12-09-2022  10:13 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Kwanzaa Returns In-Person to North Portland Library

For the past 20 years, North Portland Library has been hosting a community Kwanzaa event. After a two-year pause of in-person events, it's back.

NW Portland Store Allegedly Selling Psychedelic Mushrooms Raided

Witnesses say customers lined up around the block after a national story broke on the local business

Awash in Illegal Marijuana, Oregon Looks at Toughening Laws

So far this year, police have seized over 105 tons of illegally grown marijuana in Oregon. The grows use massive amounts of water in drought-stricken areas, contaminate the environment and employ migrant laborers who live in squalid conditions.

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Celebrates the 10th Open Enrollment Period Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Eligibility rules have changed, making health coverage more affordable for an additional estimated 40,000 Oregonians ...

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...

Oregon lawsuit spotlights destruction of Black neighborhoods

A home that was a fixture of Bobby Fouther's childhood is now a parking lot, the two-story, shingle-sided house having been demolished in the 1970s along with many other properties in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. “Growing up there was just all about...

Pricey pants from 1857 go for 4k, raise Levi's questions

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Pulled from a sunken trunk at an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, work pants that auction officials describe as the oldest known pair of jeans in the world have sold for 4,000. The white, heavy-duty miner's pants with a five-button fly were among...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...

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

AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage...

Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent...

St. Louis mayor appoints commission to consider reparations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is appointing a reparations commission that will “recommend a proposal to begin repairing the harms that have been inflicted” by slavery, segregation and racism. St. Louis joins a growing list of places trying to determine how to...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Top Gun' named best film by National Board of Review

NEW YORK (AP) — “Top Gun: Maverick,” 2022's biggest box-office hit, has been named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review. Though the National Board of Review, a long-running organization comprised of film enthusiasts and academics, has no overlap or...

AFI Awards to honor ‘Avatar,’ ‘Elvis,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Next month’s AFI Awards will honor films including the “Avatar” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis” and popular television series like “Abbott Elementary,” “Better Call Saul” and “The White Lotus.” The American Film Institute announced...

The Year of the Slap: Pop culture moments in 2022

Taylor Swift was up. Elon Musk was in, out, and in. Tom Cruise was back. BTS stepped aside, and so did Serena Williams, and Tom Brady too — oops, scratch that. But the slap? The slap was everywhere. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t on the level of a moon landing, or selection...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump lawyers in court for sealed hearing in Mar-a-Lago case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump were in court Friday for sealed arguments as part of the ongoing...

'Aftersun,' 'Banshees' lead AP's best films of 2022

The Associated Press’ Film Writers Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr's picks for the best movies of 2022: ...

New Peru president appears with military to cement power

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru's first female president appeared in a military ceremony on national television on Friday...

China's Xi vows to buy more Mideast oil as US focus wanes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping vowed on Friday to import more oil and natural gas...

Russian politician sentenced for Ukraine action criticism

MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent Russian opposition figure was on Friday sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison after being...

New abnormal: Climate disaster damage 'down' to 8 billion

This past year has seen a horrific flood that submerged one-third of Pakistan, one of the three costliest U.S....

Chris Boyette CNN

(CNN) -- The use of drones to carry out military strikes is controversial, to say the least.

U.S. lawmakers and international leaders continue to examine the legality of the unmanned attacks and whether their role in curbing terrorism outweighs the risk of unintended casualties.

But British artist James Bridle has made up his mind -- and he's adopting Web and mobile tools to tell his side of the story.

"There are many ways to approach the use of drones, but being against it, my take is old school: raising awareness," he told CNN. "This means not only knowing that drone strikes are happening, but knowing how we frame it, how we understand it."

His Dronestagram is a project that blends art and technology in an effort to show Americans, and others, a side of warfare that few will ever see in person.

The project collects what it says are Google Earth images of the locations of drone strikes. The photos are then posted to Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app more customarily used to share filtered images of skylines, cappuccinos and other much lighter fare.

From there, they're pushed to popular blogging platform Tumblr and Twitter.

The idea, Bridle said, is to make the strikes "just a little bit more visible, a little closer, a little more real."

He notes the irony of using technology, from GPS location data to mobile social-sharing, to report on a uniquely high-tech form of warfare.

"History, like space, is co-produced by us and our technologies," Bridle told CNN. "Those technologies include satellite mapping, social photo sharing from handheld devices, and fleets of flying death robots. "We should engage with them at every level. ... We have gotten better at immediacy and intimacy online: Perhaps we can be better at empathy too."

A spokesman for the Department of Defense declined to comment to CNN about Dronestagram or U.S. drone activity.

The largely secretive U.S. drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies has transformed the nature of modern warfare, becoming a key weapon in the U.S. arsenal against suspected terrorists. Advocates see drones as an effective tool in the fight against extremists. Opponents worry about civilian casualties and loose oversight.

While used for the past several years, the drone strikes have drawn increased attention in recent weeks since President Barack Obama nominated counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to be the next head of the CIA. Brennan is considered by many to be the mastermind behind U.S. drone policy.

A Senate committee vote on whether to confirm Brennan as CIA director is expected at the end of the month.

The New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan, between 1,953 and 3,279 people have been killed by drones since 2004 -- and that between 18% and 23% of them were not militants. The nonmilitant casualty rate was down to about 10% in 2012, the group says.

In Yemen, the group estimates, between 646 and 928 people have been killed in a combination of drone strikes and airstrikes, and 623 to 860 of those killed were militants. About 2% of those killed have been "high-level targets," the group said.

Bridle, who describes himself as a "writer, artist, publisher, technologist and a number of other things" on his website, launched Dronestagram in October. The Instagram account now has about 6,600 followers, with about 2,400 on Twitter and more checking in on the Tumblr blog.

Bridle uses media reports and local government sites to find the locales for his images. Many, he says, are in remote areas where information on exact locations is scarce; so if a precise location is unavailable he uses satellite views near the reported location.

"I'm always concerned about misrepresentation, but I also make it as clear as possible in the project description that these are not exact locations, and they're the best I can do," he said. It's definitely far from perfect, and I'm sure mistakes have been made, but I just try to be clear about that."

To some observers, that undercuts the impact of his project.

"It's not like you have the exact longitude and latitude of each strike," said Peter Bergen, a CNN national-security analyst.

"As an art project, this (Dronestagram) is interesting," Bergen said. "As a piece of actual journalism ... it seems quite off."

Bridle also uses information from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a British independent nonprofit organization which compiles local reports of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The debate over the use of attack drones will no doubt continue, even as U.S. troops continue to draw down in places like Afghanistan, reducing the number of combatants apt to encounter militants face-to-face.

And Bridle says he'll continue trying to put people at the scene of the strikes -- even if it's only through the screens of their smartphones, tablets or desktop computers.

"It's about trying to make it literally visible," he said. "The very nature of this kind of warfare makes the perpetrators, the victims, the landscape, essentially invisible."

CNN's Brandon Griggs and Doug Gross contributed to this story.

 

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