07-17-2024  8:44 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

NEWS BRIEFS

UNCF Celebrating 80 Years of Transforming Lives

The UNCF Each One Teach One Luncheon is Sunday, July 21, 2-5 p.m., Hyatt Regency at the Oregon Convention Center. ...

Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Awarded $1.499 Billion

Federal support again demonstrates multimodal replacement of the Interstate Bridge is a national priority ...

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

Money from Washington's landmark climate law will help tribes face rising seas, climate change

SEATTLE (AP) — Tens of millions of dollars raised by a landmark climate law in Washington state will go to Native American tribes that are at risk from climate change and rising sea levels to help them move to higher ground, install solar panels, buy electric vehicles and restore wetlands, Gov....

2nd Washington man pleads not guilty in 2022 attacks on Oregon electrical grids

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A second Washington state man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of damaging power substations in Oregon in 2022. Tacoma resident Zachary Rosenthal, 33, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Portland on Tuesday to three counts of damaging...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

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...

OPINION

The 900-Page Guide to Snuffing Out American Democracy

What if there was a blueprint for a future presidential administration to unilaterally lay waste to our constitutional order and turn America from a democracy into an autocracy in one fell swoop? That is what one far-right think tank and its contributors...

SCOTUS Decision Seizes Power to Decide Federal Regulations: Hard-Fought Consumer Victories Now at Risk

For Black and Latino Americans, this power-grab by the court throws into doubt and potentially weakens current agency rules that sought to bring us closer to the nation’s promises of freedom and justice for all. In two particular areas – fair housing and...

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

A Texas school that was built to segregate Mexican American students becomes a national park

A west Texas school built in 1909 for Mexican and Mexican American students as part of “separate but equal” education segregation was designated Wednesday as a national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established the Blackwell School National Historic...

2 men sentenced in 2021 armed standoff on Massachusetts highway

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — Two men have been sentenced for their role in an armed standoff on a busy Massachusetts highway in 2021 that lasted more than eight hours and caused traffic delays during a busy Fourth of July weekend. Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer was sentenced Tuesday in...

Lawsuit claims that delayed elections for Georgia utility regulator are unconstitutional

ATLANTA (AP) — Two groups on Wednesday sued to overturn a law extending the elected terms of Georgia's public service commissioners, saying it violates the state constitution for the five Republicans to be allowed to serve terms longer than six years. Georgia WAND Education Fund,...

ENTERTAINMENT

NBA agrees to terms on a record 11-year, billion media rights deal, AP source says

The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deals, a record 11-year agreement worth billion that would assure player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come. A person familiar with...

On anniversary of Frida Kahlo's death, her art's spirituality keeps fans engaged around the globe

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Frida Kahlo had no religious affiliation. Why, then, did the Mexican artist depict several religious symbols in the paintings she produced until her death on July 13, 1954? “Frida conveyed the power of each individual,” said art researcher and curator Ximena...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of July 21-27: July 21: Actor Leigh Lawson (“Tess”) is 81. Singer Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is 76. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”) is 76. Actor Jamey Sheridan (“Homeland”) is 73. Singer-guitarist Eric Bazilian of The Hooters is 71....

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Ukraine faces twin challenges of fighting Russia and shifting political sands in the US

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — After almost 30 months of war with Russia, Ukraine’s difficulties on the battlefield are...

With Haitian migration growing, a Mexico City family of doctors is helping out

CIUDAD NEZAHUALCOYOTL, Mexico (AP) — Last year, the Hernández Pacheco family began to notice a number of...

Biden aims to cut through voter disenchantment as he courts Latino voters at Las Vegas conference

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden is trying to shore up support among disenchanted voters key to his...

More Kenyan police arrive in Haiti with UN-backed mission to fight violent gangs

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Another 200 police officers from Kenya arrived Tuesday in Haiti for a U.N.-backed...

In attack that shocks quiet Oman, gunmen kill 6 and wound dozens more at a Shiite mosque

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Several gunmen burst into a Shiite mosque in the Gulf Arab state of Oman and...

Swedish police await forensic results to confirm 2 bodies found in burnt car are missing Britons

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish police said on Wednesday that the two bodies found in a burnt Danish-registered car in...

Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This is the economy election, right? Tell that to the world.

President Barack Obama is getting another dose of the reality of his job: the out-of-his-control events that shape whether he will keep it.

He is lobbying Israel not to launch on attack on Iran that could set the Middle East on fire and pull the United States into another war. He is struggling to get world powers to unite on halting a massacre in Syria. He is on the defensive about staying in Afghanistan after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a killing spree against civilians.

And back home, where the economy is king, everyone is talking about the price of gasoline. Which, as Obama can't say enough, no one can control right now.

The Republican presidential candidates don't have to worry as much about all this because they don't have the responsibility of governing - a luxury Obama likes to note, although he enjoyed the same when he was the challenger. The Republicans, though, are being drawn into events beyond their preferred message of the day.

For Obama, whose re-election bid looks rosier with every good month of job creation, the political risk in the least is that he gets knocked off message. That happened Monday when Obama and the White House spent a lot of effort trying to focus on energy, but the dominant news was the horrific rampage in Afghanistan.

Americans have turned against the war in Afghanistan, with most of them saying the fight isn't worth it anymore.

The bigger worry for Obama is that all the outside events conspire to sour the public mood, give people more to worry about and create an opening for Republicans to challenge his leadership. Just because presidents may not be able to control problems does not mean they don't get blamed for them.

"There are so many of them now, and dire ones," said Barbara Perry, a scholar of the American presidency at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.

"People may not care much about what Israel is doing, or even what Iran is doing, but given American dependence on Mideast oil, that has a direct impact on the pocketbook. Do these things inevitably have an impact on the campaign? Absolutely, because they will be the questions put to the presidential candidates."

As one example, the price at the pump carries political risk for Obama, who is taking a pounding over the issue in the polls.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline is now about $3.80, the highest ever for this time of year. The White House says anyone suggesting a quick fix is lying to voters. Instead, Obama pushes energy exploration across the board and reminds folks he championed a payroll tax cut that kept money in their pockets.

That doesn't offer as much election-year satisfaction for the typical commuter.

"The reality is that the oil prices and the gas prices that we pay here in the United States are set on the global market," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters Monday. "We don't set them, and we don't control them. This president and this Congress can't control those prices."

Clearly. Obama has gotten used to this dynamic.

Good news has come before on the economy, only to be suffocated by outside events. Just a few months ago, Obama attributed a slowing economy to the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring and the European debt crisis (not to mention his ugly showdown with Congress over a near-government default).

Now sizable job growth has taken hold by the month, but that pattern is hardly assured through Election Day. Obama still has a wary eye on Europe's economic stability, a slowdown in China could undermine the United States, and the turmoil surrounding Iran and Israel that could further jolt gas prices and, perhaps, lead to war.

It was a telling sign when Obama held his first news conference of the year last week and got not one question on the economy writ large. The focus was on the threat of a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Now the attention is back on the Afghanistan war as Obama warns against a hasty retreat.

So it goes for presidents.

The big problems of the day are covered by the media, evaluated by pollsters and viewed within the election context.

Still, the general election campaign is expected to come down to which contender has better answers for people looking for a job, a better career, a way to keep their house, a sense of security.

"The three most important issues of the election are the economy, the economy and the economy," Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said.

Indeed, an Associated Press-GfK poll of issues last month found 91 percent of people said the economy was highly important to them. Obama's team says the choice for voters is about restoring American security for all or going back to a free-for-all approach that led to the crisis. Republicans say he's failed to lead.

The White House isn't out to make this election about foreign policy, but Gibbs said "I don't think it hurts" if the conversation turns that way.

Obama has a story to tell on the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of the war in Iraq, the squeezing of Iran through sanctions.

The direction of the war in Afghanistan has been on that list too. But now it's a question, and Obama has to answer.

Afghanistan is raging with anti-Americanism after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month and, over the weekend, a soldier allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians and burned many of the bodies.

Obama was questioned about the horrific incident by television reporters from around the nation. They had been invited to the White House to talk about energy, but they pushed him on when the U.S. will be getting out of Afghanistan too. Obama said the United States must not rush to the exits.

So the timetable remains: the end of 2014, at the latest, for Americans to get out of a combat role in Afghanistan.

And this one: a little under nine months left for any issue in the world to rock Obama's re-election bid.

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White House Correspondent Ben Feller has covered the Obama and George W. Bush presidencies for The Associated Press. AP Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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