09-27-2022  11:11 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black United Fund Launches Emerging Entrepreneur Program

Pilot program will support promising small business owner ready to take the next step.

After a Rocky Start Oregon Drug Decriminalization Eyes Progress

When voters passed the state's pioneering Drug Addiction Treatment andRecovery Act in 2020, the emphasis was on treatment as much as on decriminalizing possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs. But progress has been slow and Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country yet over half of addiction treatment programs in the state don't have enough staffing and funding to help those who want help

Morgan State University Students Win Zillow’s HBCU Hackathon With App That Measures Financial Credibility Outside of Credit Scoring

Second-annual competition challenged participants to develop new technologies to help consumers during their journey to find a home.

Portland, Oregon, to Use Microphones to Track Gunshots

The decision to advance a pilot program with ShotSpotter was made after Wheeler met with Police Chief Chuck Lovell.

NEWS BRIEFS

Expiring Protections: 10-Day Notices of Nonpayment of Rent And "Safe Harbor" Protections

Effective October 1, a Landlord will be able to resume use of a 72-hour notice or 144-hour notice when issuing a termination notice...

11 Area Post Offices to Host Hiring Events

Over 100 Northwest USPS Hosting Job Fairs ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Champions Oregon Business and Sets Sights on Strengthening Key Industries

Rep. Bynum invited leaders and experts to discuss ways the state can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the...

PPS Renames Headquarters

The central office will be named after Matthew Prophet, Portland Public School's first Black Superintendent from 1982-1992,...

Affordable Housing Plan to Go Before Seattle Voters

If I-135 passes it would create a public development authority ...

Tiny Oregon town hosts 1st wind-solar-battery 'hybrid' plant

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A renewable energy plant being commissioned in Oregon on Wednesday that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. The project, which will generate...

Oregon gubernatorial candidates clash over guns, abortion

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The three women who want to be Oregon's next governor clashed Tuesday over gun control, abortions and other hot-button issues at an in-person debate, just six weeks before election day. Democratic nominee and former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek set the tone...

Auburn loses 2nd center, Tate Johnson, to injury

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has lost its second center of the season with Tate Johnson slated for surgery on his left elbow. Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said Monday that Johnson is scheduled for surgery on the elbow Thursday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks but could be out for the...

LSU survives Daniels' injury scare in romp over New Mexico

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU defense held New Mexico to 88 total yards and the Tigers survived an injury scare to starting quarterback Jayden Daniels in a 38-0 victory Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a habit,” LSU...

OPINION

No Room for Black Folk

A recent interview with Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and an associate professor, reveals the inability of certain white Americans to share the benefits of our society ...

The Cruelty of Exploiting Vulnerable People for Political Advantage

There is always a new low for Trump Republicans. And that is pretty frightening. ...

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

The U.S. military needs more than just money in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds. ...

Financial Fairness at Risk With Proposed TD Bank-First Horizon Merger

As banks grow larger through mergers and focus on growing online and mobile services, serious concerns emerge on how fair and how accessible banking will be to traditionally underserved Black and Latino communities. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Expert questions whether school shooter's mom drank heavily

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz began their rebuttal of the defense case Tuesday by questioning whether his birth mother drank as heavily during pregnancy as some witnesses portrayed. They also showed his sometimes...

NAACP says Jackson's water problems are civil rights issue

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In a federal complaint Tuesday, the NAACP said Mississippi officials “all but assured” a drinking water calamity in Jackson by depriving the state’s majority-Black capital city of badly needed funds to upgrade its infrastructure. The organization asked the...

Federal court finds 3rd Iowa ag-gag law unconstitutional

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has struck down the third attempt by the Iowa Legislature to stop animal welfare groups from secretly filming livestock abuse, finding once again that the law passed last year violates free speech rights in the U.S. Constitution. The decision...

ENTERTAINMENT

A doc from the Disney family takes aim at the Mouse House

NEW YORK (AP) — Abigail E. Disney has been critical of the company that bears her name before. But for the first time, Disney, the granddaughter of co-founder Roy O. Disney, has put her views into the medium the Mouse House was built on: a movie. In the new documentary “The...

Procedural dramas jump to front in TV's opening week

NEW YORK (AP) — Besides live sports, the one thing broadcast networks can be counted on for these days is franchise procedural dramas. That was evident on opening week of a new television season, when the 10 most-watched scripted programs all fit this tried-and-true formula,...

TV hit ‘Peaky Blinders’ expands story through dance show

LONDON (AP) — Steven Knight looks astounded, almost lost for words. He’s just watched contemporary dance company Rambert run through scenes from the first act of their “Peaky Blinders” production, based on the hit TV show that he wrote and created. Watching the immediate...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Top Pakistan diplomat urges flood aid, patience with Taliban

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pakistan's foreign minister says the international community should work with Afghanistan's...

VP Harris seeks computer chip partners in Japan meetings

TOKYO (AP) — Armed with a new law that boosts U.S. support for computer chip manufacturing, Vice President...

EXPLAINER: What's behind strained China-Japan relations

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and China on Thursday mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but...

Meta disables Russian propaganda network targeting Europe

A sprawling disinformation network originating in Russia sought to use hundreds of fake social media accounts and...

Cuba without electricity after hurricane hammers power grid

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most...

Searchers seek to recover 2 missing in Guatemala sinkhole

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The search for a mother and daughter whose car plunged into a huge sinkhole changed to a...

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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