12-07-2019  11:24 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

2 businesses sue pipeline company over 2016 explosion

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Two businesses whose Northwest Portland storefronts were destroyed by a 2016 gas explosion have filed new lawsuits against the company that was digging at the time.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland Bagelworks owners Kim and Rik Bartel are suing Loy Clark...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NFL At 100: Rooney Rule has its positives and its faults

In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Herman Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 “hijacked” the ideals many connected to the Confederate battle flag.Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck...

ENTERTAINMENT

R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses...

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP Exclusive: 629 Pakistani girls sold as brides to China

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who...

Family recounts heroics of fallen son in Pensacola shooting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Joshua Watson had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and looked forward to...

Venice tide barriers pass another test but skeptics remain

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve...

Belarus eyes closer integration with Russia, fueling protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The leaders of Russia and Belarus sat down for talks Saturday on deepening ties...

AP PHOTOS: Ukraine war prisoners struggle to rebuild lives

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — For Anna Sergeyeva, rebuilding her life after surviving a week of captivity and...

Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians

Port-au-Prince (AP) — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and...

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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