08-07-2022  5:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

Court Filing Cites Inmates' Abuse at Sheridan Federal Prison

A growing number of people incarcerated at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution have complained about guards from other federal facilities coming in to toss their cells and indiscriminately beat people

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

Two projects in Gateway Regional Center, four projects in Central Eastside, five in Lents Town Center, eight in Interstate Corridor,...

Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Tribe: California wildfire near Oregon causes fish deaths

A wildfire burning in a remote area just south of the Oregon border appears to have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Klamath River fish, the Karuk Tribe said Saturday. The tribe said in a statement that the dead fish of all species were found Friday near Happy Camp,...

Yet another heat wave grips parts of US West

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest braced for yet another heat wave Saturday and the temperature in Denver hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, breaking a record set in 1877. Meteorologists on Saturday issued a heat advisory in Portland, Oregon, through Monday and also...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

US Secretary of State Blinken in South Africa on Africa tour

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began his three-nation tour of Africa Sunday by visiting a museum in South Africa commemorating how the country's Black youths helped to end white racist rule. Blinken’s visit to Africa is seen as part of a competition...

Janice Longone, chronicler of US culinary history, dies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Janice Bluestein Longone, who is credited with collecting thousands of items chronicling the culinary history of the United States, including cookbooks, menus, advertisements and diaries, has died at age 89. Longone died Wednesday, according to Nie Family...

Dems rally around abortion. Are they reaching Black voters?

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Facing critical races for governor and U.S. Senate, Democratic hopefuls in Wisconsin are hoping that their support for abortion rights in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade can overcome the headwinds of a midterm election long expected to favor...

ENTERTAINMENT

Lady A postpones tour as Charles Kelley focuses on sobriety

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Grammy-winning country trio Lady A has announced that its upcoming tour is being postponed to allow band member Charles Kelley time to focus on his sobriety. The group was set to start the tour on Aug. 13 in Nashville, but in a social media post, the...

Review: ‘Easter Sunday' is a loving ode to Filipino culture

A boisterous extended clan gathers for a family holiday, launching the requisite arguments, hurt feelings, grudges, inside jokes, laughter, love, reconciliation and lots of eating, plus maybe a car chase. So far, so familiar. What’s different about “ Easter...

Jo Koy's 'Easter Sunday' puts Filipinos front and center

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For a comedy, Jo Koy's new movie “Easter Sunday” had a lot of waterworks. The film was no ordinary job for the comedian and the rest of the cast. The magnitude of being on a mostly Filipino set led to happy cry-fests, Koy said. Emotions really hit when...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anne Heche in hospital, 'stable' after fiery car crash

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Anne Heche was in the hospital Saturday following an accident in which her car smashed...

Alex Jones’ .3M verdict and the future of misinformation

Alex Jones is facing a hefty price tag for his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — .3...

In wake of floods, typical barbs at Kentucky political event

FANCY FARM, Ky. (AP) — While Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was consoling families displaced by historic flooding in...

Ukraine grain shipments offer hope, not fix to food crisis

BEIRUT (AP) — A ship bringing corn to Lebanon’s northern port of Tripoli normally would not cause a stir. But...

Role of race contested in killing of Nigerian man in Italy

CIVITANOVA MARCHE, Italy (AP) — Two marches Saturday in a well-to-do Italian Adriatic beach town both sought...

Longtime AP correspondent, editor Marcus Eliason dies at 75

NEW YORK (AP) — Marcus Eliason, an international journalist whose insightful reporting, sparkling prose and...

Saad Abedine CNN

Syria—In what could be one of the highest-level defections from the Syrian government, the country's military police chief has reportedly left Bashar al-Assad's forces to join "the people's revolution."

In a video posted online this week, a man identified as Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Jassim al-Shallal announced his defection and said he was joining the country's popular uprising.

"The Syrian military has strayed from its core mission in protecting the homeland to become nothing but armed gangs that kill and destroy the cities and the villages, carrying out massacres against our innocent civilian population that came out demanding freedom and dignity," he said.

Al-Shallal had been plotting his escape to Turkey for weeks with the help of rebels, said Louai Miqdad, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army.

"The last three hours of al-Shallal fleeing the borders were on a scooter. This is how hard things can get when it comes to the coordination of the defections of some of the Syrian officers and how the FSA works hard to guarantee their safety and the passageway of their families," Miqdad said from Turkey.

CNN cannot independently verify many claims from Syria, as the government has severely restricted access by international journalists.

But if the military police chief did defect, it would be only the latest in a rash of high-profile defections from al-Assad's government.

Manaf Tlass, a brigadier general and a former close friend of al-Assad, left Syria's Republican Guard in July. Prime Minister Riyad Hijab has also defected. Soldiers have steadily defected from the military to join the rebellion against the government.

The defections, combined with recent gains by rebels in various battlegrounds across the country, suggest that al-Assad is losing his grip on a country that his family has firmly commanded for more than 40 years. But the president has given no indication that he will step down.

Miqdad, the rebel spokesman, said it's in the best interest of Syrian officials to follow al-Shallal's lead.

"We would like to warn everyone who is serving in the Assad military: This is it. The time is near, and the FSA and the Syrian revolution are shifting the balance of power. If they don't defect now and denounce the regime, they will be considered to be traitors and they will have to face trial for the crimes that their troops committed against our people," he said.

"We urge them to defect now and join the revolution, or it will be too late."

Fierce battle for key city and base intensifies

Months of intense fighting over the city of Maaret al-Numan and the Wadi al-Deif military base came to a head Wednesday, with rebels making a push for control of key government areas, dissidents said.

"If the rebels manage to take over the Wadi al-Deif base and Maaret al-Numan, it could be a severe blow to the regime in the north because it will give the rebels the upper hand in controlling the entire Aleppo-Damascus highway," said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He said such victories would be a major strategic gain because rebels would be able to cut off all the reinforcements to regime forces in Syria's largest city and commercial hub, Aleppo.

"Wadi al-Deif is considered to be the main fuel storage for the regime forces and the largest military base in Idlib province. If the rebels managed to cut off the road by taking over the base and the security checkpoints that surround it, the opposition fighters would cripple the regime forces' ability to mobilize their forces not only in Idlib, but in Aleppo as well," Abdulrahman said. "Hundreds of regime forces will be left in disarray to fight on their own without any reinforcement, fuel or food supplies."

By late Wednesday morning, rebels had announced "the start of the liberation" of Maaret al-Numan, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

But the Syrian Observatory said clashes continued in the city, punctuated by heavy shelling by regime forces. Dissidents also said rebels destroyed five armored vehicles and a tank.

Violence rages across Syria

Regime forces shelled targets in Raqqa province, a region in north-central Syria more sparsely populated than volatile enclaves to the east, an opposition group said.

The LCC said that of 118 people killed in Syria on Wednesday, 40 died in Raqqa, including 24 during shelling in Qahtaniya.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency blamed violence against civilians in Qahtaniya, including women and children, on an "armed terrorist group." Since the Syrian conflict began last year, the government has blamed people it labels as terrorists for the violence in the country.

In Hama province, citizen journalist Hassan al-Aarg said warplane shelling on a village killed two baby boys.

CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the reports because of the restrictions on journalists. The deaths occurred several miles from the bread line pounded by warplanes Sunday.

More than 40,000 people -- mostly civilians -- have been killed in the Syrian crisis since March 2011, according to tallies by opposition activists.

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