10-31-2020  3:18 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Anguish Over Fatal Police Shooting in Vancouver Washington

Hundreds march and shots are fired in Vancouver as grief over death of a young father, 21-year-old Kevin E. Peterson Jr., boils over into unrest

Judge Cites Trump Tweets in Restricting Feds at Protests

U.S. District Judge Mosman said he couldn’t ignore the tweets, and remarked how odd and new it is for a court to be asked to examine Twitter messages to determine the intent of the executive branch.

Father: 21-Year-Old Black Man Killed by Washington Deputies

Law enforcement remained tight-lipped about the Thursday night shooting, but Kevin E. Peterson Sr. told the media the person killed was his son, Kevin E. Peterson Jr.

Hundreds of Shelter Dogs, Cats Flown Across the Pacific

The rescue flight arriving in Seattle Thursday, was necessary because the coronavirus pandemic has led to overcrowding in Hawaii pet shelters.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Leaders Unite Against Hate & Election-Related Violence

Mayor Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown, and more than sixty other individuals and organizations signed a joint letter to, “unequivocally...

COVID-Related Assistance Applications Open Friday, Oct. 30

Portlanders struggling from health or financial impacts of COVID-19 will have the opportunity to apply for 0 in household...

Providence Launches African American MS Registry

The goal is to foster better treatment for Black patients ...

SPLC Launches $25,000 Ad Campaign Supporting Mississippi’s Ballot Measure 2

Measure would change statewide elections process, replacing Jim Crow-era law ...

Confederate Flag Not Welcome in Oregon Historic Cemeteries

Oregon’s Commission on Historic Cemeteries recommends Confederate flags not be allowed in historic cemeteries, but cemeteries that...

Judge orders Postal Service to take extraordinary measures

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to deliver ballots in time to be counted in Wisconsin and around Detroit, including using a priority mail service.Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima,...

Federal agencies fall short of Trump forest protection goals

Nearly two years ago, President Donald Trump stood amid the smoky ruins of Paradise, California, where he blamed the deadliest wildfire in the state's history on poor forest management."You've got to take care of the floors, you know? The floors of the forest, very important," the president said.He...

Week 9: Ohio State faces its biggest test; Florida returns

The potential Big Ten game of the year lost some luster last week. No. 18 Penn State was upset by Indiana so instead of returning to Happy Valley to host No. 3 Ohio State with an unbeaten record, the Nittany Lions are trying to avoid going 0-2 for the first time since 2013.No Big Ten team has...

No. 10 Florida plays 1st game in 3 weeks, hosts hot Missouri

Missouri (2-2 SEC) at No. 10 Florida (2-1), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network Alternate).Line: Florida by 12 1/2.Series record: Missouri leads 5-4.WHAT’S AT STAKE?Florida returns to the field for the first time in three weeks after a COVID-19 outbreak. More than 30 players and coaches...

OPINION

Black Voters Cannot Afford Four More Years of Trump

It is more imperative than perhaps at any other period in many of our lifetimes that we vote at record numbers this year. ...

Open Letter to the Community on the Multnomah County Circuit Court Judicial Election

History has shown us that judges impact systemic change and have the opportunity to include the voices of our communities in the process. ...

Squaring Away the Cube

When I first heard that entertainer Ice Cube is supporting Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid, I did not believe it. ...

The Skanner News National 2020 Election Endorsements

Vote like your life depends on it. Read The Skanner News' endorsements for US President, and more ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic, presidency seriously

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Calling Joe Biden his “brother,” Barack Obama on Saturday accused Donald Trump of failing to take the coronavirus pandemic and the presidency seriously as Democrats leaned on America's first Black president to energize Black voters in battleground Michigan...

Canfield, Stars+Stripes win Gold Cup, match racing title

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Skipper Taylor Canfield and Team Stars+Stripes have won the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship.The victory was Canfield’s third at the Bermuda Gold Cup and second Open Match Racing World Championship.“I can’t...

Noose displayed at Missouri poll covered up amid complaints

GALENA, Mo. (AP) — A replica hangman's noose on display near voting booths in a southwest Missouri county building has been covered up following complaints from Democrats that it amounted to intimidation of Black voters.The Missouri Democratic Party released a photo Friday of the display...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sans gala or red carpet, a stylish fashion show at the Met

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual hoopla around the celebrity-studded Met Gala is so intense, it's often forgotten who the real star is: the fashion exhibit inside.This year, it's the only star. A stylish Costume Institute show at the Metropolitan Museum has opened, six months behind schedule. But...

Curious about going to a movie theater? 7 things to know

It’s been over two months since movie theaters started reopening in the U.S., but there is still a fair amount of consumer confusion about moviegoing in the COVID-19 era.Movie studios and theater owners have found themselves in the unique position of having to re-educate audiences on how to...

Actor Lori Loughlin reports to prison in college scam

BOSTON (AP) — “Full House” actor Lori Loughlin has reported to a federal prison in California to begin serving her two-month sentence for her role in the college admissions bribery scandal, authorities said Friday.The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston said Loughlin was being...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Exorcism: Increasingly frequent, including after US protests

In popular culture, exorcism often serves as a plot device in chilling films about demonic possession. This month,...

AP Explains: Why France incites such anger in Muslim world

PARIS (AP) — Many countries, especially in the democratic West, champion freedom of expression and allow...

Orthodox priest shot at church in France, motive unknown

LYON, France (AP) — A Greek Orthodox priest was shot Saturday while he was closing his church in the French...

Sudan says deal with US blocks further compensation claims

CAIRO (AP) — Sudan says it has signed an agreement with the U.S. that could effectively stop any future...

Tanzania, once envy of the region, watches democracy slide

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Vote-counting was far from over when Tanzanian opposition leader Seif Sharif Hamad...

AP Explains: Why France incites such anger in Muslim world

PARIS (AP) — Many countries, especially in the democratic West, champion freedom of expression and allow...

Vote like your life depends on it
By Diane Mccarthy Michael Pearson and Ed Payne

Sounds of arguing for an hour before the shooting. Blood stains on a cell phone and cricket bat. Boxes of testosterone and needles. The shape of prosecutors' case against Oscar Pistorius began to come into focus Wednesday as they argued the Olympian charged with killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, should be denied bail because he might disappear if released from jail.

But the Olympic sprinter's defense team battled back, questioning the quality of the police investigation.

The bail hearing ended Wednesday with no decision. Final arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.

Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in the death of Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day. He has said he thought he was shooting at an intruder.

But police investigator Hilton Botha told the court Wednesday that Pistorius, 26, wasn't acting in self-defense when he shot through the door of a toilet room in the bathroom of his home and killed Steenkamp.

Botha said he believes Pistorius knew Steenkamp was on the other side of the door. He didn't explain why investigators think that, but suggested Pistorius was specifically aiming to hit the toilet where Steenkamp had gone.

But he also said investigators have found no evidence that is inconsistent with Pistorius' story.

Bail hearing

Prosecutors spent much of the hearing Wednesday focused on the bathroom of Pistorius' Pretoria home, where authorities say the track star shot Steenkamp three times, in the hip, elbow and ear.

Bullet trajectories show that Pistorius had to turn left and fire at an angle to aim at the toilet, Botha testified. Had he fired head-on into the door, he would have missed her, Botha said.

Defense attorney Barry Roux disputed that, saying the evidence does not show there was an effort to aim at the toilet.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Pistorius intentionally fired on Steenkamp, 29, in a premeditated attempt to kill her. Pistorius and his lawyers argue he mistook her for an intruder and killed her accidentally.

Pistorius said in a statement read Tuesday by his lawyer that he believes Steenkamp slipped into the bathroom when he got up to close the balcony door in his bedroom in the early hours of February 14.

Hearing noises and gripped with fear that someone had broken into his home, Pistorius said he grabbed his gun, yelled for the intruder to leave and shot through the toilet-room door before realizing the person inside might have been Steenkamp.

Roux said Wednesday that the defense team believes Steenkamp locked the door when she heard Pistorius yelling for the intruder to leave. He also said Steenkamp's bladder was empty, suggesting she had gone to the bathroom as Pistorius claimed.

Botha also said police believe a blood-stained cricket bat found in the bathroom was used to break down the locked door to the toilet.

Pistorius said in his statement that he used the bat to break down the door in an effort to get to Steenkamp to help her.

Botha agreed with the defense contention that, other than the bullet wounds, her body showed no sign of an assault or efforts to defend herself.

But prosecutors and Pistorius' defense battled over allegations that testosterone and needles were found at the home, as well as the quality of the police investigation.

Investigative errors?

Amid speculation by outsiders to the case that steroids or other drugs could have somehow played a role in the shooting, Botha testified that investigators found two boxes of testosterone and needles at Pistorius' home.

Under questioning by Roux, however, Botha said he hadn't read the full name of the substance -- which Roux said was an herbal remedy called testoconpasupium coenzyme -- when investigators took the materials into evidence. A quick Internet search on the name of the substance yielded no results.

He also said the defense forensics team found a bullet in the toilet that police had missed and noted police had failed to find out who owned ammunition found at the home or photograph it.

Investigators also went into Pistorius' home without wearing protective foot covers to prevent contaminating the crime scene, Roux said. Botha conceded that was true and said it was because police didn't have any more of the covers left.

Roux questioned police arguments that a witness heard sounds of an argument before the shooting. The witness, Roux said, lives 600 meters (656 yards) from Pistorius' home. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel countered that the witness lives 300 meters (328 yards) away.

Would he run?

Botha told Magistrate Desmond Nair that investigators believe Pistorius is violent and might flee if released from jail.

He described two encounters with Pistorius, one in which Botha said the track star asked someone else to take the blame when a gun went off at a Johannesburg restaurant.

Police said the second incident took place at a racetrack, where Pistorius allegedly threatened to assault someone.

Authorities have also said they have responded to previous domestic incidents at Pistorius' home, but have not elaborated.

In his statement Tuesday, Pistorius said he and Steenkamp were deeply in love and said he was "mortified" over her death.

High hurdle

Defense attorneys are trying to overcome South African law, which makes it difficult for defendants accused of premeditated murder to get out on bail. The law requires evidence of "exceptional circumstances" to justify release.

Nair upgraded the charge against Pistorius to premeditated murder Tuesday, saying he could not rule out the possibility that the track star planned Steenkamp's death. But Nair said he would consider downgrading the charge later.

In a statement read by his lawyer Tuesday, Pistorius said he would not try to flee or influence any witnesses if he is allowed out on bail, and he said his release wouldn't be a danger to public order.

Case rivets fans and friends alike

The case of the global sports hero known as the "Blade Runner" has riveted stunned fans around the world.

Social media reaction to the case appeared to come down against the sports star, but was still noticeably mixed on CNN's Facebook page.

"There's no amount of tears that will save you," said Anthonia Nneka Nwabueze. "Pistorius must face the law for brutally killing an innocent girl -- Reeva."

"My favorite athlete but what he did is grave and must be punished," Carlos Alvarez Ochoa said.

But another person who posted called for patience.

"(N)one of us were in the house when his girlfriend was murdered, let's hold off on casting stones at Oscar Pistorius," said Adrian van Liere Since. "Just like anyone else, he deserves a just trial, and in my eyes remains innocent until proven guilty."

Coming to his defense were two acquaintances.

"I've never seen him show an angry side. I've never seen him lose his temper," Vanessa Haywood, a model and longtime friend, told CNN. "He's an incredibly kind and gentle human being."

Another endorsement came from a former girlfriend.

"I would just like to say, I have dated Oscar on off for 5 YEARS," Jenna Edkins said on Twitter. "NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me, made me fear for my life."

CNN's Robyn Curnow and Kim Norgaard reported from South Africa, and Mike Pearson and Ed Payne reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Nkepile Mabuse also contributed to this report.

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