02-08-2023  3:14 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek: Agency Leaders Used Jobs for Personal Gain

Kotek on Wednesday asked the board of commissioners of the state's marijuana and alcohol regulating authority to remove its executive director and other leaders

Arrest Made in Stolen Yacht Rescue, 'Goonies' Fish Incident

Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded Friday night with the arrest of a Canadian man.

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Call for PNW Emerging Artists

'Timescape' submissions due March 15 ...

Merkley Applauds President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union Address: America is Stronger When We Come Together to Lift Everyone Up

If there’s one takeaway tonight that will stick with me, it’s how much stronger our country can be when our leaders focus on...

Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs Partner to Support Veterans Through the Arts

0,000 in grants will support arts programming across four Veteran Homes ...

The Black Business Association of Oregon Hires its First Communications Director

Previously, Sommer Martin was director of downtown marketing for the Portland Business Alliance ...

Allen Temple C.M.E. Church Announces Annual Unsung Heroes & Heroines Award Luncheon

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and honor individuals and/or organizations who are unsung heroes/heroines who make a...

Family, community still searching missing crabber

LONG BEACH, Wash. (AP) — Family and members of the community are still searching for a missing crabber days after two others were rescued from a boat that sank near southwest Washington’s Willapa Bay, officials said. The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that the...

Famed Portland goats let loose in protest of homeless sweep

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A herd of city goats well-known in Portland, Oregon, were temporarily set free Tuesday morning in what appeared to be an act of protest against a planned sweep of a nearby homeless encampment. The fence of the goats' enclosure in north Portland was cut,...

Missouri has 4 in double figures, beats South Carolina 83-74

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Kobe Brown scored 19 points to lead four in double figures as Missouri rolled past South Carolina 83-74 on Tuesday night. Missouri (18-6, 6-5 SEC), which rebounded from a 63-52 loss at Mississippi State, has won four of its last five games while South Carolina...

DeVries scores 32 as Drake downs Murray State 92-68

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Tucker DeVries' 32 points led Drake over Murray State 92-68 on Tuesday night. DeVries also contributed six rebounds for the Bulldogs (20-6, 11-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Roman Penn scored 18 points while going 7 of 12 and 4 of 5 from the free throw line, and...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy. ...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders slams Biden for 'woke fantasies'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders painted a dystopian portrait of the country in her rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, leaning heavily into Republican culture war issues and accusing Biden of pursuing “woke fantasies.” ...

Douglas Emmett: Q4 Earnings Snapshot

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Douglas Emmett Inc. (DEI) on Tuesday reported a key measure of profitability in its fourth quarter. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust said it...

ENTERTAINMENT

At last: Streisand memoir 'My Name is Barbra' coming Nov. 7

NEW YORK (AP) — Barbra Streisand's very long and very long-awaited memoir, a project she has talked about for years, is coming out this fall. Viking, a Penguin Random House imprint, will release “My Name is Barbra” on Nov. 7. Her memoir, fitting for a superstar of the grandest...

After ticket flap, Springsteen's fan magazine shutting down

NEW YORK (AP) — A magazine and website that has served Bruce Springsteen's fans for 43 years is shutting down, with its publisher writing that he's been disillusioned by the debate over ticket prices for their hero's current tour. Backstreets had been an unusually robust publication...

Dudamel to become NY Philharmonic music director, leave LA

NEW YORK (AP) — Gustavo Dudamel will become music director of the New York Philharmonic for the 2026-27 season, ending a heralded tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic that began in 2009. The 42-year-old Venezuelan conductor agreed to a five-year contract as New York’s artistic...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Scenes of devastation as Turkey, Syria quake kills thousands

With the death toll climbing after the deadliest earthquake in over a decade brought massive destruction to parts...

Microsoft's Activision deal hurts gamers, UK watchdog says

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft’s stalled .7 billion deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard has hit a...

Day care in Canada struck by city bus; 2 children dead

A city bus crashed into a day care center north of Montreal on Wednesday, killing two children and injuring six,...

Danish queen to undergo 'major back surgery'

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s...

Blaze at US drone plant in Latvia; arson not suspected

HELSINKI (AP) — Firefighters worked for a second day Wednesday to fully extinguish a blaze at a U.S. company’s...

Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion

MILAN (AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this...

Louis Nevaernew America Media

MEXICO CITY – Mexicans have long grown weary of their country's prolonged War on Drugs. Now, with President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto set to take office in December, it appears change may finally be in the offing.

That change, however, may not be what most Mexicans were expecting.

"A transnational phenomenon requires a transnational strategy," Óscar Naranjo, Colombia's former director of the National Police and current advisor to Peña Nieto, told reporters last week.  "No country can succeed in an insular and isolated manner if it is to achieve timely or definitive victories."

Far from "re-envisioning" the approach taken by outgoing President Felipe Calderon, credited with having launched the crackdown on the country's drug cartels in 2006, Peña Nieto is preparing the Mexican people for a major escalation. It is a shift that could draw in military forces from Mexico's neighbors, including the United States.

Mexico has not had foreign troops on its soil since the U.S. invaded in 1847. The country's constitution bans foreign troops from its territory. But Mexican officials have been quietly developing strategies for circumventing these prohibitions. 

High-ranking advisors suggest one strategy would be to develop a "multinational" military force comprised of American, Colombian and Chilean military advisors to work with Mexican marines and special forces under an international mandate.

"Not only the United States, but the world, must ally with Mexico to help Mexico overcome the challenge of transnational crime," Naranjo continued. 

Still, he insisted, the final "solution to the Mexican problem remains in the hands of Mexicans." It is an assertion that ignores one crucial fact: the War on Drugs has never been in the hands of the Mexicans. During the recent presidential campaign, none of the candidates were willing to touch the issue.

Josefina Vazquez, candidate from Calderón's National Action party (PAN), made no mention of it, presumably because she did not want to remind voters that it was her party that first launched the campaign. Peña Nieto steered clear knowing that governors from his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stood accused of collaborating with drug traffickers, or being corrupted by them. The leftist candidate, Andrés López Obrador of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), avoided discussing the War on Drugs simply because he had no new ideas to offer.

Their collective reluctance to broach the subject was cause for much discussionthroughout the Spanish-speaking world.

But now that Peña Nieto is well on his way to the presidential palace, he is beginning to reveal his strategy.

For several years Mexico has availed itself of the United States for assistance, including the sending of Mexican marines to the U.S. for Pentagon training in counter-intelligence and special forces military strikes. 

"We have learned from American officers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan," a Mexican marine corporal, who asked that his name not be used as he is not authorized to speak to the media, told American reportersin October 2011. "The Americans suffer from similar types of ambushes in their wars, and have learned how to respond to them in a tight, disciplined way. We apply those techniques to our fight here."

The training of Mexican marines for Iraq- and Afghanistan-style warfare by the Pentagon is only part of the "transnational" approach pursued by Calderón.  Mexico has received intelligence from the U.S. military as well.

"A sea change has occurred over the past years in how effective Mexico and U.S. intelligence exchanges have become," Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, confirmed to the New York Timesa year ago. "It is underpinned by the understanding that transnational organized crime can only be successfully confronted by working hand in hand, and that the outcome is as simple as it is compelling: we will together succeed or together fail."

This gradual escalation is set to accelerate once Peña Nieto takes office, with speculation that Mexico might make an appeal to the Organization of American States (OAS) or the United Nations for "help" in preventing the emergence of a "narco-state." 

Under this scenario, Latin American countries and the United States would come to the "assistance" of Mexico with the authorization of an OAS declaration or a United Nations resolution affirming the legitimate need for assistance by the Mexican government.

Such help has already come, albeit in clandestine fashion, from the United States. Last year it was revealedthat American drones authorized by the Obama administration had violated Mexican airspace. "Stepping up its involvement in Mexico's drug war, the Obama administration has begun sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence," the New York Times reported.

For the White House, it was an embarrassing revelation. But what was "embarrassing" in 2011 may now be part of Peña Nieto's new strategy, one well timed with events north of the border.

As American involvement in Iraq winds down and U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan are scaled back, the additional personnel may allow U.S. military officials to contemplate "limited" and "strategic" operations to assist in a "multinational" effort for other missions in Latin America. 

This "transnational" nature of the War on Drugs that Mexican officials are now openly discussing is part of a national conversation swirling through the Mexican capital, anticipating how such an approach might succeed where the current Mexico-alone strategy has failed. 

For Peña Nieto, it is clear that had he openly debated this course of action, the presidential election might have turned out differently.

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.