12-13-2019  1:43 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

Organization empowers youth facing the greatest obstacles through the long-term support of professional mentors ...

Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

Max, a two-year-old Labrador/Weimaraner mix, is going to a new home with the Dunlap family of Damascus ...

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Louisiana State University president heading to Oregon job

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University is looking for a new system chief, after President F. King Alexander was appointed Friday to lead Oregon State University.Oregon State's Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to hire Alexander in a special meeting, confirming that Alexander...

As California thins forests to limit fire risk, some resist

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, Calif. (AP) — Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Donor pulls jumi.5M grant to UNC-Chapel Hill over 'Silent Sam'

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A New York-based not-for-profit foundation has withdrawn a jumi.5 million grant intended for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in light of a financial deal between leaders of the university system and a Confederate group to preserve a controversial...

Belgian carnival removed from UNESCO list over racism row

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A famous Belgian carnival was removed from the U.N.'s cultural heritage list on Friday following complaints that its most recent edition contained blatant displays of anti-Semitism.The Aalst carnival was taken off UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list during a...

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order to expand the scope of potential anti-Semitism complaints on college campuses is raising the stakes of an already tense battle over how to define discrimination against Jews.The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday tells the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Greta Gerwig on making 'Little Women' 'at the speed of life'

NEW YORK (AP) — The first movie Greta Gerwig saw in a theater was “Muppets Take Manhattan.” When it was over, her parents momentarily couldn’t find her. She had run to the front of the theater to put her hands on the screen.“I thought I could get into it,”...

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Blue-collar character actor Danny Aiello has died at age 86

NEW YORK (AP) — Danny Aiello, the blue-collar character actor whose long career playing tough guys included...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Disney bought Lucasfilm for more than billion in 2012, there were lofty...

Boy, 13, arrested in killing of Barnard College freshman

NEW YORK (AP) — A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in the fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student in a...

Ex-PM elected Algeria's new president, to protesters' dismay

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria newly-elected president Abdelmadjid Tebboune vowed after his victory was...

El Salvador court gives hefty sentences in mass gang trial

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A court in El Salvador has sentenced 373 convicted members of the...

Battle ahead: Scotland party leader vows independence push

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the majority he needs to push through Brexit, but he...

McMenamins
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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