01-31-2023  6:30 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...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

Uruguay's lower house passed a marijuana legalization bill Wednesday, bringing the South American nation one step closer to becoming the first to legally regulate production, distribution and sale of the drug. 

After more than 12 hours of debate, the bill garnered the 50 votes it needed to pass in the House of Representatives. Forty-six lawmakers voted against the bill. The country's senate is expected to take up the measure in October.

 

President Jose Mujica has said he backs the bill, which would allow marijuana to be sold in pharmacies and create a registry of those who buy it. Only those 18 and older would be allowed to purchase the drug.

 

He told CNN en Español last year that he supported legalizing marijuana.

 

"If we legalize it, we think that we will spoil the market (for drug traffickers) because we are going to sell it for cheaper than it is sold on the black market," he said. "And we are going to have people identified."

 

Conservative critics of the measure have said it promotes drug addiction and have suggested that Mujica's comments were uninformed.

 

Supporters of the measure, including the Broad Front coalition of left-wing political parties, have said it will fight criminal drug trafficking and marks a turning point and could influence other Latin American nations to take a similar approach.

 

"This implies the materialization of a new paradigm in terms of drug policies," said Lisa Sanchez, director for Latin America of Transform Drug Policy Foundation. "Uruguay will be the first country to establish effective state controls on the production, processing, distribution, storage and sale of marijuana, abandoning the prohibitionism and the punitive strategies. It is a turning point."

 

A letter sent by Mujica's government to lawmakers last year presented the bill.

 

The goal, according to the letter, is to create a government-run market that would "contribute to the reduction of risks and potential dangers that people who use marijuana for recreation or medical reasons face."

 

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in Uruguay, and drug traffickers net $30 million to $40 million annually from the black market, the government has said.

 

"Something I can say with certainty is that drug consumption is going to continue ... and we can't just keep on looking the other way," said Dario Perez, a Uruguayan legislator.

 

Marijuana use is legal in Uruguay, but production and sale of the drug is not.

 

Supporters of the country's legalization measure call that a paradox.

 

"The consumption of marijuana has been allowed for 40 years, but it can only be accessed through the narcos, and requires the commission of a crime, in addition to the exposure to other drugs," the Broad Front said in a statement on its website. "We have created a great business for drug trafficking, and that is what we want to start to fight."

 

In recent years, legalization measures have gained growing traction among some Latin America leaders amid rising violence many tie to the drug war.

 

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.

 

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has become an outspoken supporter of marijuana 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 in May. "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."

 

Journalists Eloisa Capurro and Dario Klein reported from Montevideo. CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNN's Julie In and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.

LINKED STORIES
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MLK Breakfast 2023

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