11-29-2020  5:31 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
  • Election workers, right, verify ballots as recount observers, left, watch during a Milwaukee hand recount of presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin finished a partial recount of its presidential results on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Wisconsin Recount Confirms Biden Won Election

    Wisconsin recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirmed that Democrat Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes...   MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded. Dane County was the second and last countyRead More
  • A canvas observer photographs Lehigh County provisional ballots as vote counting in the general election continues in Allentown, Pa., Nov. 6, 2020. President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a number of lawsuits across six battleground states this month as he tried to upend the 2020 election. Judges uniformly rejected his claims of vote fraud. The latest case ended Saturday, Nov. 21, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania said Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani presented only ‘speculative accusations’ that brought to mind ‘Frankenstein’s Monster.' (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    Pennsylvania High Court Rejects Lawsuit Challenging Election

    Pennsylvania justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. “They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinionRead More
  • Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the monthRead More
  • Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month

Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%

Many Turn to Real Christmas Trees as Bright Spot Amid Virus

Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever

Black Drivers Stopped a Disproportionate Rate in Portland

The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data

NEWS BRIEFS

Extended Benefits Reduced Based on Oregon’s Falling Unemployment Rate

Benefits will be reduced from up to 20 weeks of benefits to up to 13 weeks, beginning Dec. 13, 2020 ...

Judge Rejects Challenge to Oregon's 2-week Virus Rules

Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order ...

D’artagnan Bernard Caliman Named Meyer Memorial Trust’s New Director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Raised in NE Portland's Historic Albina, Caliman is currently the executive director at Building Changes in Seattle ...

Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

$450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools ...

Oregon Employment Department Begins Issuing 'Waiting Week' Benefits

246,300 Oregonians to receive a combined total of $176 million in benefits in the initial payment run ...

Oregon nurse on leave after video flouting virus rules

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon hospital has placed a nurse on administrative leave after she posted a video on social media in which she said she does not follow safety directives meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when she is not at work.Salem Health said it is investigating the post by...

7 deputies placed on leave following fatal shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Seven Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies are on administrative leave following a domestic disturbance call that led to a deadly, officer-involved shooting Friday night.KOIN 6 reports that around 8 p.m. a woman called 911 and said that her husband was armed, had...

Vanderbilt K Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller was playing around with a teammate a couple months ago when she kicked a soccer ball through the uprights from 45 yards away. She joked about being able to kick a football with teammates during the Southeastern Conference soccer tournament. On Saturday, she...

Vanderbilt kicker breaks barrier but Missouri dominates 41-0

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday. Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the...

OPINION

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

Trump’s Game

Trump’s strategy is clear: maintain control of the Republican Party as the Trump Party, install “acting” officials who will not cooperate with the Biden transition team ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Faith takes the forefront as Georgia Senate runoffs heat up

ATLANTA (AP) — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia...

Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic.Two new...

To court Latinos, Democrats have to expand strategy in 2022

PHOENIX (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign credits its success in Arizona to the immigrant-rights and grassroots organizations that have been mobilizing Latinos for nearly two decades. The fruits of their labor — in triple-digit heat, no less — paid off in this...

ENTERTAINMENT

A new doc peeks inside the USPS’s Operation Santa program

Filmmaker Dana Nachman wanted to make a documentary about the United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa program for years, but it never seemed like the right time. Then in 2018 she got up some courage and decided to cold email the USPS press office. They responded immediately and agreed...

Bad Bunny caps week of awards and Grammy-noms with new album

NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of Bad Bunny are used to expecting something different each time he releases new music.He's done it since his first studio album, 2018's “X 100pre” ("Forever"); then with “Oasis”, his collaboration with J Balvin in 2019, and last February with...

Jerry Seinfeld digs into 45 years of his jokes for new book

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forget the high-performance sports cars, the luxury Rolls-Royces and all those other classic automobiles in which Jerry Seinfeld ushers his fellow comics to the diner on television’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."The most valuable things Seinfeld owns...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Mahomes, Hill have huge day, Chiefs hold off Bucs 27-24

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns to outplay Tom Brady and lead...

Mysterious silver monolith disappears from Utah desert

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less...

Mother of slain Florida teen shot during burial service

COCOA, Fla. (AP) — An unknown gunman fired into a crowd gathered at a Saturday afternoon burial service of...

Over 300 detained in Belarus during anti-government protests

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday...

Fact or fiction? UK govt says 'The Crown' should be clear

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s culture minister thinks the Netflix TV series “The Crown”...

Court orders France to rethink 30-person limit on worship

PARIS (AP) — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Joe Sterling CNN

(CNN) -- The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi underscores the gaping power vacuum across Libya since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi's regime last year.

Fighting groups that battled Gadhafi have stepped in to maintain law and order after the fall of the regime, an expert on post-Gadhafi Libya told CNN.



Most of the groups are simply neighborhood watch entities. But some include hard-line Muslim Salafis and have "a very Islamist orientation," said Frederic Wehrey, a senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The group accused of being behind the consulate assault, the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, is said to be pro-al Qaeda.

"The problem is that the Libyan army and the Libya police forces effectively disintegrated," Wehrey said. "These groups are basically running the show" throughout much of Libya.

Wehrey, in speaking to CNN, cited two of his recent essays about security in Libya. One was in Foreign Affairs in July and the other appeared Wednesday on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website.

He said the fledgling government is in a bind.

Officials are trying to demobilize and reintegrate the militias and bring these groups into the government security forces, he said.

But the militia members across Libya remain loyal to their groups and distrust the new government's authority, in part because of the "taint" of a link to the Gadhafi regime, Wehrey said.

The government has used militia commanders to quell tribal fighting, subcontracted border control and defense of oil installations to small brigades, and used armed groups to provide security during elections.

In Benghazi, he said, ballots for an election were stored and counted at the headquarters of the city's strongest militia.

"The strategy of trying to dismantle the regional militias while simultaneously making use of them as hired guns might be sowing the seeds for the country's descent into warlordism," he warned.

"It has also given local brigades and their political patrons leverage over the central government. Emboldened by the writ of state authority, brigade commanders have been free to carry out vendettas against rival towns and tribes, particularly those favored by ... Gadhafi," Wehrey said.

Violence between warring militias and attacks against Western and moderate Sufi Muslim targets erupted in recent months, Wehrey said. In Benghazi, there was a "rapid deterioration" of security before the U.S. Consulate attack.

A strike on a British consulate vehicle in Benghazi in June wounded a diplomat.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said its workers endured attacks at least five times in less than three month in Benghazi and Misrata. The group announced the suspension of its activities in August.

The Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, in fact, first surfaced in May when it claimed responsibility for an attack on the ICRC office in Benghazi. The next month it claimed responsibility for detonating a blast outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. It also released a video of the attack.

Sufi mosques and tombs were among the sites targeted. Sufism is considered a more moderate form of Islam.

Libyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdel A'al was quoted by Human Rights Watch as calling the attackers "groups that have a strict Islamic ideology where they believe that graves and shrines must be desecrated."

That comment, Human Rights Watch said, refers to Salafists, the name for those Muslims who want a "return to Islam as they believe it was practiced in the days of the Prophet Mohammed."

Salafists have increasingly asserted themselves in eastern Libya. In June, hundreds of fighters wielding AK-47s and black Islamist banners converged on Benghazi to call for the imposition of sharia law.

This spring, an associate of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri addressed a large gathering in the town square of Derna, in eastern Libya. An online video of his address has been seen by CNN.

"Salafi militias have reportedly carried out assassinations of Gadhafi-era officials, taken over radio stations and shut down beauty parlors," Wehrey said.

Derna has for years been a recruiting ground for al Qaeda.

A 2008 diplomatic cable from Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was slain in the consulate attack, described the area as "a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters" for al Qaeda in Iraq.

In some cases, Wehrey said, the revolutionary brigades have become "very sophisticated." They have checkpoints, security headquarters, ID cards, and their own payroll. Some militia coalitions have made handshake deals to police areas.

"These are militias that operate openly," and operate blogs and Facebook pages.

With that Salafi foothold in eastern Libya, Wehrey said, it wouldn't be hard for armed militia members to "converge on a target" in Benghazi with an hour's notice.

Was al Qaeda involved? Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the AQ branch that operates in Africa, would have connections in the country's far south, if it indeed has any network in Libya, Wehrey said.

But as for the network's actual involvement in the consulate attack, Wehrey said he thinks the strike "was a much more local affair" -- "the latest in a series of attacks by the country's increasingly active Salafis."

"Libyans' public reaction to such strong-arm tactics has been vociferous and damning," Wehrey said. "Tribes, women's groups, and civil society -- as well as the country's increasingly active social media community -- have all mobilized to condemn the recent attacks on Sufis, while mounting demonstrations of their own against the Salafis' shows of force."

Wehrey said "much of the violence suggests a movement in search of a cause."

Salafis "are now grasping at foreign causes they believe will excite Libyans' emotions," such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syria, and anti-Americanism, he said. Meanwhile, the country's provisional government has had to deputize revolutionary brigades for security work.

"Invariably, these poorly trained bodies contain a number of Salafi militias who have used their warrant from the government to enforce draconian social mores, conduct vendettas against Gadhafi-era intelligence officers, and attack Sufis," Wehrey said.

Citizens have voiced outrage over Salafi shows of force and have mobilized against their "strong-arm tactics against, for example, the Sufis."

"For the citizens of Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities, all this is a stark and tragic reminder of the perennial problems of poor governance and the security vacuum," Wehrey said.

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