06-22-2024  3:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

Black Leaders Urge County to Continue Funding Multnomah Mothers Trust

The program has been entirely funded by American Rescue Plan grants, which run out after this year.

NEWS BRIEFS

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

University of Portland Honored with Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

UP recognized as one of 25 institutions nationwide committed to advancing leadership in pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and...

The National Civil Rights Museum Announces 33rd Freedom Award Honorees

This is the museum's signature event, which pays tribute to individuals who have shown unwavering commitment to promoting equity and...

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and...

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

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 ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Africa's new government brings Black and white together. It's also reviving racial tensions

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — In a country where racial segregation was once brutally enforced, South Africa's new coalition government has brought a Black president and a white opposition leader together in an image of unity. Yet the power-sharing agreement sealed a week ago...

Buttigieg tours Mississippi civil rights site and says transportation is key to equity in the US

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday toured the home of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi's capital city, saying afterward that transportation is important to securing equity and justice in the United States. ...

Celebrations honor Willie Mays and Negro League players ahead of MLB game at Rickwood Field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — As Ajay Stone strolled around historic Rickwood Field and gazed at tributes displayed in honor of Willie Mays and other Negro Leaguers, he clutched a cherished memory under his arm. It was a picture from 2004 of Mays holding Stone's then-10-month-old daughter...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

List of winners at the 2024 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Winners at the 2024 Tony Awards, announced Sunday. Best Musical: “The Outsiders” Best Play: “Stereophonic” Best Revival of a Musical: “Merrily We Roll Along” Best Revival of a Play: “Appropriate” ...

Sony Pictures acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the dine-in movie theater chain

Sony Pictures Entertainment is getting into the exhibition business. The studio behind recent films like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “The Garfield Movie” has acquired the distinctive theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the companies said Wednesday. Included in the deal is the genre film...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, criticized for saying West provoked Putin to invade Ukraine

LONDON (AP) — Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing Reform U.K party, is facing wide-ranging criticism across...

US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as a show of force against nuclear-armed North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier arrived Saturday in South Korea for a...

A year ago, Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin challenged the Kremlin with a mutiny

On a lazy summer weekend a year ago, Russia was jolted by the stunning news of an armed uprising. The swaggering...

How does heat kill? It confuses your brain. It shuts down your organs. It overworks your heart.

As temperatures and humidity soar outside, what's happening inside the human body can become a life-or-death...

Italian coast guard recovers 14 more bodies of shipwreck victims off Calabria, dozens still missing

ROME (AP) — The Italian coast guard has recovered 14 more bodies from last week's shipwreck in the Ionian Sea...

As U.S.-supplied weapons show impact inside Russia, Ukrainian soldiers hope for deeper strikes

KHARKIV REGION, Ukraine (AP) — Weeks after the decision allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons for...

David Mckenzie CNN

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Two Iranian nationals, accused of plotting to plant explosives in Kenya, were in the advanced stages of planning of a terror attack in Kenya, according to a senior Kenyan government official familiar with intelligence updates.

"We do not want to speculate exactly on the seriousness of their plan," the official said, adding the suspects may have wanted to use Kenya as a transit point to hit targets in neighboring countries. "We are still working to uncover it. We don't allow organizations or countries to commit terror in our country, and we will prosecute such acts accordingly."

The suspects were arrested June 19 in Nairobi and led security officials to 15 kilograms (more than 30 pounds) of RDX explosives hidden at a Mombasa golf club, on Kenya's coast, according to court documents.

"The amount of explosives they uncovered was very powerful and could have caused a lot of damage and loss of life if used," the official said.

The two Iranian suspects, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, appeared in a Nairobi court June 25 charged with two counts: preparation to commit a felony and being in possession of explosives without a license.

According to court transcripts seen by CNN, both Mohammed and Mousavi denied the charges and said they were wrongly accused. They also alleged Kenyan police had tortured them.

Mohammed said he was given an injection by a Kenyan intelligence agent. The presiding magistrate said the matter would be investigated and denied the pair bail, ruling they would be a flight risk.

The Iranians' attorney, David Kirimi, declined to comment, saying he wished to consult with his clients.

If proven guilty, the case could be linked, security analysts said, to a series of plots and attacks, allegedly by Iranian operatives, targeting Israeli diplomats.

The Israeli prime minister's office reacted swiftly to the latest allegations in Kenya.

"Iranian terror has no borders. ... Now its intention to execute terror attacks in Africa is being revealed. The international community must fight against the world's biggest exporter of terror."

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman hit back Tuesday, saying officials are trying to establish the identity of the two men.

"When it comes to Iranian nationals, coverage of the events are exaggerated," said the spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, in Tehran.

The arrests of the Iranians and discovery of explosives came in the midst of a U.S. Embassy warning of an "imminent threat" of terror attacks in Mombasa, with the embassy taking the unusual step of suspending U.S. government travel to the coastal city until the end of July.

It was the latest in a string of warnings to U.S. citizens in Kenya.

But security analysts and evidence from recent incidents suggest that the major terror threat to Kenya may be from Somalia, not Iran.

A series of low-grade grenade attacks, blamed on sympathizers of Al-Shabaab, culminated in simultaneous attacks Sunday by masked gunmen on two churches in Garissa, Kenya.

The gunmen lobbed grenades into Catholic and African Inland churches and then opened fire on the parishioners in the ensuing panic, according to Kenyan police. Seventeen people were killed, and more than 40 injured. No one has claimed responsibility, but Kenyan police said they suspect Al-Shabaab.

While Al-Shabaab has been linked to al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, experts said they believe there is little chance they would align themselves with Iranians.

"Iranian operatives have had little involvement with East and Horn of Africa militant groups," said Rashid Abdi, a Somali terror expert and religious editor at Nation Group, "and mostly Sunni Somalis would regard Iranians Shiites with mistrust.

"But stranger things have happened," he added.

The terror allegations come at an awkward moment in economic relations between Kenya and Iran.

Kenya has agreed to import 4 million tons of Iranian oil per year, signing a memorandum of understanding with Tehran in June, CNN affiliate KTN reported, citing statements from Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman alleged that Kenyan-Iranian relationships were being deliberately sabotaged. "Making public this incident coincides with positive economic moves between the two countries," Mehmanparast said. "We are suspicious of the motives behind the publicizing of this kind of news about Iranian nationals in countries where we have close and friendly relations."