12-07-2021  4:27 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Judicial Conduct Commission Files Charges Against Judge

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct announced it has filed a statement of charges against former Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman.

Trial Date Set for Tacoma Sheriff in Confrontation with Black Newspaper Carrier

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer was charged with false reporting and making a false or misleading statement after telling police Sedrick Altheimer had threatened to kill him

Famously Soggy Seattle Sees Its Wettest Fall on Record

Seattle, a city known for soggy weather, has seen its wettest fall on record.

Longtime Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio Won't Seek Reelection

DeFazio, the longest serving U.S. House member in Oregon’s history and a staunch advocate for environmental issues, said Wednesday he is retiring

NEWS BRIEFS

SPLC Responds to DOJ Decision to Close Emmett Till Investigation

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Portland Couple to Receive Lowenstein Award

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Senator James Manning Makes a Stop at The Skanner

Oregon Sen. James Manning stopped by The Skanner News building on Monday to discuss campaign topics. ...

Suspect in Colorado Church Vandalism Sought in Portland

A reward has been established for information that leads to Madeline Ann Cramer's arrest. ...

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Blumenauer, Joyce, Lee and Young Urge VA to Offer Veterans Access to Lifesaving Cannabis Treatment

“…over twenty veterans continue to die by suicide each day—it is past time we stop barring access from these innovative...

Man sentenced to almost 4 years for trafficking meth

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man accused of trafficking methamphetamine and was caught with six pounds of drugs at a Puyallup drug deal was sentenced Monday to almost four years in prison. Omar Arellano-Hernandez, 28, will spend 46 months in prison for his drug dealing activity in Western...

Socialist Kshama Sawant faces recall vote in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — A controversial member of the Seattle City Council – firebrand socialist Kshama Sawant – faces a recall election Tuesday one month after voters chose moderate candidates over progressives in the general election. The recall is seen as a further test of whether...

Missouri to face Army's triple option in Armed Forces Bowl

Army (8-3, Independent) vs. Missouri (6-6, SEC), Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ET LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas. TOP PLAYERS Army: LB Andre Carter II, 14.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, leads the nation in sacks per game; QB Christian Anderson, 545 yards...

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri, caps best season since 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sam Pittman grinned for almost the entirety of his postgame press conference Friday night. The Arkansas coach and his team had done something no others ever had. The No. 25 Razorbacks capped their regular season with a 34-17 victory over Missouri,...

OPINION

State is Painting Lipstick on Its One-of-a-kind, Long-term-care Law

Starting in January, the unpopular law imposes a stiff new tax of 58 cents per 0 earned for every worker in the state ...

Giving Thanks

Just by being alive we can be sure of having moments of sadness as well as happiness. When you’re active in politics, you experience both wins and losses. Sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful. ...

Acting on Climate will Require an Emphasis on Environmental Justice

Climate change affects us all, but its effects aren’t distributed equally. ...

Small Businesses Cannot Survive With Current Level of Postal Service

At The Skanner News office we received an important piece of correspondence that was postmarked June 12, 2021, and delivered to us on November 4, 2021. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

UN court orders Azerbaijan, Armenia not to aggravate dispute

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges at the United Nations’ top court ordered Azerbaijan on Tuesday to protect all the prisoners it captured during the country's war last year with neighboring Armenia, to prevent incitement of racial hatred against Armenians and to punish vandalism of Armenian...

Rohingya sue Facebook for 0B, alleging role in violence

LONDON (AP) — Rohingya refugees sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms for more than 0 billion over what they say was the company's failure to stop hateful posts that incited violence against the Muslim ethnic group by Myanmar's military rulers and their supporters. Lawyers filed a...

China says US diplomatic boycott violates Olympic spirit

BEIJING (AP) — China accused the United States of violating the Olympic spirit on Tuesday after the Biden administration announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games over human rights concerns. Rights groups have pushed for a full-blown boycott of the Games, accusing...

ENTERTAINMENT

Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo steps away from SiriusXM show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said he's dropping his SiriusXM radio show, a decision that followed a sexual harassment allegation. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult,” Cuomo said in a...

2021's notable moments on TV: Capitol riot, 'Rust,' Shatner

If a year can be accused of bait-and-switch, 2021 is fair game. It was reasonable to believe, or hope, that the pandemic would steadily recede in the rear-view mirror, that a White House transition might mean less political rancor, that America could honorably end its “forever...

Man charged in death of Jacqueline Avant, music icon’s wife

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors filed charges Monday against a 29-year-old man in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, last week at their Beverly Hills home. Aariel Maynor is also charged with the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

'Cheugy,' 'omicron' among 2021's most mispronounced words

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European drug regulator backs mixing COVID-19 vaccines

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union drug regulator gave its backing Tuesday to mixing different...

Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to...

Blast levels French building; at least 1 dead, baby found

PARIS (AP) — French rescue workers dug out the body of a man but rescued his baby and the child's mother alive...

Man in Germany suspected of killing 4 relatives and self

BERLIN (AP) — German investigators said Tuesday that a man suspected of killing his family and then himself left...

By Dana Bash and Tom Cohen CNN













Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, disclosed Tuesday, June 18, 2013 that plots to bomb the New York subway system and the New York Stock Exchange were among more than 50 stopped by secret surveillance programs.


Bomb plots targeting the New York Stock Exchange and the city's subway were among more than 50 worldwide thwarted by top-secret surveillance programs since the 2011 al Qaeda attacks on the United States, authorities said on Tuesday.

Gen. Keith Alexander, National Security Agency director, FBI and other officials revealed startling details at a House Intelligence Committee hearing aimed at finding out more about the telephone and e-mail surveillance initiatives that came to light this month through leaks of classified information to newspapers.

It was the most comprehensive and specific defense of those methods that have come under ferocious criticism from civil liberties groups, some members of Congress and others concerned about the reach of government into the private lives of citizens in the interest of national security.

National security and law enforcement officials asserted that the leaks were egregious and carry huge consequences for national security.

"I think it was irreversible and significant damage to this nation," Alexander said when questioned by Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"Has this helped America's enemies?" the Minnesota Republican asked.

"I believe it has and I believe it will hurt us and our allies," Alexander said.

President Barack Obama has defended the programs as necessary in an era of terror, and said they have been vetted by Congress and are subject to strict legal checks.

In an interview with Charlie Rose broadcast on Monday night, Obama said the situation requires a national debate on the balance between security and privacy.

Alexander noted last week in Senate testimony that the surveillance programs helped stop dozens of terror plots.

He briefly mentioned planning to bomb the New York subway system, but fuller details about that and revelations about others emerged on Tuesday in the House.

In all, officials said the controversial surveillance aimed at communications overseas helped to disrupt more than 50 plots globally that were in various stages of planning.

Details of virtually all remain secret, but national security officials said they were working on declassifying more information and could have a report to Congress as early as this week.

"We are revealing in front of you today methods and techniques," said Sean Joyce, deputy FBI director, adding the need to do so reflects the substantial impact the leaks have had on the national security community.

Joyce detailed for committee members e-mail surveillance that helped authorities discover the two New York City plots directed at the stock exchange and the subway.

In the fall of 2009, Joyce said the NSA intercepted an e-mail from a suspected terrorist in Pakistan. That person was talking with someone in the United States "about perfecting a recipe for explosives."

Authorities identified Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi of Denver. The FBI followed him to New York and later broke up planning to attack the subway. Zazi later pleaded guilty and is currently in prison.

In the other New York case, NSA was monitoring a "known extremist" in Yemen who was in contact with a person in the United States. Joyce said the FBI detected "nascent plotting" to bomb the stock exchange, long said by U.S. authorities to be a target of terrorists.

He also said e-mail surveillance also disrupted an effort to attack the office of a Danish newspaper that was threatened for publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006.

This one involved David Headley, a U.S citizen living in Chicago. The FBI received intelligence at the time regarding his possible involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 164 people, Joyce said.

The NSA, through surveillance of an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist, found that Headley was working on a plot to bomb the newspaper. Headley later confessed to conducting surveillance and was convicted. He also pleaded guilty to conducting surveillance in the Mumbai case.

Lastly, secret surveillance led "tipped us off" to a person who had indirect contacts with a known terrorist group overseas.

"We were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through the legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity," Joyce said.





Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers welcomed the testimony.

"I think you have struck the right balance between protecting sources and methods, and maintaining the public's trust, by providing more examples of how these authorities have helped disrupt terrorist plots and connections," Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said.

The hearing came one day after the admitted leaker of documents to Britain's Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post about the classified surveillance programs sought to defend his actions.

In a series of blog posts on the Guardian website, Edward Snowden said he disclosed the information because Obama worsened "abusive" surveillance practices instead of curtailing them as he promised as a presidential candidate.

The former NSA contractor insisted that U.S. authorities have access to phone calls, e-mails and other communications far beyond constitutional bounds.

While he said legal restrictions can be easily skirted by analysts at the NSA, FBI and CIA, Snowden stopped short of accusing authorities of violating specific laws.

Instead, he said toothless regulations and policies were to blame for what he called "suspicionless surveillance," and he warned that policies can be changed to allow further abuses.

Under questioning from Rogers, Alexander said the NSA does not have the authority to listen to phone calls of U.S. citizens or read their e-mails under the two surveillance programs.

He also said there was no technology for a lone analyst to arbitrarily listen to Americans' phone calls or read their e-mails.

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