02-27-2020  3:55 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

After passing the House, the bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law ...

Missing fisherman found dead off Newport

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — A body found in the waters off Newport, Oregon has been identified as that of a fisherman who has been missing for nearly three weeks, the Newport Police Department said Thursday.Norman Grant was reported missing on Feb. 9 and hadn't been seen since the evening of Feb....

2 burned, 30 displaced in Beaverton apartment fire

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Two people were burned and dozens were displaced in a fire at a Beaverton apartment building. People started calling 911 before 10 a.m. Thursday to report heavy fire in a building in the Lombard Plaza apartment complex, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Top nominee Polanski to skip French Oscars after rape claim

PARIS (AP) — Filmmaker Roman Polanski is skipping the awards ceremony for France's equivalent of the Oscars — where his latest movie leads this year's nominations — because of protests prompted by a new rape accusation against him.Women's rights activists have called for a...

Nazi cautionary dramas wade into political, factual disputes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood mustered its creative forces in the 1940s when Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany sought to conquer the world, with Humphrey Bogart standing up to the fascist regime in “Casablanca” and director Ernst Lubitsch mocking it and its dictator in “To Be...

Judge resigns amid use of racial slur in text messages

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge resigned Thursday after several people, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, called for her to step down for using racial slurs in angry text messages.State District Judge Jessie LeBlanc tendered her resignation effectively immediately in signed letters...

ENTERTAINMENT

Higdon opera for Philadelphia to have 3 different endings

Jennifer Higdon has been commissioned by Opera Philadelphia to compose "Woman with Eyes Closed," which will open the company's O20 Festival on Sept. 17 and in a novel twist will feature three different endings.Higdon, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music and a three-time Grammy Award winner,...

A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

Dan + Shay, Justin Bieber, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay lead the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations for Dan Smyers and five for Shay Mooney and helped pop star Justin Bieber earn his first-ever ACM noms. In the nominations announced Thursday, the powerhouse duo share...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Ben Affleck on the pain and catharsis of 'The Way Back'

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the many stories that have stuck with Ben Affleck from his Alcoholics Anonymous...

Biggest explosion seen in universe came from black hole

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the universe,...

Plácido Domingo revises apology, as Spain drops more shows

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opera star Placido Domingo amended his apology to the multiple women who have accused...

3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — African leaders have decided to work on deploying 3,000 troops to West...

Scars of violence haunt India's capital after deadly riots

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's hard-line Hindu nationalists watched anti-government protests centered in Muslim...

Virus response in Mideast tainted by political views of Iran

BEIRUT (AP) — In the Middle East, even virus outbreaks are political. The coronavirus has killed 26 people...

McMenamins
Nima Elbagir CNN

MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- Bashir Osman moves hurriedly along a white sandy beachfront, giving instructions to a driver operating a bulldozer. Near them, a large truck is ferrying away piles of rocks, clearing a sun-soaked beach lapped by the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

Work here is well underway as Osman presses ahead with his new multi-million dollar project: to build a luxury beach resort in Mogadishu, the capital of war-torn Somalia.

"I knew one day that Mogadishu will become peace and we'll get stability," says Osman, who already owns two hotels in the city. "That is why I started to buy that land."

After more than 20 years of violence, Somalia moved a step closer to stability last September after picking its first president elected on home soil in decades.

And now, hope is gradually returning to parts of the East African country.

Although security is still an issue, Mogadishu has been experiencing an economic renaissance in recent months, boosted by members of the diaspora returning home to rebuild the country, as well as the efforts of local businessmen who never left.

Osman, who stayed in Somalia throughout its conflict, hopes his new development will attract holidaymakers from abroad. He says that he's already had American and British visitors staying in his hotels.

"More than 20 tourists they came," he says. "Some of them they came with their family to show Somalia, especially Mogadishu," adds Osman. "And really when they went back, they were so excited when they saw how Mogadishu looks like, how beautiful city we have, how beautiful beach we have and that is what we want to show them again and again."

Osman's ambitious new projects are part of a growing building activity that is reshaping many of the neighborhoods of bullet-ridden Mogadishu.

"If you go to Mogadishu the construction is very, very booming," says Osman. "That is the sign of peace," he adds. "Especially the people who came back from America and Europe, they start to open the new businesses."

Mogadishu's growing economy is manifested not just in real estate and the hotel sector. Telecommunications is also on the rise, while the aviation industry is spreading its wings too, with about 15 daily domestic and international flights.

"We have six different routes and basically next we'll be eight," says Osman Abdullahi, a young Somali entrepreneur who set up the ODAY express airline. "There is a lot of airlines that are planning to (come to) this country and hoping to (have) a hub over here."

Abdullahi admits that leaving the United States in 2010 to return home and start his business was a "100% huge risk."

He says that when moved back back to Somalia, it was too dangerous to even drive in Mogadishu. "That picture is already gone. It's a different picture today," he says.

This new picture can also be witnessed at Mogadishu's seaport -- Somalia's key national asset -- where creaking cranes lift goods from the commercial ships and boats lining the harbor. The wide array of imported construction materials, household goods and food are then loaded onto rows of waiting trucks.

The customs revenue collected from here has increased exponentially in recent times. And while the system is far from perfect, the income is crucial to the newly formed government in rebuilding the city, whose basic infrastructure has been shattered by war.

Currently, Somalia's economy is largely supported by aid from donor governments, while the relatively peaceful business environment is propped up by the African Union Mission in Somalia African (AMISOM).

The security forces squeezed the al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu, but the insurgents still lurk and periodically launch terror attacks.

Brigadier Michael Ondoga, of AMISOM, told CNN recently 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.

But Somali security forces have succeeded 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.

And despite the long list of challenges, Mogadishu businessmen like Osman are hopeful of a brighter future.

"For me I was here (during the conflict) and the situation I see now is a situation I have never seen before. So the situation now is getting better," he says.

 

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