05-17-2022  12:06 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2022 Midterms: What to Watch as 5 States Hold Primaries

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is the last day for voters to return ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by election day. Ballots deposited in an official drop box must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

NEWS BRIEFS

2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank,...

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Attorney General Rosenblum Warns Against Price Gouging of Baby Formula

This declaration will allow the Oregon Attorney General to take action against any business, or online vendor, who upsells the price...

WA High Court: Drivers Can Get DUIs for Driving While High

A decision that upholds the state’s decade-old law regulating marijuana use behind the wheel of a car. ...

Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s five-term Republican attorney general has handled his duties in the deeply conservative state for 20 years with a strategy he describes as calling legal “balls and strikes.” He's facing two challengers who see a more activist role for the office. ...

Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Gov. Brad Little is fighting back a primary challenge on Tuesday from his lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, a Donald Trump-backed candidate who twice attempted a power grab last year when Little was out of state on business. The intraparty contest...

OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'Like every other day:' 10 lives lost on a trip to the store

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — They were caregivers and protectors and helpers, running an errand or doing a favor or finishing out a shift, when their paths crossed with a young man driven by racism and hatred and inane theories. In a flash, the ordinariness of their day was broken at Tops...

Tensions over racial justice shadow Louisville mayor's race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — On Valentine's Day, a man appeared in the doorway of a Louisville campaign office and fired shots at mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg. He wasn't hit — a bullet grazed his sweater — but some of the tensions still lingering over this city flared once again. ...

Press secretary hopes her rise helps kids 'dream bigger'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Karine Jean-Pierre, the new White House press secretary, hopes she can inspire young people to “dream big and dream bigger” now that she has broken a barrier by becoming the first Black and gay woman to be chief spokesperson for the president of the United States. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brandi Carlile, Yola, Allison Russell lead Americana noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell and Yola are the leading nominees for the 2022 Americana Honors and Awards, with each one up for album of the year, artist of the year and song of the year. The nominees were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the...

Review: 'Team America' plumbs enduring impact of 4 generals

“Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged” by Robert L. O’Connell (Harper) Insightful and informative, military historian Robert L. O’Connell’s latest book carries a title that might evoke in today’s readers a group of superheroes...

Yiyun Li wins PEN/Malamud Award for short stories

NEW YORK (AP) — Author Yiyun Li has received one of the top honors for short story writers, the PEN/Malamud Award for “exceptional achievement.” Li, 49, has published the collections “Gold Boy” and “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” along with five novels and two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

In Buffalo, Biden to confront the racism he's vowed to fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Joe Biden talks about his decision to run against President Donald Trump in 2020, the...

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

THOMASVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A whole town celebrated in 2020 when, early in the coronavirus pandemic, Thomasville...

N. Korea's Kim faces 'huge dilemma' on aid as virus surges

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — During more than a decade as North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un has made...

EXPLAINER: Next steps for Finland, Sweden on NATO membership

BRUSSELS (AP) — Finland and Sweden have signaled their intention to join NATO over Russia’s war in Ukraine and...

Passenger, cargo trains collide in Spain; 1 killed, 85 hurt

MADRID (AP) — A cargo train smashed into a rush-hour passenger train in Catalonia on Monday, killing an engineer...

Uyghur county in China has highest prison rate in the world

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison...

Jonathan Anker Hlntv.com

(CNN) -- A combative hearing four days before the start of George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial saw attorneys spar over three key issues that may be critical to his defense. It didn't go well for the former neighborhood watch captain or his legal team.

Zimmerman is charged in the Sanford, Florida, shooting death of Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26, 2012. He says he shot the 17-year-old in self-defense.

The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford, and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws. The initial decision not to bring charges against Zimmerman led to the dismissal of the town's police chief and the appointment of a special prosecutor, who accused the homeowner of unjustly profiling and killing Martin.

Judge Debra Nelson denied the defense's first motion of the day, which requested the court protect the identities of three witnesses who wanted to remain anonymous.

"They're concerned they could be subject to ridicule or retribution," said defense lead attorney Mark O'Mara, trying to defend his motion. "They are very concerned, and may have to move out of their residence."

O'Mara said the three witnesses' testimony "will have impact on the jury's decision," noting they do not want to be involved in the case.

The second issue was whether the prosecution violated the rules of discovery by not submitting possibly damaging evidence found on Trayvon Martin's cell phone to the defense. A technology expert from the state attorney's office testified he found more than a thousand deleted photos on Martin's phone that were not included in the prosecution's original report. Those photos included pictures of naked women, marijuana and a hand holding a gun.

The technology expert said one deleted text also "looks like they were selling a gun."

O'Mara alleged that lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda lied when he said during a previous hearing that all information from the phone had been submitted. De la Rionda denied that claim and said the defense was invited to be present when the phone was being examined and processed.

The back-and-forth between the attorneys produced the day's most heated exchange, when defense attorney Don West became agitated while testifying and raised his voice, telling de la Rionda that "we caught you hiding the information!"

Nelson apparently was also agitated and cut O'Mara off as he was calling de la Rionda to the stand. She ruled at that time that the court will handle the discovery violation hearing after the trial, dealing another setback to the defense.

The court then moved to perhaps the hearing's most critical issue, regarding whether the technology used to analyze the voices on the 911 calls from the night of the shooting will be admissible. The technology may be key to the prosecution's case because their experts' testimony may be able to shed light on what was said between Zimmerman and Martin moments before the teenager was shot.

The law states that for technology to be admissible, it must be "generally accepted" in that particular field. Court documents indicate Zimmerman's attorneys will likely argue that the voice analysis technology does not meet the threshold of "generally accepted."

Defense expert Dr. Hirotaka Nakasone, an audio engineer for the FBI, expressed his doubts about using the recordings during his testimony. "A screaming voice is too far for us to address," said Nakasone. "It might mislead in the worst case."

In a statement released Thursday by Martin family attorney Ben Crump, Trayvon's family said,"It is ridiculous for the Zimmerman defense team to argue that expert voice analysts should not be permitted to testify at the trial. ... Expert voice analysis is necessary to assist in identifying the voices on the 911 tape."

However, court recessed for the day with Nakasone still on the stand. The crucial audio issue remains unresolved and will be addressed when the hearing continues Friday morning.

At that time, it is also possible the court will hear another key defense motion, on whether to ban the use of certain words and phrases in describing their client. Those words, which they fear may influence jurors, include "racist" and "vigilante."

 

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