01-18-2021  9:49 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Online Events Honouring Dr Martin Luther King are Underway

 From a jazz concert and a reading challenge to an online film festival we are all invited to celebrate Dr Martin Luther King and complete his work

Interview: Portland Physician on Coronavirus Vaccine, Reaching Out to Wary Communities

Black Americans report highest levels of distrust as country distributes millions of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Blumenauer Calls for Resignations of Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise

Congressman Blumenauer said: "We need to ensure our Republican colleagues acknowledge and accept the consequences for their own involvement in encouraging this insurrection..."

Officials: Republican Lawmaker Let Protesters into Oregon Capitol

House Speaker Tina Kotek said during a news conference about the Capitol operations safety plan that Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, had allowed protesters into the building.

NEWS BRIEFS

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

NFL Reaches More Than $95M in Contributions to Further Advance Social Justice

The Oregon Justice Resource Center will use funding from the NFL to support the Women’s Justice Project – the first and only...

Oregon State Police Warns Against Armed Takeover of Capitol

The agency also asked Oregonians to report anyone who may be planning an armed takeover to authorities. ...

Oregon Marijuana Sales Soared in 2020, Topping $1B

Oregonians began buying a lot more recreational cannabis in March when Gov. Kate Brown instituted a stay-at-home order ...

Salem firefighters rescue family and dog on Willamette River

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Salem firefighters rescued a family and their dog stranded on a boat without power in the Willamette River Sunday afternoon. Salem Fire Department crews responded to a water rescue call around 2:21 p.m. of a 14-foot boat stranded without power in the river near McLane...

Hanford contractor to lay off 30 workers

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance plans to lay of 30 workers as its Department of Energy contract expires.The layoffs are set for Thursday, the last full business day before the expiring contract held by Mission Support Alliance transitions to a new 10-year...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

Georgia Senate Races Will Decide the Fate of Biden’s Presidency 

Voter turnout is reportedly lagging in the more rural and conservative areas of Georgia and is higher in more traditionally Democratic areas of the state ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Inaugural event to celebrate resiliency of Black Americans

DETROIT (AP) — The resiliency, culture and heroism of Black Americans and the African Diaspora will be the central theme of a virtual event Tuesday evening that will celebrate the nation’s diversity ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.Vice President-elect Kamala...

Harris prepares for central role in Biden's White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris will make history on Wednesday when she becomes the nation’s first female vice president — and the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to hold that office. But that’s only where her boundary-breaking role...

Correction: Capitol Breach-Civil War story

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — In a story January 16, 2021, about Republican leaders invoking war rhetoric, The Associated Press incorrectly referred to an incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP. Instead, she is the incoming party co-chair. A corrected version of the story is below....

ENTERTAINMENT

Journalists prepare for protests where they could be targets

NEW YORK (AP) — While monitoring online chatter about protests at state capitols in advance of next week's presidential inauguration, the Seattle Times came across a chilling description for journalists: soft targets.The phrase drove home the importance of safety precautions being put in...

AP Exclusive: Selena Gomez: Big Tech 'cashing in from evil’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters took control of the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, Selena Gomez laid much of the blame at the feet of Big Tech.“Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be...

Phil Spector's death resurrects mixed reaction from skeptics

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Spector was viewed as a man with two distinct personas: The late music producer was regarded as a rock ‘n’ roll genius who elevated the genre with his “Wall of Sound” style in the 1960s and created hits for several big names from the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Man allegedly hid 3 months at Chicago airport due to virus

CHICAGO (AP) — A California man who told police that the coronavirus pandemic left him afraid to fly has...

'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential traditions are usually known for their solemnity and carry the weight of...

What Biden can and can't get from an evenly divided Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden?Washington has barely had time...

Vatican drops Italian extradition bid in test of fair trial

ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Monday abruptly abandoned its extradition request for an Italian woman wanted on...

EU insists virus shots will remain voluntary

The European Union sought Monday to ease concerns that citizens might be obliged to get shots against the...

Watchdog: Fossil fuel firms need to curb climate gas leaks

BERLIN (AP) — The International Energy Agency says oil and gas companies aren't doing enough to reduce the...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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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