11-29-2020  11:47 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
  • Election workers, right, verify ballots as recount observers, left, watch during a Milwaukee hand recount of presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin finished a partial recount of its presidential results on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Wisconsin Recount Confirms Biden Won Election

    Wisconsin recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirmed that Democrat Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes...   MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded. Dane County was the second and last countyRead More
  • A canvas observer photographs Lehigh County provisional ballots as vote counting in the general election continues in Allentown, Pa., Nov. 6, 2020. President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a number of lawsuits across six battleground states this month as he tried to upend the 2020 election. Judges uniformly rejected his claims of vote fraud. The latest case ended Saturday, Nov. 21, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania said Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani presented only ‘speculative accusations’ that brought to mind ‘Frankenstein’s Monster.' (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    Pennsylvania High Court Rejects Lawsuit Challenging Election

    Pennsylvania justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. “They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinionRead More
  • Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the monthRead More
  • Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month

Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%

Many Turn to Real Christmas Trees as Bright Spot Amid Virus

Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever

Black Drivers Stopped a Disproportionate Rate in Portland

The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data

NEWS BRIEFS

Extended Benefits Reduced Based on Oregon’s Falling Unemployment Rate

Benefits will be reduced from up to 20 weeks of benefits to up to 13 weeks, beginning Dec. 13, 2020 ...

Judge Rejects Challenge to Oregon's 2-week Virus Rules

Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order ...

D’artagnan Bernard Caliman Named Meyer Memorial Trust’s New Director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Raised in NE Portland's Historic Albina, Caliman is currently the executive director at Building Changes in Seattle ...

Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

$450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools ...

Oregon Employment Department Begins Issuing 'Waiting Week' Benefits

246,300 Oregonians to receive a combined total of $176 million in benefits in the initial payment run ...

Oregon nurse on leave after video flouting virus rules

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon hospital has placed a nurse on administrative leave after she posted a video on social media in which she said she does not follow safety directives meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when she is not at work.Salem Health said it is investigating the post by...

7 deputies placed on leave following fatal shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Seven Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies are on administrative leave following a domestic disturbance call that led to a deadly, officer-involved shooting Friday night.KOIN 6 reports that around 8 p.m. a woman called 911 and said that her husband was armed, had...

Vanderbilt K Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller was playing around with a teammate a couple months ago when she kicked a soccer ball through the uprights from 45 yards away. She joked about being able to kick a football with teammates during the Southeastern Conference soccer tournament. On Saturday, she...

Vanderbilt kicker breaks barrier but Missouri dominates 41-0

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday. Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the...

OPINION

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

Trump’s Game

Trump’s strategy is clear: maintain control of the Republican Party as the Trump Party, install “acting” officials who will not cooperate with the Biden transition team ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Faith takes the forefront as Georgia Senate runoffs heat up

ATLANTA (AP) — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia...

Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic.Two new...

To court Latinos, Democrats have to expand strategy in 2022

PHOENIX (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign credits its success in Arizona to the immigrant-rights and grassroots organizations that have been mobilizing Latinos for nearly two decades. The fruits of their labor — in triple-digit heat, no less — paid off in this...

ENTERTAINMENT

A new doc peeks inside the USPS’s Operation Santa program

Filmmaker Dana Nachman wanted to make a documentary about the United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa program for years, but it never seemed like the right time. Then in 2018 she got up some courage and decided to cold email the USPS press office. They responded immediately and agreed...

Bad Bunny caps week of awards and Grammy-noms with new album

NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of Bad Bunny are used to expecting something different each time he releases new music.He's done it since his first studio album, 2018's “X 100pre” ("Forever"); then with “Oasis”, his collaboration with J Balvin in 2019, and last February with...

Jerry Seinfeld digs into 45 years of his jokes for new book

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forget the high-performance sports cars, the luxury Rolls-Royces and all those other classic automobiles in which Jerry Seinfeld ushers his fellow comics to the diner on television’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."The most valuable things Seinfeld owns...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'World's loneliest elephant' Kaavan starts trip to Cambodia

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Kaavan, dubbed the "world’s loneliest elephant" after languishing alone for years...

Investigators search doctor's office, probing Maradona death

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentine police searched the home and office of one of Diego Maradona's...

UK stocks up on vaccines, hopes to start virus shots in days

LONDON (AP) — Britain said Sunday it has secured 2 million more doses of a promising coronavirus vaccine as...

Over 300 detained in Belarus during anti-government protests

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday...

Court orders France to rethink 30-person limit on worship

PARIS (AP) — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person...

Suspected extremists kill at least 40 farmers in Nigeria

MAIDGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Adel Omran and Lee Keath the Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, died at home in Tripoli Sunday, nearly three years after he was released from a Scottish prison to the outrage of the relatives of the attack's 270 victims. He was 60.

Scotland released al-Megrahi on Aug. 20, 2009, on compassionate grounds to let him return home to die after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At the time, doctors predicted he had only three months to live.

Anger over the release was further stoked by the hero's welcome he received on his arrival in Libya - and by subsequent allegations that London had sought his release to preserve business interests in the oil-rich North African nation, strongly denied by the British and Scottish governments.

Al-Megrahi insisted he was innocent, but he kept a strict silence after his release, living in the family villa surrounded by high walls in a posh Tripoli neighborhood, mostly bedridden or taking a few steps with a cane. Libyan authorities sealed him off from public access. When the one-year anniversary of his release passed, some who visited him said al-Megrahi bitterly mused that the world was rooting for him to die.

His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, confirmed that he died in Tripoli in a telephone interview but hung up before giving more details.

Saad Nasser al-Megrahi, a relative and a member of the ruling National Transitional Council, said al-Megrahi's health had seriously deteriorated in recent days and he died of cancer-related complications.

Al-Megrahi passed away at his Tripoli home on Sunday morning, according to another NTC member, Moussa al-Kouni.

To the end, al-Megrahi insisted he had nothing to do with the bombing, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans.

"I am an innocent man," al-Megrahi said in his last interview, published in several British papers in December. "I am about to die and I ask now to be left in peace with my family."

In New York City, the father of one of the Lockerbie victims said al-Megrahi's death was "to a degree a relief" and insisted that his 2009 release from jail was a political deal.

"If he had been that bad three years ago, he wouldn't have lived this long. It was a political deal," said Glenn Johnson of Greensburg, Pa, whose 21-year-old daughter Beth Ann Johnson was killed in the bombing.

Al-Megrahi's death, which came seven months after ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed, leaves many unanswered questions that have surrounded the Lockerbie case, despite the conviction.

The U.S., Britain, and prosecutors in his trial contended that he did not act alone and carried out the bombing at the behest of Libyan intelligence. After Gadhafi's fall, Britain asked Libya's new rulers to help fully investigate but they put off any probe.

They also rejected Western pressure to jail or return al-Megrahi.

"He is between life and death, so what difference would prison make?" his brother, Abdel-Nasser al-Megrahi, said at the time.

Little was known about al-Megrahi. At his trial, he was described as the "airport security" chief for Libyan intelligence, and witnesses reported him negotiating deals to buy equipment for Libya's secret service and military.

But he became a central figure in both Libya's falling out with the West and then its re-emergence from the cold.

To Libyans, he was a folk hero, an innocent scapegoat used by the West to turn their country into a pariah. The regime presented his handover to Scotland in 1999 as a necessary sacrifice to restore Libya's relations with the world.

In the months ahead of his release, Tripoli put enormous pressure on Britain, warning that if the ailing al-Megrahi died in a Scottish prison, all British commercial activity in Libya would be cut off and a wave of demonstrations would erupt outside British embassies, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic memos. The Libyans even implied "that the welfare of U.K. diplomats and citizens in Libya would be at risk," the memos say.

But in the eyes of many Americans and Europeans, he was the foot-soldier carrying out orders from Gadhafi's regime. Tony Blair, Britain's prime minister at the time of the conviction, said the verdict "confirms our long-standing suspicion that Libya instigated the Lockerbie bombing."

The bombing that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, over Lockerbie, Scotland was one of the deadliest terror attacks in modern history. The flight was heading to New York from London's Heathrow airport and many of the victims were American college students flying home to for Christmas.

Gadhafi handed over al-Megrahi and a second suspect to Scottish authorities after years of punishing U.N. sanctions. Four years later, in 2003, Gadhafi acknowledged responsibility - though not guilt - for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation of about $2.7 billion to the Lockerbie victims' families. He also pledged to dismantle all weapons of mass destruction and joined the U.S.-led war on terror.

The regime maintained it handed al-Megrahi over and paid compensation only to win the lifting of sanctions. The steps won Gadhafi quick rewards, with Western powers resuming diplomatic contacts and signing lucrative business deals.

In 2001, a Scottish court - set up in the neutral ground of a military base in the Netherlands - convicted al-Megrahi of planting the bomb but acquitted his co-defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, a Libyan Arab Airlines official, of all charges. El-Megrahi ended up serving eight years of a life sentence.

The prosecution's case was built around a tiny fragment of circuit board discovered among the airline wreckage that investigators determined was part of the timer of the bomb, hidden in a suitcase. Investigators said the suitcase was loaded onto a flight from Malta, booked through to Pan Am 103 via Frankfurt.

An executive from a Swiss company testified that he had sold timers of the same make to Libya. Investigators found that al-Megrahi traveled to Malta on a false passport a day before the suitcase was checked in and left the following day.

Key to convicting al-Megrahi was the testimony of a Malta shopkeeper who identified him as having bought a man's shirt in his store. Scraps of the garment were found wrapped around the timing device.

However, a Scottish judicial body that carried out a major review of the evidence cast doubt on the shopowner's ID of al-Megrahi and said there was evidence the shirt was purchased on a day when al-Megrahi was not in Malta.

Al-Megrahi's lawyers also claimed that British and U.S. authorities tampered with evidence, disregarded witness statements and steered investigators away from suggestions the bombing was an Iranian-financed plot carried out by Palestinians to avenge the shooting down of a civilian Iranian airliner by a U.S. warship - in which some 290 people were killed - several months before the Lockerbie bombing. The judicial body, however, discounted theories of intentional misdirection.

Al-Megrahi had appealed his conviction, but had to drop the appeal to be eligible for compassionate release.

"I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear - all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do," al-Megrahi said in a statement after his release.

"I had most to gain and nothing to lose about the whole truth coming out - until my diagnosis of cancer," he said. "To those victims' relatives who can bear to hear me say this, they continue to have my sincere sympathy for the unimaginable loss that they have suffered."

Some of the victims' families in Britain are also not convinced of al-Megrahi's guilt.

"By abandoning his appeal, we the families will be robbed of the opportunity to find justice," the Rev. John Mosey, whose daughter Helga died aboard Flight 103, said in 2009.

"I came away from the court 85 percent convinced he did not do it, based on the evidence I heard," said Mosey, who is from Cumbria, England, and attended all but one week of al-Megrahi's nine-month trial.

In announcing al-Megrahi's release from prison, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said he was motivated by Scottish values to show mercy even though al-Megrahi had not shown compassion to his victims.

"Some hurts can never heal, some scars can never fade," MacAskill said. "Mr. al-Megrahi now faces a sentence imposed by a higher power."

Al-Megrahi is survived by his wife, Aisha, and five children.

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Keath reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela in New York City contributed to this report.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

wer."

Al-Megrahi is survived by his wife, Aisha, and five children.

---

Keath reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela in New York City contributed to this report.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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