07-02-2020  11:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Police union contract extended, bargaining to continue

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend bargaining over the next Portland Police Association contract for a year to increase public involvement in the negotiations.Negotiations over the next contract with the union that represents rank-and-file...

Oregon House speaker slams Portland police use of tear gas

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than two dozen protesters were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer, riot and assault on a police officer during protests that stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, Portland police said.Authorities said...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — As protests over the death of George Floyd grew in Iowa’s second largest city, activists demanded the firing of a white officer who shot and paralyzed an unarmed Black man during a 2016 traffic stop.On June 18, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman seemed to...

3 cities pilot South Africa-style truth, reconciliation push

BOSTON (AP) — District attorneys in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco are teaming up on a pilot effort patterned after South Africa's post-apartheid truth and reconciliation commission to confront racism in the criminal justice system.Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, Philadelphia DA...

Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Just a little over a month ago, the area around Richmond's iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was as quiet and sedate as the statue itself. But since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the area has been transformed into a bustling hub...

ENTERTAINMENT

Hot news cycle leads CNN to best ratings in 40 years

NEW YORK (AP) — An extraordinary stretch of news with the coronavirus pandemic and racial reckoning triggered by George Floyd's death has led CNN to its biggest audience for any three-month period in the network's 40-year history.Fox News Channel and MSNBC also had record-setting quarters...

Actor says 'Justice League' director Whedon was 'abusive'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Ray Fisher says director Joss Whedon's behavior was “abusive” on the set of the 2017 film “Justice League.”“Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and...

Review: Joe Ely serves up songs of honesty, hope and healing

Joe Ely, "Love In the Midst of Mayhem” (Rack 'Em Records)Joe Ely's leftovers are keepers, as “Love In the Midst of Mayhem” shows. Idled by the coronavirus — the “pandamnit,” as Ely calls it — the West Texas troubadour began digging through his...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?

Does wearing a mask pose any health risks?No, not for most people. Babies and toddlers should not wear masks...

Intel chiefs brief congressional leaders on Russia bounties

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. intelligence chiefs conducted classified briefings Thursday for congressional...

Wide shift in opinion on police, race rare in US polling

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's rare for public opinion on social issues to change sharply and swiftly. And yet in...

Russia denies supplying weapons to Afghanistan's Taliban

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Moscow has never delivered weapons to the...

Landslide at Myanmar jade mine kills at least 162 people

HPAKANT, Myanmar (AP) — At least 162 people were killed Thursday in a landslide at a jade mine in northern...

More than 80 reported killed this week in Ethiopia's unrest

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — More than 80 people have been killed in unrest in Ethiopia after a popular...

McMenamins
Louis E. V. Nevaer New America Media

MERIDA, Mexico -- In the wake of Mexico's presidential election Sunday, analysts are expecting Mexico to launch a major "blitzkrieg surge" against the drug cartels during current president Felipe Calderon's lame duck period.

President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto won't take office until Dec. 1, leaving a five-month period during which Mexico is expected to intensify its drive against the drug cartels.

To the Mexican electorate – exhausted by six years of being affronted by the daily body count that was the product of Calderon's militarization of the drug war – PRI candidate Peña Nieto promised to change strategy, and work to reduce violence.

"The task of the state, what should be its priority from my point of view, and what I have called for in this campaign, is to reduce the levels of violence," he said in several interviews, by way of explaining his intention in shifting Calderon's hard line against the various drug organizations operating throughout the country.

In private, however, Peña Nieto quietly reassured American officials that they could count on Mexico's continued cooperation in current efforts to continue the war on drugs. A senior Obama official told reporters that Peña Nieto had assured the White House that "he is going to keep working with us."

To make matters more complicated, Peña Nieto and Calderon have been working together, mindful of the opportunity presented by this lame-duck period – between July 1 and Dec. 1 – which affords Mexico the time frame to intensify military strikes against the drug cartels before the new president is sworn in.

It is expected that a blitkreig-style military "surge" against the drug cartels could strike at the heart of these organizations, and debilitate them to such a degree that the new Mexican president can then begin to implement a different set of strategies. Calderon's six-year war against the drug cartels has already wreaked havoc, with hundreds of leaders and operatives from the major cartels and drug organizations killed, imprisoned or extradited to the United States.

For a year Calderon has sent almost 2,000 elite Mexican Army special forces to the border states and during the same period the United States has been sending CIA operatives and retired U.S. forces to Mexico.

Calderon's reputation has already been sullied by a drug war that has left more than 50,000 people dead, and his hope is that a final series of strikes will get the job done before he leaves office. If that happens, in due course his image could be rehabilitated and the Mexican public could come to recognize that his policies prevented Mexico from becoming a narco-state.

The incoming president, meanwhile, can only stand to benefit from a major blitzkrieg before taking office.

Peña Nieto appointed Gen. Oscar Naranjo, the former chief of Colombia's national police, as a "special advisor," signaling his belief in a strong military approach to the "war on drugs." Naranjo lives in Washington, D.C. and has been flying between the U.S. capital and Mexico City in an advisory role.

"Mexico has accumulated achievements, it's delivered lives, enormous sacrifices," Naranjo told reporters last month. "Security, understood as a democratic value, is expressed in policies that are totally inclusive, that protect everyone."

How closely the Obama administration has been working with Peña Nieto – and his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which has been out of power since 2000 – is a matter of speculation.

Rear Adm. Colin Kilrain, a former senior commander of the U.S. Navy's special forces, who worked on anti-terrorism for the National Security Council in 2011, was appointed to the post of military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in February 2012.

For Calderon, who is now a lame-duck president, and desperately wants to be vindicated by carrying out a series of "death blows" to the remaining cartel leaders, it is imperative that the next five months include a series of bold, aggressive and successful military strikes against the eight major drug organizations. For the newly elected president, it is preferable that this blitzkreig take place before being sworn in in December in order to distance the new administration from a war that has bloodied Mexico's international image.

For the Obama administration it is imperative that the surge over the next few months – not unlike the strategy the United States pursued in Iraq and now in Afghanistan – strike mortal blows against the Mexican drug cartels one year after Obama's achievement in taking down Osama bin Laden.

In this sense, a bold series of strikes against Mexico's drug cartels would be a win-win-win strategy for Felipe Calderon, Enrique Peña Nieto and Barack Obama.

Seldom do such opportunities present themselves.

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