08-10-2020  3:28 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Portlanders Struggle to be Heard Amid Protests

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 5:30 –7pm

Portland Protests Persist with Some Flashes of Violence

Tear gas was used by police on protesters Wednesday for the first time since the U.S. agents pulled back their presence

Reimagine Oregon Issues Equity Demands, Gains Legislative Support

Coalition of Black-led and Black-focused organizations takes new approach to concrete change 

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission: Initiative Petition 44 Will Nearly Eliminate Racial Disparities for Drug Arrests, Convictions

The initiative would expand access to drug addiction treatment and recovery services, and decriminalize low-level drug possession.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Housing and Community Services Awards $60,822,101 to Build and Preserve 802 Affordable Homes

Investments address the statewide shortage of affordable housing through the development and preservation of affordable rental homes. ...

Phase Two Re:Imagine Grant Deadline August 11

The fund focuses on supporting ten artists with grants of $5,000 as they reimagine their practices and pivot toward the...

U.S. Bank Announces $1 Million in Grants to Black-Led CDFIs; Additional Support for African American Alliance

A total of 15 CDFIs will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 while the African American Alliance will receive...

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

Lawmakers talk police reform, other bills at special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers discussed unemployment benefits and police reform bills Monday as they returned to the Capitol for a special session that was largely supposed to be focused on the state's jumi billion budget hole. Sunday night, less than 24 hours before the second special...

Washington apple crop projected to be larger than 2019

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — This year's Washington state apple crop is expected to be slightly larger than the 2019 crop.The Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimates the 2020 crop will total 134 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. That's just above 2019’s total of...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters met with jeers by crowd with guns in Nevada city

MINDEN, Nev. (AP) — Several dozen Black Lives Matter demonstrators at a weekend protest in rural Nevada were greeted by a far larger group of counter-demonstrators, including some bearing military-style weapons and tactical gear, but a sheriff who had made controversial remarks earlier about...

Report: Agency in Alabama city segregated public housing

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A federal review found that a public housing authority in Alabama let white people live in riverfront towers with scenic views and other amenities while segregating Black people in another apartment development without the frills, a newspaper reported. A Housing and...

UConn's Bueckers marches for her little brother's future

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — UConn freshman Paige Bueckers marched for racial justice in her home state of Minnesota after the death of George Floyd and says she plans to continue using her voice for social change now that she's at Connecticut.The 5-foot-11 guard, last year's national high school...

ENTERTAINMENT

The always intimate Theatre for One goes online

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus hasn't stopped the world's smallest theater. “Theatre for One,” where one audience member sees one short play performed by a single actor in a portable theater, has now gone online.“The experience is unique to Theatre for One. And in that...

'Don't shut up!' Film spotlights Filipino journalist

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maria Ressa says she didn’t take Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seriously when he declared four years ago that “corrupt” journalists weren’t “exempted from assassination.”“In 2016, it was really, really laughable. And...

Jolie seeks removal of private judge in Pitt divorce case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Angelina Jolie asked Monday that the private judge overseeing her divorce from Brad Pitt be disqualified from the case because of insufficient disclosures of his business relationships with one of Pitt's attorneys. In a filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jolie argues...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump, coaches push for college football as cracks emerge

President Donald Trump joined a U.S. senator and a number of coaches Monday in the push to save the college...

55 years after riots, Watts section of LA still bears scars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There were no fires this time in Watts. There was no looting, no shooting and no...

McDonald's sues ousted CEO, alleging employee relationships

McDonald’s says it's suing Stephen Easterbrook, the CEO it ousted last year over an inappropriate...

El Salvador waits for president, congress to act on pandemic

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — If El Salvador President Nayib Bukele and the country’s congress...

Pandemic wrecks global Class of 2020's hopes for first job

LONDON (AP) — British fashion school graduate Phoebe St. Leger’s dream of landing a job at a design...

Protester dies in clashes after disputed Belarus vote

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A protester died amid clashes between police and thousands of people gathered for a...

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By Laura Smith-Spark CNN



LONDON (CNN) -- Archaeologists working alongside builders on a new London rail link have turned up a grisly find that harks back seven centuries, to a time when Black Death stalked the medieval city.


A shaft sunk for the underpinnings of the new Crossrail link in Farringdon revealed 13 skeletons, lined up neatly in two rows, the company said Friday.



Suspicions are that the dig has revealed a "plague pit" -- one of many mass graves used to dispose of the bodies of those who succumbed to the Black Death, or bubonic plague, in the 14th century.



Since then, the bones have lain undisturbed just 2.5 meters (8 feet) below the surface in one of the few areas of the central London neighborhood not to have been developed over the years.



Historical records talk of a "no man's land" established in 1348 in the Farringdon area, where some 50,000 plague victims were buried, according to a contemporary historian. Up to now the area has never been found.



The shaft sunk as part of Crossrail's construction is located on the edge of Charterhouse Square in Farringdon, formerly the site of a monastery.



Crossrail's lead archaeologist, Jay Carver, quoted in a company media release, said it was "a highly significant discovery," and one that left many questions still to answer.



"We will be undertaking scientific tests on the skeletons over the coming months to establish their cause of death, whether they were plague victims from the 14th century or later London residents, how old they were and perhaps evidence of who they were," he said.



"However, at this early stage, the depth of burials, the pottery found with the skeletons and the way the skeletons have been set out, all point towards this being part of the 14th century emergency burial ground."



The pottery found with the skeletons dates to before 1350, the archaeologists said.



The skeletons are being excavated and taken to the Museum of London Archeology for further testing. Scientists hope to extract a DNA profile that could be used to study the development of plague since then.



However, there is no risk to people's health now because the plague bacteria cannot survive long in the soil, Crossrail says.



Eventually, the shaft will be sunk 20 meters deep to support the Crossrail tunneling works. The archaeologists may turn up other unexpected finds as they dig back through soil packed down over centuries.



The Yersinia pestis bacteria that is behind the plague is found mainly in rodents, particularly rats, and in the fleas that feed on them, the U.S. National Institutes of Health website says.



Each year, roughly 10 to 20 people in the United States develop plague from flea or rodent bites, mostly from infected prairie dogs in rural southwestern areas, the NIH says. About one in seven of those infected dies. No person-to-person transmission has been recorded in the past 90 years.



In the 1300s, the Black Death killed an estimated 20 million to 30 million people in Europe, the NIH says. Another 12 million fell victim to the scourge in China in the mid-19th century, and smaller outbreaks have occurred elsewhere.



Once completed, the Crossrail route will run 73 miles from east to west across London, improving access to Heathrow Airport, central London and towns to the east. Central London services could start as soon as 2018.



According to the company, it is currently running the country's largest archaeology program. Other finds turned up in the course of excavations for the rail route include bones from prehistoric animals, Bronze Age and Roman tools, and the largest piece of amber ever uncovered in Britain.



Archaeologists also found a former cemetery in excavations near Liverpool Street, where 300 skeletons were found. Those are thought to have been buried between 1500 and 1700.



 

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