07-07-2020  4:43 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Highlights First Report on Oregon’s New Hate and Bias Crimes Laws

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

jumi.2 million bail for driver that hit 2 Seattle protesters

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge on Monday set a jumi.2 million bail for the man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one and seriously injuring the other.Dawit Kelete, who is Black, drove the car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5...

Sheriff: At least 8 killed in plane collision at Idaho lake

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — At least eight people, including three children, were killed when two airplanes collided over a scenic mountain lake in northern Idaho, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.One of the aircraft was a float plane operated by Brooks Seaplane of Coeur...

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

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. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AMERICA DISRUPTED: Troubles cleave a nation, and a city

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — It was difficult to celebrate America in Saginaw this year. The deadly coronavirus had torn through the county. Unemployment had surged five-fold. Weeks of protest over racial inequality left many debating what should be hallowed and what must be changed.But Tom Roy had...

Red Sox dogged by claims of racism, sexual abuse

NEW YORK (AP) — Last month, when former Major League All-star Torii Hunter said he’d been called the N-word “a hundred times” at Boston’s storied Fenway Park, the Red Sox were quick to back him up with a promise to fight racism.“Torii Hunter’s...

Indiana officials investigate report of assault on Black man

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Black man says a group of white men assaulted him and threatened to “get a noose” after claiming that he and his friends had trespassed on private property as they gathered at an Indiana lake over the Fourth of July weekend.Vauhxx Booker, a local civil...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce.Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said “we’ve made this painful...

Executive turmoil at Essence, Ebony magazines prompt changes

NEW YORK (AP) — Two storied magazines that focus on news and culture in the Black community, Essence and Ebony, are in the midst of turmoil at their top levels.Ebony late last week forced out CEO Willard Jackson following an initial inquiry into some of his financial transactions. The...

Country rocker and fiddler Charlie Daniels dies at age 83

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Charlie Daniels, who went from being an in-demand session musician to a staple of Southern rock with his hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at 83.A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

5 Things to Know for Today

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How risky is dining out during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Coronavirus slams Poland's already-troubled coal industry

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Cyprus: EU partners aim to rein in Turkey's 'expansionism'

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North Korea rejects talks as US envoy arrives in Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday said it has no immediate intent to resume a dialogue with...

Depp takes stand in libel trial, claims Amber Heard hit him

LONDON (AP) — Johnny Depp gave evidence in a London court on Tuesday, denying claims that he hit ex-wife...

McMenamins
By Hilary Whiteman

Six years ago, Shinzo Abe started the revolving door of Japanese prime ministers by resigning just one year into the job. The question now whether he is able to stop it.Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to win a majority in Sunday's general election, clearing the way for the 58-year-old to resume the role he left in 2007.

If he does, he'll be Japan's seventh prime minister in six years to take on what is becoming the increasingly difficult task of hitting the economy out of a rough and forging a bright future for an increasingly aging population who feel the best years are behind them.

Can Abe do it?

The LDP leader is seen as hawkish with a nationalistic bent, and charismatic, if not particularly popular, according to opinion polls.

"People don't necessarily see him as a savior, they see him as a doer," said John Lee, an adjunct associate professor at the Center for International Security Studies at Australia's Sydney University.

"At the very least, he represents a change from the dour, Japanese bureaucrat that is plagued by inactivity. I don't think that could be said about Abe."

The son of two politicians, including the former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, and the grandson of the late Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, Abe grew up with the LDP, and is said to be conciliatory within the party, yet bold enough to speak his mind.

"Everybody may not be happy with what he says, but finally if we have a Japan that actually says what it thinks on the world stage, that'll be good for everybody, especially the Japanese," said Keith Henry, founder of consultancy Asia Strategy.

Abe first rose to power in September 2006, at the age of 52, making him the country's youngest leader in 52 years.

However, the strong support that pushed him up Japan's political hierarchy was eroded over the following months by a string of gaffes and the resignation of several government ministers, some of whom had been accused of financial or electoral misconduct.

During Abe's year in power, his health minister, Hakuo Yanagisawa, came under fire for branding women as "birth-giving machines," and his defense minister, Fumio Kyuma, resigned after hinting that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been justified.

The day after his resignation, in September 2007, Abe was admitted to hospital with gastrointestinal inflammation.

Fast-forward five years and Abe appears to be fighting fit and ready to take on the job.

Before being nominated as the country's next leader, Abe made what Henry calls "emphatic" statements on the Bank of Japan, government spending and Japan's relationship with China.

In mid-November, he was reported to have taken China to task over its record in Tibet.

"I swear I will do everything in my power to change the situation in Tibet where human rights are being suppressed. Tibet seeks freedom and democracy and we agree on those values," he said.

"In the world of Japanese politics anything that is kind of emphatic is quite rare, and I think that demonstrates a new sense of confidence and a sense of who he is, which I don't think existed a couple of years ago," Henry said.

The prospect of an Abe-led government has pushed Japan's share market higher in recent days, suggesting that there's some confidence in his ability to reinvigorate the economy.

 

If elected to office, Abe intends to aim his political firepower at deflation, calling for monetary easing by the Bank of Japan to achieve an inflation rate of 2%. He wants the BoJ to buy government bonds to fund a range of public works to stimulate the economy.

In an opinion piece for CNN, Jeffrey W. Hornung, an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu described Abe's major economic policies as "reckless."

"Although the BOJ has been pumping money into the economy with a 1% inflation target, Abe's push for unlimited monetary easing and a 2% target translates into pressure on the BOJ. Worse, his suggestion that the BOJ underwrite government bonds is prohibited under the Public Finance Law, a ban that was put in place after World War II," he wrote.

"Both moves indicate his desire to reduce BOJ independence. What is more, Japan is already the second most indebted nation (Zimbabwe is first). Abe's plan to increase defense expenditures and public works spending will make Japan even more indebted," Hornung added.

Abe's foreign policy priority is to strengthen national security by revising the pacifist constitution introduced after World War II. He's expected to take a stronger stand on China, particularly in relation to regional disputes of the kind seen this year over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The territorial jousting over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands escalated just days before the election after Japan dispatched fighter jets in response to sightings of a Chinese government plane in airspace around the islands.

"I think there's an overwhelming belief now that China, at the very least, doesn't respond to cooperative behavior. What can be said is that China behaves the way it does regardless of whether Japanese behavior is positive or combative," Lee said.

Then there's the question of how Japan powers itself amid the backlash against nuclear energy following the meltdown of the tsunami-hit nuclear reactors in Fukushima.

The LDP has called for safety tests on all nuclear plants over the next three years. Those that pass should be brought back online, Abe has said.

He'll also have to deal with the enduring task of cleaning up communities shattered by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and contend with local anger that the recovery seems to have stalled.

Despite all the challenges, some analysts remain optimistic about Abe's ability to put Japan back on track.

"Japan has never looked better to me. I'm very, very optimistic on it," said Ben Collett, head of Japanese equities at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong.

"I'm hopeful for the market and the economy and Abe's timing is solid. He'll initiate a cycle of new industrial development -- a rebirth of heavy industry in Japan that includes energy, hi-tech, space exploration and defense industries."

Henry says it should be "fairly smooth sailing" for Abe for next one or even two years if he watches his words on three key areas.

"He's got to be careful what he says about BOJ policy, he's got to be careful geopolitically about how he approaches Japan's "friends" and competitors in the Asia region, and he also has to be careful about putting his own Cabinet together to make sure that a week or two into his Cabinet we don't have any resignations because somebody has done something."

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