07-22-2024  10:25 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

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...

National bail fund returns to Georgia after judge says limits were arbitrary

ATLANTA (AP) — The Bail Project, a national nonprofit that aids thousands of low-income people behind bars, said Monday it is reopening its Atlanta branch after a judge temporarily blocked part of a Georgia law that restricts organizations from helping people pay bail. Last month,...

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

Takeaways from a day that fundamentally changed the presidential race

President Joe Biden’s abrupt decision to bow out of the presidential race and endorse Vice President Kamala...

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...

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...

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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