09-24-2021  3:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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

How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

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

COVID at the UN: One topic, used to make many points

For the United States, COVID-19 was about leadership and “a dose of hope.” For Iran, it was about the inhumanity of sanctions. Tiny Palau, largely virus-free, used its precious speech minutes to praise Taiwan for its support during the pandemic — and, not incidentally, to urge the United...

Haitians see history of racist policies in migrant treatment

The images — men on horseback with long reins, corralling Haitian asylum seekers trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico — provoked an outcry. But to many Haitians and Black Americans, they're merely confirmation of a deeply held belief: U.S. immigration policies, they...

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...

ENTERTAINMENT

Bad Bunny tops Billboard Latin Music Awards with 10 trophies

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Bad Bunny is the champion of the Billboard Latin Music Awards, taking home artist of the year honors and a whopping 10 trophies. Among the awards received Thursday by the urban music superstar were Hot Latin Song of the Year for “Dákiti” and...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US booster shots start, even as millions remain unprotected

The U.S. launched a campaign to offer boosters of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to millions of Americans on Friday...

China says all crypto transactions illegal; Bitcoin tumbles

BEIJING (AP) — China’s central bank on Friday declared all transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual...

Huawei executive resolves criminal charges in deal with US

NEW YORK (AP) — A top executive of Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies resolved criminal charges...

His country mired in crises, Lebanese leader calls for help

BEIRUT (AP) — The reverberations of terrorism across the oceans and war in their own neighborhood have left...

To protect Afghan girls, UN panel urges conditions on aid

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Aid to Afghanistan should be made conditional to ensure the protection of...

The Latest: Group files civil rights complaint against Idaho

BOISE, Idaho — An advocacy group for older adults has filed a civil rights complaint against Idaho over state...

Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Wooing young voters, President Barack Obama is on a blitz to keep the cost of college loans from soaring for millions of students, taking his message to three states strategically important to his re-election bid. By taking on student debt, Obama is speaking to middle-class America and targeting an enormous burden that threatens the economic recovery.

Before Obama got his road trip under way, Republican opponent Mitt Romney found a way to steal some thunder from the president's campaign argument: He agreed with it.

The competitors are now on record for freezing the current interest rates on a popular federal loan for poorer and middle-class students. The issue is looming because the rate will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 without intervention by Congress, an expiration date chosen in 2007 when a Democratic Congress voted to chop the rate in half.

Obama is heading to campuses in the South, West and Midwest to sell his message to colleges audiences bound to support it. As he pressures Republicans in Congress to act, he will also be trying to energize the young people essential to his campaign - those who voted for him last time and the many more who have turned voting age since then.

The president speaks Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then the University of Iowa on Wednesday. All three universities are in states that Obama carried in 2008, and all three states are considered among the several that could swing to Obama or Romney and help decide a close 2012 election.

Both campaigns are fighting for the support of voters buried in college debt. The national debt amassed on student loans is higher than that for credit cards or auto loans.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has estimated about 15 percent of Americans, or 37 million people, have outstanding student loan debt. The banks put the total at $870 billion, though other estimates have reached $1 trillion. About two-thirds of student loan debt is held by people under 30.

Obama, previewing the message he will give at all three colleges, said over the weekend that allowing the interest rates to double this summer would hurt more than 7 million students. The White House said it would cost students $1,000, based on the average amount borrowed a year ($4,200) and the average time it takes to pay the loan (12 years).

"That would be a tremendous blow," Obama said. "And it's completely preventable."

Romney agreed with that conclusion even in the midst of blasting Obama's economic leadership. "Given the bleak job prospects that young Americans coming out of college face today, I encourage Congress to temporarily extend the low rate," Romney said in a statement.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration welcomed support for freezing the interest rate from any Republican. But Carney said it was "ironic" that a Republican could both back the interest rate freeze and support a budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., that the White House says would double the student loan interest rate freeze.

Romney has said he is "very supportive" of the Ryan budget.

With Romney all but certain to sweep the five Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor planned a definitive pivot toward the general election, with a speech in New Hampshire titled "A Better America Begins Tonight."

The student loan rate freeze Obama and Romney are championing amounts to a one-year, election-year fix at a cost of roughly $6 billion. Congress seems headed that way. Members of both parties are assessing ways to cover the costs and win the votes in the House and Senate, which is far from a political certainty. All parties involved have political incentive to keep the rates as they are.

Obama carried voters between the ages of 18-29 by a margin of about 2-to-1 in 2008, but many recent college graduates have faced high levels of unemployment. That raises concerns for the president about whether they will vote and volunteer for him in such large numbers again.

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AP Education Writers Kimberly Hefling and Justin Pope contributed to this report.

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