10-19-2021  1:07 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Set to Expand Hotline for Bias Crime Reporting

With a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents in Oregon and nationwide the two-person office just couldn’t handle the volume.

Portland Shootings Prompt DA to Spend $1M to Handle Cases

Multnomah County plans to hire four prosecutors and two investigators to help with an increasing caseload of homicide investigations

Cascadia Whole Health Honors Community Justice Leader, Fine Artist with Culture of Caring Awards

Erika Preuitt and Jeremy Okai Davis recognized for positive contributions to community.

Salem-Keizer School Boards Adopts Anti-Racism Resolution

The Salem-Keizer school board has voted to adopt a resolution outlining the board’s commitment to equity and anti-racism.

NEWS BRIEFS

Sen. Kayse Jama Announces Re-Election Campaign for Senate District 24

Since his appointment, Jama has worked to address the systemic inequality that Oregonians have faced ...

Dion Matthews Jr. Homicide Remains Unsolved After Six Years

The 2015 homicide is a Crime Stoppers featured case ...

Joint Center Commends Senator Whitehouse for Hiring Monalisa Dugué as Chief of Staff

Dugué is one of two Black Chiefs of Staff in the Senate ...

FBI Offers up to $25,000 for Information in Mass Shooting Event

18-year-old Makayla Maree Harris killed and six others injured in a Portland shooting on July 17, 2021 ...

Nearly 100 Animals Seized From Woofin Palooza Forfeited to MCAS

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has ruled that dogs and cats seized from an unlicensed facility named Woofin Palooza are now...

'A dangerous time': Portland, Oregon, sees record homicides

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It was nearly last call on a Friday when Jacob Eli Knight Vasquez went to get a drink across the street from the tavern where he worked in northwest Portland — an area with a thriving dining scene, where citygoers enjoy laid-back eateries, international cuisines and cozy...

Federal judge rejects bid to block Oregon vaccine mandate

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday denied a last-minute bid by more than three dozen state employees, health care providers and school staff to temporarily stop the state’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon rejected their motion...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lapchick family felt backlash due to Knicks coach's views

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Richard E. Lapchick shares some of the backlash his family felt that was directed at his father, former Knicks coach Joe Lapchick, for signing the first Black player to an NBA contract in 1950. The experience led him to his work today; Richard directs the Institute for Diversity and...

Texas lawmakers pass new congressional maps bolstering GOP

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans approved redrawn U.S. House maps that favor incumbents and decrease political representation for growing minority communities, even as Latinos drive much of the growth in the nation’s largest red state. The maps were approved late...

Texas lawmakers pass new congressional maps bolstering GOP

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans approved on Monday redrawn U.S. House maps that favor incumbents and decrease political representation for growing minority communities, even as Latinos drive much of the growth in the nation’s largest red state. The maps were approved...

ENTERTAINMENT

Betty Lynn, Thelma Lou on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' has died

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) — Betty Lynn, the film and television actor who was best known for her role as Barney Fife's sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. She was 95. Lynn died peacefully Saturday after a brief illness, The Andy Griffith Museum in...

Kourtney Kardashian, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A day at the beach turned into a proposal for Kourtney Kardashian, who is now engaged to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Kardashian posted two photos on Instagram of the proposal with the caption “forever.” A representative for the reality star and...

Review: Elizabeth Strout writes a 'Lucy Barton' sequel

“Oh William!” by Elizabeth Strout (Random House) Elizabeth Strout has written another voice-driven novel, the third in a series of books about the fictional writer Lucy Barton and the people she grew up with in a small town in rural Illinois. “Oh...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Rapper formerly known as Kanye West is now just Ye

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kanye is now Ye. A Los Angeles judge on Monday approved the request of...

Why COVID boosters weren't tweaked to better match variants

More COVID-19 booster shots may be on the way -- but when it’s your turn, you’ll get an extra dose of the...

Alex Murdaugh asks to leave jail after 5 days behind bars

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Lawyers for prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh plan to ask a judge on Tuesday...

EU commissioner on climate action: 'Leave no one behind'

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — All nations have a responsibility to ensure that no one gets left behind and that...

Chinese-North Korean defectors face hardship in South Korea

GWANGYANG, South Korea (AP) — Abandoned, he feels, by three countries, Cho Guk-gyeong shows a visitor his South...

Strong earthquake strikes off Turkish Mediterranean coast

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A strong earthquake struck off the Turkish Mediterranean coast on Tuesday, Turkey’s...

By Jake Tapper Jessica Yellin and Tom Cohen CNN


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama challenged Congress to join him in taking on "our generation's task" to ignite the growth of a "rising, thriving middle class," using the first State of the Union address of his second term to prod Republicans to compromise on the major challenges facing the nation.  Read full text of speech or watch video here

"It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country -- the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love," Obama said Tuesday night, sounding familiar themes from his re-election campaign last year.

The president emphasized economic growth and job creation, and insisted that his proposals would not increase the nation's deficit, though the White House offered no price tag on his initiatives.

He also made an emotional plea for Congress to hold votes on controversial proposals for tougher gun laws after the Newtown, Connecticut, shootings in December that killed 20 schoolchildren.

At the same time, Obama called for legislators to work together for the good of the nation, saying Americans "expect us to put the nation's interests before party."

"They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can," he said. "For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all."

It was his fourth State of the Union address and seventh speech to a joint sitting of Congress, and analysts considered it a crucial moment for setting the tone for the political dialogue after four years of partisan division and congressional dysfunction.

In the Republican response, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida signaled little acceptance of what Obama proposed, repeating longstanding GOP criticism of what he described as job-killing, growth-snuffing bigger government.

"Presidents in both parties -- from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan -- have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity," said Rubio, a tea party favorite considered the a rising star in the Republican Party. "But President Obama? He believes it's the cause of our problems."

According to Rubio, the president's solution "to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more."

With both sides sticking to deeply entrenched positions, the night of competing messages signaled continued partisan division and political showdowns in Washington over the federal budget and further steps to reduce the deficit and national debt.

"In many ways, what we heard tonight is the same old, same old argument," noted CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CNN that Rubio helped himself as a Republican leader, while Jennifer Granholm, the former Democratic governor of Michigan, accused the Florida senator of missing an opportunity to appeal to the political center because he overstated GOP talking points.

To CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, Rubio emerged as an attractive figure on the American political stage but was short on specifics.

"I don't think they won the arguments tonight," Gergen said of Republicans.

The government faces deep spending cuts mandated by a previous agreement between Obama and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, and Obama renewed his call on Tuesday night for a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan that includes new tax revenue coupled with spending cuts.

Taking aim at the bitter partisanship of his first term, Obama said "let's set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future."

"And let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors," he continued to applause, mainly from Democrats. "The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. We can't do it. Let's agree, right here, right now, to keep the people's government open, and pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America."

In a jab at congressional Republicans who seek to shrink deficits and the size of government through deep spending cuts, saying "deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan."

Rubio's response blamed Obama for weakening U.S. stability and potential by continued deficit spending and failing to take on needed reforms to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

"The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. That's why we need a balanced budget amendment," he said, accusing Obama of wanting to leave Medicare unchanged so that it goes bankrupt.

However, Obama called for "modest" reforms to Medicare in his speech, repeating proposals already raised in previous deficit-reduction negotiations that Republicans consider insufficient.

After arriving to loud cheers and prolonged applause on a night of political pomp and ceremony, Obama began the speech on a positive note, saying the nation was on sound footing to move forward.

"Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger," he said.

The president continued his push for Congress to act on politically volatile issues such as immigration reform. Other measures in the speech included a paycheck fairness act intended to make it easier for women to fight salary discrimination without losing their jobs, and new proposals to develop alternative energy hubs in the country, and help people refinance their mortgages at today's lower interest rates.

Headlines of the day also influenced the speech.

Obama mentioned North Korea's latest underground nuclear test, which the State Department labeled "provocative" and "extremely regrettable."

With victims of gun violence in the audience at the Capitol, including former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Obama continued his push for tighter gun laws opposed by the influential National Rifle Association and legislators from both parties.

He mentioned 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago girl killed by gun violence after returning home from taking part in inauguration activities in Washington, saying she was shot a mile from his home in the city.

The girl's parents were guests of first lady Michelle Obama at the address. Also attending was former rock star Ted Nugent, a vocal critic of Obama and any efforts to strengthen gun controls in America.

Obama cited the major provisions of his package of gun proposals, including background checks on all gun sales, a ban on semi-automatic weapons that mimic military weapons, and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

Listing gun violence victims -- Hadiya's parents, Giffords, the families of the Newtown schoolchildren and others killed in mass shootings, Obama said "they deserve a vote" as the audience cheered loudly.

In his response, Rubio sounded the NRA line that "unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to" reduce gun violence in the country.

On foreign policy, Obama announced that this time next year, another 34,000 U.S. troops will have returned home from Afghanistan.

The move will reduce by more than half the current force level of 66,000 troops in Afghanistan. Obama and NATO previously announced that Afghan forces will take the lead in combat missions this year.

By the end of 2014, the planned official end of the combat mission, the White House is considering a range of troop levels for Afghanistan, from as many as 15,000 down to zero.

One thing Obama didn't mention Tuesday night was new regulations on carbon emissions for existing power plants a senior administration official said. Environmentalists hoped the president's pledge in his recent inaugural address for increased steps in response to climate change would include expanding tougher standards in place for new power plants to those already in existence.

At the same time, the president promised executive action on climate change if Congress fails to address what he called a litany of evidence that the nation and the world face increasing impacts such as more frequent and powerful storms, wildfires and drought.

One new measure from the president will be an executive order signed Tuesday to address the country's most basic cybersecurity needs.

The order will make it easier for private companies in control of our nation's critical infrastructure to share information about cyber attacks with the government. In return, the Department of Homeland Security will share "sanitized" classified information with companies about attacks believed to be occurring or that are about to take place.

Congress has failed so far to pass any of the dozens of cybersecurity bills aimed at meaningfully securing critical infrastructure from an online criminals.

Rubio is a tea party favorite being promoted as the new face of the Republican Party due to his Hispanic heritage and strong communications skills.

Obama won overwhelming support from the Latino vote in defeating GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the November election.

Rubio is leading an effort by some Republicans to shift party policy on immigration reform by accepting the concept backed by Obama and Democrats that the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants should have a path to legal status.

However, he neglected to mention specifics of an immigration reform plan in his response Tuesday night.

When Obama raised the immigration issue in his speech, a bipartisan group of senators, including Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, stood and applauded together to signal bipartisan support for moving forward.

In addition to Rubio, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky offered a second Republican response that reflected the concerns of tea party conservatives who support him. Paul criticized Obama and Congress for failing to seriously address the federal deficit and national debt.

CNN's Jim Acosta, Kevin Liptak, Rachel Streitfeld, Ashley Killough and Mark Preston contributed to this report.

 

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