05-17-2022  1:39 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2022 Midterms: What to Watch as 5 States Hold Primaries

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is the last day for voters to return ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by election day. Ballots deposited in an official drop box must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

NEWS BRIEFS

2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank,...

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Attorney General Rosenblum Warns Against Price Gouging of Baby Formula

This declaration will allow the Oregon Attorney General to take action against any business, or online vendor, who upsells the price...

WA High Court: Drivers Can Get DUIs for Driving While High

A decision that upholds the state’s decade-old law regulating marijuana use behind the wheel of a car. ...

Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s five-term Republican attorney general has handled his duties in the deeply conservative state for 20 years with a strategy he describes as calling legal “balls and strikes.” He's facing two challengers who see a more activist role for the office. ...

Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Gov. Brad Little is fighting back a primary challenge on Tuesday from his lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, a Donald Trump-backed candidate who twice attempted a power grab last year when Little was out of state on business. The intraparty contest...

OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Zealand shooting survivor says violence achieved nothing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — If the Buffalo supermarket shooter had learned anything from the massacre in New Zealand that apparently inspired him, it should have been that the violence didn't achieve any of the gunman's aims, a survivor said Tuesday. Temel Atacocugu was shot nine...

'Like every other day:' 10 lives lost on a trip to the store

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — They were caregivers and protectors and helpers, running an errand or doing a favor or finishing out a shift, when their paths crossed with a young man driven by racism and hatred and inane theories. In a flash, the ordinariness of their day was broken at Tops...

Tensions over racial justice shadow Louisville mayor's race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — On Valentine's Day, a man appeared in the doorway of a Louisville campaign office and fired shots at mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg. He wasn't hit — a bullet grazed his sweater — but some of the tensions still lingering over this city flared once again. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brandi Carlile, Yola, Allison Russell lead Americana noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell and Yola are the leading nominees for the 2022 Americana Honors and Awards, with each one up for album of the year, artist of the year and song of the year. The nominees were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the...

Review: 'Team America' plumbs enduring impact of 4 generals

“Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged” by Robert L. O’Connell (Harper) Insightful and informative, military historian Robert L. O’Connell’s latest book carries a title that might evoke in today’s readers a group of superheroes...

Yiyun Li wins PEN/Malamud Award for short stories

NEW YORK (AP) — Author Yiyun Li has received one of the top honors for short story writers, the PEN/Malamud Award for “exceptional achievement.” Li, 49, has published the collections “Gold Boy” and “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” along with five novels and two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

THOMASVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A whole town celebrated in 2020 when, early in the coronavirus pandemic, Thomasville...

North Korea reports another fever surge amid COVID-19 crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday reported another large jump in illnesses believed to be...

Conspiracy theorists flock to bird flu, spreading falsehoods

Brad Moline, a fourth-generation Iowa turkey farmer, saw this happen before. In 2015, a virulent avian flu...

US vice president, top officials visit UAE to pay respects

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris led a high-powered American delegation to...

Iraqi merchants struggle on amid series of strong sandstorms

BAGHDAD (AP) — The thick layer of dust blanketing the sky did not deter Muhammed Ghalib from walking to work in...

Uyghur county in China has highest prison rate in the world

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison...

Bill Mears CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a law that allows the Justice Department to stop suits against telecommunications companies for participating in wiretaps of potential terrorists.

The ruling was a key setback for civil libertarians challenging the broader powers of government since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to use electronic surveillance to track potential threats in the name of national security.

The Justices declined to take up a challenge to the once-secret domestic eavesdropping program under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- this one involving the monitoring of information moving into and out of the United States.

Previous petitions dealing with alleged abuses of the surveillance law also have been rejected by the court. Another case will be heard later this month.

In this case, Verizon Communications, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T were accused of privacy violations by assisting the government with intelligence gathering following the hijack attacks on New York and Washington.

The law had previously required the government to justify a national security interest before any phone calls and emails originating in another country could be monitored. A federal judge had to sign any search warrant. But President George W. Bush secretly suspended that requirement following the attacks.

After "warrantless wiretapping" was exposed, the president and supporters in Congress moved to amend the law, which defenders contend is designed to target only foreigners living outside the United States.

The retroactive immunity was challenged in the class action suit turned aside by the high court on Tuesday.

Privacy groups worry such electronic dragnets could easily and unknowingly intrude on the privacy rights of U.S. citizens. The government calls that "speculation" but cites national security in refusing to provide specifics.

The lawsuits launched by a number of telecommunications customers cited the testimony of Mark Klein, a retired AT&T engineer from San Francisco, who claimed company executives gave government access to internal hardware.

The result, he testified, was "vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet, whether that be people's email, web surfing or any other data."

In an appeal, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union said the retroactive immunity was unconstitutional because it gave unfettered power to the executive branch -- namely the attorney general and the director of national intelligence -- to decide it could not be held accountable in court.

Attorney General Eric Holder has used that power to block about 30 suits.

Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the appeal. Previously released financial records show he has owned telecommunications stock and likely recused himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Supreme Court will hear a related challenge to the domestic surveillance program on October 29.

The larger issue involves the constitutionality of the government's electronic monitoring of targeted foreigners.

A federal appeals court in New York last year ruled domestic plaintiffs who deal with global clients and co-workers reasonably feared the government was reading and hearing their sensitive communications. Those groups took costly measures to avoid such intrusions.

The question to be addressed is whether certain Americans have "standing" to challenge the federal law without a specific showing they have been monitored.

Other lawsuits over the surveillance program that raise various legal issues are pending in lower courts.

The case rejected Tuesday is Hepting v. AT&T (11-1200). The case to be heard later this month is Clapper v. Amnesty International USA (11-1025)

 

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