09-20-2019  9:51 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

New Treasurer Steps In At Multnomah Dems

Self-described ‘boring guy’ Dean Price steps in amid party tensions

Governor's Lawyer Declines Court Nod Amid Uproar

Misha Isaak has declined his appointment by Gov. Kate Brown to the Court of Appeals after the state's public records advocate accused him of unethical behavior

Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

NEWS BRIEFS

Mac Group Returns to GFO Sept. 25

User group to cover email, iCloud and more ...

Johnell Bell Named to National Small Business Leadership Council

Portland small business owner joins National Economic Development Association ...

Buffalo Soldier Dedication to Be Held at Fort Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 21

The installation will be the first African-American memorial in the city of Vancouver ...

Africa-America Institute Set to Honor Angola, New York Times Magazine, and Netflix Film During 35th Annual Awards Gala

New York City’s premiere Africa event takes place during the week of the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd session. ...

YouTube Originals Debuts Michelle Obama’s Reacher College Prep Course

‘A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College’ debuted last week ...

Portland students join global climate protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of students demanding action on the global climate crisis walked out of class in Portland, Oregon, part of global protests that stretched from Australia to South America.KOIN reports that students rallied Friday outside City Hall, making demands of Mayor Ted...

Prosecutors say key witness lied in motorcycle gang trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a judge in Las Vegas to throw out the testimony of a key witness in a federal racketeering trial after they say he lied on the witness stand.The trial stems from a 2011 shootout that killed a rival Hells Angels leader in a northern Nevada...

South Carolina tries to keep success against Missouri going

The only player on the Missouri roster who knows what it's like to beat South Carolina is Kelly Bryant, and the quarterback transfer didn't even accomplish the feat with the Tigers.He did it two years ago while playing for Clemson.The Tigers, who welcome South Carolina to Faurot Field for their SEC...

SEC building some of the top defenses in college football

While defenses are still a work in progress around the Southeastern Conference, they still rank as some of the best in college football.Florida leads the nation with 16 sacks, including 10 in the opener against rival Miami. Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia combined to shut out overmatched opponents...

OPINION

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trudeau's support holds after apology for wearing brownface

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial...

'Welcome back' - a reporter's fraught re-entry to Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The immigration officer lifted his stamp to put the visa into my passport and I heaved a sigh of relief. But then my passport was taken by a smiling woman who asked, "Have you been to Zimbabwe before?"Through questioning she determined that I had worked as a...

2 Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them

DALLAS (AP) — Two Muslim men from Texas say American Airlines profiled them and canceled their flight after crew members said they "didn't feel comfortable" flying with the pair.Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah said they filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation...

ENTERTAINMENT

'House Hunters' host Suzanne Whang dies at 57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Suzanne Whang, whose smooth, calm voice provided the narration for HGTV's "House Hunters" for years, has died. She was 57.Her Tuesday death was confirmed Friday by her longtime agent, Eddie Culbertson. Whang first gained fame as the on-screen host of the show, where...

Chris Sullivan of 'This is Us' takes risks on the red carpet

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Sullivan may or may not win at this weekend's Emmy Awards, but it's a sure bet that when he strikes a pose on the red carpet, his unconventional attire will make a statement.At past events, Sullivan has donned a top hat and cane, brightly colored flowered pants and...

Former Charlie Rose makeup artist sues, alleging harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — The former chief makeup artist at Charlie Rose's interview show is suing him, saying the disgraced television journalist ran a "toxic work environment" for women.Gina Riggi said in her harassment lawsuit filed Thursday that she worked for 22 years for Rose and Bloomberg, the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hurricane Lorena skirts east coast of Mexico's Baja

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Lorena skirted along the east coast of Mexico's Baja California...

AP Source: Altered doping data could restart Russian scandal

The Russian anti-doping agency could face suspension again based on information indicating data from the Moscow...

History buff finds ships that sank in 1878 in Lake Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — A diver and maritime history buff has found two schooners that collided and sank into the...

US, El Salvador sign asylum deal, details to be worked out

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States on Friday signed an agreement that paves the way for the U.S. to send...

Cubans wait hours in gas lines as fuel crisis bites

HAVANA (AP) — A fuel shortage blamed on the Trump Administration has turned filling a tank in Cuba into an...

Climate change will grab globe's focus with summit, strikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Get ready to hear about global warming — or the "climate emergency " as the United...

McMenamins
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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