10-20-2019  7:15 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Seattle's first Opportunity Zone development breaks ground

SEATTLE (AP) — The Opportunity Zones program was marketed as a way to help poor communities by offering major capital-gains tax breaks for investors to park their cash in 8,000 designated low-income census tracts.Instead, critics have labelled it a "tax scam," ''the latest example of urban...

Prosecutors: Trade war opens doors For Mexican drug cartels

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal law enforcement officials in Oregon say they've uncovered an elaborate scheme to convert Mexican drug profits from sales in the United States back into pesos using Chinese citizens who seek to circumvent their country's banking laws.The Mexican drug cartels are...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters arrested Friday...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Where you die can affect your chance of being an organ donor

WASHINGTON (AP) — If Roland Henry had died in a different part of the country, his organs might have been...

Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long after more flamboyant colleagues flamed out of President Donald Trump's favor amid...

Analysis: Confronted by impeachment, Trump adds to the chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump has thrust Washington into a...

Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city

MILAN (AP) — Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of...

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — South America's longest-serving leader was seeking an unprecedented fourth term in...

15 dead after Russian dam collapse floods dormitories

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 15 people are dead after a dam at a small Siberian gold mine collapsed and water...

McMenamins
Elinda Labropoulou and Laura Smith-Spark CNN


Greek Parliament
 

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- Greece was gripped by a general strike Wednesday for a second day, as lawmakers prepared to vote on a new round of austerity measures that many people oppose as too painful for the nation to bear.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of the capital later to demonstrate against further cuts.

Greek media are anticipating a cliffhanger in parliament late Wednesday night, with passage of the austerity measures expected by just a handful of votes. Parliament's economic affairs committee approved the bill late Tuesday.

If legislators do not pass the austerity measures, it will endanger the payout of the next international bailout installment of 31.5 billion euros, which the government desperately needs to stay in operation. Without the funds, it says, it will run out of money by mid-November.

But Greeks are furious about the effects of multiple rounds of belt-tightening, which have resulted in cuts to pensions and pay and seen unemployment in Greece's fifth year of recession soar to more than 25%.

More than one-fifth of the population could face poverty, defined as a family of four on an income of 13,842 euros (about $17,500) per year, state news agency AMNA has reported.

Police estimated that 35,000 people joined a peaceful protest Tuesday, in what some analysts characterized as a "dress rehearsal" for Wednesday's rally, which is timed to coincide with the lawmakers' vote.

Ahead of the latest demonstration, the streets around Athens' central Syntagma Square -- the scene of many violent confrontations between police and protesters in past months -- were eerily quiet.

There were no taxis or buses in the streets, but posters calling on people to take part in the rally were plastered on almost every lamppost. Metro and suburban railway services resumed Wednesday afternoon, but the 48-hour strike continues to paralyze many other businesses and public services.

Under the bill, which sets out reforms and fiscal measures worth 13.5 billion euros over the next two years, the retirement age will rise from 65 to 67. Pensions will also be cut on average between 5% and 15%.

Some salaries in the public sector will be reduced by about a third, and several bonuses will be scrapped.

The thorniest issue is that of labor law changes.

The bill gives the government the right to set the minimum wage as of April of next year. It also reduces the redundancy notice period -- the time given to workers to leave their jobs after being laid off -- and limits compensation for workers with more than 16 years of service, as well as allowing shops the right to ask employees to work more flexible hours.

The anger in the Greek population against the latest round of cuts, which come on top of many others, runs deep.

Melina Grigoriadou, a 50-year-old married businesswoman with two children, told CNN: "The measures just never stop. Every time, politicians say they are going to be the last measures ... they are never the last.

"There is no end in this, there's no solution. The measures are awful -- it's not austerity, it's something even worse."

Although Grigoriadou works for an export company that has not cut wages, she said her family's income has fallen by almost a third because of new taxes, higher utility bills and inflation.

As she looks around in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, she sees real poverty affecting those who have seen their incomes and pensions drastically cut, or had their jobs suddenly disappear. Despite paying for social security from her wages, getting a doctor's appointment now takes months and medicines are costly, she added.

What makes the hardship worse is that the international funds Greece stands to receive will not go to help create jobs or support infrastructure, Grigoriadou said, but to service its huge debt.

Some critics of austerity have called for economic stimulus programs instead, like those implemented in the United States.

But if Greece is to stick to the course laid out by the so-called troika -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- more budget cuts will be necessary, as the country's debt woes are worse than previously believed.

Recent budget projections for the Greek government exceed the worst-case scenarios envisioned by international lenders when they agreed to a bailout, according to a Financial Times report published by CNN.

However, the hardship many Greek people are suffering has resulted in dogged opposition in parliament to deeper cuts, including within the ruling coalition.

The Democratic Party of the Left, or DIMAR, one of three parties making up the coalition headed up by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, has said it will abstain from the vote on the new round of austerity measures, turning in blank ballots. But it plans to vote Sunday to approve the government's new budget.

Samaras' own center-right New Democracy party is expected to vote in favor of the package.

Although the third coalition member -- the socialist party Pasok -- supports the cuts, individual party members have come out against them and could defect, putting the vote in jeopardy.

Radical leftist party Syriza, bitterly opposed to austerity and closely connected to Greek unions, calls on its website for Greeks to demonstrate against the "rape" of democracy and the dashing of the hopes of the people.

Samaras has warned that if the measures don't pass and international funds don't arrive, the nation could plunge into chaos. He is pushing for Greece to receive more than the 31.5 billion euros expected in the latest installment "so that there is a significant effect on the real economy."

Greece, and particularly Athens, has seen repeated street demonstrations against the austerity measures imposed on the nation, some of which have turned violent.

CNN's Elinda Labropoulou reported from Athens and Laura Smith-Spark from London.

 

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