12-07-2022  9:52 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Gives Initial Victory to Oregon's Tough New Gun Law

A federal judge delivered an initial victory to proponents of a sweeping gun-control measure to take effect this week while giving law enforcement more time to set up a system for permits

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

NEWS BRIEFS

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Emboldened athletes push back on old-school coaching methods

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some of Geoff Bond’s rowers loved and appreciated his demanding style. They thrived on how the coach at the University of California-San Diego pushed them to the limit while preparing them to take on the real world. But for others, Bond was a nightmare, with...

Emboldened athletes push back on old-school coaching methods

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some of Geoff Bond’s rowers loved and appreciated his demanding style. They thrived on how the coach at the University of California-San Diego pushed them to the limit while preparing them to take on the real world. But for others, Bond was a nightmare, with...

UNLV hires former Missouri coach Barry Odom to head program

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV hired former Missouri football coach Barry Odom on Tuesday for the same position. He coached the Tigers from 2016-19, going 25-25 with two bowl appearances. Odom was Arkansas' defensive coordinator and associate head coach the past three...

Wake Forest, Missouri meet for first time in Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST LOCATION: Tampa, Florida TOP PLAYERS Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Sharpton says film debuts at 'critical point' in US politics

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton has been called a lot of names in his public life: a hustler, a racist, an opportunist, a fraud, a rat, a jester. He embraces at least one of the intended insults, a name often hurled by his critics on the right and the left: “Loudmouth.”...

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

Friction has long-simmered within the global Anglican Communion over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. The divisions widened this year as conservative bishops affirmed their opposition to LGBTQ inclusion and demanded...

Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church

Friction has been simmering within the global Anglican Communion for many years over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. This year, the divisions have widened, as conservative bishops – notably from Africa and Asia – affirmed...

ENTERTAINMENT

The women at the center of Harvey Weinstein's LA rape trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to make their case against Harvey Weinstein, but a jury's decision at his Los Angeles trial will hinge largely on the testimony of four: the women he is charged with raping or sexually assaulting, all known simply as “Jane Doe” in court. ...

5 plants that say `holiday season,' and how to care for them

Holiday horticulture tends to revolve around the same handful of plants. So if you don’t already have any or all of these five holiday plants, now is the time to get them: PAPERWHITES The bulbs of these daffodil family members are pre-chilled so they can be planted now...

Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ star, dies at 71

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who's Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Monday. She was 71. Alley died of cancer that...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Duke Energy: All equipment damaged in NC shooting now fixed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy said Wednesday it has completed repairs on substation equipment damaged in...

US Jews fear collision with expected Israeli government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s ties to the Jewish American community, one of its closest and most important allies,...

Microsoft strikes 10-year deal with Nintendo on Call of Duty

LONDON (AP) — Microsoft agreed Wednesday to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10...

Across vast Muslim world, LGBTQ people remain marginalized

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — On the outskirts of Yogyakarta, an Indonesian city that’s home to many...

Albania's last captive bear rescued to Austrian sanctuary

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s last brown bear in captivity was rescued by an international animal welfare...

Italy's La Scala opens season to Ukrainian protests

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s most famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala, opens its new season Wednesday with the...

By Jessica Yellin and Joe Sterling CNN

Sen. John Kerry, the former presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is Barack Obama's choice to be the next secretary of state, the president announced Friday. 

The senior senator from Massachusetts is noted for having the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed Hillary Clinton, the outgoing top U.S. diplomat.

 

Obama, making the announcement as Kerry and his wife looked on, praised the senator's "extraordinarily distinguished Senate career" and military service "with valor" in the Vietnam War.

 

"Over these many years, John's earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job-training," Obama said. "I think it is fair to say that few individuals know as many presidents and prime ministers or grasp our foreign policies as firmly as John Kerry, and this makes him a perfect choice to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead."

 

Kerry has traveled the globe on behalf of the Obama administration to mend frayed relationships. Most notably, he traveled to Pakistan after relations had been set back by a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

 

"John's played a central role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years," Obama said. "As we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we have to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they're working together, diplomatic and development, economic and political, military and intelligence as well as the power of our values which inspires so many people around the world."

 

Obama said Kerry has earned the respect and trust of his Senate colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, and the president said he's confident the Senate will swiftly confirm the nomination.

 

Clinton was not present for the announcement because she is still recovering from a concussion, but she issued a statement calling the pick "excellent."

 

Clinton said Kerry has been her "trusted partner on major foreign policy challenges." She said he helped end the war in Iraq and advocate a "responsible transition in Afghanistan. He helped get important legislation for Pakistan and win ratification with Russia of the New START Treaty.

 

"John Kerry has been tested -- in war, in government, and in diplomacy. Time and again, he has proven his mettle," she said. "Senator Kerry has fought for our nation's diplomats and development experts -- and for investing in their mission and America's global leadership.

 

"And now, he is working closely with me and my team to learn the lessons of the tragedy in Benghazi, further protect our people and posts, and implement every single one of the Accountability Review Board's recommendations," she said, making a reference to the killings of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

 

Others have echoed the praise for Kerry.

 

"There are very few people with greater experience over a longer period of time," said Nicholas Burns, a former career ambassador who has served every secretary of state since Warren Christopher, and was most recently undersecretary for political affairs under Condoleezza Rice. "He would be a very, very impressive choice."

 

"You really need someone who is a renaissance person with a tremendous range of skill, both political and substantive, with a deep reservoir of knowledge," Burns said in an interview. "You need someone who can drill several layers deep on foreign policy issues."

 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice had been seen as a front-runner for the job, but she withdrew her name from consideration after Republicans said her TV talk show comments about the killings of Americans in Libya were misleading.

 

Kerry soon became the top candidate for the job. Republicans opposed to a Rice nomination have bandied about Kerry's name for weeks, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN that Kerry would be a "popular choice with the Senate."

 

It's ironic that several prominent Republicans are rallying behind Kerry, just eight years after their party demonized him during his failed 2004 presidential campaign against President George W. Bush.

 

"In a way, he is the poster child for the job," said Aaron David Miller, Middle East expert at the Wilson Center. "And in a way, it's a job for which, around which he has been preparing for most of his professional life."

 

Susan Rice commended the choice in a statement issued Friday, citing Kerry's Navy service and political career.

 

"Senator Kerry has led tirelessly and effectively to advance U.S. interests and values around the globe," the statement said. "I have been honored to work with him in the past, and I look forward to working closely with him again on President Obama's national security team."

 

Kerry was born in Denver, on December 11, 1943, and he spent much of his childhood overseas. He lived in Berlin, and then went to a Swiss boarding school at age 11.

 

After graduating from Yale University in 1966, Kerry was deployed to Vietnam as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was a gunboat officer on the Mekong Delta, earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

 

Upon his return home in the early 1970s, Kerry gained public recognition as the head of the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War and for his anti-war testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 

In 1972, he ran his first campaign, a losing effort for a congressional seat in Massachusetts. He eventually entered politics in 1982 as lieutenant governor under Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. Two years later, Kerry won the U.S. Senate seat he has held for five consecutive terms.

 

The Vietnam experience came back to haunt Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. A Republican-funded group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth aired campaign ads accusing him of lying to receive two of his five combat decorations and criticizing his anti-war activism. The incumbent Bush won the Electoral College vote 292 to 252 and racked up 3 million more votes than Kerry nationwide.

 

After winning his fifth Senate race in 2008, Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the next January. He has had a powerful voice outside the Obama administration in his current role.

 

But sources close to the Massachusetts Democrat note that the increasing partisanship on Capitol Hill has disillusioned Kerry and he is ready to leave the Senate.

 

Kerry will come to the post with a full plate of foreign policy crises, including the civil war in Syria, the nuclear antics of North Korea and a looming showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.

 

Anybody who follows Clinton would have some pretty big shoes to fill. Clinton was not just the most popular member of the president's Cabinet for the past four years, she had celebrity status and respect almost everywhere she went around the world.

 

Burns said it's not a job for "the faint of heart."

 

"It is for someone with a deep, deep reservoir of knowledge, he said, and "Kerry has that kind of knowledge."

 

Many have noted the esteem Kerry has gained on the world stage through his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost 30 years, the last four as chairman.

 

"I think he has been an unusually effective chairman," Burns said. "He has not only been the chair of the committee in trying to unite Democrats and Republicans on the top foreign policy issues facing our country, but he has been a diplomatic troubleshooter for the administration. So he has really played two roles over the president's first term."

 

While Obama is not close to a lot of world leaders, Kerry has deep relationships with many heads of state that he can draw on as the nation's top diplomat.

 

He is no stranger to diplomacy and has often traveled overseas on behalf of the Obama administration as a diplomatic troubleshooter and to mend frayed relationships. Kerry persuaded Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to an election runoff in 2009, and he traveled to Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed bin Laden.

 

"The president did not give him tertiary assignments," Burns said. "The president asked him to take on the toughest issues -- the war and peace issues in which we are currently engulfed in trying to determine how do we get out of Afghanistan. How do we stabilize our very difficult and disputatious relationship with Pakistan? How do we stabilize well the nuclear balance between India and Pakistan? He was very much involved in Sudan as well, and so I think this is very good experience, obviously, that qualifies him to be secretary of state. It also means that there is an element of trust already there between President Obama and Senator Kerry."

 

Like Obama, Kerry sees the benefit of reaching out to adversaries, like Iran and Syria, and giving them a chance to negotiate. At one point, Kerry even spearheaded outreach efforts to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad before the administration turned on al-Assad because of his crackdown on protesters. But he also has called for arming the opposition and for NATO airstrikes, which Obama's administration has resisted.

 

The Middle East would be sure to take up a good part of the secretary's time. In addition to helping bring about a political transition in Syria, the United States also must manage the political chaos in Egypt and the rest of North Africa while trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran and revive the Middle East peace process.

 

Kerry is well-traveled to the Middle East, has a good feel for the region and knows many of the players. Insiders say a Secretary of State Kerry would want to play a big role in shaping Mideast policy and try to help solve some intractable issues, including delving heavily into the peace process.

 

Kerry also has displayed a particular interest in climate change and energy, and sources say he is likely to give special emphasis to those issues. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has used some of her fortune to support environmental groups.

 

Unlike Rice, Kerry is not seen as an Obama insider, but he has been a presence at key moments in Obama's rise.

 

He served with then-Sen. Obama on the Foreign Relations Committee and, as a presidential nominee in 2004, gave the young senator a platform on the national stage when he asked him to speak at the Democratic National Convention. In this election, Kerry also helped prep Obama for his debates with Mitt Romney and offered a strong argument of the administration's foreign policy during his address at the convention in September.

 

Obama is considered a president who likes to drive foreign policy himself, and the White House plays a major role in both its conception and execution.

 

There's a question of whether Obama will empower Kerry to fashion areas of foreign policy on his behalf. Miller, the Middle East expert at the Wilson Center, cites legendary former secretaries such as Henry Kissinger, James Baker and George Schultz as diplomats who were empowered to create the policies that their presidents then implemented.

 

"That is going to be the difference, I think, between John Kerry being a good secretary of state and ... truly be a consequential, if not great, secretary of state," Miller said.

 

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