07-09-2020  7:47 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

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The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

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Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

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Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Virus causes uncertainty for state lotteries

Boston (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has been a rollercoaster for state lotteries across the country, with some getting a boost from the economic downturn and others scrambling to make up for revenue shortfalls.Since March, Texas, Arkansas and Montana and several other states have seen an...

Oregon Appeals Court affirms Portland renter relocation law

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.Presiding Judge Darleen Ortega said she agreed with a...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Asian American girls saw pivotal icon in 'Baby-Sitters Club'

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Black Players for Change lead protest at MLS is Back tourney

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Latino group launches M campaign to boost voter turnout

PHOENIX (AP) — A national organization is announcing a million campaign to turn out Hispanic voters in several of this year's battleground states.Mi Familia Vota, based in Phoenix, said it will spend million on get-out-the-vote measures and an additional million on digital and...

ENTERTAINMENT

With a satirical fictional memoir, Jim Carrey gets real

NEW YORK (AP) — When Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon handed in the book they had toiled on for eight years — a satirical “anti-memoir” about Carrey’s life but with increasingly extreme flights of absurdity — to Sonny Mehta, the late Knopf publisher said he would...

Country band Lady A files suit against singer with same name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country group Lady A, which dropped the word “Antebellum,” from their name because of the word's ties to slavery, has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.The Grammy-winning vocal group filed the lawsuit on...

MSNBC appoints Joy Reid as Chris Matthews' replacement

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC says Joy Reid will move into the early evening time slot vacated in March by former “Hardball” host Chris Matthew's retirement in March.Reid, who has been a weekend anchor at the cable news network and lately has subbed in the 7 p.m. Eastern time slot, now...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Is it safe to visit the dentist during the pandemic?

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Parades, close-ups with Mickey out as Disney World reopens

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Bolsonaro now 'poster boy' for dubious COVID-19 treatment

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Morocco to start reopening borders after strict lockdown

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VIRUS DIARY: In Saudi Arabia, a photographer finds new focus

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — I moved to Saudi Arabia from Egypt last year, eager to photograph a national...

COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching 'full speed'

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa...

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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