terms what is happening in Syria."

Ambassador Eric Chevallier had only recently returned to Damascus after being recalled to Paris for consultations. He was sent back to help try to get two stranded French reporters out of Syria - Edith Bouvier and William Daniels. Those reporters flew to France Friday after being smuggled out of Syria and into Lebanon the night before.

Bouvier was wounded last week in a rocket attack in Baba Amr that also wounded British photographer Paul Conroy and killed American reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

Red Cross spokesman Bijan Farnoudi told The Associated Press Friday that the organization had been handed the remains of Ochlik and Colvin and would be transporting them to Damascus.

Videos released by activists in Syria Thursday said Colvin and Ochlik were buried in Baba Amr. But the Syrian government claimed it had disinterred their bodies and would repatriate them.

Conroy and Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa also were smuggled out of Syria this week.

The West has stepped up its criticism of Assad's regime amid mounting reports of atrocities at the hands of security forces. The U.S. has called for Assad to step down and Hillary Rodham Clinton said he could be considered a war criminal.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blasted the West Friday for backing the Syrian opposition against the government, saying it has fueled the conflict. But his foreign ministry made it clear that it will not be able to stop other countries from launching a military intervention if they try to do it without U.N. approval.

Putin called for both Syrian government and opposition forces to pull out of besieged cities to end the bloodshed, adding that Western refusal to make that demand of Assad's opponents has encouraged them to keep fighting.

"Do they want Assad to pull out his forces so the opposition moves right in?" Putin said at a meeting with editors of top Western newspapers in remarks carried by state television. "Is it a balanced approach?"

Activist groups said protesters took to the streets in towns across Syria Friday, many of them met with tear gas, gunfire and mass arrests by Syrian security forces.

The Observatory said 10 people were killed in the town of Rastan near Homs when a mortar landed near marchers. The LCC said 16 were killed in the same event, among 52 reported dead nationwide.

Protesters dubbed Friday the day of "Arming the Free Syrian Army" - reflecting a widening perception that only military action can stop the crackdown on dissent and hasten Assad's downfall.

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Associated Press writers Frank Jordans from Geneva and Albert Aji in Damascus contributed reporting.

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