11-30-2021  3:58 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

Oregon Resists Dropping Controversial Investments

Oregon residents are increasingly pushing for the state to divest from fossil fuel companies and other controversial investments, but the state treasury is resisting and putting the onus on the Legislature.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Oregon governor calls for special session to protect renters

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With winter coming and federal funds drying up, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday she'll call a special session of the Legislature Dec. 13 to approve state funding for rental assistance and extend eviction protections issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

Oregon tests voluntary electronic tool to verify vaccination

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is working on an electronic vaccine verification tool that residents could use to share their COVID-19 vaccination status with businesses that ask for proof of verification. The Oregon Health Authority said the tool would be optional and people...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Attorney: Potter will testify at trial; 4 jurors seated

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot Daunte Wright will testify at her trial, her attorney said Tuesday as jury selection began with potential panelists questioned closely about their attitudes on policing, protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. ...

Black artist Josephine Baker honored at France's Pantheon

PARIS (AP) — Josephine Baker — the U.S.-born entertainer, anti-Nazi spy and civil rights activist — was inducted into France's Pantheon on Tuesday, becoming the first Black woman to receive the nation’s highest honor. Baker's voice resonated through streets of Paris'...

France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor

PARIS (AP) — France is inducting entertainer Josephine Baker into its Pantheon, the 1st Black woman to earn nation’s highest honor....

ENTERTAINMENT

Home of Marilyn Manson searched in sex assault investigation

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Media storage devices and other items were seized as a search warrant was served on the home of rocker Marilyn Manson in a months-long investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence, authorities said Tuesday. Manson, 52, whose legal name is Brian...

'The Lost Daughter' wins big at 31st Gotham Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Maggie Gyllenhaal's Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lost Daughter" won four Gotham Awards including best feature film at the 31st Gotham Awards, the annual New York independent film celebration that serves as a boozy kickoff to Oscar season. Gyllenhaal won...

Review: In memoir, it's good to be comedy king Mel Brooks

“All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business” by Mel Brooks (Ballantine) Bagels and Nova Scotia lox for the writing team’s breakfast while punching up the script for “Blazing Saddles.” Earl Grey tea and English digestive biscuits while developing Gene Wilder’s...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Stocks sink as omicron, rate worries rattle Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Already unnerved by the newest coronavirus variant, Wall Street's losses deepened on Tuesday...

November delivers another hit to sinking consumer confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low in November, clipped by rising prices and...

Detective: Brothers detailed how Jussie Smollett staged hoax

CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers arrested for an alleged attack on Jussie Smollett recounted for Chicago police how...

Greece mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for residents over 60

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Residents in Greece over 60 years old will have to undergo mandatory vaccinations against...

German prosecutors probe alleged tax evasion by tax advisers

German investigators searched offices of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the homes of current and...

EU draft pulled after Vatican complains Christmas 'canceled'

ROME (AP) — The European Commission on Tuesday retracted internal communication guidelines that had proposed...

Barry Neild CNN

FARNBOROUGH, England (CNN) -- They are now a familiar presence in war zones, but if manufacturers have their way, skies over civilians heads will soon be busy with unmanned vehicles.

Drones are currently a growth industry in the aviation sector, with scores of new companies competing for a slice of the market.

And if they can clear hurdles that currently limit their deployment in friendly air space, pilotless planes of all shapes will be taking to the air on missions to watch over us.

Some of the aircraft -- from devices barely bigger than a paper plane to formidable missile-sized systems operated by five-man ground crews -- were on display this week at the UK's Farnborough Airshow.

Although the event, held on alternate years, is one of Europe's biggest market places for traditional aircraft, a "drone zone" occupies a substantial slice of the exhibition space.

"There now are hundreds of companies competing for the market," said Konstantins Popkis, chief technology officer for the UAV Factory, which produces a 3.3-meter wingspan drone known as Penguin B.

"But not all of them are producing reliable systems," he added.

Reliability is likely to be a key issue for drones aimed at civilian use as the industry lobbies aviation regulators to gain access to skies that for the most part remain off-limits. Another issue is privacy.

Most drones are built with surveillance in mind. Top-of-the-range systems bristle with radar and infra-red cameras that can produce detail of the ground from great distances, even in poor weather.

UAV Factory's $50,000-plus Penguin B is built for more modest operations, but Popkis says many of his customers are civilians looking for monitoring capabilities.

He says he has taken orders for his catapult-launched craft from military researchers, but also from scientists and commercial ventures. He says environmental campaign group Greenpeace has also acquired two for monitoring the Arctic.

Penguin B, which Popkis claims has clocked a record-breaking 54-and-a-half hours of continuous flying, is competing at Farnborough with several other systems designed for similar use.

Among these is the Alpi Aviation Sixton-A, which uses three helicopter-style rotors to lift a lightweight drone roughly the same diameter as a trash can lid.

According to Massimo Petrusa, Alpi's sales and marketing executive, the Sixton-A is already in use by the Italian military, but civilian use is now the target market.

"I believe the future for these things is civilian," he said. "Instead of hiring 10 night guards to patrol somewhere, you can use two helicopters piloted by a computer -- it's much cheaper."

He said his company's drones had also been recently deployed to survey areas affected by the earthquake that hit Italy in May.

Other drones on sale or display include the iStart, a new ultra-light drone that can be carried in backpack and launched by hand, and the S-25, one of a range made by Austrian firm Aerie, which take off vertically, but fly like conventional planes.

Such is the growth of the drone market that it has created a secondary industry, offering training, advice and support. The Association for Unmanned Systems International holds an annual show in Las Vegas and lobbies governments for greater access to civilian skies.

Andrew Duggan, managing director of Insitu Pacific, is among those hoping to expand the non-military use of his unmanned aerial vehicles. His latest system, the Integrator, succeeds an earlier aircraft that has clocked up tens of thousands of military service hours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has also seen service monitoring marine mammals off the coast of Australia and in firefighting situations.

But he says, resistance from bodies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, which earlier this year agreed to roll back some limitations on lighter drones, has curbed significant use elsewhere.

"There is no aviation authority in the world that will allow you access for 24 hours," Duggan said.

He puts this partly down to the considerable bad press armed drones have attracted flying U.S. military missions over Pakistan and Afghanistan. Last week a suspected U.S. drone strike killed 20 people in northern Pakistan.

"A lot of it is down to the stigma around the term 'drone' because of incidents (in) Pakistan and Afghanistan," Duggan said. "People are hung up over privacy, but it's a lot of unnecessary drama. They are no different from having a police helicopter over your head, or a security camera pointed at you."

But there was caution at the top end of the market in Farnborough.

Matt Moore, head of unmanned aerial systems tactical planning at European defense contractor Thales, also hopes his company's new Watchkeeper system -- a large and sophisticated aircraft developed for the UK military -- will have a civilian life.

But, he says, the only reason Watchkeeper currently enjoys limited clearance over UK civilian airspace is because some of the $1,100 million invested in its development has gone to ensure it exceeds safety requirements.

This, he says, is not something that some lower-cost drone manufacturers can claim.

"Unlike many of these unmanned aircraft now hitting the market, the Watchkeeper is built to a standard that is better than a manned aircraft. Its computer system does not fail. It can't go wrong or fail and you won't get the computer blue screen of death."

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