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NORTHWEST NEWS

PCC Cascade Expands its Food Pantry for Students

The majority of PCC students are food insecure, with up to 15% homeless

Controversial Washington Lawmaker Spreads Views Across West

Republican Rep. Matt Shea was suspended from the Republican caucus in the wake of a December report that found he was involved in anti-government activities and several lawmakers have called on him to resign, something he says he will not do

2020 Census Begins in Remote Toksook Bay, Alaska

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St. Andrew Parish Presents 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

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NEWS BRIEFS

Labor Commissioner, Senator Announce Bill to Fully Enforce Housing Discrimination

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Giant Sea-life Sculptures Wash Ashore at Oregon Zoo

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States Sue Trump Administration Over New 3D-Printed Gun Rule

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Shari's Restaurants Celebrate National Pie Day

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Grand jury: Officer acted in self-defense in fatal shooting

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Man who stabbed ex-girlfriend sentenced to 15 years

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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

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

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Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

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How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

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I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Zealand's Ardern seeking reelection in Sept. 19 vote

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Photo cropping mistake leads to AP soul-searching on race

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Racist graffiti on college campus; group wants investigation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Name tags for three students at the University of Richmond students were defaced, and a Muslim advocacy group on Monday called for a hate crime investigation into one of the instances.The Council on American Islamic Relations said in an email that it asked the school to...

ENTERTAINMENT

At Sundance, Clinton warns of voter suppression in election

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Billie Eilish, a voice of the youth, tops the Grammy Awards

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DiCaprio, Zellweger and more Oscar hopefuls attend luncheon

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Bloomberg creates a parallel presidential race. Can he win?

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Turkish rescuers find last quake victims; death toll hits 41

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Britain's EU Journey: When Brexit won the battle of Europe

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Irish leader says EU to have stronger hand in UK trade talks

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McMenamins
CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Voters in Angola head to the polls Friday for the southern African nation's third election since it gained independence in 1975.

Under the terms of a constitution approved in 2010, the leader of the party that wins Friday's parliamentary vote will automatically become Angola's president.



President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has held power since 1979, is widely expected to retain the top spot as the head of the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party.

The elections are only Angola's third since the oil-rich country won independence from Portugal in 1975, a development followed by a 27-year-long civil war, and how they're conducted will be seen as a benchmark of the country's progress after a decade of peace.

Elections in 1992 were abandoned midway and led to an outbreak of further violence, while the 2008 parliamentary vote was won by the MPLA with a landslide 82%.

The main opposition party, UNITA, a former civil war enemy of the MPLA, is among the nine political parties and coalitions contesting the election for 220 members of the National Assembly.

The party, which has alleged fraud in previous elections, has also voiced concerns about apparent irregularities in election campaigning this time around.

They include the scheduling of the vote only three days after a public holiday for the president's birthday, questions about voter rolls, and "what seems like a concerted effort by certain security forces to tell people in rural areas that if they do not vote for the ruling party, the country will be back to war," said Domingos Jardo Muekalia, UNITA's deputy secretary for external relations, speaking at the Chatham House think tank in London.

In 1992 and 2008, there were "substantial irregularities -- some intentional such as manipulation, fraud and intimidation and others resulting from inexperience," he said.

Rights group Human Rights Watch also accused the government of "numerous incidents of political violence, intimidation of protesters, and crackdowns on peaceful demonstrations," in a report issued on August 1.

"The human rights environment in Angola is not conducive for free, fair and peaceful elections," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director for HRW.

"The Angolan government needs to stop trying to stifle peaceful protests, gag the independent press or use the state media for partisan purposes if these elections are to be meaningful."

Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest oil producer, pumping out more than 1.9 million barrels per day, and boasts an expanding investment portfolio in its former colonial master, Portugal, and in other parts of Africa.

But despite big spending on infrastructure and social programs since the end of its brutal civil war in 2002, corruption, poor governance and economic inequality remain serious issues for much of the country's population of about 18 million.

Angola ranked 168th out of 183 countries on Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, and was 148th out of 187 countries in the U.N.'s Human Development Index.

A number of small but consistent demonstrations have taken place in Angola since last year, revealing a growing frustration with the economic hardship that many still face in the country.

Over the last few months, civil war veterans have taken to the streets to demand overdue subsidy payments, and disgruntled youths and civil rights activists have staged rallies to voice their concerns about the lack of jobs and opportunities.

The protracted civil war killed up to 1.5 million people, according to the CIA World Factbook. About 4 million people were internally displaced, more than half of them children, the United Nations said.

After peace was established, the country faced the challenge of reestablishing civil institutions, rebuilding damaged infrastructure, clearing land mines and demobilizing large numbers of former fighters.

CNN's Teo Kermeliotis and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

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