02-27-2020  5:49 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 ...

Jury: Man callously disregarded life in train murders

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ruled that Jeremy Christian callously disregarded the lives of the three men he stabbed on a Portland light rail train, was fueled by racist and religious bigotry, poses a future danger and can’t be rehabilitated.The 12-person jury on Thursday also...

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....

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

Students stage sit-in outside University of Oklahoma offices

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of University of Oklahoma students staged a sit-in for a second day Thursday outside OU's administrative offices following two instances of professors using racial slurs in the classroom.However, OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. has rejected the demands of...

The Latest: Voter asks Biden about trips to South Africa

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest (all times local):7:35 p.m.A voter has asked Joe Biden in South Carolina about trips to South Africa he's recalled in recent weeks on the presidential campaign trail, with some controversy over his...

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...

ENTERTAINMENT

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...

NBC renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago' dramas for 3 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC is giving three-year renewals to its drama series from veteran producer Dick Wolf, including the perennial “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”The pickups for the “Law & Order” series and Wolf’s three Chicago-set dramas are...

Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, 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

NBC renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago' dramas for 3 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC is giving three-year renewals to its drama series from veteran producer Dick Wolf,...

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...

Grief grips Peruvian community one month after deadly fire

LIMA, Peru (AP) — One month after a gas tanker leak triggered fires and explosions that killed 30 people in...

Putin rejected offer to use body doubles during Chechen war

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had rejected an offer to use body doubles for...

22 Turkish soldiers killed in northeast Syria air strike

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish official said early Friday 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an air...

McMenamins
By Ed Payne and Mohammed Jamjoom CNN

A Saudi court has sentenced an activist to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for violating the nation's anti-cybercrime law, Human Rights Watch reported Wednesday.

A Jeddah Criminal Court found Raif Badawi, who has been in prison since June 2012, guilty this week of insulting Islam through his website and in television comments.

"This incredibly harsh sentence for a peaceful blogger makes a mockery of Saudi Arabia's claims that it supports reform and religious dialogue," said Nadim Houry, the deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "A man who wanted to discuss religion has already been locked up for a year and now faces 600 lashes and seven years in prison."

His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, told Human Rights Watch that Judge al-Harbi read the verdict Monday. The court is expected to send him a written notification by August 6. They'll have 30 days to appeal.

Case separates family

Ensaf Haidar, Badawi's wife, said she's devastated by the news.

"I don't know what to do," Haidar said Wednesday. "Raif did nothing wrong."

Haidar and the couple's three children now live in Lebanon.

Estranged from her family, Haidar said it would be impossible to take her children back to Saudi Arabia. The stigma is too strong there.

"You feel like everybody's accusing you," she said, close to tears, in an April interview. "Like everybody's against you, at war with you."

CNN has made several attempts to reach the Saudi Arabia government for comment but received no response.

A contentious five years

Badawi's legal troubles started shortly after he started the Free Saudi Liberals website in 2008. He was detained for one day and questioned about the site. Some clerics even branded him an unbeliever and apostate.

Last summer, Human Rights Watch released a statement urging Saudi authorities to free Badawi.

"Saudi authorities should drop charges and release the editor of the Free Saudi Liberals website for violating his right to freedom of expression on matters of religion and religious figures," a statement from the group said at the time.

Rights groups accuse Saudi authorities of targeting activists through the courts and travel bans. Many were outraged when two of the country's most prominent reform advocates, Mohammed Al-Qahtani and Abdullah Al-Hamid, were sentenced in March to 10 years in prison apiece.

Amnesty International called that trial "just one of a troubling string of court cases aimed at silencing the kingdom's human-rights activists."

Asked in January about accusations that Saudi Arabia is cracking down on dissent, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, told CNN, "At the Interior Ministry, our area of responsibility is security."

He added, "My understanding is that these cases are being looked at by the courts now. Nobody will comment on cases being looked at by the courts."

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