07-09-2020  7:57 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

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.


Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

The fund will help support artists during COVID crisis and beyond ...

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Virus causes uncertainty for state lotteries

Boston (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has been a rollercoaster for state lotteries across the country, with some getting a boost from the economic downturn and others scrambling to make up for revenue shortfalls.Since March, Texas, Arkansas and Montana and several other states have seen an...

Oregon Appeals Court affirms Portland renter relocation law

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.Presiding Judge Darleen Ortega said she agreed with a...

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...


Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

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. ...


Asian American girls saw pivotal icon in 'Baby-Sitters Club'

Author Ann M. Martin had no master plan when she decided to make one of the core members of “The Baby-Sitters Club” a Japanese American girl named Claudia.Claudia Kishi happened to be everything the “model minority” stereotype wasn't. She got bad grades. She thrived in...

Black Players for Change lead protest at MLS is Back tourney

Now that Major League Soccer has re-started, a group of Black Major League Soccer players is using the moment to call attention to systemic racism across sports and society. Black Players for Change was formerly the Black Players Coalition of MLS, but changed its name this week while joining forces...

Latino group launches M campaign to boost voter turnout

PHOENIX (AP) — A national organization is announcing a million campaign to turn out Hispanic voters in several of this year's battleground states.Mi Familia Vota, based in Phoenix, said it will spend million on get-out-the-vote measures and an additional million on digital and...


With a satirical fictional memoir, Jim Carrey gets real

NEW YORK (AP) — When Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon handed in the book they had toiled on for eight years — a satirical “anti-memoir” about Carrey’s life but with increasingly extreme flights of absurdity — to Sonny Mehta, the late Knopf publisher said he would...

Country band Lady A files suit against singer with same name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country group Lady A, which dropped the word “Antebellum,” from their name because of the word's ties to slavery, has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.The Grammy-winning vocal group filed the lawsuit on...

MSNBC appoints Joy Reid as Chris Matthews' replacement

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC says Joy Reid will move into the early evening time slot vacated in March by former “Hardball” host Chris Matthew's retirement in March.Reid, who has been a weekend anchor at the cable news network and lately has subbed in the 7 p.m. Eastern time slot, now...


Is it safe to visit the dentist during the pandemic?

Is it safe to visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?Dentists can’t eliminate all risk, but they...

Parades, close-ups with Mickey out as Disney World reopens

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Forget about up-close “meet-and-greet" sessions with Mickey Mouse or Donald...

Bolsonaro now 'poster boy' for dubious COVID-19 treatment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After months of touting an unproven anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the new...

Morocco to start reopening borders after strict lockdown

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco will start gradually reopening its air and maritime borders next week after...

VIRUS DIARY: In Saudi Arabia, a photographer finds new focus

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — I moved to Saudi Arabia from Egypt last year, eager to photograph a national...

COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching 'full speed'

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa...

Mark Thompson CNN Money

LONDON (CNNMoney) -- Italy is grappling with a scandal at one of the world's oldest banks that could affect the outcome of elections next month and dent Mario Draghi's record as Europe's top central banker.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded in 1427, last week revealed it faced losses of up to €720 million on three derivatives trades, carried out in 2006-2009, details of which were kept hidden from regulators.

Italy's third-biggest bank was forced to ask for €3.9 billion in state aid last year when it failed to meet tougher European capital standards, as losses on Italian government bonds weakened its balance sheet. If it is unable to repay the special bond, it may face nationalization.

The bank's shares have lost 16% since posting a 2013 high on Jan. 7.

The revelations have sparked a round of recriminations about who knew what, and when, about the derivative trades, drawing outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Central Bank President Draghi into the firing line.

Draghi, who has been praised for his deft handling of Europe's credit crisis last year, was head of the Bank of Italy at the time the trades were carried out. He is due to take charge of EU banking regulation under plans for a single supervisory authority.

Giulio Tremonti, a former economy minister in Silvio Berlusconi's government, has described Draghi's failure to prevent the trades during his time at the Bank of Italy as shocking. The ECB has declined to comment, while the Bank of Italy has accused the previous leadership at Monte dei Paschi of withholding critical information, subsequently made available by the new management.

Monte dei Paschi appointed Alessandro Profumo, a former CEO at Italy's biggest bank Unicredit, as chairman last April, and Fabrizio Viola as new chief executive last February.

Other observers believe Draghi did what he could.

"There are some official documents from the Bank of Italy that point to the fact that the bank was engaged in very risky activities, and that some of the risks were not balanced and some were not properly accounted for on their books," Nicola Borri, assistant economic professor at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome told CNN.

"However, some of the revelations of (the) last few days point to the fact that the Bank of Italy might not have known some details of these derivatives," Borri added.

Italian finance minister Vittorio Grilli told Parliament Tuesday that Bank of Italy oversight in 2010 had prevented Monte dei Paschi from carrying out similar trades, and dismissed suggestions that the scandal raised questions about the stability of the country's banking system.

Monti has come under fire from political rival Silvio Berlusconi and his allies for agreeing to provide assistance to the bank. Monti steered Italy through the depths of the sovereign debt crisis last year at the head of a technocrat government, and is seeking re-election when Italians go to the polls next month.

But he, in turn, has criticized the center-left Democratic Party, currently leading in opinion polls, for its close links to the bank. Democratic Party politicians control Monte dei Paschi's biggest shareholder.

Italy faces a tough 2013. It has already been in recession for five consecutive quarters. The economy is believed to have shrunk by 2.4% in 2012, and is expected to contract again this year.

Investors are hoping that the election delivers a government that continues with the fiscal consolidation and reform agenda introduced by Monti last year. The Democratic Party, led by Pier Luigi Bersani, supported many of Monti's reforms and could build a coalition with the former European Commissioner.

But support for Bersani may slip as a consequence of the banking scandal, complicating his search for a workable majority in both houses of Parliament, particularly if his party loses a number of tight regional races to Berlusconi.

"The Democratic Party needs to win in most regions to get a majority in the Senate, while the majority in lower chamber seems assured. So the impact might be important," Borri said.


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