02-25-2021  4:29 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Restaurant Week Comes to Portland

National event highlights Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, creates countrywide database to support Black businesses

Portland Police Launch Team to Investigate Shootings

 The Enhanced Community Safety Team will be comprised of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives, and will staff a seven-member on-call unit to respond to shooting scenes, examine evidence, interview witnesses and do immediate follow-up investigations

Oregon National Guard Deploys As Power Outages Persist

The Oregon National Guard will go door-to-door in areas hardest hit by last weekend’s ice storm to make sure residents who have been without power for a week have enough food and water

Vancouver Drops Most Police Killing Protest Charges

Hundreds marched through the city from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 to protest the shooting death of Kevin Peterson Jr. by two Clark County Sheriff’s Office detectives

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Black Artist To Be Featured in Amazon Prime Series

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NIKE, Inc. and Goalsetter Partner to Increase Financial Literacy Among America’s Youth

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Six Trailblazing Black Judges to Discuss Overcoming Challenges Feb. 26

The online program panel judges include Justice Adrienne Nelson, the first Black justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first...

Launch of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship to Help Fuel Black Innovation

The facility is the first-ever academic center of its kind to assemble, educate and empower a new class of Black entrepreneurial...

Medical Centre to Screen Film and Hold Panel on Black Men in Medicine

Seattle-based Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has invited 100 students to take part in the virtual event, which aims to inspire Black...

Governor extends Oregon’s state of emergency due to COVID-19

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases drop but hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily.“Throughout the pandemic, Oregonians have made smart choices that have...

Police: 1 dead, 2 injured in gunfire exchange with police

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A man is dead, his passenger is in the hospital and a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy is out of the hospital following a domestic violence report Tuesday that ended in an exchange of gunfire in Eagle Point, authorities said.The Mail Tribune reports Dale Arthur...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

OPINION

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

The Heroes Within Us

Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

BLM launches Survival Fund amid federal COVID-19 relief wait

NEW YORK (AP) — The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a million financial relief fund that it quietly launched earlier this month, to help people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.The foundation, which grew out of the...

Chief: Police heeded Capitol attack warnings but overwhelmed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers pressed the acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Thursday to explain why the force wasn't prepared to fend off a violent mob of insurrectionists even though officials had compiled specific, compelling intelligence that extremists were likely to attack Congress and try...

US Park Police names Pamela Smith its 1st Black female chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Park Police on Thursday named Pamela Smith as its new chief, making her the first Black woman to lead the 230-year-old law enforcement agency.Smith, a 23-year veteran of the force, announced she would begin her term by establishing body-worn cameras for all Park...

ENTERTAINMENT

NY Times says it needs culture change, better inclusion

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times says it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of color.The newspaper told its employees in a report Wednesday that it will take steps to be more inclusive and welcoming, saying its study of the workplace culture...

'Blinding Lights' and more hits the Grammys left in the dark

NEW YORK (AP) — The wattage in The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” wasn’t strong enough to compete at the Grammys – but the song isn’t the only electrifying No. 1 hit that the Recording Academy snubbed.The Weeknd joins an exclusive club of songs that were...

Quotes from Stephen King interview with The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen King spoke recently to The Associated Press recently about his new novel, “Later,” but he also covered topics ranging from the famous people who have turned up at his readings to what happens when he looks up his own name on the Internet. And he think he...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Monarch butterflies down 26% in Mexico wintering grounds

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The number of monarch butterflies that showed up at their winter resting grounds in...

New York woman loses job, leads pantry feeding thousands

NEW YORK (AP) — While dozens of New Yorkers lined up outside in the rain, shopping carts at the ready as...

Conservative gathering to feature Trump's false fraud claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gathering of conservatives this weekend in Florida will serve as an unabashed...

S. Korea injects first shots in public vaccination campaign

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Friday administered its first available shots of coronavirus...

Amnesty report describes Axum massacre in Ethiopia's Tigray

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Soldiers from Eritrea systematically killed “many hundreds” of people,...

Senegal, Morocco, Caymans added to terror finance watch list

PARIS (AP) — An international agency that monitors terrorism funding kept North Korea and Iran as the only...

Steven Jiang CNN

BEIJING (CNN) -- The wife of controversial Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been formally charged with murder, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Thursday.

She is Gu Kailai, suspected of killing British businessman Neil Heywood.

Her husband had been one of the country's most prominent politicians until he was sacked as the chief of Chongqing in what has been seen as a political power struggle.

Bo remains under house arrest and is under investigation for flouting Communist Party discipline.

"This was expected," said Joseph Fewsmith, an international relations professor at Boston University and a long-time China watcher, referring to the murder charges.

Chinese communist leaders are trying to settle the Bo Xilai matter before the party holds has its once-in-a-decade leadership transition at the Communist Party Congress meeting later this year.

Bo had been widely expected to rise to national leadership before his sudden fall from grace.

"There was a desire on the part of the Chinese Communist Party to get this case settled. It's not yet, but it is out of the party and into the hands of criminal courts -- well before the 18th Party Congress. We should expect a resolution of the Bo Xilai case within the next couple weeks," Fewsmith said.

"With these cases being dealt with at this time, I expect there to be smooth sailing to the 18th Party congress. There may be some bargaining to go, but most of it has been done."

Zhang Xiaojun, a family aide, was formally charged along with Gu. Chinese authorities announced that the two were arrested earlier this year on suspicion of intentional homicide and had been jailed.

Authorities say Gu and her son came into conflict with Heywood over "economic interests." They said she regarded Heywood as a threat to her son's safety. Gu and Zhang poisoned Heywood, authorities said.

The two are awaiting trial in Hefei, the capital of eastern China's Anhui province.

Fewsmith said the "one real surprise" is the allegation of a Heywood threat to the son.

"This had not previously been reported," he said.

A Bo family friend told CNN that Gu's legal team was appointed by the government, not the lawyers the family tried to hire for her. This friend asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Heywood was found dead in a hotel in the southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing in November. Initially, the cause of death was reportedly found to be excessive alcohol consumption, and his body was cremated without an autopsy.

In early February, Heywood's name was thrown into a media spotlight when Bo's former police chief, Wang Lijun, spectacularly sought refuge for a day inside a U.S. consulate.

Wang wanted political asylum, apparently fearing for his life and allegedly holding incriminating information against Bo. Media reports and online posts claim Wang clashed with Bo after suggesting the British man had been poisoned amid a business dispute with Bo's wife.

Britain asked China earlier this year to investigate the matter further after being informed of growing concern about Heywood's case.

"The details of the ongoing investigation are a matter for the Chinese authorities," a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement Thursday. "However we are glad to see that the Chinese authorities are continuing with the investigation into the death of Neil Heywood. We are dedicated to seeking justice for him and his family and we will be following developments closely."

Speculation has been rife about the nature of Heywood's work in China and his ties to Bo's family.

Heywood had lived in China for more than a decade and was married to a Chinese woman. Among the companies Heywood advised was Hakluyt and Co., a consulting firm founded by former officers of the British spy agency MI6.

That link fueled rumors that Heywood might have had connections to British intelligence services.

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague denied that possibility.

"Mr. Heywood was not an employee of the British government in any capacity," he said in a letter.

Hague noted that government policy is usually "neither to confirm nor deny speculation of this sort."

But he said he was making an exception "given the intense interest in this case."

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