12-05-2022  12:36 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

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...

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

Sale jumpstarts floating, offshore wind power in US waters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tuesday marks the first-ever U.S. auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms, in the deep waters off the West Coast. The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast...

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for jumi.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. ...

Wake Forest, Missouri meet for first time in Gasparilla Bowl

Wake Forest (7-5, ACC) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m. EST LOCATION: Tampa, Florida TOP PLAYERS Wake Forest: QB Sam Hartman ranked second among ACC passers with 3,421 yards and tied for first with 35 touchdowns despite missing a game because of...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

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

Minnesota board stalls addiction help for minority students

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A southern Minnesota school district is expected to vote Monday on a jumi.1 million state grant meant to help curb drug use among students of color after a pair of board members delayed accepting the money by arguing it could discriminate against white students. At...

Warnock, Walker: Starkly different choices for Black voters

ATLANTA (AP) — Raphael Warnock is the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, having broken the color barrier for one of the original 13 states with a special election victory in January 2021, almost 245 years after the nation’s founding. Now he hopes to add another distinction by...

Justices spar in latest clash of religion and gay rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court 's conservative majority sounded sympathetic Monday to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples, a dispute that's the latest clash of religion and gay rights to land at the highest court. The designer...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Hurricane-force novel with a hint of magical realism

“The Light Pirate” by Lily Brooks-Dalton (Grand Central) Wanda is named after the hurricane she was born in. It’s also the hurricane that changes the trajectory of her life. “The Light Pirate” by Lily Brooks-Dalton takes place at a time not far from our...

French tenor belatedly, triumphantly makes his Met debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh off a triumphant debut, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim seems likely to become a familiar presence at the Metropolitan Opera. Just not too familiar, he hopes. Bernheim, already a star at major European houses, is one of a new crop of tenors being introduced to...

'Road Trippin' — Red Hot Chili Peppers unveil 2023 tour

NEW YORK (AP) — There's no rest for the spicy: Fresh off a world tour and two albums this year, Red Hot Chili Peppers are preparing for a set of stadium shows and festival stops across North America and Europe in 2023. Live Nation said Monday the band's 23-date global trek kicks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UN summit: Don't repeat mistakes on nature, scientists warn

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Scientists around the world are warning governments who will be gathering in Montreal this...

Pfizer asks FDA to clear updated COVID shot for kids under 5

Pfizer is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its updated COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5 — not as a...

Warnock, Walker: Starkly different choices for Black voters

ATLANTA (AP) — Raphael Warnock is the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, having broken the color barrier for...

UN summit: Don't repeat mistakes on nature, scientists warn

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Scientists around the world are warning governments who will be gathering in Montreal this...

Russia: Mass seal death likely due to oxygen deprivation

MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian environmental official said Monday that the thousands of dead seals that washed up...

Vatican vendettas: Alleged witness manipulation jolts trial

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The text message to the Vatican monsignor offered forgiveness along with a threat: “I know...

By Mike Brooks and Dana Bash CNN


UPDATE: The suspicious letters addressed to President Barack Obama and a U.S. senator contain the same language, a law enforcement source said. The language was, according to the source: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." Both letters are signed, "I am KC and I approve this message."

A letter addressed to President Barack Obama that contained a "suspicious substance" has been intercepted at the White House's off-site mail facility, a Secret Service spokesman said Wednesday. The letter arrived Tuesday, the same day as an envelope addressed to a U.S. senator that initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin.

Further testing took place Wednesday on an envelope addressed to a U.S. senator's office that initially tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, the FBI said.

The envelope was intercepted Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington, congressional and law enforcement sources tell CNN.

Coming on the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the envelope further heightened security concerns at a time when Congress is considering politically volatile legislation to tough gun laws and reform the immigration system.

"Monday's attack in Boston reminded us that terrorism can still strike anywhere at any time," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday. "And as yesterday's news of an attempt to send ricin to the Capitol reminds us, it is as important as ever to take the steps necessary to protect Americans from those who would do us harm."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was told the envelope was addressed to the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, a conservative Republican from Mississippi.

A laboratory in Maryland confirmed the presence of ricin after initial field tests also indicated the poison was present, according to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer.

However, the FBI said additional testing was needed because field and preliminary tests produce inconsistent results.

"Only a full analysis performed at an accredited laboratory can determine the presence of a biological agent such as ricin," according to the bureau. "Those tests are in the process of being conducted and generally take from 24 to 48 hours."

In a statement late Tuesday, the U.S. Capitol Police said further tests would be conducted at the Army's biomedical research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The envelope had a Memphis, Tennessee, postmark and no return address, Gainer wrote in an e-mail to senators and aides.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, told reporters after a briefing for lawmakers that a suspect has already been identified in the incident, but a knowledgeable source said no one was in custody Tuesday night.

Wicker has been assigned a protective detail, according to a law enforcement source.

Postal workers started handling mail at a site off Capitol Hill after the 2001 anthrax attacks that targeted then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-Nebraska, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, among others.

Senators were told Tuesday that the mail facility would be temporarily shut down "to make sure they get everything squared away," McCaskill said Tuesday afternoon.

"The bottom line is, the process we have in place worked," she said, adding that members of Congress will be warning their home-state offices to look out for similar letters.

McConnell, R-Kentucky, also praised the postal workers and law enforcement officers for "preventing this threat before it even reached the Capitol."

"They proved that the proactive measures we put in place do in fact work," he said.

A previous ricin scare hit the Capitol in 2004, when tests identified a letter in a Senate mailroom that served then-Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. The discovery forced 16 employees to go through decontamination procedures, but no one reported any ill effects afterward, Frist said.

Ricin is a highly toxic substance derived from castor beans. As little as 500 micrograms -- an amount the size of the head of a pin -- can kill an adult. There is no specific test for exposure and no antidote once exposed.

It can be produced easily and cheaply, and authorities in several countries have investigated links between suspect extremists and ricin. But experts say it is more effective on individuals than as a weapon of mass destruction.

Ricin was used in the 1978 assassination of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov. The author, who had defected nine years earlier, was jabbed by the tip of an umbrella while waiting for a bus in London and died four days later.

Wicker, 61, was first appointed by former Republican Gov. Haley Barbour to the U.S. Senate in December 2007 after the resignation of then-Sen. Trent Lott. He was then elected to the seat in 2008 and won re-election in 2012 to a second term.

Before joining the Senate, he was a U.S. representative in the House from 1995 to 2007. Before that, he served in the Mississippi Senate.

CNN's Tom Cohen, Rachel Streitfeld and Matt Smith contributed to this report.

 

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