09-27-2020  12:30 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Braces as Right-Wing Extremists Rally

Gov. Kate Brown warned violence would not be tolerated as right wing extremists converge on Portland "looking for a fight"

A Reminder: Delta Park is Vanport

As extreme right-wing, white supremacist groups prepare to converge on Portland tomorrow, here is a reminder of the historical significance of the place they plan to overrun and the stories of the people that lived there.

Wildfires Taint West Coast Vineyards With Taste of Smoke

No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity.

Black Lives Matters Protestors, Organizers Keep Up Momentum

Hazardous air quality stopped protests for a week, interrupted the more-than-100 nights of demonstrations.

NEWS BRIEFS

Blumenauer Statement on Planned White Supremacist Rally in Portland

“These are evil people looking for a fight and national media attention. Let’s not give them what they want." ...

Wish Launches $2 Million Fund To Support Black-owned Businesses

The Wish Local Empowerment Program is set to impact more than 4,000 small businesses across the US ...

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Portand, Oregon, police detain people at downtown rally

PORTLAND (AP) — Portland police Saturday night detained anti-police brutality protesters who had gathered downtown. Shortly after 9 p.m., officers tackled protesters and detained them as the crowd of several hundred people yelled at them. Police told protesters to move back and get out of...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely dispersed without serious violence Saturday, though they are investigating an assault after one person who was documenting the event was pushed to the ground and kicked in the...

No. 2 Crimson Tide rolls on offense to 38-19 win over Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Nick Saban has never lost a season opener while coaching Alabama.Then again, he'd never had one like this.Yet despite an offseason largely scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic, and a delayed start to the season, Saban's second-ranked Crimson Tide looked just fine as they...

No. 2 Alabama visits Missouri to begin SEC-only campaign

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).Line: Alabama by 27 1/2.Series record: Alabama leads 4-2.WHAT’S AT STAKE?The second-ranked Crimson Tide will go for their fifth straight win over Missouri when the teams open their SEC-only schedule at Faurot Field. The Tigers will be...

OPINION

When Black Women's Lives Matter All Lives Will Matter

Brazen disregard for the lives and safety of Black women goes back over 400 years in U.S. history with the definition of Black women’s bodies as property at the complete disposal of white slave-owners ...

Sarah Iannarone Demands Action from Mayor Regarding Planned Right-Wing Demonstrations; Opens Safe Space for Portlanders

BIPOC, Queer, and other marginalized Portlanders will bear the brunt of these attacks simply because of their identity or the color of their skin. ...

National Bar Association Statement on Breonna Taylor Decision

Not only was justice not served, the desultory and insufficient result we received today was also unacceptably slow in manifesting. ...

All Officers Responsible for Breonna Taylor’s Murder Must Be Held Accountable

Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement in response to the grand jury’s findings regarding the police who murdered Breonna Taylor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

After a year of drama, the Lakers reach NBA Finals anyway

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Here’s a list of just some of the things the Los Angeles Lakers have gone through in the last 12 months: playing through a politically charged situation in China during the preseason and more massive fallout after returning home, the death of Kobe Bryant...

Some Breonna Taylor protesters out past curfew, fires set

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A diverse crowd of hundreds marched in Louisville's streets chanting “Black Lives Matter" on Saturday night, the fourth night of protests after a grand jury declined to charge officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.People in the crowd also chanted...

Car injures 2 protesters during California demonstration

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — Two people were struck by a car and injured Saturday during a Southern California demonstration involving members of Black Lives Matter and counter-protesters.The incident occurred in the city of Yorba Linda, about 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) southeast of downtown...

ENTERTAINMENT

With spy series 'Tehran,' Israelis reach out to an enemy

NEW YORK (AP) — Things are not as they seem in the new Apple TV+ series “Tehran” — as it should be in a spy thriller. The series opens with a commercial flight from Jordan to India that's suddenly diverted to Iran. A few of the passengers on board have secrets. Those...

Demi Lovato, Max Ehrich call off engagement after 2 months

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Singer-actors Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich have called off their engagement after two months. Lovato and her former fiance have parted ways, according to a person close to Lovato who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The split...

J-pop stars ARASHI release English surprise before hiatus

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japanese pop sensation ARASHI has a big surprise for fans as they near their planned hiatus at year's end: a collaboration with Bruno Mars on their first all-English single.The band told The Associated Press the multi-Grammy Award-winning musician delved into their...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court nominee, is Scalia's heir

CHICAGO (AP) — Although Amy Coney Barrett is the president’s choice to replace Justice Ruth Bader...

Portland, Oregon, largely peaceful after right-wing rally

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police say a right-wing rally and counter-protests in Portland, Oregon, have largely...

James, Lakers beat Nuggets in Game 5 to reach NBA Finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — LeBron James wore out the path to the NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference,...

Scores arrested in protest against Belarus' president

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Hundreds of women calling for the authoritarian president to step down protested in...

Progress against virus brings complacency in parts of Africa

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — With Zimbabwe’s coronavirus infections on the decline, schools are...

China pushes emergency use of COVID vaccine despite concerns

BEIJING (AP) — After the first shot, he had no reaction. But Kan Chai felt woozy following the second dose...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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(CNN) -- Bombers killed at least seven people at a pro-regime Syrian satellite channel Wednesday, the government said, as world diplomats were making another try at ending the violence raging across the country.

"Terrorists planted explosive devices" in the headquarters of al-Ikhbaria, located near Damascus, killing three journalists and four security guards, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported. The attackers also ransacked and destroyed studios, the news outlet said.

"The massacre won't go unpunished," Information Minister Amre al-Zoubi said.

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has accused foreign media of conspiring against the country and said al-Ikhbaria works to counter the "sinister campaign." But observers say al-Ikhbaria is a mouthpiece for the government's propaganda, refusing to acknowledge the regime's brutal violence on dissidents seeking freedom.

The bombing comes a day after al-Assad said his restive country is in a "state of war" and as U.N. and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan scheduled a meeting of top diplomats Saturday in Geneva, Switzerland, to tackle the conflict.

After more than 15 months, unrest in the Arab nation shows no sign of receding. Internationally, tension was jacked up after Syria shot down a Turkish jet last week, an act deplored by NATO and many Western nations. At least 35 people were killed in nationwide violence on Wednesday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

The diplomats want to address an environment in which, according to a U.N. report published Wednesday, new rebel groups are emerging and fighters are making strides and gaining potency.

"The situation on the ground has dramatically changed in the last three months as the hostilities by anti-government armed groups each day take on more clearly the contours of an insurrection," said the report, issued by the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

"As a result of the estimated flow of new weapons and ammunitions, both to the government forces and to the anti-government armed groups, the situation risks becoming more aggravated in the coming months. The international community must not fail to implement a concerted effort to put an end to the violence."

The United Nations and other entities tracking the conflict in Syria noted the increasing clout of anti-government forces in past months.

The report cites this trend, saying rebel "operations in some locations are improving in efficiency and organization."

The fighters are expanding across Syria and fighting government forces on several fronts. The groups are engaging with government forces in "direct combat" and are attacking military and security facilities, the report said.

"Their increasing capacity to access and make use of available weapons has been demonstrated in recent weeks," the report said.

It said rebels haven't gotten "new or more sophisticated weaponry." But they are using improvised explosive devices "against army and security convoys, patrols and facilities such as military buildings and checkpoints."

"In at least one case, this has led to collateral damage among civilians and their properties. According to reliable sources, anti-government armed groups have also been using IEDs in assassinations, targeting government officials and individuals from the army and security forces."

The report said rebel forces "have effectively challenged" the regime's authority in Damascus, Homs, Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces

For example, it said, the government forces' control of the country's borders has been regularly undermined, and cross-border movements of refugees as well as of anti-government fighters appear to be more frequent and fluid.

Burhan Ghalioun, former president of the opposition Syrian National Council based in Turkey, said he slipped over the border into Syria on a brief visit to Idlib province, and described rebel resolve and bravery amid a moonscape of destruction.

"The spirits of the fighters are very, very high," he told CNN. "They are ready to die for their freedom. The major problem that the fighters are facing is the nonstop bombardment by planes and tanks. This is making the battle difficult as the rebels don't have heavy weapons. Many cities and towns are already liberated. I was driven around Idlib in a car with a banner saying 'The Free Syrian Army.'"

Many observers say the rebel fighting forces have been too autonomous and have lacked central command. Ghalioun said they are "very united" and "cooperating among themselves."

"Despite that, there is no serious arming; the rebels are gathering arms from the attacks and battles they do with the regime forces," he said. "They are so organized on the ground, they have formed committees to help each other; medical, social, political etc. I am simply amazed."

The Commission of Inquiry is probing the killings last month of more than 100 people in the Houla region -- where most of those slain in the massacre were reportedly women and children -- but has been limited because it hasn't gotten access to the country. It has had to conduct interviews with people by telephone or in the countries to which they fled.

So far, it said, it can't rule out, "with the available evidence," the possibility that perpetrators include pro-government militias, rebels, or foreign groups. But, it said, "forces loyal to the government may have been responsible for many of the deaths."

Many observers believe the Houla killings may have resulted from sectarian violence. Houla refers to three towns with a majority Sunni population. They are ringed by Shiite and Alawite villages. Most Syrians are Sunni and the opposition has a lot of support from them. The government is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiism.

"Where previously victims were targeted on the basis of their being pro- or anti-government, the (Commission of Inquiry) has recorded a growing number of incidents where victims appear to have been targeted because of their religious affiliation," the report said, describing conditions across Syria.

The commission said special envoy Kofi Annan's peace initiative "offers the best framework for a resolution of the conflict" and Annan's Saturday meeting of the Action Group for Syria will work on steps to implement his six-point peace initiative.

Annan said Wednesday he invited the top diplomats of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and Turkey. United Nations, European Union, and Arab League envoys also were invited.

The Action Group for Syria should "agree on guidelines and principles for a Syrian-led political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people; and agree on actions that will make these objectives a reality on the ground," Annan said. "I look forward to a productive meeting this weekend, where we can all agree on concrete actions to end the cycle of violence and bring peace and stability to the Syrian people."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking in Helsinki, Finland, said if participants can meet on the basis of a road map to a political transition in Syria, "then a meeting makes a lot of sense" and "could be a turning point." A strong transition road map backed by Russia and China, which have blocked tough action against Syria, would be a strong message to the al-Assad regime, she said.

Annan wanted to invite Iran to the meeting, but the United States opposed that, noting Tehran's support for al-Assad's forces.

The United Nations estimates more than 10,000 people have been killed since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011. Opposition activists say the death toll has topped 15,000, mostly civilians. About 1.5 million Syrians "are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance," said Jean-Marie Guehenno, U.N.-Arab League deputy envoy to Syria.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz, Rima Maktabi, Barbara Starr, and Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

 

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