02-06-2023  5:29 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

MESO Makers Market in Portland to feature the work of 40 local, Black-owned small businesses to celebrate Black History Month in...

The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

Homework Help, The Seattle Public Library’s free after school tutoring service, will add two locations and increase hours in...

County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

Clark County Community Services is asking residents who are low-income to complete a survey to help determine what resources and...

"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

The traveling exhibit from the Wing Luke Museum tells a fascinating community and family history about Seattle’s Japantown ...

NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

Community leaders will hold a prayer vigil Tuesday, Jan. 31 at noon, to reflect on the tragic brutality that led to the death of Tyre...

US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

For the first time in more than two decades of research, every state now has renters who are nearing a financial breaking point in housing affordability. ...

The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be months away from publicly declaring his presidential intentions, but his potential rivals aren't holding back. No fewer than a half dozen Republicans eyeing the White House have begun actively courting top political operatives...

At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The sound of the djembe drums started as a low tremble and grew more distinct as the musicians drew closer to the hundreds gathered inside the Memphis church. “We love you, Tyre,” the drummers chanted, referring to Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man...

Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Deadly earthquake exacerbates suffering of displaced Syrians

DARKUSH, Syria (AP) — A steady stream of injured were flowing into an overwhelmed hospital in the town of...

Officials urge evacuation near derailment, fearing explosion

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Officials monitoring the smoldering, tangled wreckage of a train derailment in...

In pro-Putin Serbia, liberal-minded Russians seek a home

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — At a central square in Serbia's capital of Belgrade, dozens of Russians gathered...

Greece: Snow reaches Acropolis, halts services

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — High winds and a cold snap in Greece halted ferry services and highway traffic and dusted...

Vinícius Júnior again targeted by racist insults in Spain

MADRID (AP) — The hate attacks against Vinícius Júnior continued in Spain over the weekend, with the Brazil...

Concern rises for lives of 2 Thai activists on hunger strike

BANGKOK (AP) — Concerns about the condition of two hunger strikers in Thailand seeking political and judicial...

Laura Smith-Spark CNN

(CNN) -- Four Nigerian farmers and the environmental group Friends of the Earth took oil giant Shell to court Thursday in the Netherlands to demand a proper cleanup and compensation for pollution in the Niger Delta.

The farmers want the Anglo-Dutch multinational to "clean up the oil pollution in their fields and fishponds" and make sure their pipelines are maintained and kept secure to prevent leaks in the future.

The civil case has been filed against the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and its international headquarters in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell. 

Based on "years of oil pollution in three villages in the Niger Delta," it could have "major legal consequences internationally," the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth, known locally as Milieudefensie, said in a statement ahead of the first hearing.

The three villages concerned are Goi, hit by a spill in 2004, Oruma, affected by a spill a year later, and Ikot Ada Udo, hit by various spills in 2007, according to Friends of the Earth.

Shell argues that it has cleaned up the spills to the satisfaction of the Nigerian authorities, and has no case to answer.

But Friends of the Earth says that oil pollution has had a devastating and continuing impact on vegetation, water supplies and local fishing ponds.

The campaign group says this is the first time a Dutch company has been brought before a court in the Netherlands over environmental damage caused abroad.

"It is also the first time that the headquarters of a multinational concern on the European continent has been summoned to appear in court for environmental or human rights violations in a developing country," it said.

Shell insists it is "committed to cleaning up all spills from its facilities" and blames saboteurs who steal oil from its pipelines for much of the environmental damage. 

"The real tragedy of the Niger Delta is the widespread and continual criminal activity, including sabotage, theft and illegal refining, that causes the vast majority of oil spills," Shell spokesman Jonathan French said in a statement Thursday. 

"It is this criminality which all organizations with an interest in Nigeria's future should focus their efforts on highlighting and addressing."

French said that Shell had cleaned up three leaks at three locations, from 2004 to 2007, which were caused by sabotage. Under Nigerian law, oil companies are not liable to pay compensation for damage caused by sabotage spills, he said.

The court is expected to hear from both sides in the case Thursday and will probably deliver a verdict late this year or early in 2013, Friends of the Earth said.

"Hopefully, the legal route that Milieudefensie has chosen will ensure not only that four people in the Niger Delta have a better life but also increase the opportunity for thousands of their fellow citizens and millions of people worldwide who now often are without rights against powerful and sometimes unscrupulous multinationals," campaign coordinator Geert Ritsema said.

The argument over the impact of oil production in the Niger Delta, which includes the Ogoniland region, is a long-running one.

The world's third largest wetland, the Niger Delta is diverse and rich with mangroves and fish-rich waterways. But oil drilling has turned it into one of the most oil-polluted places on Earth, with more than 6,800 recorded oil spills, accounting for anywhere from 9 million to 13 million barrels of oil spilled, according to activist groups.

Many residents make their livelihoods from fishing and depend on the polluted mangroves and creeks.

A report by the U.N. Environmental Program last year found that pollution from more than 50 years of oil operations in the Ogoniland region, by Shell and other companies, was more far-reaching than thought.

The assessment, commissioned by the Nigerian government and funded by Shell, concluded that restoration of the area could take up to 30 years, cost $1 billion and become the largest cleanup operation in history.

"Control and maintenance of oilfield infrastructure in Ogoniland has been and remains inadequate: the Shell Petroleum Development Company's own procedures have not been applied, creating public health and safety issues," the report found. 

Shell has previously accepted responsibility for two oil spills in Ogoniland in 2008 and 2009.

 CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.

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MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.