10-14-2019  8:11 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

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Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

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Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Founder of Black Panther Challenge Creates Brand To Support Mental Health

The launch comes during Mental Health Awareness Week. The creators say they want people around the world to know that they aren’t...

Oregon may allow BYO food containers in stores, restaurants

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon may soon allow customers to bring their own reusable food containers to grocery stores and restaurants in an effort to curb plastic waste.The Statesman Journal reports that's not currently allowed under U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, which Oregon has...

Some states honoring indigenous people instead of Columbus

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A handful of states are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.From Minnesota to Vermont, at least five states and Washington, D.C., have done away with Columbus Day...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

OPINION

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Ole Miss honors student wears blackface, prompts warning

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo online of him wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.Citing a school email, news outlets report the student told the college he...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and has made a new request for information on recipients of government assistance, alarming some civil rights advocates.The two approaches, documented by The Associated Press, come amid...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for 'Jackie Brown,' dies at 78

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Friday. He was 78.Publicist Kathie Berlin said Forster died of brain cancer following a brief illness....

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Jessye Norman's illustrious opera career and extraordinary artistry was honored at her public funeral. So was Jessye Norman the loyal friend, the humanitarian, the teacher and the person not only celebrated for her golden voice, but for her heart of gold.Several speakers at Saturday's four-hour...

Queen Latifah to receive Harvard black culture award

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Music artist and actress Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.Harvard is set to award the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Oct. 22,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

Japan looks for missing after typhoon kills dozens

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they...

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

The U.S. Census Bureau is asking states for drivers' license records that typically include citizenship data and...

Trump says he'll look into case after Fox appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll "be looking into" the case of a U.S. financial adviser...

Hong Kong police say homemade bomb targeted officers

HONG KONG (AP) — A homemade, remote-controlled bomb intended to "kill or to harm" riot control officers was...

The Latest: Spanish official puts Brexit onus on Johnson

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):3:40 p.m.Spain's foreign minister says he expects...

McMenamins
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.

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