10-21-2021  1:30 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tool for Police Reform Rarely Used by Local Prosecutors

Brady Lists flag officers whose credibility is in question due to misconduct – a designation that must be shared with defense attorneys. Defense attorneys, public defenders, civil rights groups and some prosecutors are calling for an increased use of the lists.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC) Proposed as a Center for Black Arts and Culture

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Oregon Housing and Community Services Makes Progress on Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Agency stresses importance of applying for the program and works with partners to prevent evictions from moving forward 

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bootcamp for Prep Cooks Supplies Ingredients for Entry Into Food Service Career

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WA BLM Demands Resignation of Criminally-charged Sheriff Troyer

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'A Dangerous Time': Portland Sees Record Homicides

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State Agency Inadvertently Releases Employees Vaccine Status

Oregon’s central administrative agency inadvertently released the COVID-19 vaccination status of more than 40,000 state employees to...

Simple Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating After Fauci Greenlighted Halloween 2021

Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (

Pet hospital to pay K to settle sex harassment suit

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland veterinary services provider Hannah Pet Hospital will pay over ,000 to a former pet nurse to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Hannah last fall on behalf of a nurse at Hannah’s...

FBI: 1 person found dead after standoff at Portland home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The FBI say sone person was found dead in a Portland, Oregon, home Thursday morning after a standoff. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the FBI says it was unclear how the person died. No law enforcement agencies used force during the standoff in Northeast...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

Letter to the Publisher: Black Publishers Shed Light on Pending Litigation Against NNPA

NNPA members Carole Geary, Dorothy R. Leavell and Amelia Ashley-Ward provide an update on pending litigation against the organization, its CEO and its former Treasurer. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Memorial service in honor of Colin Powell set for Nov. 5

WASHINGTON (AP) — A memorial service for Colin L. Powell, the retired Army general and former secretary of state who died on Monday, will be held Nov. 5 at Washington National Cathedral, a spokeswoman said Thursday. “There will be very limited seating and it will be by...

Biden bill would put US back on path of reducing uninsured

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ social spending and climate change bill would put the United States back on a path to reducing its persistent pool of uninsured people, with estimates ranging from 4 million to 7 million Americans gaining health coverage. Those getting...

Australia, UK defend AUKUS pact, say fears overhyped

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia and Britain on Thursday defended their nuclear submarine deal with the U.S. amid concerns it could escalate tensions in the region and spark an arms race. U.K. Minister for Armed Forces James Heappey said there “has been a lot of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: ‘Harder They Fall’ updates the Western, with style

These. People. Existed. Those three words — and that very emphatic punctuation — appear onscreen at the beginning of “The Harder They Fall,” setting a definitive tone for this stylish and bold new Western by Jeymes Samuel. Yes, Samuel is saying, his...

Gwyneth Paltrow tackles bedroom taboos in Netflix series

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Chapelle special spurs Netflix walkout; 'Trans lives matter'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix employees who walked out Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle's special and its anti-transgender comments were joined by allies who chanted “Trans lives matter,” getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up. A pre-noon rally at a...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Billions in environmental justice funds hang in the balance

Tens of billions of dollars for U.S. environmental justice initiatives originally proposed in a .5 trillion...

Biden ties legislative agenda to MLK push for racial justice

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday tied his legislative priorities on voting rights, police...

Trump plan for new media venture gets investors' thumbs up

NEW YORK (AP) — Some investors aren’t waiting to see if former President Donald Trump’s plans for a media...

Year after Nigeria's deadly protests, police still accused

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Joshua Samuel painfully recalls the day, one year ago, when Nigerian soldiers opened fire...

Putin says new pipeline could quickly pump more gas to EU

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia could quickly boost natural gas...

World's biggest triceratops sells for .7 million in Paris

PARIS (AP) — The world’s biggest triceratops skeleton, known as “Big John,” was sold for 6.6 million euros...

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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