12-01-2021  11:25 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Dozens of Oregon Workers Fired for Not Getting COVID Shot

Officials in Oregon say at least 99 state workers have been fired for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Attorney General Rosenblum Says She Won’t Run for Governor

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Monday put to rest rumors and officially said she will not enter Oregon’s crowded race for governor.

Portland’s Black Population Grew in the Last Decade, but That’s Not the Whole Story

The Black population in North and Northeast Portland declined by 13.5% over the last 10 years as more than 3,000 Black residents moved away, new numbers from the 2020 census show.

City’s Budget Windfall Means More for Police, Despite NAACP Demands

Group calls out lack of engagement from City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

Open Enrollment Deadline Is Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Coverage Starting Jan. 1, 2022

Help applying and financial assistance is available through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace ...

Commissioners From Three Counties Select Lawrence-Spence to Fill Senate District 18 Vacancy

District 18 includes portions of west Portland and Tigard. ...

Congressional Black Caucus Issues a Statement on the Passing of Former Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek

Meek, the first Black person to represent Florida in Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction, died Sunday, Nov. 28 at her...

Vsp Global Partners With Black EyeCare Perspective to Eliminate Inequities and Increase Representation of People of Color in the Eye Care Industry

Partnership includes scholarships, leadership development, and outreach to prospective optometrists ...

Shop Local and Earn Free Parking With Parking Kitty

Find the purrfect gift for your loved ones by supporting small businesses and shopping local this holiday season, thanks to the...

Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, is retiring

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, is retiring....

Longtime Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio won't seek reelection

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rep. Peter DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history, said Wednesday that he is retiring and will not seek re-election next year The 74-year-old Democrat is the powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee. ...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

Mizzou's Drinkwitz returning to Arkansas for rivalry game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Just 45 miles of interstate highway separate Eli Drinkwitz from where he started and where he is now as Missouri's head football coach. Raised in the small Arkansas town of Alma, Drinkwitz will come full circle Friday when his Tigers visit No. 25...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Alabama governor honors state's first Black poet laureate

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recognized the state's first Black poet laureate, a creative writing teacher who delves into inequality and the difficulty of being Black in America, on Wednesday in the same building where Southern delegates voted to form the Confederacy 160 years...

Death of bullied Utah girl draws anger over suicides, racism

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — When her 10-year-old daughter tried spraying air freshener on herself before school one morning, Brittany Tichenor-Cox suspected something was wrong with the sweet little girl whose beaming smile had gone dormant after she started the fifth grade. She...

Biden HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism 'public health threat'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration in its new HIV/AIDS strategy calls racism “a public health threat” that must be fully recognized as the world looks to end the epidemic. The strategy released Wednesday on the annual commemoration of World AIDS Day is meant to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Q&A: Mel Brooks, 95, is still riffing

NEW YORK (AP) — Leave it to Mel Brooks to blurb his own memoir. There, along with laudatory quotes from Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Conan O'Brien and others is one from “M. Brooks," who hails “All About Me!” as: "Not since the Bible have I read anything so powerful and...

Louis Vuitton show pays tribute to designer Virgil Abloh

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Louis Vuitton's first ever U.S. fashion show turned into a somber yet whimsical tribute to groundbreaking designer Virgil Abloh days after his death. The Miami menswear event, an unofficial kickoff to the prestigious Art Basel fair, had been in the...

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo for helping brother in scandal

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN indefinitely suspended anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday after details emerged about how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to face charges of sexual harassment earlier this year. The network said documents released by New York's attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Explosion of WWII bomb in Munich injures 4, disrupts trains

BERLIN (AP) — A World War II bomb exploded at a construction site next to a busy railway line in Munich on...

Putin demands NATO guarantees not to expand eastward

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would seek Western guarantees precluding any...

Outside Supreme Court, crowd amplifies abortion arguments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of abortion debate partisans crowded the plaza in front of the Supreme Court on...

EU chief calls for debate on making COVID-19 jabs mandatory

BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of the European Union's executive arm said Wednesday that EU nations should consider...

Iceland police say homemade bomb found in Reykjavik dumpster

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Three men were arrested after a homemade bomb was found in a residential neighborhood...

Man arrested after breaching security at UK Parliament

LONDON (AP) — A man was arrested Wednesday after breaching security at Britain’s Parliament. ...

Michael Martinez CNN

(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old Florida boy, is suing NBC Universal for using "the oldest form of yellow journalism" by editing an audio tape of his 911 call to make him sound racist, the lawsuit says.

Zimmerman is seeking "damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit" in Seminole County Circuit Court in Florida, where the lawsuit was filed Thursday.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and is charged with second-degree murder, is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, who was African-American. The February incident has provoked national controversy.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Attorneys for Martin's family say the teen was shot and killed "in cold blood."

"NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain," the lawsuit says.

"Because of NBC's deceptive and exploitative manipulations, the public wrongly believes that Zimmerman 'use(d) a racial epithet' while describing Martin during the call to the dispatcher on that fateful night," the suit says.

NBC Universal disputed the accusations Friday.

"There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly," the company said in a prepared statement. "We intend to vigorously defend our position in court."

The defamation lawsuit accuses the network of sensationalizing and manipulating a potential "racial powder keg that would result in months, if not years, of topics for their failing news program, particularly the plummeting ratings for their ailing Today Show."

The edited recordings included multiple deletions, removed intervening dialogue between Zimmerman and the dispatcher, and juxtaposed unrelated content "to make it appear that Zimmerman was a racist, and that he was racially profiling Trayvon Martin," the lawsuit says.

NBC aired various edited versions of the 911 call on March 19, 20, 22 and 27, the suit says.

The suit accuses the network of malice, highlighting correspondent Ron Allen's segment on "The Today Show" on March 27.

"Allen's broadcast removed a critical aspect of the dialogue between Zimmerman and the dispatcher, bringing the 'up to no good' and 'he looks black' statements even closer together, to further the false and defamatory implication that Zimmerman had said he believed Martin was 'up to no good' because 'he looks black,'" the suit says.

The lawsuit accuses NBC of falsely claiming that Zimmerman said "f------ coons" on the Feb. 26 call.

"The truth, as known to the defendants, was that Zimmerman said 'f------ punks' and there was no evidence, or reason to believe, that Zimmerman uttered a racial epithet during the call," the suit says.

Zimmerman mentioned Martin's race only when prompted by the dispatcher, the suit says.

NBC never aired an "earnest" retraction and never apologized to Zimmerman, who has since experienced death threats, a bounty on his head and a genuine fear for his life, the suit says. He now lives in hiding, court documents say.

NBC News President Steve Capus "made a bogus non-apology that claimed the doctoring was merely a 'mistake,'" the suit says.

Because of the death threats, Zimmerman wears a bulletproof vest and was even dismissed from his college because it felt fellow students could be endangered, the lawsuit says. At the time of the incident with Martin, Zimmerman was living in a community known as The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla., court papers say.

"Due to the defendants' journalistic crimes, Zimmerman has been transformed into one of the most hated men in America," the suit says.

Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, told "In Session's" Jean Casarez that NBC tried "to get ahead of the curve coverage thinking that they had themselves a person who was a racist, and they were wrong."

The suit also names as defendants Lilia Rodriguez Luciano of Dade County, Florida, who was reporting directly from Sanford. Her employment was terminated by NBC as a result of her reporting, the suit says.

Also named as a defendant is Jeffrey Burnside of Dade County, another journalist who was reporting from Sanford to his station, NBC-owned WTVJ in Miami, the suit says. Burnside was also fired by NBC, the suit said.

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