06-24-2018  11:20 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

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Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

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MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

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Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

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18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

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New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):7:45 p.m.Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth...

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The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

ENTERTAINMENT

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US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

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Laura Smith-Spark CNN

LONDON (CNN) -- Somalia's president appealed for support for his struggling country Tuesday, comparing it to a young sapling that needs help to get started.

"We need support; we need assistance and investment; and we need protection from those who try to knock us over," President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told delegates at a conference in London.

The goal, he said, is for Somalia eventually to stand strong and tall on its own, a country "at peace with itself and its neighbors and which poses no threat to the world," with a thriving economy, strong values and a good education system.

"People may ask why Somalia matters at this time but there is a huge amount at stake right now: the future of our country, the security of the region and the wider world, and the removal of the piracy stranglehold on the Gulf of Aden," he said.

Delegations from 50 nations and groups gathered for the meeting, hosted jointly by the UK and Somali governments.

The discussions are focusing on Somalia's plans for developing its security forces and justice system, as well as its management of public money, as the African nation struggles to emerge from more than two decades of conflict.

The Somali government will also outline how it plans to resolve outstanding political issues within the country, according to the UK Foreign Office, and the international community will discuss how to support the implementation of those plans.

Representatives of the United Nations, African Union and International Monetary Fund are at the conference, as well as friends and neighbors of Somalia.

Security has improved since international meetings on Somalia last year, the UK Foreign Office said ahead of the conference, and Somalis have chosen a "more legitimate" parliament and government.

"This year, the new government needs support if it is to bring about real change for the people of Somalia, and end the threats of terrorism and piracy, as well as the scourge of famine," it said.

An international report released last week estimated that nearly 260,000 people died in a 2011 famine -- in part because the world was too slow to react. Half of those who died were children younger than 5.

"The world is watching #Somalia today," Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said via his Twitter account Tuesday.

He said the country's progress so far had defied the skeptics but challenges remain in the fight against the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Al-Shabaab.

"With the support of our friends and partners the progress must be made unstoppable. A bright future for #Somalia is within touching distance," he tweeted Monday.

Mogadishu attack

Despite the gains, security remains a concern even in the capital, Mogadishu.

On Sunday, a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a convoy carrying a Qatari delegation through the city, killing at least eight people and wounding seven, authorities and witnesses said. Those killed were bystanders, authorities said, with no one in the convoy hurt.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombing, and said six soldiers were killed and nine wounded.

AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, is playing a key role in efforts to quell the militant group.

Brigadier Michael Ondoga, of AMISOM, told CNN Tuesday that although Al-Shabaab was "largely defeated" in Mogadishu, there were still issues with its members "melting into the population" and taking advantage of the city's large size to hide. Mogadishu covers 640 square miles, and its population includes some 300,000 internally displaced people, he said.

But Somali security forces have done a great job in pre-empting many suicide attacks and have arrested some of the Al-Shabaab operatives hiding among the capital's population.

"The situation is generally good at the moment -- the security forces are controlling it very well," Ondoga said.

"Here in the city now, the big guns are quiet, the streets are lit, many (in the) diaspora are coming back, new construction is going on, business is booming," he said.

Somali and AMISOM forces have also won back territory extending a long way out from the capital, he said, leaving Al-Shabaab in control of only a few small areas in the west and some ports in the east.

"So there is great achievement that has been made between the national security forces and AMISOM, and we hope that this continues," Ondoga said. "Eventually, national security forces should be able to man the streets of this country on their own."

Once security is stabilized across the country, piracy should no longer be an issue in the waters around Somalia, he added, since the pirates will no longer have a base to operate from. Somali pirates have been a threat to international maritime traffic for some years.

'Culture of impunity'

International rights group Human Rights Watch called for the London conference to address "widespread human rights abuses by all parties," which, it says, have been overlooked throughout the long years of conflict.

"The failure to address these abuses and the culture of impunity in which they have taken place has contributed to ongoing conflict and insecurity," the group said in a statement.

"A substantial improvement in the respect for human rights and accountability for serious abuses is now essential."

Delegates at the conference are expected to agree on a package of support for Somalia on preventing sexual violence, the UK Foreign Office said.

Somalia was subject to international condemnation this year over a case in which a woman and a journalist were sentenced to prison after she told him she was raped by security forces. She was subsequently acquitted on appeal, but the journalist's conviction was upheld, though his sentence was cut.

"Respect for women's rights and media freedom are fundamental to ensuring the development of a strong, stable and vibrant democracy in Somalia," the White House said in February. "Women should be able to seek justice for rape and other gender-based violence without fear of retribution, and journalists in Somalia must be free to work without being subjected to violence and harassment."

Somalia has lacked an effective central government since 1991, with portions of the Horn of Africa nation left lawless.

CNN's Faith Karimi, Nima Elbagir and Nana Karikari-apau contributed to this report.

 

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