07-13-2020  4:15 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Governor Kate Brown Announces New Requirements for Face Coverings, Limits on Social Get-Togethers

Effective Wednesday, July 15, face coverings to be required outdoors, social get-togethers indoors over 10 prohibited

Oregon Reports 332 New Coronavirus Cases, 2 Deaths

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, confirmed that Multnomah County is not ready to apply for Phase 2 of reopening

Study Finds Clothing-based Racist Stereotypes Persist Against Black Men

Researchers find some results of the study troubling

Federal Officers Use Tear Gas on Portland Protesters

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty calls officers' behavior "reckless and aggressive" after 26-year-old man struck on head and injured by an impact munition

NEWS BRIEFS

NNPA Livestreams With Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Val Demings

The audience has an opportunity to be an interactive part of the interview ...

Black Women Often Ignored By Social Justice Movements

‘Intersectional invisibility’ may lead to Black women’s exclusion, study finds ...

Deadline is July 15 to Pay Portland's $35 Arts Tax

The tax, approved by voters in 2012, supports arts education and grants ...

Oregon National Guard Completes Wildland Firefighter Training

The training was conducted using funds that were allocated to the Department of Defense by Congress to enable the National Guard to...

OSU Science Pub Focuses on Influence of Black Lives Matter

The influence of the Black Lives Matter movement will be the focus of a virtual Oregon State University Science Pub on July 13 ...

Justice Department to probe shooting of Portland protester

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a less-lethal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said Monday.The investigation into the...

Masks outside part of new Oregon COVID-19 safety measures

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday announced two new statewide COVID-19 safety mandates — a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and a requirement that people wear face coverings outside if they can not socially distance. The rules come as the...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

COMMENTARY: Real Table Talk

Chaplain Debbie Walker provides helpful insight for self-preservation, and care tips for your family, your neighbors, and your community circles ...

Commissioner Hardesty Responds To Federal Troop Actions Towards Protesters

This protester is still fighting for their life and I want to be clear: this should never have happened. ...

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

WNBA season scheduled to tip off on July 25

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA season is scheduled to tip off July 25 with all games that weekend dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement.All 12 franchises will play the opening weekend and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence. Team uniforms will display Breonna...

Legal experts review Black Minnesota teen's life sentence

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An independent panel of national legal experts will review the conviction of an African American man sentenced as a teenager to life in prison for the murder of a little girl struck by a stray bullet, Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and the...

Attorney: Indiana hate crime allegation is 'smear campaign'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for two people accused of being involved in a reported assault on a Black man at a southern Indiana lake said Monday his clients are victims of a “smear campaign” and a “rush to judgment."Vauhxx Booker, a local civil rights activist and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Kelly Preston, actor and wife of John Travolta, dies at 57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kelly Preston, who played dramatic and comic foil to actors ranging from Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire” to Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Twins,” died Sunday, husband John Travolta said. She was 57.Travolta said in an Instagram post that his wife of...

New this week: 'Psych,' The Chicks album, '30 Rock' reunited

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.MOVIES— “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme": For anyone who didn't get enough of Lin-Manuel Miranda from the...

4 charged in Los Angeles death of rising rapper Pop Smoke

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men and two teens have been charged in the death of rising rapper Pop Smoke who was killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February, the district attorney’s office said Monday. Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement that...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Fly without flapping? Andean condors surf air 99% of time

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study sheds light on just how efficiently the world’s largest soaring bird...

Victims' relatives most vocal opponents of man's execution

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Family members of three people slain in Arkansas more than 20 years ago have been...

Immigration courts reopen despite rising coronavirus cases

BALTIMORE (AP) — Three immigration courts reopened Monday as the government extended its push to fully...

As virus spreads, Bolsonaro ties with military under strain

SAO PAULO (AP) — After 35 years of civilian-led democracy, President Jair Bolsonaro has created the most...

Polish president wins 2nd term after bitter campaign

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Andrzej Duda declared victory Monday in a runoff election in which...

AP Explains: Why Serbs are protesting against virus lockdown

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Thousands of people in Serbia have been holding protests against the...

McMenamins
Errol Barnett CNN

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- How would you feel knowing you are related to your boss, your neighbor, or better yet your partner? Don't worry, you may have to go back 1,000, 20,000 or maybe even 100,000 years to find a common ancestor, but generally speaking it is true.

Advanced DNA testing combined with recently unearthed discoveries are bolstering the belief that if you look back far enough, all living human beings are the descendents of a small, innovative and ambitious set of people on the African continent.

With the mapping of the human genome in 2003, combined with thousands of people around the world submitting their DNA for testing, there's now mounting physical proof we all started in Africa before migrating around the world.

Geneticists are able to identify certain genetic sequences or "markers" in each of us and cross-reference it with a number of ever-growing international databases. Where there's a match, there's likely a common ancestor and genetically speaking, all markers point to Africa.

People take comfort in having their DNA tested, says Dr. Himla Soodyall. "It gives them some sense of grounding, some homing and some essence of understanding who they are," she says. Soodyall is the founder and director of the Human Genetics laboratory in South Africa's National Health Laboratory Services. She says she dedicated her life to this field of study because it reveals a much more fascinating story than most people realize.

I recently sat down with Soodyall to have my own DNA tested and its accuracy was astounding.

She explained all of us carry our mother's DNA signature within our mitochondria, so it houses "markers" only from our mother's lineage. My maternal marker turned out to be "H" which can be traced to a woman living in the Dordogne region of France 20,000 years ago.

But this isn't reserved for my British mother and me -- 47% of all Europeans are descendants from this haplogroup, which itself is an offshoot of humans who migrated out of Africa and into Europe.

Similarly, on my Jamaican father's side I expected an African connection due to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which the Caribbean was involved. Soodyall isolated DNA housed in my Y-chromosome, which only males carry. It revealed an "E3a" genetic marker common in 96% of people from Central West Africa.

What's more amazing was the discovery that certain sequences of my DNA matched up perfectly with a man from Zanzibar, Tanzania, and another from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who also had their DNA tested recently.

My family got a real kick out of hearing specifics related to our ancestry, but for me personally it underscored the reality that we really are one large, diverse and often dysfunctional human family. Ironically, what connects us all is the fact we really do want to understand more about our heritage; the only difference is how much people -- of any color -- are willing to admit their African roots.

Down along the scenic coastline of South Africa, Professor Christopher Henshilwood is digging up the anthropological proof of our human African origins. In the Blombos Cave, over the years he and his team have painstakingly unearthed beads likely used by humans on necklaces 75,000 years ago, bone tools dating back 80,000 years and the world's earliest known painting kit.

Because these findings are the oldest of their kind, it suggests our modern human behavior began in Africa and has been developing ever since. For example, the ancient "painting kit" contained red ochre and was likely used as body paint, just as the Himba people of Namibia use it today. Henshilwood says this symbolic behavior is what set humans apart. "It's the makeup people wear today ... the shoes we wear, the language we speak," he explains. "These are all sending out messages to the people around us about who I am, and where I come from."

For the past century in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, ancient fossils dating back millions of years continue to emerge suggesting a common ancestor for humans. "Lucy", "The Black Skull," "Twiggy" and "The Taung Child" respectively prove there were walking beings similar to humans in Africa before us Homo sapiens emerged.

Professor Ron Clarke of Wits University in South Africa recently took CNN deep inside the Sterkfontein Cave at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site to expose one more example.

It was here he and his team unearthed the most complete skeleton of Australopithecus ever found. In very non-scientific terms, it can be described as a type of ape-man with anatomical similarities to the modern ape and the modern human. It is at least 3 million years old and Clarke, who has yet to publish some of his findings, says he was shocked when he realized what it was.

Whether people believe humans evolved from another species or that we all migrated out of Africa or not, one aspect of our human condition is undeniable, says Clarke. In a sentiment echoed by Soodyall and Hesnshilwood, Clarke says: "What makes us human is that we analyze our surroundings. We want to know how things work. When, why, where? And so one of the big questions is how did we become human?"

The search for answers continues...

 

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