12-07-2021  4:51 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

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

'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...

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

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...

Chen\'s Unresolved Fate Threatens to Erode Already Shaky Trust Between Washington and Beijing

BEIJING (AP) -- The Obama administration's diplomatic predicament deepened Thursday when a blind Chinese legal activist who took refuge in the American Embassy told the U.S. he now wants to go abroad, rejecting a deal that was supposed to keep him safely in China.

Only hours after Chen Guangcheng left the embassy for a hospital checkup and reunion with his family, he began telling friends and foreign media they feel threatened and want to go abroad. At first taken aback at the reversal, the State Department said officials spoke twice by phone with Chen and met with his wife, with both affirming their desire to leave.

"They as a family have had a change of heart about whether they want to stay in China," department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

Nuland stopped short of saying whether Washington would try to reopen negotiations to get Chen abroad should Beijing agree. "We need to consult with them further to get a better sense of what they want to do and consider their options," Nuland said.

Chen's still unresolved fate threatens to erode already shaky trust between Washington and Beijing at a time both governments are trying to contain their ever sharper jostling for influence around the world. His case hovered over Thursday's opening of two-day talks on global political and economic hotspots led by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their Chinese counterparts.

Chen remained in the hospital, its grounds ringed by a noticeable police presence, making it unclear how his exit could be arranged, and receiving medical tests.

A self-taught lawyer, Chen, 40, spent most of the last seven years in prison or under house arrest in what was seen as retribution by local authorities for his advocacy against forced abortions and other official misdeeds. His wife, daughter and mother were confined at home with him, enduring beatings, searches and other mistreatment.

His escape from house arrest to the fortress-like U.S. Embassy last week inserted Washington in the center of a human rights case, always a testy issue for Beijing, and at the same time potentially embarrassed Chinese leaders that the country is unable to protect its own citizens.

Chen's goal, he told U.S. officials, was to secure the safety of his family and remain in China. Under painstaking arrangements negotiated over days, he was to be reunited with his family and relocated outside his home province to a university town where he could formally study law.

But later, in the hospital, Chen felt abandoned by the U.S., finding no embassy staff had stayed behind to assure his protection. His wife, Yuan Weijing - who is staying with him along with his daughter and a son who has been raised by relatives in recent years - began describing the rough interrogation she received once his escape became known and the fight his nephew got involved in when confronted by officials. Chen said he changed his mind, fearing for their safety if they remained in China.

"Yuan Weijing met him and told him what happened to his family, and that his family was tied to chairs and interrogated by police, and that his nephew attacked somebody and is on the run outside and might be in life-threatening dangers," said Li Jinsong, his lawyer. "These things undoubtedly have left an impact on him."

U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke defended the arrangements at a news conference Thursday and said "unequivocally" that Chen was never pressured to leave. Locke said Chen left the embassy after talking twice on the telephone with his wife, who was waiting at the hospital.

"It may not be everything that they would like or want, but this is a good proposal and we should take the first step," Locke said.

The alternative, Locke said, was a protracted negotiation, with Chen stuck in the embassy and his family at home and at risk.

"He knew that - and was very aware that he might have to spend many, many years in the embassy," Locke said.

It's unclear whether China would be willing to negotiate further over Chen's fate. The government already has expressed anger that the U.S. harbored a Chinese activist. Beijing sees as its right the authority to restrict the movements of Chinese citizens, and the Foreign Ministry reiterated its displeasure Thursday, calling the affair meddling in Chinese domestic matters.

The diplomatic dispute over Chen is sensitive for the Obama administration, which risks appearing soft on human rights during an election year or looking as though it rushed to resolve Chen's case ahead of the strategic talks Clinton opened.

Clinton said in a speech that China must protect human rights, rejecting Beijing's criticism of the U.S. for getting involved in Chen's case.

Chinese President Hu Jintao told the gathering that China and the United States "must know how to respect each other" even if they disagree.

"Given our different national conditions, it is impossible for both China and the United States to see eye-to-eye on every issue," he said in the only part of the opening ceremony that was broadcast on state television. "We should properly manage the differences by improving mutual understanding so these differences will not undermine the larger interests of China-U.S. relations."

Should Beijing agree to negotiate, among the issues that would have to be worked out if Chen leaves China is whether he would go as a visiting scholar - an indication his stay would be temporary - and whether China would let him return. The government has at times revoked the passports of dissidents abroad, rendering them stateless.

A delay in figuring out how to help Chen may also undercut the U.S. bargaining power. Pressure for a resolution would subside once Clinton leaves China on Saturday.

(This version CORRECTS in paragraph 11 that Chen's wife was tied to a chair, not beaten)

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