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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

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AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

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National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

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Democrats: Oregon climate bill is priority. GOP resists

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Power still out, no school for some as storms continue

SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of people without power for as long as a week are slowly seeing their lights come back on after storms that brought feet of heavy snow to Western Washington, while thousands in Southern Oregon lost power in a Thursday snowstorm. Puget Sound Energy estimates that power...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

How Being 'Tough on Crime' Became a Political Liability

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 more linked to neo-Nazi group arrested in Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base were charged with conspiring to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group, police in Georgia announced Friday, a day after three other members were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and...

Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's highest court on Friday upheld a ban on firearms at an upcoming pro-gun rally in the state's capital, an event that authorities feared could erupt in violence at the hands of armed extremists.The Virginia Supreme Court's decision came a day after gun-rights...

Trump's black voter outreach looks in part to the pews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In the eight years since he became a pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church, Todd Johnson says he's seen his congregation's politics make a subtle shift.The Philadelphia church, which recently hosted a Donald Trump campaign event reaching out to black voters, has...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy has placed Deborah Dugan, its president and CEO of just six months, on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization.The move announced late Thursday comes 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards will be...

Nashville songwriters spread outside country at Grammys

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Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show

PARIS (AP) — Guests crammed into Dior's annex in Paris' Place de la Condorde on Friday amid chaos before the show. Some guests had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit as cars came to unload celebrities, including David Beckham and Robert Pattinson, at an industrious pace. Mayhem such...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

PHOTO GALLERY: A selection of pictures from the past week

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Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines

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US to screen airline passengers from China for new illness

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AP Exclusive: AT&T under pressure to defy Maduro's censors

MIAMI (AP) — Last April, as a military uprising roiled Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro’s socialist...

Portrait found in gallery's walls verified as missing Klimt

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AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

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McMenamins
By Tom Cohen and Michael Pearson CNN




Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that his decision to remove himself from the Justice Department investigation into a leak that led it to surreptitiously collect telephone records from the Associated Press leaves him unable to respond to questions about it.

"I don't know what happened there with the intersection between the AP and the Justice Department," Holder told the House Judiciary Committee. "I was recused from the case."

The news agency revealed Monday that federal agents had secretly collected two months of telephone records for some of its reporters and editors.

The AP said agents were apparently investigating the source of a story revealing that the CIA had thwarted an al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner in May 2012, around the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Sources later told CNN that the operative who was supposed to have carried the bomb had been inserted into al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate by Saudi intelligence, and that the device had been handed over to U.S. analysts.

Holder told the hearing that he had recused himself to avoid any potential conflict of interest in the case and had left the decision to subpoena the phone records to Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, who authorized the subpoena.

"I recused myself because I thought it would be inappropriate and have a bad appearance to be a person who was a fact witness in the case to actually lead the investigation given the fact, unlike Mr. Cole, that I have a greater interaction with members of the press than he does," Holder said.

Asked what made him a fact witness, he said, "I am a possessor of the information that was ultimately leaked. And the question then is who of those people who possessed that information, which was a relatively limited number of people within the Justice Department, who of those people, who of those possessors actually spoke in an inappropriate way to members of the Associated Press."

Asked who else had access to the information, Holder cited the ongoing nature of the investigation. "I would not want to reveal what I know and I don't know if there are other people who have been developed as possible recipients or possessors of that information during the course of this investigation," he said. "I don't know."

Answers like those prompted some sharp criticism of Holder and his deputy from Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a former Judiciary chairman.

"There doesn't seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the Justice Department for things that have gone wrong," Sensenbrenner said. "Now may I suggest that you and Mr. Cole and maybe a few other people go to the Truman Library and take a picture of the thing that he had on his desk that said 'The Buck Stops Here?' Because we don't know where the buck stops, and I think to do adequate oversight, we better find out and we better find out how this mess happened."

And a Democrat, New York's Hakeem Jeffries, said the subpoenas appeared to be "overly broad in scope."

"Hopefully that is something that the investigation that takes place will examine with close scrutiny," he said. "And second, that I think, as many of my colleagues have expressed, I'm also troubled by the fact that the negotiation or consultation with the AP did not occur in advance of the decision to issue the subpoenas."

Holder said he recused himself because he had been questioned by FBI agents as part of the leak probe. He Tuesday that the leak, which he did not describe, had put Americans at risk and demanded "very aggressive action."

But AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said Tuesday that the records collected by the investigation cast a "very broad net" and involved AP operations "that have, as far as I know, no particular connection to the story that they (federal authorities) seem to be investigating."

"We've never seen anything along the size and scope of this particular investigation," she told CNN's Erin Burnett.

In all, the AP says, federal agents collected records involving more than 20 phone lines -- including personal lines -- used by about 100 journalists in New York; Hartford, Connecticut; and Washington.

The Justice Department on Tuesday defended its decision to subpoena the records, saying the requests were limited and necessary.

"We are required to negotiate with the media organization in advance of issuing the subpoenas unless doing so would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation," Cole wrote in a letter to the AP. "We take this policy, and the interests that it is intended to protect, very seriously and followed it in this matter."

White House spokesman Jay Carney said White House officials were not involved in the investigation and knew nothing about the AP inquiry.

The Obama administration has launched several high-profile leak probes, leading to the prosecution of two government employees accused of revealing classified information.

Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency official, was sentenced to one year of probation and 240 hours of community service in 2011, while former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison after admitting to identifying a covert intelligence officer.

In 2002, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley criticized the Justice Department for its subpoenas of John Solomon, an AP writer who had written about an investigation into then-Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-New Jersey. The subpoena also spurred a protest from the journalism association Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald, whose movies have criticized the war in Iraq, Fox News and Walmart, called the administration's pursuit of leakers "an effort to silence and scare whistleblowers, and to get the press to be quiet and do what it wants them to do."

"This is a systemic, continuing problem," said Greenwald, whose latest film, "War on Whistleblowers," focuses on the issue. "It's not a one-off, and it's not an accident, sadly."

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Monday that the subpoenas were likely legal, but they go further than previous administrations in pursuing private information of journalists.

"I have never heard of a subpoena this broad," Toobin said.

CNN's Tom Cohen reported from Washington. Michael Pearson reported from Atlanta. CNN's Matt Smith, Jessica Yellin, Carol Cratty, Kevin Bohn, Greg Botelho, Joe Sterling and Josh Levs contributed to this report.

 

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