02-26-2021  2:03 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

Black Restaurant Week Comes to Portland

National event highlights Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, creates countrywide database to support Black businesses

Portland Police Launch Team to Investigate Shootings

 The Enhanced Community Safety Team will be comprised of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives, and will staff a seven-member on-call unit to respond to shooting scenes, examine evidence, interview witnesses and do immediate follow-up investigations

NEWS BRIEFS

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Seattle Black Artist To Be Featured in Amazon Prime Series

The Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), in Seattle, Washington, is launching a call for artist...

NIKE, Inc. and Goalsetter Partner to Increase Financial Literacy Among America’s Youth

Goalsetter uses digital platforms to engage youth and help them better understand financial well-being, while saving for their future ...

Six Trailblazing Black Judges to Discuss Overcoming Challenges Feb. 26

The online program panel judges include Justice Adrienne Nelson, the first Black justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first...

All Oregonians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by July 1

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — All Oregonians who are 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations no later than July 1, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday. The governor presented her new vaccine eligibility timeline for the state during a news conference Friday — outlining...

City permanently cuts funds to Portland neighborhood group

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland commissioner has decided to permanently cut funding from a neighborhood group after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

The Heroes Within Us

Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Missouri AG : No charges in 2017 death of Black jail inmate

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Friday that no charges will be filed in the 2017 death of Tory Sanders, a Black inmate at a rural jail who died under similar circumstances to George Floyd — after a white law enforcement officer's knee was pressed...

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:___Biden didn’t reinstate funding for a Wuhan virus labCLAIM:...

WNBA approves sale of Dream following pressure on Loeffler

ATLANTA (AP) — Real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener was approved Friday as the lead owner of the Atlanta Dream following pressure on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler to sell her share of the WNBA team.The three-member investor group also includes former Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Suzanne...

ENTERTAINMENT

Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton lead ACM Awards nominations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Maren Morris and Chris Stapleton are the leading nominees for the Academy of Country Music Awards, but only Stapleton joined the all-male ballot for the top prize of entertainer of the year. The academy announced on Friday that Morris and Stapleton both had six...

Tonywatch: Playwright Katori Hall 'reaching for humanity'

NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner.“I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like...

Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series.For years, academic studies have sought to capture...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are...

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced,...

Some local GOP leaders fire up base with conspiracies, lies

A faction of local, county and state Republican officials is pushing lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories...

Pandemic leaves many Romanian patients without critical care

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Andrei, a 32-year-old Romanian man who has been HIV positive since he was a baby,...

Police: Infamous gang leader killed after prison breakout

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — One of Haiti's most powerful gang leaders, Arnel Joseph, was killed on Friday,...

Vaccination 'passports' may open society, but inequity looms

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Violet light bathed the club stage as 300 people, masked and socially distanced,...

By Tom Watkins and Farid Ahmed CNN



Rescuers tunneling Friday into the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed Wednesday discovered another 50 people trapped on what remained of its third floor, an official said.

Bangladesh Fire Service Deputy Director Maj. Mizamur Rahman said rescuers were hoping to free them within a few hours.

Also Friday, two women who gave birth under the debris were rescued -- along with their infants -- a fire service official said, according to BSS.

The news of survival and new life came as the 72-hour deadline to change the operation from rescue to recovery approached, even as hundreds more people were feared still trapped amid the rubble.

Officials coordinating the operation have said the rescue efforts would end Saturday morning, when heavy equipment will be used to retrieve the remaining bodies and cart away the rubble.

"You can see heavy cranes and bulldozers here to quickly remove the concrete debris, but we can't use them at the moment as our prime objective is to retrieve the people alive first," the military spokesman said Friday.

The planned use of heavy equipment ignited protests from the people who crowded near the rescue site, many of them relatives who were showing pictures of the missing to whomever would pay attention and saying they did not believe 72 hours was long enough to wait.

Police used tear gas to disperse them, BSS reported.

At the rescue site, the death toll from the collapse rose Friday to 304 as thousands of Bangladeshis filled the streets of the capital city of Dhaka in anger and rescuers raced to find more survivors.

"Our prime target is to rescue the rest of the survivors alive, as we are running against time," a military spokesman told reporters more than two days after the incident, according to the state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). It did not identify the spokesman.

It was not clear how many of the products made in the factories in the suburban Dhaka town of Savar were destined for the U.S. market, but U.S. companies are major customers for Bangladeshi-made clothing.

In all, 2,348 people have been rescued, said Inter Service Public Relations Director Shaheenul Islam.

Seventy-two of them were recovered from the wreckage Friday, BSS reported, citing police.

Using hand drills and rod cutters, rescuers Friday pierced the rubble of what had been the rear of the building and extracted 40 survivors, 20 of whom were then hospitalized in critical condition, BSS said.

The mound of concrete and steel, flecked with bolts of brightly colored cloth, had been an eight-story building housing five garment companies employing some 2,500 workers; a bank; a shopping mall; and offices.

Collapse came a day after cracks appeared

The collapse in suburban Dhaka occurred Wednesday morning, a day after cracks appeared in the structure. It has stirred outrage in Bangladesh over lax safety standards in the country's key industry.

Most of the victims appear to have been garment factory workers, who had been told to report to work despite their concerns that the building's structure was not sound. The cracks led the bank to order its employees not to report for work Wednesday, and the shops in the mall were closed because of a strike.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association announced Friday that all garment factories would be shut over the weekend "for treatment of victims of the Savar building collapse and completion of the rescue operation successfully."

The association said it would pay the salaries and dues of workers of the stricken building by the first week of May.

Authorities have said they did not know what caused the collapse or how many people remained inside the debris. But a police official said relatives had reported 595 people still missing.

Demands for punishment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday ordered police to move immediately to find the owners of the building and the factories so that they can "face legal actions," her spokesman said.

The nation's high court ordered Thursday that the owners, who are believed to be in hiding, appear in court Tuesday, CNN affiliate Boishakhi Television reported.

During protests Thursday, demonstrators carried black flags. Some set fires, and others used clubs to break the windshields of passing trucks.

Hundreds of workers lay siege to the head office of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association at Karwan Bazar in Dhaka.

They demanded the arrest of the factory owners and called for the death penalty for Sohel Rana, the owner of the building.

The vice president of the garment association, Shahidullah Azim, said the organization had suspended the factories' memberships.

The demonstrations in Dhaka continued Friday.

Questions for Western companies

The catastrophe is the latest to strike Bangladesh's garment industry, which employs more than 4 million people -- most of them women -- and regularly comes under scrutiny for its slipshod safety standards.

It also raises questions for the Western brands that contract with factories here to make their products. According to BSS, the United States receives 23 percent  of the products -- more than any other individual nation.

Some of the blame must be shouldered by Western brands, said Matab Choudhury, director general of the British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, in an interview with CNN's Max Foster.

"They go to Bangladesh, they ask for the buying agent and they say, 'OK, we want 2 million of this garment. How cheap can you go?' " he said.

He accused some agents from Western companies of seeking out factories that are not in compliance with safety laws.

The U.S. State Department said Thursday it wasn't able to provide details about whether American companies were connected to operations in the collapsed building.

But the disaster underscores "the urgent need for the government, owners, buyers, and labor to find ways of improving working conditions in Bangladesh," said Patrick Ventrell, a State Department spokesman.

Bangladesh Housing and Public Works Secretary Khandaker Showkat Hossain told BSS that the government was planning to form a separate authority to monitor compliance with the country's building code, which critics say is often flouted.

"We are seeking technical support from Japan's government in this regard, as the Japanese are very sound in taking earthquake preparedness," he said.

Dhaka is one of the world's top earthquake-risk cities, according to the Earthquake Disaster Risk Index prepared by Maplecroft Global Risk Analytics.

The last major building collapse in Bangladesh occurred in 2005, in the same area as Wednesday's, and killed more than 70 people, the national news agency said.

A fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in another suburb of Dhaka in November killed at least 112 people. Tazreen had made goods for Walmart and Sears, though both companies said they were unaware that the factory had made goods for them.

CNN's Tom Watkins reported and wrote from Atlanta; journalist Farid Ahmed reported from Savar. CNN's Jethro Mullen and Sumnima Udas contributed to this report.

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