12-11-2019  6:27 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

San Francisco Aims to Rein in Tests of Tech Ideas on Streets

Entrepreneurs would not be allowed to test their products in San Francisco's public space unless the tech in question is declared a "net public good."

Portland-area Residents May Vote on Funding for Homeless

There may be a measure on the November 2020 ballot to fund likely hundreds of millions of dollars for increased social services

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

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Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

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Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

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North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

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Police: Man arrested for riding on young mule deer's back

RILEY, Ore. (AP) — Police say a young man was arrested after he was caught on video riding on the back of a mule deer that was trapped in a fenced area in rural eastern Oregon.Oregon State Police say 18-year-old Jacob Belcher of Riley was arrested Friday and charged with wildlife harassment...

Man arrested on 25 years’ worth of child sex abuse charges

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man was arrested last week on dozens of child sex abuse charges, some of which date back to 1994. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Michael Hern has pleaded not guilty to 26 counts related to the sexual abuse of at least six children, who were between 4 and 15 years...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

YouTube cracks down on racist, sexist and similar insults

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube is taking another step to curb hateful and violent speech on its site. The video streaming company said it will now take down videos that lob insults at people based on race, gender expression, sexual orientation or other “protected attributes.”...

Jersey City's mayor says gunmen targeted kosher market

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The mayor of Jersey City said Wednesday it's “clear” that gunmen in a furious shooting that left six people dead targeted a Jewish market.Mayor Steven Fulop refused to call it an anti-Semitic attack but said surveillance video shows the gunmen got out...

PBS, Netflix, MSNBC among 2020 duPont-Columbia award winners

NEW YORK (AP) — Groundbreaking reporting on the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexican border, the growth of America's white supremacist movement and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be honored at the 2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, Columbia’s...

ENTERTAINMENT

NFL, NCAA football fuel Fox TV's win of the prime-time week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fueled by both college and pro football, Fox won a rare title as champ of the broadcast week among networks. Fox's Thursday night NFL airing of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears was the week's top show of any kind with 18.23 million viewers, and its broadcast of the Big...

The Associated Press picks the top moments on TV from 2019

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Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP source: Yanks land ace Cole on record 4M, 9-year deal

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Santa, soldiers bring joy to town with river erosion crisis

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Saudi Aramco gains 10% in debut to clinch top seat at jumi.8T

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No Christmas tinsel in Iraq, in solidarity with protesters

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Turkey doesn't rule out force to halt drilling off Cyprus

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French government raises retirement age as strikes grind on

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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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