07-16-2024  6:05 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Top Draft Pick of the Mariners Pitches Lefty and Righty. Jurrangelo Cijntje Wants to Keep It Up

Cijntje threw right-handed to lefties more often in 2024 but said it was because of discomfort in his left side. The Mariners say they want Cijntje to decide how to proceed as a righty and/or lefty as a pro. He says he wants to continue pitching from both sides.

Wildfire Risk Rises as Western States Dry out Amid Ongoing Heat Wave Baking Most of the US

Blazes are burning in Oregon, where the governor issued an emergency authorization allowing additional firefighting resources to be deployed. More than 142 million people around the U.S. were under heat alerts Wednesday, especially across the West, where dozens of locations tied or broke heat records.

Forum Explores Dangerous Intersection of Brain Injury and Law Enforcement

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing hosted event with medical, legal and first-hand perspectives.

2 Men Drown in Glacier National Park Over the July 4 Holiday Weekend

 A 26-year-old man from India slipped on rocks and was swept away in Avalanche Creek on Saturday morning. His body has not been recovered. And a 28-year-old man from Nepal who was not an experienced swimmer drowned in Lake McDonald near Sprague Creek Campground on Saturday evening. His body was recovered by a sheriff's dive team.

NEWS BRIEFS

Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Awarded $1.499 Billion

Federal support again demonstrates multimodal replacement of the Interstate Bridge is a national priority ...

Echohawk Selected for Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Indigenous woman and executive leader of Snoqualmie-owned enterprise to serve on national board advancing regulatory fairness and...

HUD Reaches Settlement to Ensure Equal Opportunity in the Appraisal Profession

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it has entered into an historic Conciliation...

HUD Expands Program to Help Homeowners Repair Homes

The newly updated Federal Housing Administration Program will assist families looking for affordable financing to repair, purchase, or...

UFCW 555 Turns in Signatures for Initiative Petition 35 - United for Cannabis Workers Act

On July 5, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 delivered over 163,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of...

3 hikers die in Utah parks as triple-digit temperatures linger in western US

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Three hikers died over the weekend in suspected heat-related cases at state and national parks in Utah, including a father and daughter who got lost on a strenuous hike in Canyonlands National Park in triple-digit temperatures. The daughter, 23, and her father,...

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

PHOENIX (AP) — A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths, including retirees in Oregon, a motorcyclist in Death Valley, California and a 10-year-old boy who collapsed while hiking with his family on a Phoenix trail. Heat...

Missouri governor says new public aid plan in the works for Chiefs, Royals stadiums

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he expects the state to put together an aid plan by the end of the year to try to keep the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals from being lured across state lines to new stadiums in Kansas. Missouri's renewed efforts...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

OPINION

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

The June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By...

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Biden is trying to sharpen the choice voters face in November as Republicans meet in Milwaukee

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden returns to the campaign trail Tuesday for the first time since the attempted assassination of his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, aiming to sharpen the choice voters will face this November in the wake of the attack. Biden will...

Georgia county says slave descendants can't use referendum to challenge rezoning of island community

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Zoning changes by a Georgia county that some residents say threaten one of the South's last Gullah-Geechee communities of Black slave descendants can't be challenged with a referendum, an attorney said Monday in a letter to the judge considering a petition by local voters. ...

HBCU Talladega College is shutting down its gymnastics program. The team is trying to save it

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Talladega College is planning to drop its women's gymnastics program after just one season, but the gymnasts at the historically black school aren't giving up on saving their team. The team turned to GoFundMe trying to raise 0,000 by the end of July,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Music Review: In a new expanded collection, how much of John Lennon's 'Mind Games' is too much?

The new remixed and expanded “Mind Games: The Ultimate Collection" is for those John Lennon fans who really, really love his inconsistent 1973 record of the same name. The problem is, many Lennon fans would rank the original “Mind Games” fourth or fifth among his most beloved...

Music Review: Phish rock out with energy and urgency on their 16th studio album, 'Evolve'

There might never be a more apt title for a Phish album than “Evolve,” the jam masters' 16th studio album and first in over four years. Just as this boundary-pushing quartet has progressed over four-plus decades by fusing rock, jazz, bluegrass and other freewheeling sounds,...

NBA agrees to terms on a record 11-year, billion media rights deal, AP source says

The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deals, a record 11-year agreement worth billion that would assure player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come. A person familiar with...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Democratic National Committee says it's investing million in 7 swing state parties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are trying to offer political counterprograming to the Republican National...

What to watch as the Republican National Convention enters its second day in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Republican National Convention heads into its second day Tuesday in Milwaukee — now with...

Kennedy and West third-party ballot drives are pushed by secretive groups and Republican donors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Libertarians in Colorado want to put Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the ballot to create chaos. ...

Syrians vote for their next parliament, which may pave the way for Assad to extend his rule

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrians voted for members of a new parliament in an election Monday that was expected to...

A shooting in a mosque in Oman kills 4 and wounds others, police say

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A shooting in a mosque in Oman killed four people and wounded others on...

Will the Seine be clean enough by the Olympics? Not even the experts know yet

PARIS (AP) — With the Paris Olympics less than two weeks away, a question hangs over the Games: Will the Seine...

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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