04-14-2021  7:49 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Leaders Respond to City Council Compromise on Gun Violence Prevention

Nearly million will fund community-centered approaches to uptick in shootings.

Portland Police Declares Riot After Vigil for Daunte Wright

Police said they issued verbal warnings to the crowd but around 10:30 p.m. police declared the gathering as a riot and bull-rushed protestors, knocking them to the ground and macing them, news outlets reported.

Portland Leaders To Re-Establish Anti-Gun Violence Unit

Mayor Ted Wheeler and city commissioners have reached a deal on proposals intended to stem a spike in gun violence over the past year.

Three Black Candidates File to Run for Board Positions in Portland Schools and PCC

May 18 election presents handful of openings for four-year terms.

NEWS BRIEFS

WA Black Lives Matter Alliance: Weekend Legislative Wins Mark an Historic Step Toward Police Accountability

The Alliance urged quick reconciliation on the 9 bills passed this weekend and immediate signing by Gov. Jay Inslee. ...

FEMA Trailers Being Used for Oregon Wildfire Survivors

Rumors that the trailers housed unaccompanied immigrant children spurred people with guns to show up at the site ...

Tishaura Jones Makes History As First Black Woman To Become Mayor of St. Louis

Jones has just been elected as the first Black woman to hold the title in the city’s 257-year-history ...

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases in Oregon

168 vaccinated individuals have tested positive for the virus through April 2, including three deaths ...

VIDEO: Short Film Released on Portland Metro’s COVID-19 Response

Six-minute documentary shares the voices of people on the front lines of the pandemic and pays tribute to the local community health...

Idaho authorities seek help in search for 3 missing kids

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho are asking for help finding three missing children, including two who were last seen months ago. The Gem County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night that investigators are looking for 17-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton, 14-year-old...

Dry conditions triple number of fires sparked in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Forestry said Tuesday the number of small wildfires has tripled this spring partly because of dry conditions across Oregon. The agency said Tuesday they’ve already doused 70 fires, almost half of which resulted from escaped...

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...

OPINION

An Open Letter To the Community From Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese

Sheriff Reese outlines Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office's strategic plan and goals to reinforce equity now and in the future. ...

Candace Avalos On The Right Track With Public Housing

Our unhoused neighbors deserve a safe and clean place to sleep ...

Providence’s Equity Pledge Should Start With Paying Workers a Living Wage

Rep. Mark Meek says Providence’s public commitment to racial equity does not match up with what’s happening inside their hospitals ...

Eugene Senator Welcomes Passage of "Critical" Covid Rescue Plan

State Sen. James I. Manning Jr. (D- North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara, and Junction City) sends us a letter welcoming the passage of President Biden's "critical" jumi.9T Covid stimulus plan and praising the efforts of Democrats in Oregon's delegation to...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Review: A book celebrating Black American farming history

"We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers Land and Legacy,” by Natalie Baszile (Amistad) Farming would seem to be one occupation that Black Americans could find refuge from discrimination. Consumers choose their fruits and veggies by their size and...

In Minnesota, suburban mayor is thrust into policing debate

Mike Elliott is among many who celebrated his election as mayor of Brooklyn Center as the beginning of a new era, marking the first time one of Minnesota's most racially diverse places would be led by a person of color. Elliott, a Black man who had emigrated from Liberia as a child, was almost...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for national mourning. Many will also be watching for any signs of reconciliation between Prince Harry and the royal family, especially with his elder brother Prince William. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Nielsen, networks clash on stats showing fewer viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — People have been stuck at home for a year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with movie theaters closed, concert venues closed, restaurants closed, sports attendance restricted — yet television viewing is down? That makes no sense to networks and cable and...

Rowling children's story 'The Christmas Pig' out in October

NEW YORK (AP) — J.K. Rowling has a new book coming this fall, a holiday children's story with all new characters. Scholastic announced Tuesday that “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released...

ACM nominee engineer Gena Johnson crafts hit records

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Inside the Nashville basement studio of audio engineer Gena Johnson, she has mementos from many of the artists she's helped to record and who have also shaped her own career. A turn of the century upright piano that Ben Folds helped her find sits...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Senate filibuster test over Asian-American hate crime bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to start debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate...

100 Days: Tokyo Olympics marked by footnotes and asterisks

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo pitched itself as "a safe pair of hands” when it was awarded the Olympics 7 1/2 years ago. ...

Royal funeral offers chance for William, Harry to reconcile

LONDON (AP) — When Prince Philip’s funeral takes place on Saturday, it will be more than a focal point for...

Greece, Libya to discuss delineating maritime boundaries

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and Libya are to discuss delineating maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean, the...

Opposition accuses UK govt of sleaze amid lobbying scandal

LONDON (AP) — A lobbying scandal swirling around former British Prime Minister David Cameron has deepened with...

We need to plan: UK travel urges clarity from government

LONDON (AP) — Leaders from Britain's aviation industry joined forces Wednesday to urge the British government to...

By Hazel Pfeifer CNN



Farnaz Seifi was arrested as she waited to fly out of a Tehran airport in 2007. Her crime? A blog calling for women's equality in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Originally on her way to a cyber-journalism workshop in India, Seifi, then in her mid-twenties, was transferred to Tehran's notorious Evin prison and at midnight, the interrogation began. According to the authorities, says Seifi, challenging the inequality and injustice that women face in Iran was "acting against national security and being a spy for western countries."

Seifi is one of three women featured in a new documentary, "Forbidden Voices," that follows the lives of female dissident bloggers across the globe.

These women pay a high price for their blogs -- suffering violence, harassment and detainment by some of the world's most repressive regimes.

"They don't use political propaganda, they don't make speeches, they don't try to change things really aggressively -- they are trying to start a dialogue and I think this is why the world started noticing them," said Barbara Miller, director of "Forbidden Voices," who was struck by the personal nature of blogging and how it allows ordinary people to talk about the difficulties they face. "I think this is a way that women tell stories and how women try to change the world."

Friday marks World Press Freedom Day, and this year the is emphasis is on securing freedom of expression in all media, including a free and open internet -- something Seifi can identify with.

She told CNN: "In countries like my country, you learn to censor yourself from a very early age and you become good at censoring yourself, unfortunately. The Islamic Republic of Iran makes each of us an example of it because we also censor each other."

"It's sad when one day you figure out that you want freedom so badly but you are also part of the censoring system."

After a series of interrogations and heavy censorship of her blog by the Iranian authorities, Seifi left Iran in 2007 and now lives in Germany. As a women's activist and blogger means it's unlikely she will return home while the current Iranian regime is in power. And for her family's safety she now blogs anonymously.

Cuba's Yoani Sanchez, perhaps the most well-known of the three female bloggers featured in Miller's film, continues to speak out against the Castro government on her blog, "Generación Y," which receives millions of hits each month. She was finally granted a passport by Cuban authorities in January after 20 failed applications, and her recent high profile trip to the U.S., where she visited the White House, has turned the media spotlight on the daily struggle of many in communist Cuba.

But others remain trapped. Some of the film's most sinister scenes show Chinese blogger Zeng Jinyan under house arrest in Beijing, harassed by security officials outside her apartment as she tries to leave. When her husband, AIDS and environmental activist Hu Jia, is sentenced to over three years in prison in 2008, she was is left alone and isolated with their baby daughter and her blog, wondering if they will ever be free. Since then, her blog has been censored in China.

In countries where the state has a monopoly on information, blogging has come into its own as a tool for change and an outlet for sharing stories, according to Miller. "The governments really fear these women. I mean, they are women, talking about their daily lives but the governments fear that they are so outspoken, that they are talking about what's really happening in their countries".

A refusal to be censored unites these women across cultures and continents, as they use their blogs to connect with the world outside of the regime. For Miller, the reaction of the authorities is perhaps the strongest indication of the strength of their individual voices.

"I think blogging is an extremely powerful tool, you can reach the whole world with one voice."

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