09-20-2021  4:26 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

As Shootings Rise Mayor Wheeler Wants to Hire Retired Cops

Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland Street Response, a team that helps people experiencing homelessness or low-acuity behavioral health issues, to reduce the number of calls police must handle

Illegal Marijuana Farms Take West's Scarce Water

Deer Creek has run dry after several illegal marijuana grows cropped up in the neighborhood last spring, stealing water from both the stream and nearby aquifers

Biden Slammed for Challenging Nuclear Workplace Health Law

The Biden Administration is picking up where the Trump administration left off, challenging a 2018 Washington state law that made it easier for sick Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to qualify for compensation benefits.

After Humble Beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros Launches IPO

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

NEWS BRIEFS

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Pfizer Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 is Safe with Robust Antibody Response

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the U.S....

Chris Rock Says he Has Covid-19 and Tells People to Get Vaccinated

The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get...

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

Washington governor asks feds for medical staffing help

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “In Washington State, our hospitals are currently at or beyond capacity, and we...

OR Senate passes Dems' redistricting plan as debate begins

Oregon lawmakers returned to the state Capitol Monday for a special session to tackle the once-a-decade task of redistricting, which will determine how voters pick state representatives, state senators and members of Congress for the next five election cycles. For the first time...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Re-defining 'racial equity' may increase donations for it

Though last year's racial justice protests unleashed an avalanche of donations for minority causes, the philanthropic community remains divided about which donations should be counted as advancing racial equity. Candid, a leading philanthropy research organization, told The...

4 men charged for shouting antisemitic abuse in London

LONDON (AP) — Four men were charged Monday for allegedly shouting antisemitic abuse while driving around in a convoy in north London. The suspects, all in their 20s and from the northwest English town of Blackburn, are accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words...

New claims in NYC restaurant brawl over vaccine proof

NEW YORK (AP) — New details have emerged about a brawl outside a popular New York City restaurant between several out-of-town visitors and an employee over the restaurant's requirement that the guests show proof of vaccination. Attorneys for Carmine's and for three women from...

ENTERTAINMENT

Emmys: ‘Crown,’ ‘Lasso,’ ‘Queen’s Gambit,' streaming triumph

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” combined with Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” to sweep top series honors at the Sunday’s Emmy Awards, a first for streaming services that cemented their rise to prominence in the television industry. ...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Sept. 26: Country singer David Frizzell is 80. Actor Kent McCord (“Adam 12”) is 79. “The Weakest Link” host Anne Robinson is 77. Singer Bryan Ferry is 76. Actor Mary Beth Hurt is 75. Singer-actor Olivia Newton-John is...

Review: Richard Powers amazes again with 'Bewilderment'

“Bewilderment,” by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton & Company) Here are two words that are so ingrained in Richard Powers’ astounding new novel as to be almost unnecessary: Autism and Trump. The book tells the story of Theo Byrne and his son Robin,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'I just cry': Dying of hunger in Ethiopia's blockaded Tigray

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, people now eat only green leaves for days. At a...

Pro-Kremlin party keeps large majority in Russian parliament

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s ruling party retained its supermajority in parliament, further cementing President...

The AP Interview: UN chief warns China, US to avoid Cold War

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Warning of a potential new Cold War, the head of the United Nations implored China and the...

'Hotel Rwanda' hero sentenced to 25 years on terror charges

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The man who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” for saving hundreds of his countrymen...

Nobody hurt but much damage in Spanish volcano eruption

LA LAGUNA, Spain (AP) — Giant rivers of lava tumbled slowly but relentlessly toward the sea Monday after a...

Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya

ABOARD THE GEO BARENTS (AP) — Two vessels rescued around 190 Europe-bound migrants, including women and...

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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