01-31-2023  6:31 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

Democrats Voice Priorities for Coming Year in the Capitol

Highlights from the Democrats 2023 legislative agenda. 

Colorado Lawmakers Look to AI to Detect Wildfires Earlier

A historic drought and recent heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight in the American West and scientists say warming weather will continue to make fires more frequent and destructive.

Justices Weigh Effort to Balance Washington State's Tax Code

Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance on sales and fuel taxes to pay for schools, roads and other public expenses falls disproportionately on low-income residents.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon State Celebrates Black History Month With a Series of Events

Free events highlight the achievements and perseverance of Black and African American communities from the past to the present. ...

Word is Bond Announces Second Annual In My Shoes Walking-tour Project for Black History Month

Tours run February 4 through February 25, 2023 in King, New Columbia, Vancouver, Woodlawn, Goose Hollow, Montavilla, Parkrose, and...

Oregon Graduation Rate Rises With Gains Made In Every Student Group

Class of 2022 graduation rate is second highest In Oregon’s history ...

City Council Approves 13 to Independent District Commission

The commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council. ...

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Social Justice Classes Topic of Feb. 8 Oregon State Science Pub

The free event, which can be attended in person or viewed online, will feature a presentation by Kathryn McIntosh. She will discuss...

Child welfare algorithm faces Justice Department scrutiny

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Justice Department has been scrutinizing a controversial artificial intelligence tool used by a Pittsburgh-area child protective services agency following concerns that it could result in discrimination against families with disabilities, The Associated Press has learned. ...

Kidnap suspect released day he arrived at Nevada prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state’s custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said...

Knight, Illinois State take down Southern Illinois 72-66

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Seneca Knight scored 24 points and Kendall Lewis secured the victory with a jump shot with 37 seconds remaining as Illinois State took down Southern Illinois 72-66 on Sunday. Knight shot 6 for 8, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and 9 of 10 from the free...

Deen scores 21 to lead Bradley to 83-76 victory over UIC

CHICAGO (AP) — Duke Deen had 21 points to lead Bradley to an 83-76 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Deen shot 5 for 10 from the floor (4 for 6 from 3-point range) and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line for the Braves (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Malevy Leons added 19...

OPINION

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

A Letter to Residents of N. and N.E. Portland from Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner for District 2, North and Northeast Portland, reviews her first four-year term and looks forward to her second term ...

Are Black Individuals Like Kanye West, Van Jones, and Stephen A. Smith ‘Perpetrating a Fraud,’ or is Self-Hate a Primary Motivator for Anti-Blackness

“So, you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called ‘Uncle Tom.’ He was the House Negro.”-Malcolm X ...

We Need Not Forgive

We need not forgive racial injustices in America’s past, and we must never forget them. But as a nation, we can reconcile. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Hungary FM: Sweden should 'act differently' to join NATO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Sweden's government should “act differently” if it wants to clinch Turkish support for its bid to join NATO, Hungary's foreign minister said Tuesday, adding that a recent Quran-burning protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm was “unacceptable." ...

Nordic unions leaving international media body over Russia

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A group of Nordic journalists' unions said Tuesday they have left the International Federation of Journalists, which the Norwegian association accused of failing to react to the existence of a Russian media union in occupied areas of Ukraine. For years,...

Child welfare algorithm faces Justice Department scrutiny

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Justice Department has been scrutinizing a controversial artificial intelligence tool used by a Pittsburgh-area child protective services agency following concerns that it could result in discrimination against families with disabilities, The Associated Press has learned. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Making of 'The Way We Were' is a rich, gossipy tale

“The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen” by Robert Hofler (Citadel) Most people seem to like their screen romances a little on the sad side. When the American Film Institute listed its top romantic...

Amina Luqman-Dawson’s 'Freewater' wins John Newbery Medal

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Amina Luqman-Dawson made time to write a children's book she calls her "little quiet project," a historical adventure about a community of escaped slaves that she completed while raising a son and working as a policy consultant and researcher on education and domestic...

Trevor Noah returns as Grammy host with comfort, nervousness

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Trevor Noah feels more comfortable hosting the Grammy Awards for a third-straight year, but the former “The Daily Show” host still has some nervousness about leading the ceremony with big-time acts like Beyoncé, Adele and Harry Styles looking on. “The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

President Biden to end COVID-19 emergencies on May 11

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies...

China accuses Washington of wanting 'technological hegemony'

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government accused Washington on Tuesday of pursuing “technology hegemony”...

Europe scrapes out economic growth by dodging gas disaster

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s economy scraped out meager gains at the end of last year as galloping...

Hungary FM: Sweden should 'act differently' to join NATO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Sweden's government should “act differently” if it wants to clinch Turkish support...

What's behind the Pakistani Taliban's insurgency?

ISLAMABAD (AP) — When a suicide bomber struck a mosque inside a police compound in the northwestern city of...

Cyprus picks new president amid economic doubt, ethnic split

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cypriots are voting Sunday for a new president who they’ll expect to decisively steer...

Catherine E. Shoichet CNN

(CNN) -- A former Mexican president who once led a military crackdown on drug cartels now has a new pitch: creating a legal system to produce, distribute and tax marijuana.

Vicente Fox is joining a group of entrepreneurs in Seattle this week to discuss that possibility, six months after voters in Washington state approved a ballot measure allowing recreational marijuana use.

As president, Fox launched Operation Safe Mexico, which sent soldiers and federal police to eight cities across the country in 2005 as drug cartels expanded their reach.

But since leaving office in 2006, he's taken a significantly softer stance. For years, he's pushed for drug legalization. Using military force to fight cartels doesn't work, he argues, but legalization would.

"With this we will avoid the violence," Fox told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. "We will control the criminals and reduce their income, and at the same time it would become a transparent, accountable business in the hands of businessmen."

Speaking to reporters earlier Thursday, Fox praised Washington state's efforts to legalize marijuana and "change the paradigm."

"In Mexico we welcome this initiative," he said, "because the cost of the war in the case of Mexico is becoming unbearable, too high for Mexico, Latin America and the rest of the world."

Legalization measures, he argued, ultimately topple the foundations of organized crime.

"We must get out of this trap, and here is the opportunity,' Fox said. "Now this group here is moving accordingly from words into plans, and from plans into action, and from action into the arena. To play the real game this group must understand the need to make good, safe, and legal use of these new laws, for the benefit of the people and the common good."

As Fox spoke, Jamen Shively nodded in agreement. The former Microsoft executive is heading up a new business venture that aims to create the first national brand of retail cannabis in the United States.

Fox told CNN he was not involved in Shively's venture, but sat beside him because he supports the push to move to put the drug trade in the hands of businessmen, not criminals.

"By making cannabis illegal, we have instead turned it into a tool for violence, exploited by criminals and organized crime, spanning many countries," Shively said. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is a unique moment in history. The Berlin Wall of the prohibition of cannabis is weak, and it is crumbling as we speak. And just as happened in Berlin in 1989, the old guards who used to protect the wall of cannabis prohibition are laying down their weapons and walking away."

Opponents criticize legalization

But drug legalization still has fierce critics. Obama administration officials have repeatedly stressed their opposition to such proposals when they've been floated in other countries.

Last year, John Walters, who directed the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2001 to 2009, told CNN that decriminalization is "utterly self-defeating" and would cause more crime.

Mexico's current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has also expressed his doubts about large-scale legalization measures. In Mexico, marijuana use is not crime, but production and distribution of the drug are.

Peña Nieto told CNN last year that despite his reservations, the way the war on drugs is waged may have to change in light of changing U.S. policies such as the recent referendums in Colorado and Washington.

"Personally, I am not in favor of legalization of drugs ... because it's not just about marijuana. It seems to me that is a gateway through which people will start taking much more harmful drugs," Peña Nieto said. "But it's clear that this thing that has happened in two states in the near future could bring us to rethinking the strategy."

Complicated political landscape

In November, voters in both Colorado and Washington state approved ballot measures allowing for the personal, recreational use of marijuana. Nearly 20 other states permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons.

The new laws put Colorado and Washington at odds with the federal government, which classifies marijuana as an illegal substance.

Since pot is still listed in the nation's Controlled Substances Act, federal raids of pot businesses continue at feverish pace. In 2012 alone, federal agencies seized more than 2,500 indoor grow operations, killing close to 300,000 plants.

The situation makes the so-called legal marijuana industry a risky one. A dispensary could be in full compliance with state laws, but the feds could still raid them.

And the financial picture is complicated, too. Figuring out how to tax cash marijuana sales is a challenge both Colorado and Washington are facing.

On Thursday, Shively said he's up to the challenge.

"We have waited long enough for some sort of a green light from Washington, D.C. In fact, the silence from our nation's capital has been deafening," he said. "We are moving forward with our plans to build a national and eventually international network of cannabis businesses."

CNN's Mariano Castillo, Kevin Liptak and Carma Hassan and CNNMoney's Jose Pagliery contributed to this report.

 

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.