09-24-2021  10:41 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

Cascadia Names New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Bukhosi Dube will lead innovative “integrative health” model

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Tribe wins major step toward resuming whaling off Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — An administrative law judge has recommended that a Native American tribe in Washington state once again be allowed to hunt gray whales — a major step in its decades-long effort to resume the ancient practice. “This is a testament to what we've been saying...

Civil rights complaint targets Idaho health care rationing

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An advocacy group for older adults has filed a civil rights complaint against Idaho over the state's “crisis standards of care” guidelines for hospitals that are overwhelmed by patients amid the coronavirus pandemic. The group Justice in Aging asked the...

Boston College hosts Missouri in juicy ACC-SEC matchup

BOSTON (AP) — ACC vs. SEC. It’s a juicy interconference matchup when Boston College (3-0) hosts Missouri (2-1) on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. BC, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will be hosting the first Southeastern Conference school since...

College Football Picks: Neutral sites for 2 ranked matchups

Last week, college football gave fans one of its tastiest, and unfortunately rare, treats when Auburn visited Penn State. Good teams. Great setting. Entertaining game. What college football is all about. This week, not so much. The...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

10 years after ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ cadets see progress

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Kelli Normoyle was nervous as she arrived at the Coast Guard Academy campus in Connecticut in 2008. She had come out as a lesbian to a few friends near the end of high school, but she faced a military environment where “don’t ask, don’t tell” was still the policy...

Neo-Nazis are still on Facebook. And they’re making money

BRUSSELS (AP) — It’s the premier martial arts group in Europe for right-wing extremists. German authorities have twice banned their signature tournament. But Kampf der Nibelungen, or Battle of the Nibelungs, still thrives on Facebook, where organizers maintain multiple pages, as well as on...

California to replace the word 'alien' from its laws

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will strike the word “alien” from its state laws, getting rid of what Gov. Gavin Newsom called “an offensive term for a human being” that has “fueled a divisive and hurtful narrative.” Newsom on Friday signed a law that removes...

ENTERTAINMENT

X Ambassadors push boundaries with new multimedia project

NEW YORK (AP) — To say the third, full-length album from X Ambassadors has a lot going on would be a little bit of an understatement. It’s a concept album about a fledgling superhero but also a trip into Jungian psychology and a valentine to old-fashioned radio dramas. It...

Former ABC News executive says Chris Cuomo harassed her

NEW YORK (AP) — A television executive who accused Chris Cuomo of groping her at a party 16 years ago says the CNN anchor needs a public education about sexual harassment and if he did that, “he'd be a hero instead of a cad.” The executive, Shelley Ross, said Friday she's...

Harris 'View' interview delayed, hosts positive for COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris' live interview on “The View” was abruptly delayed Friday after two hosts of the talk show learned they had tested positive for COVID-19 moments before Harris was to join them on the set. Cohost Sunny Hostin and guest host Ana...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Harry and Meghan visit with students at a Harlem school

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offered lots of hugs to kids at a Harlem...

Back in Haiti, expelled migrant family plans to flee again

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — You’re lucky, the U.S. officials said. “You’re going to see your family.” ...

Powell meets a changed economy: Fewer workers, higher prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Restaurant and hotel owners struggling to fill jobs. Supply-chain delays forcing up prices for...

GLIMPSES: Phone in hand, Barbados PM dials into issues at UN

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley certainly didn’t phone in her speech at the...

Small Fry: Peru's fishermen battle China's overseas fleet

ABOARD THE OCEAN WARRIOR in the eastern Pacific Ocean (AP) — José López proudly remembers his first catch: he...

Back in Haiti, expelled migrant family plans to flee again

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — You’re lucky, the U.S. officials said. “You’re going to see your family.” ...

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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