05-28-2020  8:24 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Agencies Investigate COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Townsend Farms Sites

OHA today named the business responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple locations

Oregon's Top Courts Begin Reversing Nonunanimous Convictions

These are the first of hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of cases that are being scrutinized

Washington Issues New Guidelines for Religious Services

Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the reopening plan. King County, which includes Seattle, is among the 15 counties still in Phase 1.

Multnomah County Weighs Impact to Communities of Color in Decision to Re-Open

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Employers must provide agricultural workers with face masks, more hand-washing stations and more frequently disinfect work surfaces under new coronavirus rules established Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.Also Thursday, Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed an...

1 dead in helicopter crash near Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A person was killed in a helicopter crash near Roseburg. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on private property south of the Green district of Roseburg, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. Local fire, EMS and police agencies responded and are...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Violent protests over Floyd death spread beyond Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Anger over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody, spread beyond Minneapolis on Thursday, with looting and fires set along a major St. Paul street and protesters returning to a neighborhood already ravaged by violent protest.It was the third...

Trump tries a new response after George Floyd's death

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was the kind of personal statement expected from a president in response to the disturbing video of a black man gasping for help as a white policeman pinned him to the street by the neck. But it was a very different tone for President Donald Trump, who has often been...

Trump escalates war on Twitter, social media protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump escalated his war on Twitter and other social media companies Thursday, signing an executive order challenging the lawsuit protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet.Announced with fanfare, the president's action...

ENTERTAINMENT

Winfrey, Pitt part of Grammys special for essential workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammys is putting together an event featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr. to honor essential workers across America.The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards annually, announced Thursday that the two-hour special,...

In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert

NEW YORK (AP) — When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in...

Fox's Sean Hannity emerges as critic of Minneapolis police

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity has emerged as an unexpected critic of the Minneapolis police for their actions in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.Hannity spent more than 15 minutes on his Fox show Wednesday replaying video of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Boston Marathon canceled for 1st time in 124-year history

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon on Thursday for the first time in its history, bowing...

North Carolina governor: RNC hasn't submitted safety plan

North Carolina's governor said Thursday that his administration hasn't received the written safety plan for the...

Chinese grad students may be next hit by US-China tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration may soon expel thousands of Chinese graduate students enrolled...

Virus, heat wave and locusts form perfect storm in India

NEW DELHI (AP) — As if the coronavirus wasn't enough, India grappled with scorching temperatures and the...

Manhunts after hundreds flee quarantine in Zimbabwe, Malawi

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — Manhunts have begun after hundreds of people, some with the coronavirus, fled...

China moves to quell Hong Kong protests with security law

HONG KONG (AP) — China officially ratified a plan Thursday to write a national security law for Hong Kong...

McMenamins
By Mariano Castillo CNN



Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt waited until closing arguments to speak in his own defense in his genocide trial in Guatemala City on Thursday.

He denied he had any role as head of state in the atrocities the military carried out on indigenous Ixil Mayans during his brief rule from 1982 to 1983.

"I never authorized, I never signed, I never proposed, I never ordered these attacks against a people, ethnicity or religion," Rios Montt said Thursday.

Prosecutors have asked for 75-year sentences for the 86-year-old former leader and his intelligence chief, Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez.

The landmark trial marks the first time a former head of state has been tried for genocide by his country's own judicial system.

While Rios Montt was in power, the military used the threat of leftist rebels as a guise to exterminate Ixil villages accused of harboring insurgents, prosecutors argued. According to prosecutors, the campaign led to the genocide of more than 1,700 Ixil Mayans.

During his first and only address to the three-judge panel, Rios Montt said that the prosecution's contention that the chain of command places him at fault for the atrocities is false.

He oversaw the day-to-day operations of the government, while the defense ministry had the final say over security matters, Rios Montt said.

"The head of state is nothing more than a public servant," he said. "Each regional commander is responsible for what happens and what he lets happen in his territory."

The former ruler said he does not accept the charges of genocide and crimes against humanity leveled against him.

"I was not a commander; I was a head of state!" he shouted.

Trial near completion

Closing arguments in the trial, which opened in March, are expected to conclude on Thursday. A verdict could come any moment after that.

The first three weeks of the trial moved fast, with many Ixil Mayan witnesses testifying about rape, torture, killings and the razing of their villages.

But a number of appeals and motions by the defense in several courts threatened to derail the process. At one point, a judge annulled the testimony in the trial.

Legal wrangling over the insertion and ejection of lawyers on the defense side and whether certain evidence was admissible resulted in sometimes contradicting rulings from various courts.

The trial was suspended at one point, as the country's Constitutional Court and an appeals court began untangling the mess.

The genocide trial was effectively stalled for nearly three weeks before the judges ruled they were in compliance with all of the rulings from the other courts.

Facing legacy of civil war

Rios Montt came to power in a coup and led a military junta while Guatemala was in a bloody civil war between the army and leftist guerrillas. The war did not end until 1996, leaving more than 200,000 people dead and 1 million as refugees.

Prosecutors argued that Rios Montt was aware of the repressive strategies that the military was using against anyone suspected of being a guerrilla, such as killings, forced disappearances and kidnappings.

His defense has argued that he never explicitly ordered the killings of the indigenous group.

 

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