07-09-2020  8:11 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

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.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

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Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

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African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

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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

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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...

OPINION

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. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

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

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Black Players for Change lead protest at MLS is Back tourney

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Latino group launches M campaign to boost voter turnout

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ENTERTAINMENT

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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

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Serbia eyes restrictions; virus spreads in US, Brazil, India

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The European nation of Serbia mulled how to curb accelerating coronavirus...

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...

25 years on, Srebrenica dead still being identified, buried

SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A quarter of a century after they were killed in Europe’s...

McMenamins
CNN

Furloughed workers, reduced combat readiness, shrunken naval operations and cuts to Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listed those consequences as he provided a stark warning Wednesday about the effects of impending budget cuts on the military. The result, he said, would be "the most serious readiness crisis" faced by the military in over a decade.

Panetta's address at Georgetown University in Washington, which he called "hopefully one of my last speeches as secretary of defense," included the first details of how the Pentagon would deal with the automatic spending cuts -- or sequestration in congressional jargon -- set to trigger March 1.

For the Department of Defense, sequestration means $46 billion in spending cuts this year, which would result in "a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness," Panetta said.

"There are no good options" to deal with the situation, he continued, saying 46,000 department jobs would be at risk and more damaging measures could result in coming months, including:

-- Furloughing as many as 800,000 civilian workers for up to 22 days;

-- Cutting back on Army training and maintenance, which would reduce readiness of combat brigades outside Afghanistan;

-- Shrinking naval operations; and,

-- Reducing Air Force flying hours and weapons systems maintenance.

"This is not a game. This is reality," Panetta said, his voice rising. "These steps would seriously damage a fragile American economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe."

His comments sought to increase pressure on Republicans and Democrats to reach agreement on deficit reduction steps, thereby avoiding the across-the-board spending cuts of sequestration that were part of a 2011 deal that raised the federal debt ceiling.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for a short-term deal to put off the cuts so Congress could continue work on a permanent fix that provides desired reductions in the federal deficit.

Obama made clear that he still wants a broader deficit reduction agreement with Republicans that includes spending cuts, entitlement reforms and increased revenue from eliminating some tax breaks.

However, Obama said, with time running out before the sequestration cuts slash government spending and result in job losses and economic slowdown, Congress should pass a temporary fix that would allow time for further negotiations on a broader plan.

"Our economy right now is headed in the right direction and it will stay that way as long as there aren't any more self-inflicted wounds coming out of Washington," he said. "So let's keep on chipping away at this problem together, as Democrats and Republicans, to give our workers and our businesses the support that they need to thrive in the weeks and months ahead."

In response, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said further budget reduction steps should focus on spending cuts and reforming entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

In the 2011 debt ceiling deal that ended a showdown over whether to increase the federal government's borrowing limit to meet its obligations, Congress and the White House agreed to include the automatic spending cuts of sequestration as motivation to pass a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan.

Deep partisan divisions prevented such an agreement from happening in 2012, an election year. Initially the cuts were to go into effect on January 2, but the government delayed the impact of sequestration for the first two months of 2013.

Panetta referred to what he described as "partisan dysfunction in Congress" that he said threatens the quality of life and national security of the nation.

Instead of making tough decisions to resolve problems, political leaders from both parties let issues become crises that require immediate but insufficient responses, he said.

"It's the easy way out," Panetta said, adding that there is a price to be paid for such an approach.

"You lose the trust of the American people," he said. "You create an aura of constant uncertainty that pervades every issue and gradually undermines the very credibility of the nation."

Referring specifically to sequestration, he said: "There isn't anybody I've talked to on Capitol Hill that doesn't think this is crazy."

Obama said Tuesday that he still supports a broader deficit deal and made clear that revenue from tax reform measures previously agreed to by Republicans -- such as eliminating some loopholes to increase revenue for the government -- should be part of it.

However, he noted that it is unlikely Congress will reach a deficit-reduction deal by March 1 to render the sequestration cuts moot.

"If they can't get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution," Obama said.

Boehner reacted to news of Obama's plan by saying it was the president who "first proposed the sequester and insisted it become law."

Reiterating the longstanding position of Republicans in budget negotiations, Boehner called for replacing the sequester plan with spending cuts and reforms -- a reference to changes in entitlement programs.

A last-second agreement in the previous Congress that passed in the first days of 2013 raised tax rates on top income earners as part of a limited deficit-reduction package.

That measure followed weeks of tough negotiations involving Obama and Congress in which other steps to increase government revenue, such as eliminating some tax breaks for corporations, were considered but not included in the final deal.

Obama and Democrats now want such revenue-raising steps to be part of a package that would replace the mandated deficit reduction of the sequester cuts.

McConnell expressed his opposition to such a move Tuesday, saying, "The American people will not support more tax hikes in place of the meaningful spending reductions both parties already agreed to and the president signed into law."

Federal spending cuts under sequestration total more than $1 trillion over 10 years, half of which would come from the Pentagon.

Obama's push to avoid those cuts comes a week before he outlines his second-term agenda in the State of the Union address.

Congress, which authorizes federal spending, has failed to pass detailed annual budgets in recent years due to partisan gridlock over spending and debt, as well as electoral politics.

Instead, it has approved a series of extensions of past spending authorizations -- called continuing resolutions -- to keep the government funded.

Temporarily extending the sequester deadline would follow a similar move by congressional Republicans last month on raising the nation's debt ceiling. That deal put off further wrangling on the federal borrowing limit until mid-May.

Some analysts warn that Washington's fiscal paralysis harms the nation's fragile economy and could bring another recession.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

 

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