06-22-2024  2:25 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...

Jamie Crawford CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama announced new U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's oil Tuesday as well as banks in China and Iraq, warning that Tehran faces "growing consequences" for refusing to answer international questions about its nuclear program.

Obama said China's Bank of Kunlun and the Elaf Islamic Bank in Iraq "facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars" for Iranian banks already under sanctions.

"By cutting off these financial institutions from the United States, today's action makes it clear that we will expose any financial institution, no matter where they are located, that allows the increasingly desperate Iranian regime to retain access to the international financial system," Obama said in a statement issued by the White House.

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said the purpose of additional sanctions was to "affect Iran's calculus" to get Tehran to negotiate seriously over its disputed nuclear program.

The United States will continue to "look for ways to increase the impact" of sanctions on Iran, Rhodes said. "It's only going to get worse for the Iranian government," he said.

The sanctions announced Tuesday come on the heels of a complete European Union embargo on the purchase of Iranian petroleum that took effect at the beginning of the month, and the imposition of U.S. sanctions that cut off the U.S. financial system from any entity that facilitates the purchase of Iranian oil through the Central Bank of Iran.

The United States recently granted exceptions to those sanctions to all major importers of Iranian oil based on evidence that those countries had significantly reduced their purchase of Iranian petroleum. Countries granted exceptions must demonstrate every 180 days their continued reduction of such purchases in order to avoid U.S. sanctions.

The International Energy Association has said that exports of Iranian oil have dropped from a rate of 2.5 million barrels a day in 2011 to below 1.5 million barrels a day in June.

On the same call Tuesday, Robert Einhorn, special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control at the State Department, said the drop represented a decline of 40% to 50%, and approximately $9 billion per quarter in lost revenue for Iran.

The value of Iran's currency, the rial, has also dropped some 38% in value since international sanctions began to take effect the Obama administration said.

In Tuesday's action, Obama issued an executive order against Iranian energy and petrochemical sectors in an effort to prevent the establishment of payment mechanisms that would allow the circumvention of existing sanctions.

In addition to formal transactions of Iranian oil conducted through banks and other financial institutions, the new sanctions seek to punish purchases done through informal means or barter that have sought to go around existing sanctions targeting transactions through Iran's Central Bank.

The executive order also broadens U.S. sanctions on any person or entity engaged in the purchase or acquisition from Iran's petrochemical industry, its second largest export industry behind oil. The petrochemical industry itself generates approximately $9 billion a year in foreign revenue for the Iranian government.

The executive order also authorizes the Treasury Department to take actions that prevent Iran from getting access to U.S. dollars and precious metals, such as gold, in an effort to arrest the decline of its currency.

"These and other provisions send a clear signal to Iran that the Obama administration is determined to increase the pressure until Iranian leaders negotiate seriously" over their nuclear program with the United States and its international partners, Einhorn said on the call.

In announcing the action against the two banks, the Treasury Department said the sanctions were part of a wider effort to expose and isolate Iranian financial institutions connected to Iran's support for terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"Imposing sanctions on Kunlun and Elaf underscores Treasury's commitment to use all the tools at its disposal to intensify financial pressure against Iran while protecting the U.S. financial system from illicit activity," Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in a written statement.

"Any bank, anywhere, that seeks to provide a financial lifeline to Iran's designated financial institutions should know that it will be held accountable and its activity will be exposed."

On the call with reporters, Cohen said the "collateral benefit" of the sanctions is that Iran is finding it increasingly difficult to make payments in the international financial system, which in turn make it more difficult to procure materials for the nuclear program. The sanctions on Kunlun and Elaf would have a "chilling effect" on the willingness of other international financial institutions from doing business with Iranian banks Cohen said.

Tuesday's actions from the administration come at the same time that negotiators in the House and Senate reached an agreement on even greater sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors. It is possible both chambers could vote on the measures later this week before the August recess.

Rhodes told reporters the administration is reviewing the text of the legislation, but was "quite optimistic" the administration would "continue to work in lock step with Congress" on sanctions with Iran.

Moments after the adminsitration made its announcement, an influential member of Congress made clear there was still work ahead.

"This legislation and today's executive action are important steps in the right direction, but not the final word on Iran sanctions," Rep. Howard Berman, D-California, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a written statement. "Unless Iran agrees to end its weapons program, we must continue to pursue even tougher measures that would result in crippling sanctions on the Iranian regime."

In Tuesday's statement, Obama said Washington "remains committed to a diplomatic solution, but the onus is on Iran to abide by its international obligations."

"If the Iranian government continues its defiance, there should be no doubt that the United States and our partners will continue to impose increasing consequences," he said.

CNN's Matt Smith contributed to this report.