12-07-2022  9:12 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

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

Africa forum hails 'circular economy' solutions for climate

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Reducing waste while boosting recycling and reuse, known as the ‘circular economy,’...

Duke Energy: All equipment damaged in NC shooting now fixed

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

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,...

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...

Indonesia releases bombmaker in Bali attacks on parole

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A bombmaker in the 2002 Bali attacks that killed 202 people was released from an...

Matt Smith CNN

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to avert the fiscal cliff, a day after the House and Senate approved the much-debated legislation.

Obama, who returned to his family vacation in Hawaii after Tuesday's House vote, signed the bill via autopen on Wednesday.

But new battles over taxes and spending await Washington in the next few weeks.

Congress averted that self-built precipice late Tuesday when the House voted to stave off widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts by accepting a brokered Senate compromise. It makes permanent the Bush administration's tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and couples earning less than $450,000.


It raises rates on those who make more than that from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, bringing back a top tax bracket from the Clinton administration, and will raise roughly $600 billion in new revenues over 10 years, according to various estimates.

The bill also extends unemployment insurance and delays for two months the threat of sequestration -- a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal spending.

Economists had predicted the combination of those tax increases and spending cuts could have thrown the U.S. economy back into recession and driven unemployment back into the 9 percent range.

Meanwhile, a new Congress takes office on Thursday, and lawmakers will soon be confronted by the need to raise the federal debt ceiling and what to do about the still-hanging sequester -- a legacy of the last battle over the debt ceiling, in 2011.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said the legislation was sent to the White House on Wednesday. Obama said he would sign the bill into law, but he did not say when -- and after the vote, he flew to Hawaii to rejoin his wife and daughters on their winter vacation.

There's no urgency on the president's signature in practical terms. It's up to the Obama administration to implement the budget and tax changes, and since the president has said he will sign the measure, the administration can begin planning for the changes immediately.

"The sum total of all the budget agreements we've reached so far proves that there is a path forward that is possible, if we focus not on our politics but on what's right for the country," Obama told reporters late Tuesday. "And the one thing that I think, hopefully, in the new year, we'll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much."

The Bush tax cuts expired at midnight Monday, while sequestration had been scheduled to start when federal offices reopened Wednesday.

World markets rose after the late-night vote. U.S. stocks jumped, too, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising nearly 2% by mid-afternoon.

Tuesday night's 257-167 vote saw Boehner, R-Ohio, and about a third of the GOP majority lining up with Democrats against most of their own caucus, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor and party whip Kevin McCarthy. Rep. Nan Hayworth, an outgoing Republican representative from New York, said she was a "reluctant yes."

"This is the best we can do, given the Senate and the White House sentiment at this point in time, and it is at least a partial victory for the American people," Hayworth said. "I'll take that at this point."

The Senate plan was brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and it passed that Democratic-led chamber 89-8. But many House Republicans complained the bill did too little to cut spending while raising taxes for them to support it.

Conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, whose Americans for Tax Reform pushes candidates to sign a pledge never to raise taxes, said the plan preserves most of the Bush tax cuts and won't violate his group's beliefs.

"The Bush tax cuts lapsed at midnight last night," Norquist tweeted Tuesday. "Every (Republican) voting for Senate bill is cutting taxes and keeping his/her pledge."

But Rep. Jeff Landry, R-Louisiana, told CNN's "Early Start" that Obama convinced Boehner "to undo everything he promised he would do" after the 2010 elections that gave the GOP control of the House.

"They did a debt ceiling deal, gave the president $2.1 trillion," Landry said. "They turned that deal off for two months. That's going to be another fight on top of the sequestration, a debt ceiling fight."

Other Republicans warned that as they did in 2011, they'll be demanding additional cuts before they agree to raise the federal cap on borrowing.

"The president has maxed out his credit card, and he is not going to get an unlimited credit card," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, told CNN. "We're going to talk specifically about cuts and specifically focused on tax reform as well as helping to save and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. And that's the next discussion we're going to have in Washington."

The federal government bumped up against its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Monday and has about two months before it runs out of ways to shuffle money around to keep Washington within its legal borrowing limit. Obama had sought to resolve the issue as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the issue never made it to a final bill.

Tuesday night, the president warned Congress that he will not tolerate another round of brinksmanship that could have "catastrophic" effects on the global economy.

"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they've passed," he said.

The last debt-ceiling battle led to the sequester, a kind of fiscal doomsday device that Congress was supposed to disarm by agreeing to more than $1 trillion in other cuts over the next decade. They didn't, leaving federal agencies preparing to slash spending by $110 billion by the end of the 2013 budget year.

Before Tuesday night, the Defense Department had been preparing to issue furlough notices for its entire civilian work force of 800,000. Those notices were stayed on Wednesday -- but Pentagon officials say they're worried that unpaid leave may be harder to implement later in the fiscal year.

"We hope Congress can find a way to end sequester once and for all," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

While the deal gives Obama bragging rights for raising income taxes on the wealthiest Americans -- the first rate increase for any Americans since 1993 -- it also leaves him breaking a promise.

Obama had vowed to raise tax rates for the top-earning 2% of Americans, including those with household income above $250,000 and individuals earning more than $200,000.

Raising the threshold for higher tax rates shrinks the number of Americans affected. While nearly 2% of filers have adjusted gross incomes over $250,000, only 0.6% have incomes above $500,000, according to the Tax Policy Center.

By comparison, Census Bureau figures put the median U.S. household income at just over $50,000.

And despite the last-minute fiscal cliff agreements, Americans are still likely to see their paychecks shrink somewhat because of a separate battle over payroll taxes.

The government temporarily lowered the payroll tax rate in 2011 from 6.2% to 4.2% to put more money in the pockets of Americans. That adjustment, which has cost about $120 billion each year, expired Monday.

Now, Americans earning $30,000 a year will take home $50 less per month. Those earning $113,700 will lose $189.50 a month.

The legislation also caps itemized deductions for individuals making $250,000 and for married couples making $300,000. Taxes on inherited estates over $5 million will go up to 40% from 35%, and that threshold will be indexed for inflation.

The alternative minimum tax, a perennial issue, will be permanently adjusted for inflation. Child care, tuition and research and development tax credits will be renewed. The "Doc Fix" -- reimbursements for doctors who take Medicare patients -- will continue, but it won't be paid for out of the Obama administration's signature health care law.

CNN's Dana Bash, Rich Barbieri, Charles Riley, Dana Ford, Holly Yan, Josh Levs, Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events