03-03-2021  10:34 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

4 candidates to replace lawmaker accused of harassment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Four people are vying to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Diego Hernandez, who is resigning later this month from the state House of Representatives after women accused him of harassment.Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the four are: Robin Castro, who ran for Portland...

Correction: Wave Energy Project story

In a story March 2, 2021, about (topic), The Associated Press erroneously reported (add details about the error)....

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mississippi told to pay 0K to wrongfully imprisoned man

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A judge is ordering the state of Mississippi to pay 0,000 to a Black man who was wrongfully imprisoned more than 22 years and was tried six times in a quadruple murder case.Curtis Flowers was released from prison in December 2019, months after the U.S. Supreme Court...

French government dissolves anti-migrant identity group

PARIS (AP) — France on Wednesday dissolved an identity group that for years staged spectacular actions to get out its anti-migrant message in what it claimed was a mission to preserve French and European civilization.The presidential decree at a Cabinet meeting cited an ideology...

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Klara and the Sun' is a poignant mediation on love

“Klara and the Sun,” by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)“Klara and the Sun,” by Nobel-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro, takes readers on a journey through the mind of Klara, one of many artificial friends who have been built to keep lonely children company. Klara is a one-of-a-kind...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides...

Biden stands by May timeline for vaccines for all US adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

Google vows no new user tracking in Chrome to sell ads

LONDON (AP) — Google says it won't develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it...

China, looking post-virus, to push tech autonomy at Congress

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders are shifting focus from the coronavirus back to long-term goals of making...

By Alberto Nardellli CNN




After 25 years and nearly 30 trials, Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has for the first time been handed a definitive sentence by the country's highest court.

The three-time-former premier was found guilty of tax fraud and given a four-year sentence -- of which he will serve only one year due to an amnesty aimed at cutting down on prison overcrowding.

The high court also ordered a lower court to reconsider whether Berlusconi should be banned from public office. Prosecutors had been seeking a five-year ban, but the lower court will have to review this part of the sentence, and will probably issue a three-year ban.

So what happens next? Once the sentence goes into effect in a few days, Berlusconi will have 30 days to decide how he wants to serve the one-year sentence. Jail isn't an option given that the former premier is aged 76, so the choice is between house arrest, and more likely, community service.

Then there is the question of whether Berlusconi, a member of Italy's Senate, is eligible for public office, now that he's been convicted of a crime. According to Italy's anti-corruption law, which was passed by Mario Monti's government in late 2012, Berlusconi will be ineligible to hold public office after he serves this sentence, independent of the outcome of the review by the lower court.

The Italian Senate will need to decide when Berlusconi's ineligibility begins. Does it apply immediately, which would result in him stepping down as a senator? Or does it apply after the current parliamentary term? Either way, as things stand, Berlusconi cannot run for office.

Once the public office ban is reviewed and completes its judicial journey, which will take months, it too would need a Senate vote for immediate enforcement, which could ban Berlusconi from holding public office for the duration of the sentence.

So what political implications does all this have on Enrico Letta's government and Italy's immediate political future?

The Senate vote will be the first critical step and is bound to lead to a ferocious divide in Letta's delicate "grand coalition" government, which is comprised of center-left parties and Berlusconi's center-right PdL party.

Even if Berlusconi was ineligible for office, there is technically nothing to stop him leading the center-right in an election campaign without running for office. The latest example of this in Italy is Beppe Grillo, the comedian turned politician, who leads his Five Star Movement despite being banned from public office due to a conviction over a road accident.

If the center-right won an election, the political office ban could be changed with a simple majority in parliament -- and with ineligibility out of the way, Berlusconi could at least technically become prime minister for a fourth time once the law is abolished.

Simply put, Silvio Berlusconi is down but definitely not out. A video statement he released Thursday confirmed this and read like a call to battle and the beginning of yet another very long election campaign.

We're in uncharted territory, and what happens next politically is nearly impossible to predict. But the possible outcomes include the downfall of the government.

What is certain is that in both the center-left and the center-right there will now be immense internal pressure.

With some pushing for an early election as a "referendum on Berlusconi" -- 43 percent of voters in one SWG poll released Friday believe Berlusconi is being persecuted by magistrates -- and others trying to maintain calm in order to keep the government alive in the name of national interest, it will be a question of who blinks first.

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