01-22-2022  4:36 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Oregon Has Too Few Public Defenders

Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants

Blumenauer Boosts Efforts to Put Three Black History Landmarks on National List

Congressman makes case for Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel’s importance to city history and heritage.

Lawsuit Says New Majority Latino District in WA a 'Facade'

A Latino civil rights organization and others filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says new political maps in Washington state approved by a bipartisan redistricting panel intentionally dilute Hispanic voters' influence.

Washington Students' Test Scores Drop Significantly

Reports show that between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points.

NEWS BRIEFS

Five Schools Return to In-person Instruction on Jan. 24

Alliance, Faubion, Franklin, Ockley Green, and Roosevelt return to in-person instruction; George, Harriet Tubman and Kellogg...

Portland Winter Light Festival Begins in Two Weeks, Illuminating City for Seventh Time

Free, all-ages, outdoor activity returns with new opportunities for outdoor art experiences all across Portland ...

PassinArt Introduces ‘Play Reading Mondays’

The Spanish Jade and The Learning Curve, both directed by William Earl Ray premiere in February ...

Revamped TriMet Website Makes Planning Trips Easier With Map-Based Tools

Riders can now track real-time locations of buses and trains on their smartphone ...

PHOTOS: Founder of The American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths Honored

Delbert Richardson's Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha XI Chapter fraternity brothers presented him a plaque that reads “Your commitment to...

Police: Lacey cops shoot, kill man who fired at officers

LACEY, Wash. (AP) — Lacey police shot and killed a man Thursday night who fired at officers, presumably hitting one in their bulletproof vest, authorities said. Police responded to a home around 8:30 p.m. after a woman called saying she had been attacked and had left the residence...

Peak yet to come, as Oregon sets daily COVID case record

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health officials predict the number of COVID-19 cases will reach its peak within the next week amid a boom caused by the omicron surge. And authorities believe in early February coronavirus-related hospitalizations will likely surpass previous surge’s...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Jewish leaders urge worship attendance after hostage siege

On the eve of her 100th birthday Saturday, Ruth Salton told her daughter she was going one way or another to Friday night Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel, just days after a gunman voicing antisemitic conspiracy theories held four worshippers hostage for 10 hours at the Fort Worth-area...

McConnell responds to uproar over comment about Black voters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back Friday against the uproar over a comment he made about African American voters, calling the criticism directed his way “outrageous.” McConnell had been accused of racism for saying that “African...

Abuse victims see inequity in payouts at 2 Michigan schools

Two former University of Michigan football stars who stand to receive as much as 0,000 each through the school's sexual abuse settlement with more than 1,000 students say the per-victim payouts should be much higher, pointing to a similar case at rival Michigan State. Dwight Hicks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Eva Longoria Bastón's doc looks at Chávez, De La Hoya fight

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya wanted to make a documentary about his 1996 fight against Julio César Chávez. It was coming up on 25 years since the “Ultimate Glory” showdown and he figured the time was right to look back. So he asked Eva Longoria Bastón, his friend of 20 years, if she’d be...

Review: Penny and Sparrow push past Americana in 'Olly Olly'

“Olly Olly,” Penny and Sparrow (I Love You / Thirty Tigers) In the first few unassuming bars of Penny and Sparrow’s new album, “Olly Olly,” it is not immediately apparent that this collection of songs signifies a shift for duo Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke. ...

'SNL' comics Jost, Davidson buy Staten Island Ferry boat

NEW YORK (AP) — “Saturday Night Live” comics Colin Jost and Pete Davidson have purchased a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat for 0,100 with plans to turn it into New York's hottest club. Jost and Davidson teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia on Wednesday's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Booster shots needed against omicron, CDC studies show

NEW YORK (AP) — Three studies released Friday offered more evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are standing up to...

McConnell responds to uproar over comment about Black voters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back Friday against the uproar over a...

Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk, dies at 95

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of...

Has rule-breaker Boris Johnson met his match in 'partygate'?

LONDON (AP) — For Boris Johnson, facts have always been flexible. The British prime minister’s...

US unveils changes to attract foreign science, tech students

The Biden administration on Friday announced policy changes to attract international students specializing in...

Dior reconstructs Paris in spectacular Fashion Week show

PARIS (AP) — Dior took over Paris’ iconic Place de la Concorde for a menswear show Friday whose theme was none...

Lateef Mungin and Michael Pearson CNN

(CNN) -- Praise the Internet and pass the ammunition: the blogosphere is roiling with conspiracy theories over a Social Security Administration shopping list for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Depending on whom you believe, police who protect Social Security Administration officers are either preparing for impending financial doom by purchasing lethal ammo to put down rioting citizens, or they're just making a standard purchase of ammunition for a federal police agency.

It all began last month when the agency, which is primarily responsible for distributing benefits to the disabled and retired people, posted an announcement seeking bids for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why? cried some bloggers.

Infowars, a website operated by right-wing talk show host Alex Jones, wanted to know if the agency was preparing for "civil unrest."

"Social Security welfare is estimated to keep around 40 per cent of senior citizens out of poverty. Should the tap run dry in the aftermath of an economic collapse which the Federal Reserve has already told top banks to prepare for, domestic disorder could ensue if people are refused their benefits," it said in a post.

Each bullet potentially "represents a dead American," wrote retired Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, an Army vet.

"If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?" Curry wrote on the conservative website The Daily Caller, founded by commentator Tucker Carlson.

Conspiracy theorists had previously speculated that a purchase of hollow-point bullets by the Department of Homeland Security was similarly meant to quell impending riots. A few years ago, theorists similarly questioned why the Federal Emergency Management Agency was stockpiling body bags and other supplies, suggesting the agency was preparing for civil collapse.

In the face of the furor, the Social Security Administration's public affairs shop -- which spends most of its time issuing releases about speeding disability decisions or looking up benefits information -- issued a statement explaining that its 295 agents need the bullets for target practice and to protect the agency's 66 offices across the nation.

"These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests," the agency said in an August post. "Our investigators are similar to your state or local police officers. They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty."

Hollow point bullets are standard-issue items for many police agencies, the Social Security Administration said. The bullets expand when they hit a target and can help prevent injuries to bystanders from bullets passing through a body, according to police.

Investigators "use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety," the administration added.

This is just the latest in a long history of uniquely American anti-government conspiracy theories, said Kathryn Olmsted, a University of California at Davis history professor and author of "Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy."

That another one would surface in the midst of a contentious election cycle and continued unease over the nation's financial future is not all that surprising, Olmsted said Tuesday.

But this one, she said, seems particularly tenuous.

"It strikes me as one of the more extreme conspiracy theories," Olmsted said. "I'm surprised it has any traction."

Yet it does.

"You don't use hollow point bullets for target practice," one Twitter user posted Tuesday. "Sorry we're not buying it social security agency. #youarefullofit."

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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