02-20-2020  7:35 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

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Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

3 state transportation employees investigated for theft

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Police is investigating three Oregon Department of Transportation employees on theft allegations, the department announced Wednesday.Three employees from the Lawnfield Maintenance Station in Clackamas are being investigated, The Oregonian/OregonLive...

Man described as burglar fatally shot by homeowner ID'd

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County medical examiner has identified a person who police say broke into a house and was fatally shot by a homeowner Thursday as a 19-year-old Vancouver man.Franson Take was killed by a gunshot wound to the torso, according to the medical examiner’s...


Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...


German gunman calling for genocide kills 9 people

HANAU, Germany (AP) — A 43-year-old German man who posted a manifesto calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish, in an attack on a hookah bar and other...

'Black in Space' looks at final frontier of civil rights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In 1959, Ronald Erwin McNair walked into a South Carolina library. The 9-year-old aspiring astronaut wanted to check out a calculus book, but a librarian threatened to call the police if he didn't leave. McNair was black.Years later, McNair was selected to become...

The Latest: Sanders: Democrat with most delegates should win

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The latest on the 2020 presidential campaign and Democratic debat e (all times local):8 p.m.Bernie Sanders is the only Democratic candidate on the debate stage who thinks the candidate with the most delegates should win the party’s presidential nomination even if he...


Bestselling young adult authors are aiming at older readers

NEW YORK (AP) — After gaining millions of young readers for her “Divergent” fantasy series, Veronica Roth decided she and her characters were ready for the next phase — a novel for adults.“I grew up on stories like ‘Dune’ and ‘Harry...

New book imprint will highlight popular podcast

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Review: Austen's 'Emma,' humanized but not modernized

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A diminished Victoria's Secret is sold

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NFL's Saints head to court in Catholic Church email dispute

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints headed to court Thursday in a bid to block the release of...

Turkey says 2 of its soldiers killed in airstrike in Syria

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's Defense Ministry says two Turkish soldiers have been killed in an airstrike...

Venezuelan police search home of detained uncle of Guaidó

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó said military police raided the home of his uncle early Thursday, a...

Looted 18th century crown returned to Ethiopia after decades

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A rare and looted crown from the 18th century was returned to Ethiopia on...

Police: Lesotho's prime minister to be charged with murder

MASERU, Lesotho (AP) — Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will be charged with the June 2017 killing...

Carol Cratty CNN Senior Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Moroccan man who admitted plotting to blow up the U.S. Capitol in a suicide attack was offered "martyrdom payments" for his parents by his undercover FBI handlers, according to the man's lawyers.

Amine El Khalifi, 29, will be sentenced Friday and under the terms of a plea agreement he'll receive a sentence ranging from 25 to 30 years.

In a sentencing memo filed Friday, El Khalifi's lawyers argued for the lower sentence and stressed he received financial support which freed him up to participate in a plot. The document said El Khalifi was financially strapped living in Virginia and worried about sending money home to his parents in Morocco, who had suffered financial reversals.

Two men El Khalifi knew as Hussien and Yusuf "promised to take care of Mr. El Khalifi's family in Morocco by sending them $500 per month to commence after the attack was completed," according to El Khalifi's lawyers. The document also states El Khalifi was given rent and grocery money amounting to at least $5,700 from September 2011 to February 2012.

El Khalifi thought the men could assist him in a terror plot, but they were actually FBI agents.

El Khalifi was arrested on February 17th after he had take possession of what he thought was a suicide vest and a MAC-10 semiautomatic handgun. Both had been rendered inoperable by the FBI.

The defense lawyers contend their client, who pleaded guilty in June, "bears no ill-will against the American people" and believed God had called on him to commit a violent act. "He is relieved that his attempted crime was foiled and that no one was actually injured," according to the court filing. According to the lawyers, the actions of the FBI do not constitute entrapment. However, the lawyers said El Khalifi was "enabled by the FBI, who as part of its 'sting,' helped Mr. El Khalifi with the means, method and motivation for the attack."

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia would not comment on whether the FBI promised El Khalifi "martyrdom payments" as part of its ruse.

However, prosecutors filed their own sentencing memo arguing El Khalifi should get the higher sentence of 30 years. "The defendant, on his own initiative, selected the target and date of the attack, and engaged in surveillance to ensure that his attack caused maximum casualties," the prosecutors wrote.

According to the government, it is very lucky the FBI and not actual extremists came into the picture and started working with El Khalifi. "There is every reason to believe that he would have taken any opportunity he encountered in the future to commit mass murder," said the prosecution's filing. El Khalifi "eventually would have encountered such opportunities outside the presence of undercover FBI agents."

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