01-22-2022  7:30 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report: Oregon Has Too Few Public Defenders

Oregon has only roughly one-third of the public defense attorneys it needs to provide reasonably effective assistance to low-income defendants

Blumenauer Boosts Efforts to Put Three Black History Landmarks on National List

Congressman makes case for Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel’s importance to city history and heritage.

Lawsuit Says New Majority Latino District in WA a 'Facade'

A Latino civil rights organization and others filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday that says new political maps in Washington state approved by a bipartisan redistricting panel intentionally dilute Hispanic voters' influence.

Washington Students' Test Scores Drop Significantly

Reports show that between 2019 and 2021, the overall percentage of students who met state standards on the math portion of the exam fell by 20 percentage points.

NEWS BRIEFS

Five Schools Return to In-person Instruction on Jan. 24

Alliance, Faubion, Franklin, Ockley Green, and Roosevelt return to in-person instruction; George, Harriet Tubman and Kellogg...

Portland Winter Light Festival Begins in Two Weeks, Illuminating City for Seventh Time

Free, all-ages, outdoor activity returns with new opportunities for outdoor art experiences all across Portland ...

PassinArt Introduces ‘Play Reading Mondays’

The Spanish Jade and The Learning Curve, both directed by William Earl Ray premiere in February ...

Revamped TriMet Website Makes Planning Trips Easier With Map-Based Tools

Riders can now track real-time locations of buses and trains on their smartphone ...

PHOTOS: Founder of The American History Traveling Museum: The Unspoken Truths Honored

Delbert Richardson's Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha XI Chapter fraternity brothers presented him a plaque that reads “Your commitment to...

Oregon man pleads guilty to distributing pot on dark web

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Springfield man has pleaded guilty to distributing marijuana on the dark web and laundering his cryptocurrency proceeds, according to federal prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon said Robert Kelly O’Neill, 59, waived indictment and...

Police: Lacey cops shoot, kill man who fired at officers

LACEY, Wash. (AP) — Lacey police shot and killed a man Thursday night who fired at officers, presumably hitting one in their bulletproof vest, authorities said. Police responded to a home around 8:30 p.m. after a woman called saying she had been attacked and had left the residence...

UNLV promotes interim AD Harper to full-time job

LAS VEGAS (AP) — UNLV has promoted interim athletic director Erick Harper to serve in the job full time. Harper's hiring, announced on Monday, was effective Jan. 1. He had served as interim athletic director since Desiree Reed-Francois left UNLV for Missouri in August. ...

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night. After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army...

OPINION

OP-ED: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

January 6th, Voting Rights and the Tyranny Threatening America ...

Support Nikole Hannah-Jones and The 1619 Project

This important and ambitious project pulled back the curtain of euphemistic rhetoric composing American historiography that points only to the good in our history and sweeps under the rug the evil deeds perpetrated against people of color ...

In 2021, Organized Labor is Again Flexing its Muscles

We have seen dramatic change in the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Biden. ...

Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap for Social Media Influencers

The racial pay gap has long presented issues for African Americans in Corporate America and other industries. It’s now filtered to social media. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Jewish leaders urge worship attendance after hostage siege

On the eve of her 100th birthday Saturday, Ruth Salton told her daughter she was going one way or another to Friday night Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel, just days after a gunman voicing antisemitic conspiracy theories held four worshippers hostage for 10 hours at the Fort Worth-area...

McConnell responds to uproar over comment about Black voters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back Friday against the uproar over a comment he made about African American voters, calling the criticism directed his way “outrageous.” McConnell had been accused of racism for saying that “African...

Abuse victims see inequity in payouts at 2 Michigan schools

Two former University of Michigan football stars who stand to receive as much as 0,000 each through the school's sexual abuse settlement with more than 1,000 students say the per-victim payouts should be much higher, pointing to a similar case at rival Michigan State. Dwight Hicks...

ENTERTAINMENT

Eva Longoria Bastón's doc looks at Chávez, De La Hoya fight

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya wanted to make a documentary about his 1996 fight against Julio César Chávez. It was coming up on 25 years since the “Ultimate Glory” showdown and he figured the time was right to look back. So he asked Eva Longoria Bastón, his friend of 20 years, if she’d be...

Review: Penny and Sparrow push past Americana in 'Olly Olly'

“Olly Olly,” Penny and Sparrow (I Love You / Thirty Tigers) In the first few unassuming bars of Penny and Sparrow’s new album, “Olly Olly,” it is not immediately apparent that this collection of songs signifies a shift for duo Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke. ...

'SNL' comics Jost, Davidson buy Staten Island Ferry boat

NEW YORK (AP) — “Saturday Night Live” comics Colin Jost and Pete Davidson have purchased a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat for 0,100 with plans to turn it into New York's hottest club. Jost and Davidson teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia on Wednesday's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Thich Nhat Hanh, influential Zen Buddhist monk, dies at 95

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Zen Buddhist monk who helped spread the practice of...

AP Week in Pictures: Global

JAN. 15 - 21, 2022 From people braving the icy lake waters in Russia for Epiphany, to a camel...

First flights leave Chinese city Xi'an as travel curbs ease

BEIJING (AP) — The first commercial airline flights in one month took off Saturday from Xi’an in western China...

Russia hits all-time high of new infections, blames omicron

MOSCOW (AP) — Daily new coronavirus infections in Russia reached an all-time high Friday and authorities blamed...

Burkina Faso forces fire tear gas at anti-govt protests

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Security forces fired tear gas at protesters barricading the streets and...

Latin America, Asia latest to get hit with omicron surge

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip...

Jethro Mullen and Junko Ogura CNN

TOKYO (CNN) -- Attempts by the operator of Japan's stricken nuclear power plant to deal with alarming leaks of toxic water are like a game of "whack-a-mole," the country's industry minister said this week.

The time has come for the government to step in, Toshimitsu Motegi believes.

A litany of problems has beset the Fukushima Daiichi power plant since it was crippled by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan in 2011. The most troubling at the moment is how to contain the swelling volume of radioactive water flowing from the damaged reactor buildings.

Last week another calamity added itself to the catalog of worrying incidents.

Hundreds of tons of contaminated water leaked from a huge storage tank, one of close to a thousand hulking containers at the plant.

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority declared the leak a "serious incident," its gravest warning since the 2011 natural disaster triggered a meltdown in three reactors.

Weeks ago, plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), admitted that radioactive groundwater was leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the site, bypassing an underground barrier built to seal in the water.

'Whack-a-mole'

Tepco said this week that it is taking measures to tackle the problems at the site, including stepping up inspections of the water tanks and other possible sources of leaks. It has transferred the remaining contaminated water from the leaky tank to another container.

The company's president, Natomi Hirose, said Monday that it may bring in experts from outside of Japan to help advise the task force that is dealing with the toxic water crisis.

But the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which had already expressed dissatisfaction with Tepco's response, appears to have lost patience.

"Countermeasures led by Tepco to stop the contaminated water leaks have been like a "whack-a-mole" arcade game," Motegi said Monday after a visit to the plant. "From now on, the government is going to step forward."

His comments reinforce the words of Abe, who said earlier this month that the contaminated water crisis at the site "is not an issue where we can let Tepco take complete responsibility."

Abe said the problem had to be dealt with at "a national level" and ordered Motegi's ministry to come up with "multiple, speedy and sure solutions to this issue."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday that the ministry's measures could draw on the government's reserve funds.

But experts say that any potential solutions, such as freezing the ground around the plant or releasing radioactive water into the ocean, are likely to present significant technological and political challenges for the government.

Chernobyl visit

Against the backdrop of the toxic water crisis at Fukushima, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday visited Chernobyl in the Ukraine, the site of the worst nuclear accident in history.

Kishida and his Ukrainian counterpart pledged cooperation between the two countries on dealing with the aftermath of nuclear disasters, the foreign minister said.

The scale of the calamity that unfolded at Fukushima, after the tsunami knocked out cooling systems for the three reactors that were operating at the time, is second only to Chernobyl.

Meltdowns and hydrogen explosions spewed radioactive particles across many of the surrounding towns, complicating an already historic disaster. Though no deaths have been directly attributed to the accident, tens of thousands of people from towns as far as 25 miles away have been displaced by the disaster.

It crippled Tepco financially, and the government had to bail it out.

Meanwhile, problems have continued to arise at the plant.

Vast volumes of water

In March, the company said that a rat was believed to have caused a temporary power outage at the facility.

In July, Tepco disclosed that water in a test well at the reactor showed concentrations of radioactive tritium in one well as high as 500,000 becquerels -- a unit of radioactive intensity -- per liter of water. By comparison, Japan's maximum safe level of radioactivity in drinking water for adults is 300 becquerels per liter.

Vast stands of storage tanks have grown up around the plant as the company struggles to deal with the high volume of tainted water.

About 400 tons of groundwater flow through the site each day, and Tepco also pumps large amounts water through the buildings to keep the crippled reactors cool.

The tank where the leak was discovered last week was one of about 350 tanks built as temporary storage units in the aftermath of the reactor meltdowns. They are among a total of about 1,000 tanks, 93% of which are already full of radioactive water.

Tepco, its regulators and the Japanese government now face the challenge of what to do in the short term with the hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic water stored in tanks similar to the one that leaked.

In the longer term, they have to figure out how to deal with all the contaminated water being kept at the plant.

And they have to find a way to stop the groundwater from flowing through the site and into the ocean.

CNN's Junko Ogura reported from Tokyo, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.

 

The Skanner Foundation's Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

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