05-08-2021  12:48 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Extends COVID Workplace Mask Rule Indefinitely

State officials say the rule, which garnered thousands of public comments, will be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

As Reparations Hit Roadblock, Oregon Lawmakers Look to U.S. Congress and Cities

Sen. Frederick pushed for eligible Black Oregonians to receive a lifetime annuity as remedy for slavery, systemic racism.

Landmark Gun Safety Bill Clears Final Vote

The Oregon Senate repassed Senate Bill 554 – approving modifications made in the House to add storage and safety requirements among the bill’s components.

Shooting Highlights Lack of Body Cams Among Portland Police

Two police officers raised their weapons while sheltering behind a tree in a Portland park. They yelled at a homeless man to put up his hands. Moments later, two shots rang out.

NEWS BRIEFS

Street Gallery: Crossing the Redline

Street Gallery, invites the public to an intergenerational art exhibit: “Crossing the Redline” ...

Unemployment Fix Passes Oregon Senate, Helps Get More Oregonians Back to Work

Many Oregon employers believe this policy will help support their rapidly changing workforce needs, COVID-19 regulations, and worker...

Concrete Wall Around Seattle Police Precinct Comes Down

The city decided to take the wall down after hearing from the community ...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills, Halts Sales, After a Child Dies

Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills less than a month after denying they were dangerous and saying it would not pull...

Free Online Classes Promote Sustainable Living

Clark County’s Master Composter Recycler program is offering a series of free sustainable living webinars this spring. ...

Judge nixes reduced Klamath River flows for sucker fish

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A judge has ruled against the Klamath Tribes in a lawsuit that accuses federal regulators of violating the Endangered Species Act by letting water levels fall too low for sucker fish to spawn in a lake that also feeds an elaborate irrigation system along the...

Portland: Feds to blame for cops failure in settlement deal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland city officials said they welcome constructive criticism from federal Justice Department lawyers who found the Police Bureau has failed to adhere to a settlement governing officers’ use of force. But officials also blame the federal government for contributing to...

OPINION

OP-ED: The Supreme Court Can Protect Black Lives by Ending Qualified Immunity

The three officers responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor are not the first to walk free after killing an unarmed Black person, and unfortunately, especially if things continue as they are, they will not be the last. ...

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trade Arron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr & Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. ...

Editorial From the Publisher - Council: Police Reform Needed Now

Through years of ceaseless protest, activists have tried to hold Portland Police to account. ...

After the Verdicts

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum shares her thoughts after the verdicts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In the French language, steps forward and back for women

LE PECQ, France (AP) — The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week. Warning that the well-being of France and its future are at stake, the government banned the use in schools of a method increasingly used by some French...

Rachel Zoll, much-admired AP religion writer, dead at 55

Rachel Zoll, who for 17 years as religion writer for The Associated Press endeared herself to colleagues, competitors and sources with her warm heart and world-class reporting skills, died Friday in Amherst, Massachusetts, after a three-year bout with brain cancer. She was 55. ...

Man charged in stabbings of 2 Asian women a no-show in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The arraignment of a man who allegedly stabbed two older women without warning at a San Francisco bus stop was postponed Friday after he refused to leave his jail cell and appear in court. Patrick Thompson's arraignment on charges of attempted murder,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jhené Aiko, Saweetie to perform on AAPI advocacy TV special

NEW YORK (AP) — Platinum-selling performers of part-Asian descent, including R&B singer Jhené Aiko and rapper Saweetie, will perform on a TV special produced by The Asian American Foundation, the newly formed organization launched to improve AAPI advocacy. TAAF announced...

In the shadow of COVID-19, a toll on entertainment workers

NEW YORK (AP) — Like so many, the pandemic upended life for actor and dancer Rena Riffel. The Los Angeles-based performer needed help with rent, utilities and counselling when jobs suddenly dried up. “Being an artist, we are already very fragile with our finances," she...

David Oyelowo fulfills new directing passion in 'Water Man'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While starring in films like “Selma” and “Lee Daniels' The Butler,” actor David Oyelowo discovered a new passion: directing. Oyelowo was inspired to step behind-the-camera after learning different nuances of the craft from respected directors like...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sherpa guide scales Mount Everest for record 25th time

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time on Friday, breaking his own record...

Last wild macaw in Rio is lonely and looking for love

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Some have claimed she’s indulging a forbidden romance. More likely, loneliness compels...

Texas GOP's voting restriction bill passes House

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has become the latest Republican-dominated state to advance sweeping new limits on...

Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch blasts Tigray 'genocide'

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in his first public comments on the war in the...

Ahead of Harris meeting, Mexico president accuses US

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Just before an online meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Friday, Mexico President...

Deadly police shootout prompts claims of abuse in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A bloody, hour-long gunbattle in a Rio de Janeiro slum echoed into Friday, with...

Eloisa Capurro, Dario Klein and Catherine E. Shoichet CNN

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (CNN) -- 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.

 

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