02-16-2020  11:43 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

State and Local Leaders Push Back Against Fair Housing Changes

Trump administration proposes weakened regulation, tracking of housing discrimination

NEWS BRIEFS

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Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Irresponsible Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology

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Jury decides convicted Oregon meth dealer should lose home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Yamhill County jury has concluded that police can seize the home of a woman convicted of a felony drug crime under Oregon’s civil forfeiture law.Sheryl Sublet, 62, pleaded guilty in 2018 to to selling less than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, The...

Police seek suspect who robbed 3 Portland banks in 1 hour

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man robbed three Portland banks in less than one hour last week, according to the Portland Police Bureau.The robberies occurred Friday, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported.The man wore glasses, a black beanie and flannel shirt.He robbed the Bank of the West on...

OPINION

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

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Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

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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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Rival Democrats accuse Bloomberg of trying to 'buy' election

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Teammates appear to stop Marega leaving after racist abuse

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The Latest: Nevada's lieutenant governor endorses Biden

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential campaign (all times PST):3:30 p.m.Joe Biden has picked up another endorsement from a top Nevada politician, with Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall announcing that she will back the former vice president’s White House bid.Marshall joins two of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King for rant over Bryant

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Lizzo talks diversity, self-confidence and femininity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fresh from winning three Grammys, singer Lizzo visited Mexico City for a private concert, surprising her fans with acoustic versions of her hits and a toast with tequila.The star from Detroit, who won best pop solo performance (“Truth Hurts”), best...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Father Josh: A married Catholic priest in a celibate world

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Rains postpones Daytona 500, dampening event, Trump's visit

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All-Star weekend, as expected, was about honoring Kobe

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Banksy's Valentine's Day mural covered after it was defaced

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Boyfriend of British TV presenter heartbroken by her death

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McMenamins
CNN Wire Staff

CAIRO (CNN) -- The United States said it was taking measures to protect its citizens worldwide after protesters angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt Tuesday.

In Libya, witnesses say members of a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Sharia protested near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where NATO jets established no-fly zones last year to halt ground attacks from then-Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.



The group then clashed with security forces in the city, blocking roads leading to the consulate, witnesses said.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in the attack, the State Department said. Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and two other U.S. personnel also died in the violence in Benghazi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement Wednesday.

"Our hearts go out to all their families and colleagues," Clinton said.

"All the Americans we lost in yesterday's attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future," she added.

In an earlier statement, Clinton said she condemned the attack on the U.S. facilities "in the strongest terms" and that following Tuesday's events, the U.S. government was "working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions and American citizens worldwide."

Libya's General National Congress also condemned the attack in Benghazi, saying it "led to the regrettable injury and death of a number of individuals." Lawmakers said in a statement Tuesday night that they were investigating.

It was unclear whether the two attacks were coordinated, CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend said Tuesday night.

"One such breach of an embassy or consulate's walls or security on any given day would be tremendous news. ... The fact that two of them happened on the same day that is the 9/11 anniversary where Americans are remembering those that we lost, you have to ask yourself, what are American officials trying to understand about this and whether or not these two are related?" she asked.

In Cairo, several men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and tore down its American flag, according to CNN producer Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who was on the scene.

Police and army personnel formed defensive lines around the embassy in an effort to prevent demonstrators from advancing, but not before the protesters affixed a black flag atop a ladder in the American compound.

The black flag, which hangs in full view from inside the complex, is adorned with white characters that read, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger," an emblem often used by Islamic radicals.

A volley of warning shots were fired as a large crowd gathered around the compound, although it is not clear who fired the shots.

Egyptian groups point to U.S. websites, including YouTube, that have scenes from the film. Some anti-Muslim blogs also have flagged the movie.

In a series of disjointed scenes, filmmakers depict Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.

The movie was made by Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real-estate developer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Bacile -- who wrote, directed and produced the film -- said he wanted to showcase his view of Islam as a hateful religion, the Journal reported, citing a telephone interview with him.

Bacile, 52, told the newspaper that to make the film, he had raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors, who he declined to identify. He said he made the two-hour movie over a three-month period last year in California, using about 60 actors and 45 crew members, the Journal reported.

Most of the Muslim world considers depictions of Mohammed to be blasphemous and deeply offensive.

"Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet," Clinton said. "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation."

But she stressed that "there is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Embassy officials issued a warning to Americans in Egypt, telling them to avoid the demonstrations which "may gather in front of the U.S. Embassy, or Egyptian government buildings such as the People's Assembly and Ministry of Interior."

"It is unclear if large numbers will take to the streets, but clashes may occur should two opposing groups come into contact with one another," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. "Large gatherings and non-essential travel in and around downtown and Garden City should be avoided this afternoon."

Frenzied protesters could been seen Tuesday afternoon holding up bits of a shredded American flag to television camera crews while chanting anti-U.S. slogans.

An embassy phone operator told CNN that the compound had been cleared of diplomatic personnel earlier in the day, ahead of the apparent threat, while Egyptian riot police and the army were called in.

"This is an expression of a feeling that is thought to be an insult," said Nizih El Naggary, a spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. "But events like this are extremely deplorable. And we have to work to get things under control."

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday, pledging to protect embassies and warning of the protests' potentially debilitating effects on the Egyptian economy.

"There are police forces at the demonstrations," El Naggary said. "They should be protecting the embassy and asking people to leave."

Several individuals claimed responsibility for organizing the demonstrations Tuesday, including Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth, who is president of Egypt's conservative Hekma television channel.

Mohamed al-Zawahiri -- the brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri -- added, "We called for the peaceful protest joined by different Islamic factions including the Islamicc Jihad (and the) Hazem Abu Ismael movement."

"We were surprised to see the big numbers show up, including the soccer Ultra fans," he said. "I just want to say, how would the Americans feel if films insulting leading Christian figures like the pope or historical figures like Abraham Lincoln were produced?"

He added that "the film portrays the prophet in a very ugly manner, alluding to topics like sex, which is not acceptable."

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced that it had canceled visa services for Wednesday.

It also said in a statement that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement said. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

But the U.S. Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, suggested that the embassy's statement had its priorities wrong.

"It's disgraceful that the Obama Administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks," Romney said in a statement released late Tuesday.

He said he was "outraged" by the attacks in Libya and Egypt.

Obama released a strongly worded statement Wednesday, condemning what he called the "outrageous attack" on the Benghazi compound that took the lives of four Americans.

"They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives," the president said.

Obama also announced that he has ordered his administration "to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.

"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants," he added.

Demonstrations elicited a mixture of reactions from the Egyptian street, where last year tens of thousands turned out in opposition to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

This summer, Egypt's first Islamist president, Mohamed Morsy, was sworn into power at Tahrir Square, the scene of the nation's revolution in 2011.

Though Tuesday's embassy protests are the first that Morsy has dealt with, Egypt recently produced similar scenarios when protesters attacked the Israeli and Syrian embassies in unrelated episodes.

"These protests are a bad image for Egypt," said a Cairo street vendor named Ahmed. "Of course I'm against insulting Islam, but it's the undereducated, poor people who are out here causing problems."

"All I want for Egypt is security and stability," he said. "And as you can see this isn't it."

The incident occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as crowds gathered across the United States in somber remembrance of a day that left nearly 3,000 people dead.

Tuesday's focus on the controversial film also drew comparisons to outcry generated from a 2008 movie produced by an anti-Muslim Dutch lawmaker, which then sought to portray Islam as a violent religion.

Geert Wilders' film "Fitna," which he released online, featured images of terrorist acts superimposed over verses from the Quran.

CNN's Ian Lee in Cairo, Jomana Karadsheh, Matt Smith, Brian Walker, Elise Labott, Paul Cruickshank and Tracy Doueiry contributed to this report.

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