12-07-2021  5:34 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Judicial Conduct Commission Files Charges Against Judge

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct announced it has filed a statement of charges against former Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman.

Trial Date Set for Tacoma Sheriff in Confrontation with Black Newspaper Carrier

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer was charged with false reporting and making a false or misleading statement after telling police Sedrick Altheimer had threatened to kill him

Famously Soggy Seattle Sees Its Wettest Fall on Record

Seattle, a city known for soggy weather, has seen its wettest fall on record.

Longtime Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio Won't Seek Reelection

DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history and a staunch advocate for environmental issues, said Wednesday he is retiring

NEWS BRIEFS

SPLC Responds to DOJ Decision to Close Emmett Till Investigation

Yesterday, the Department of Justice closed a reopened investigation into the murder of Emmett Till without filing new charges. ...

Portland Couple to Receive Lowenstein Award

The Lowenstein Trust will present the 2021 Steve Lowenstein Award to Allen and Joy Fowler for their volunteer advocacy efforts on...

Senator James Manning Makes a Stop at The Skanner

Oregon Sen. James Manning stopped by The Skanner News building on Monday to discuss campaign topics. ...

Suspect in Colorado Church Vandalism Sought in Portland

A reward has been established for information that leads to Madeline Ann Cramer's arrest. ...

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Blumenauer, Joyce, Lee and Young Urge VA to Offer Veterans Access to Lifesaving Cannabis Treatment

“…over twenty veterans continue to die by suicide each day—it is past time we stop barring access from these innovative...

Man sentenced to almost 4 years for trafficking meth

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man accused of trafficking methamphetamine and was caught with six pounds of drugs at a Puyallup drug deal was sentenced Monday to almost four years in prison. Omar Arellano-Hernandez, 28, will spend 46 months in prison for his drug dealing activity in Western...

Socialist Kshama Sawant faces recall vote in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — A controversial member of the Seattle City Council – firebrand socialist Kshama Sawant – faces a recall election Tuesday one month after voters chose moderate candidates over progressives in the general election. The recall is seen as a further test of whether...

Missouri to face Army's triple option in Armed Forces Bowl

Army (8-3, Independent) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas. TOP PLAYERS Army: LB Andre Carter II, 14.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, leads the nation in sacks per game; QB Christian Anderson, 545 yards...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

UN court orders Azerbaijan, Armenia not to aggravate dispute

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges at the United Nations’ top court ordered Azerbaijan on Tuesday to protect all the prisoners it captured during the country's war last year with neighboring Armenia, to prevent incitement of racial hatred against Armenians and to punish vandalism of Armenian...

Rohingya sue Facebook for 0B, alleging role in violence

LONDON (AP) — Rohingya refugees sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms for more than 0 billion over what they say was the company's failure to stop hateful posts that incited violence against the Muslim ethnic group by Myanmar's military rulers and their supporters. Lawyers filed a...

China says US diplomatic boycott violates Olympic spirit

BEIJING (AP) — China accused the United States of violating the Olympic spirit on Tuesday after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games over human rights concerns. Rights groups have pushed for a full-blown boycott of the Games, accusing...

ENTERTAINMENT

Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo steps away from SiriusXM show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said he's dropping his SiriusXM radio show, a decision that followed a sexual harassment allegation. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult,” Cuomo said in a...

2021's notable moments on TV: Capitol riot, 'Rust,' Shatner

If a year can be accused of bait-and-switch, 2021 is fair game. It was reasonable to believe, or hope, that the pandemic would steadily recede in the rear-view mirror, that a White House transition might mean less political rancor, that America could honorably end its “forever...

Man charged in death of Jacqueline Avant, music icon’s wife

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges Monday against a 29-year-old man in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, last week at their Beverly Hills home. Aariel Maynor is also charged with the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Cheugy,' 'omicron' among 2021's most mispronounced words

“Cheugy” is apparently a lot to chew on. Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and Philadelphia...

European drug regulator backs mixing COVID-19 vaccines

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union drug regulator gave its backing Tuesday to mixing different...

Shadow of Floyd, Chauvin case hangs over Kim Potter's trial

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It’s former Officer Kim Potter who’s on trial for the killing of Daunte Wright, but the...

Blast levels French building; at least 1 dead, baby found

PARIS (AP) — French rescue workers dug out the body of a man but rescued his baby and the child's mother alive...

Man in Germany suspected of killing 4 relatives and self

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators said Tuesday that a man suspected of killing his family and then himself left...

Dutch court upholds Gantz immunity in Israeli airstrike case

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to throw out a...

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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