07-22-2024  11:18 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

SneakerWeek 2024 Launches in Pioneer Courthouse Square July 26

The event brings together industry experts, BIPOC designers and sneaker enthusiasts.

Money From Washington's Landmark Climate Law Will Help Tribes Face Rising Seas, Climate Change

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. The Quinault Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula is getting million to help relocate its two main villages to higher ground, away from the tsunami zone and persistent flooding.

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Merkley, Senators Urge VA to Expand Access to Medical Cannabis for America’s Veterans

Senators’ letter follows DEA’s recommended rescheduling of cannabis from earlier this year ...

Federal Appeals Court Declines to Restore Voting Rights in Mississippi

Thousands of Mississippians Face “Especially Cruel” Disenfranchisement Scheme ...

Draft of Statewide Wildfire Hazard Map Mandated by Legislature Released

The Oregon Department of Forestry today released drafts of new statewide wildfire hazard and wildland-urban interface maps developed...

Southwest Washington's Lemonade Day Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Named by the Greater Vancouver Chamber

Tatum Talbert was recognized for her exceptional achievement and creativity in the GVC’s 2024 Lemonade Day program. ...

Oscar Arana Selected as NAYA's Permanent CEO

The NAYA Family Center Board of Directors selected Oscar Arana (Chichimeca) as the organization's...

Biden's decision to drop out leaves Democrats across the country relieved and looking toward future

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP) — After weeks of uncertainty about who would be at the top of the Democratic Party’s ticket in November, many voters expressed relief over the news that President Joe Biden would drop his reelection bid and began to think about who might replace him in a dramatically...

Seattle police officer fired over ‘vile’ comments after death of Indian woman

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has been fired for making callous remarks about the death of a graduate student from India after she was struck last year by another officer’s vehicle in a crosswalk. Seattle interim police Chief Sue Rahr fired Officer Daniel Auderer on...

Chiefs set deadline of 6 months to decide whether to renovate Arrowhead or build new — and where

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs have set a deadline of six months from now to decide on a plan for the future of Arrowhead Stadium, whether that means renovating their iconic home or building an entirely new stadium in Kansas or Missouri. After a joint ballot initiative with the...

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...

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

Black voters feel excitement, hope and a lot of worry as Harris takes center stage in campaign

ATLANTA (AP) — Black voters expressed a mix of hope and worry Monday over Joe Biden’s exit from the presidential race and the prospect of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee. A key Democratic constituency, Black voters helped power Biden to victory in the...

Harris could become the first female president after years of breaking racial and gender barriers

WASHINGTON (AP) — She's already broken barriers, and now Kamala Harris could shatter several more after President Joe Biden abruptly ended his reelection bid and endorsed her. Biden announced Sunday that he was stepping aside after a disastrous debate performance catalyzed fears...

Officials to release video of officer shooting Black woman in her home after responding to 911 call

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials in Illinois’ capital plan to release video on Monday of police entering the home of a woman who called 911 for help and the violent scene that ensued when a sheriff’s deputy shot her in the face. The Illinois State Police announced that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, America’s diminutive and pioneering sex therapist, dies at 96

NEW YORK (AP) — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the diminutive sex therapist who became a pop icon, media star and best-selling author through her frank talk about once-taboo bedroom topics, has died. She was 96. Westheimer died on Friday at her home in New York City, surrounded by her family,...

Book Review: East Texas P.I. turns vigilante in funny and savage 'Sugar on the Bones'

Minnie Polson was in some sort of trouble, so a friend recommended the private eye firm of Hap Collins, his wife Brett, and their pal Leonard Pine. But when they meet, Minnie doesn’t like their attitude, and they don’t like hers. Hours after they agree to part company, Minnie’s...

Book Review: The Knights of Camelot search for a new king in Lev Grossman’s 'The Bright Sword'

A rudderless nation, lost in uncertainty, searches for its next commander in chief. There’s an uneasy sense that the country’s glory days have passed, and that a monumental turn in history is coming — for good or for ill. How do you find a leader to unite such a fractured, polarized land? ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden's decision to drop out leaves Democrats across the country relieved and looking toward future

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP) — After weeks of uncertainty about who would be at the top of the Democratic Party’s...

Delta Air Lines says cancellations continue as it tries to restore operations after tech outage

NEW YORK (AP) — Airlines, including Delta Air Lines, continued to struggle to restore operations two days after...

US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, gets 6 1/2 years in prison, court says

A court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free...

UAE sentences Bangladeshi nationals to prison over protests against their home government

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced dozens of Bangladeshi nationals...

China and the Philippines announce deal aimed at stopping clashes at fiercely disputed shoal

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China and the Philippines reached a deal they hope will end confrontations at the...

Troubled Boeing stays close to the ground at a major UK air show

LONDON (AP) — European planemaker Airbus plans to show off its newest passenger jet with daily flight...

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to leave Monday night for China on a trip that is likely to be fraught with diplomatic tension over the status of escaped Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who is reportedly being sheltered at the U.S. Embassy.

Chen, a blind, self-taught lawyer, evaded guards who had kept him under house arrest for more than 18 months in a small eastern village and made his way to Beijing on April 22, friends and fellow activists said last week.

Once in the capital, Chen moved from one safe house to another before finding refuge at the U.S. Embassy, according to Hu Jia, a fellow activist and one of the few people who has said he has seen Chen since he arrived in Beijing.

The situation presents an extraordinary test for the Obama administration's approach to relations with China, creating a strain between upholding human rights and maintaining steady ties with Beijing.

Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are scheduled to hold talks with Chinese officials in Beijing starting Thursday about strategic and economic issues. But the Chen affair could overshadow the economic talking points.

"If Chen is holed up in the U.S. Embassy, it is hard to fathom how the two sides will stay focused on the many pressing geostrategic and economic challenges in the relationship," Christopher Johnson, a China analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote in an opinion article for CNN.

The blind activist's flight from detention comes at a highly sensitive time for Chinese authorities. The ruling Communist Party has been rocked by a scandal involving the former high-ranking leader Bo Xilai, whose wife is under investigation in relation to the mysterious death of a British businessman in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing.

The downfall of Bo, the former Chongqing party chief who is now being investigated in connection with serious disciplinary violations, has created shock waves ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in China that is due to unfold later this year.

American and Chinese officials have declined to comment directly on the Chen case. But John Brennan, one of President Barack Obama's national security advisers, said Sunday that the U.S. government is "working very closely with the individuals involved."

The United States is aiming to strike the "appropriate balance" between its commitment to human rights and its diplomatic relationship with China, Brennan said on Fox News.

The Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said in a statement Sunday that he hopes the U.S. government will "take every measure to ensure that Chen and his family members are protected from further persecution."

Chen addressed Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in a video posted Friday on YouTube, detailing "cruel" abuses he said he and his family had suffered at the hands of authorities during months of heavily guarded detention in their home.

"They broke into my house and more than a dozen men assaulted my wife," he said. "They pinned her down and wrapped her in a comforter, beating and kicking her for hours. They also similarly violently assaulted me."

Journalists and supporters were prevented from visiting Chen during his house arrest. One of those supporters is Hollywood actor Christian Bale, who was roughed up by security guards while attempting a visit in December.

Chen, 40, rose to fame in the late 1990s thanks to his legal advocacy for what he called victims of abusive practices, such as alleged forced abortions, by China's family-planning officials.

A local court sentenced Chen to four years and three months in prison in 2006 on charges of damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic" in a protest, charges that his supporters called preposterous.

Since his September 2010 release from prison, he had been confined to his home along with his wife, mother and daughter.

Chen's escape appears to have angered local officials holding him captive, with supporters saying at least four members of his family have been detained.

In the YouTube video, the blind activist appealed to the Chinese premier to investigate his case and expressed concern about the welfare of his wife, mother and daughter.

"Although I'm free, my worries are only deepening," he said. "They have been persecuting my family for a long time, and my escape would only prompt them into a mode of revenge."

The authorities' reaction also seems to have ensnared Chen's supporters, especially those suspected of aiding his escape.

After speaking to CNN, Hu was taken away by police for questioning, his wife posted on Twitter.

Chen's friend He Peirong disappeared Friday, shortly after speaking to CNN and other news organizations about the blind activist's escape.

The last message she sent out, according to Bob Fu, head of the U.S.-based nonprofit group ChinaAid, was that state security agents had arrived at her home in the eastern city of Nanjing.

"I'm not concerned about my own safety," she told CNN. "I hope they'll arrest me, not my friends."

CNN's Steven Jiang and Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

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