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NORTHWEST NEWS

I-5 Expansion Loses Support of Albina Vision, City

Gov. Brown says project must have support of local Black community 

Justice Department to Investigate Portland Protest Shooting

Donavan LaBella was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when a federal officer fired a less-lethal round at his head

Seattle Mayor, City Council at Odds Over 50% Police Cut

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the City Council has failed to speak with the police chief or conduct sufficient research

OSU, UO Among 20 Universities Filing Federal Lawsuit in Oregon Over International Student Order

The lawsuit, filed today, seeks to protect the educational status of nearly 3,500 students attending OSU

NEWS BRIEFS

Schultz Family Foundation Appoints Tyra Mariani as New President

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Meyer Memorial Trust Announces $25 Million For Justice Oregon For Black Lives

Meyer awards initial grants totaling nearly jumi.3 million. ...

Secretary of State Bev Clarno Announces Extension of Signature Gathering for Initiative Petition 57

IP 57 is seeking to amend the Oregon Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission. ...

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Animal print, beads or plain black, masks become about style

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — They can be colorful or come in basic black, make a political statement or just a funny one. Masks made of cotton and other washable materials have become big sellers, and an emerging fashion item, as face coverings have been increasingly mandated around the world to...

Arrests as police clear 2 Portland parks of demonstrators

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police made multiple arrests as protesters were cleared from two downtown Portland, Oregon, parks early Thursday morning.KOIN reports that early Thursday police ordered people to leave Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square parks. Demonstrators had been occupying the park...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

OPINION

Heeding the Cries for Justice: Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Meyer trustees call on philanthropy peers and partners in business and industry to support this movement ...

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

2 Germans arrested over far-right, anti-Semitic website

BERLIN (AP) — Two German men were arrested Thursday on suspicion of spearheading a far-right group that posted pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic material online, prosecutors said.A suspect accused of co-founding the “Goyim Party Germany” group in 2016 and identified only as Fadi J. in...

Diversity of LGBTQ characters in film declines, study finds

NEW YORK (AP) — Last year saw record representation of LGBTQ characters in the 118 films released by major studios, according to a new study by GLAAD. But for the third straight year, the racial diversity of LGBTQ characters has waned and transgender characters again went unseen.GLAAD called...

North Macedonia: Social Democrats score narrow election win

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia's pro-Western Social Democrats said they were ready Thursday to start complicated power-sharing negotiations after winning a narrow election victory in a poll held up for months by the COVID-19 pandemic.Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's Social...

ENTERTAINMENT

Gooding’s misconduct case back on docket after virus delays

NEW YORK (AP) — When Cuba Gooding Jr. returns to court next month for a hearing in his New York City sexual misconduct case, he’ll find the room outfitted with Plexiglas and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has indefinitely delayed his trial, a judge said...

Michelle Obama to host podcast on health, relationships

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michelle Obama will let her own voice be heard on a new podcast.The former first lady will host “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on the streaming service, the Obama’s Higher Ground and Spotify announced Thursday. The podcast will exclusively debut on...

Liked 'Hamilton'? New documentary shows where it came from

NEW YORK (AP) — You've probably seen or heard the highly scripted side of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now get to know the unscripted one.The playwright, actor and songwriter this month follows up the streaming live capture of his triumphant Broadway musical “Hamilton” with a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Spacecraft snaps closest pictures of sun, 'campfires' abound

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VIRUS DIARY: Perfect pregnancy plans, ruined by a pandemic

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Minorities under attack as PM pushes 'tolerant' Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — It’s been a tough month for religious minorities in Pakistan, and...

3 more states share license data for citizenship efforts

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Iowa, South Carolina and South Dakota have now joined Nebraska in agreeing to...

EU praises Serbia, Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union praised the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks...

Analysis: Risks grow after blast hits Iran's nuclear program

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A mysterious explosion and fire at Iran's main nuclear facility may have...

McMenamins
Foster Klug and Christopher Bodeen the Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Material that can be used to make nuclear bombs is stored in scores of buildings spread across dozens of countries. If even a fraction of it fell into the hands of terrorists, it could be disastrous.

Nearly 60 world leaders who gathered Tuesday in Seoul for a nuclear security summit agreed to work on securing and accounting for all nuclear material by 2014. But widespread fear lingers about the safety of nuclear material in countries including former Soviet states, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and India.

While the threat of nuclear terrorism is considered lower now than a decade ago, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden, the nightmare scenario of a terrorist exploding a nuclear bomb in a major city isn't necessarily the far-fetched stuff of movies.

"It would not take much, just a handful or so of these materials, to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people and that's not an exaggeration, that's the reality that we face," President Barack Obama told world leaders at the meeting, a follow-up to a summit he hosted in Washington in 2010.

Building a nuclear weapon isn't easy, but a bomb similar to the one that obliterated Hiroshima is "very plausibly within the capabilities of a sophisticated terrorist group," according to Matthew Bunn, an associate professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

There's an "immense difference between the difficulty of making safe, reliable weapons for use in a missile or combat aircraft and making crude, unsafe, unreliable weapons for delivery by truck," Bunn said.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based nonproliferation group that tracks the security of world nuclear stockpiles, said in a January report that 32 countries have weapons-usable nuclear materials. Some countries, such as the United States, maintain strict controls already. However others, including Russia and other former Soviet republics, have struggled to secure their stocks, raising fears of "loose nukes" falling into the hands of terrorist groups.

It's unclear how nations will enforce the summit's goal of securing nuclear material by 2014. The International Atomic Energy Agency shares best practices for securing nuclear material, but the U.N. body has no power to enforce its recommendations.

Some countries on the NTI list are a concern because of their government's ties with militant groups or because of corruption among their officials. Others simply don't yet have good safety practices.

Although Pakistan's small stockpiles of nuclear material are heavily guarded, it is believed to be prone to corruption by officials who may have sympathies to hard-line Islamic militants, Bunn said.

Despite New Delhi's insistence that its nuclear materials are secure, the NTI ranked India among the top five nuclear security risks, saying the government needs more transparency, more independence for its nuclear regulator and tighter measures to protect nuclear material in transit.

India's lax security was displayed in at least two incidents in recent years in which radioactive materials - from a hospital and a university laboratory - were discarded and later ended up in a scrap dealer's shop.

Other recent nuclear scares include a suspected attempt by a crime syndicate in the eastern European country of Moldova to sell weapons-grade uranium to buyers in North Africa. Officials in the country told The Associated Press that 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of highly enriched uranium remains in criminal hands and is probably in another country.

The investigation provided fresh evidence of a black market in nuclear material probably taken from poorly secured Soviet stockpiles.

Russia has dramatically improved its nuclear security over the last 15 years, Bunn said, but it has the "world's largest stockpiles in the world's largest number of buildings and bunkers" as well as corruption and a weak security culture and regulations.

North Korea and Iran are viewed with worry because of fears of nuclear proliferation.

But Bunn said both are "likely small parts of the nuclear terrorism problem."

"North Korea has only a few bombs' worth of plutonium in a tightly controlled garrison state," he said. "Iran has not begun to produce weapons-usable material."

At least four terror groups, including al-Qaida and Japan's Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, have expressed a determination to obtain a nuclear weapon, said Kenneth Luongo, co-chair of the Fissile Materials Working Group, a Washington-based coalition of nuclear security experts.

Nuclear materials stored at research facilities are generally considered less secure than weapons at military installations, Luongo said. Last year's meltdown at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant also shows how terrorists could launch a radiation hazard simply by sabotaging a facility's functions.

While some groups could develop crude missiles or other delivery systems, unconventional weapons such as a single briefcase containing plutonium and a detonator may be an even bigger threat, said Chang Soon-heung, a nuclear expert at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and technology.

Nuclear security experts say greater political commitment is needed to drive efforts to secure radioactive materials and overcome barriers to international cooperation.

While experts praised this week's nuclear summit as a sign of progress, some doubted whether countries would meet the 2014 deadline for securing the world's loose nuclear material, defined generally as completed weapons, bomb material, or the skills to build them.

"There needs to be more political leadership from the top, and countries need to stop talking about what they're doing individually and acknowledge that this is a cross-border international issue," Luongo said.

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AP writers Sam Kim in Seoul and Nirmala George in New Delhi contributed to this report.

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