09-18-2020  7:19 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

Year after year, John Deere has declined NBFA's invitation to display its equipment at the 116,000-member organization's annual...

City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

Brennan Blue is replacing Vancouver Fire Chief Joe Molina, who is retiring after 28 years. ...

Parts of now smoky rural Nevada lack government air monitors

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada has been largely spared from the blazes roaring through the West; the state is currently experiencing no active wildfires. But wildfire smoke — full of particulate matter and metals from scorched houses and forests — has cloaked much of the...

COVID-19 testing decrease due wildfires and poor air quality

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The availability of coronavirus testing in Oregon decreased this week due to the massive wildfires and the hazardous air quality that stretched across the state. Despite this, officials said Friday that data continues to show a decline in the rate of COVID-19 transmission...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

Coming together to change the systemic racism of the failed approach to drugs and addiction ...

One Huge Lie Crystallized

The Democrats have cast the President as a failed leader, but Trump’s supporters painted him as a success and the last line of defense against radical socialism. ...

“Losers”???!!!

I am hoping that millions of us will teach Trump what it means to be a loser on November 3rd. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87.Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the...

Homeland Security whistleblower not yet ready to testify

WASHINGTON (AP) — A whistleblower from the Department of Homeland Security who says he was pressured to suppress facts in intelligence reports says he won’t be able to testify before a House panel until the department gives him more access to “relevant information,”...

Princeton faces federal inquiry after acknowledging racism

The Trump administration has opened an investigation into racial bias at Princeton University, saying that the school's recent acknowledgment of racism on campus amounts to a “shocking” and “serious” admission of discrimination.In a letter to the university on Wednesday,...

ENTERTAINMENT

With picnic baskets, Christian Siriano puts on backyard show

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) — Christian Siriano, who turned his atelier into a mask-making machine, took to his Connecticut backyard Thursday for a cozy fashion show complete with picnic baskets for his small in-person crowd, masks on the faces of his models and a dip in his pool for pregnant muse...

Emmys, live and virtual: 'What could possibly go wrong?'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel and an alpaca sharing the spotlight. Winners accepting at home in designer pajamas or maybe yoga pants. More than 100 chances for a balky internet connection to bring Sunday’s ceremony to a crashing halt.Come for the awards, stay for the...

DJ Jazzy Jeff talks 'Fresh Prince' reunion, mansion rental

LOS ANGELES (AP) — DJ Jazzy Jeff knew “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” made a mark in television history after filming six seasons during the mid-'90s, but he thought the show’s popularity would eventually fizzle out at some point.So far, that hasn’t happened. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US bans WeChat, TikTok from app stores, threatens shutdowns

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on...

Hundreds of thousands still without power in Sally cleanup

LOXLEY, Ala. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power Friday along the Alabama coast...

Firefighters battle exhaustion along with wildfire flames

BEAVERCREEK, Ore. (AP) — They work 50 hours at a stretch and sleep on gymnasium floors. Exploding trees...

Russian military says US flights near Crimea fuel tensions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military on Friday accused the U.S. and its allies of provoking tensions in the...

Dutch bars to close early to rein in spread of coronavirus

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Bars and cafes in the most densely populated regions of the Netherlands will...

'This is a big moment:' UK virus restrictions escalating

LONDON (AP) — Fresh nationwide lockdown restrictions in England appear to be on the cards soon as the...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
Todd Pitman the Associated Press

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi's victory in parliamentary elections is the biggest prize of her political career. But the weekend vote for only a few dozen legislative seats may have sown the seeds of something far more significant - the possibility her party could sweep the next balloting in 2015 and take control of Myanmar's government.

That, for now, remains only a tantalizing dream for her supporters, and making it happen in three years' time may be unrealistic in a nation still heavily influenced by a feared military whose powers and influence remain enshrined in the constitution.

Still, hope for installing a truly free government hasn't run this high in decades.

"We hope this will be the beginning of a new era," a beaming 66-year-old Suu Kyi said in a brief victory speech Monday, one day after the by-election in which her National League for Democracy party won almost all of the 44 seats it contested.

The win was "not so much our triumph, as a triumph of the people," she told a euphoric, thousands-strong crowd gathered outside her tumbledown party headquarters in Yangon, where joyous supporters thrust hands in the air and monks cradled magazine-size posters bearing her image.

The last time her party won a landslide victory, during a general election in 1990, the then-ruling army junta annulled the results and stayed in power 21 more years.

Times have changed dramatically since then in Myanmar, previously called Burma. The junta is no more, and the country's new leaders - many of whom are former generals - have proven with Sunday's poll that they are capable of taking concrete steps toward democratic rule, even if they had little to lose by doing so this time around.

But much remains the same: The military and the retired generals who hold the nation's top posts still wield near-absolute power, and Suu Kyi and her party will occupy only a small minority in the 664-seat legislature - not enough to change a constitution engineered to keep the status quo by allotting 25 percent of parliament's seats to the army.

Reducing the military's participation in government "is one of the most important changes" that need to be made, said Su Su Lwin, an opposition candidate who also won a seat in Sunday's poll.

And perhaps one of the most difficult. "There's a lot of work ahead," she said.

The weekend election results, though, indicate that the popularity of the party Suu Kyi founded in 1988 remains strong - strong enough, perhaps, to secure the legislative majority it would need during the next national poll to choose the president.

It is unclear, however, whether Suu Kyi would run. She has not declared any intention to do so, but on Friday she said the by-election's outcome would "very much influence what happens in 2015."

A provision in Myanmar's constitution, though, bars people from the nation's top post if they or any of their relatives are foreign citizens. Suu Kyi married a British national, Michael Aris, who died in 1999, and their two children were born abroad and do not live in Myanmar.

There are also concerns over Suu Kyi's health. She suspended her last week of campaigning because of fatigue, and she would be 69 when the next vote is held.

Suu Kyi last week dismissed speculation she would accept a Cabinet post if offered one, saying, "I have no intention of leaving the parliament which I am trying so hard to get into."

There is speculation that the government is only using Suu Kyi to impress Western nations and get years of economic sanctions lifted. Still, her entry into the legislature is hugely symbolic, as is her party's overwhelming win.

"This election is an important step in Burma's democratic transformation, and we hope it is an indication that the government of Burma intends to continue along the path of greater openness, transparency, and reform," the White House said in a statement Monday.

Among the seats taken by the opposition Sunday were four in the capital, Naypyitaw, a ruling party stronghold which was built by the former junta. It was an embarrassing sign of defeat for the government.

"The people have made a statement," Su Su Lwin said. "They're saying - not only to the country, but to the rest of the world - that our people are ready for change."

Toe Toe Tin, a dentist who came to watch Suu Kyi speak, said the election was important because it was a referendum on the miserable state of life in the country. "It showed that people don't want this government or this army," she said.

There is little wonder why. Until last year, the military had kept an iron grip on power since 1962. Soldiers were accused by rights groups of dragging civilians to the front line in multiple wars with rebels in the north and east, of raping women and subjecting men even in their 70s to forced labor.

Even in the calmer parts of Myanmar, the former junta deployed state agents to conduct random checks of homes after midnight to make sure all the people were where they should be. That practice was quietly stopped last year when President Thein Sein came to power, but most people still report their movements to authorities because no one has officially announced that the practice has ended.

"There have been changes, yes," Toe Toe Tin said. "But we expect this could all disappear overnight. There are no guarantees."

Suu Kyi appears to be taking no chances, and her party clearly considered Sunday's ballot as a rehearsal for the next vote in three years' time.

On Monday, she said the opposition was reporting a list of irregularities observed on voting day to the election commission "not in any spirit of vengeance or anger, but ... with the intention of making sure that things improve in the future."

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Associated Press writer Aye Aye Win contributed to this report.

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