11-29-2022  2:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

James Posey Elected Next President of NAACP Portland Chapter

Co-founder of the National Association of Minority Contractors of Oregon will take office at the beginning of next year. 

The Science of Lullabies: Portland Music Educator Gathers Songs of Soothing from Around the World

Licia Claire Seaman’s new book shares stories, neurobiology and music. 

The KKK in Oregon: Same Wine, Different Bottle

Oregon and the Klan: Guest Column: The tactics and rhetoric deployed by today’s Trump-centric conservative movement read like the playbook of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago.

NEWS BRIEFS

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Georgia High Court Reinstates Ban on Abortions After 6 Weeks

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Pose Ongoing Concern to Health of Youth in Los Angeles County, Report from Public Health Shows

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Oregon senator's fiery words test free speech limits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator who made veiled threats against the Oregon State Police and the Senate president said Tuesday that he's pursuing a freedom of speech lawsuit against fellow lawmakers who sanctioned him. The Senate Conduct Committee on Monday rescinded the...

Patriot Front member pleads guilty to disturbing the peace

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — One of the 31 members of a white supremacist group arrested near an Idaho Pride event earlier this year has pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace. Alexander N. Sisenstein, 27, of Midvale, Utah, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Monday, the...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

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OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

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When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

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Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

S. Carolina's US House maps under scrutiny because of race

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Oregon senator's fiery words test free speech limits

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator who made veiled threats against the Oregon State Police and the Senate president said Tuesday that he's pursuing a freedom of speech lawsuit against fellow lawmakers who sanctioned him. The Senate Conduct Committee on Monday rescinded the...

Man gets 10 years in shooting that sparked racial protests

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a white man to 10 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Barry Washington Jr. outside a nightclub last year in Bend, Oregon. Ian Cranston, 28, was sentenced Monday to 10 years in state prison and three years of parole on five counts,...

ENTERTAINMENT

More than 150 agents back striking HarperCollins workers

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 150 literary agents, whose clients include Danielle Jackson, V.E. Schwab and L.A. Chandlar, have signed an open letter to HarperCollins vowing to “omit” the publisher from upcoming book submissions until it reaches an agreement with striking employees. ...

HBO to air Nancy Pelosi doc shot by daughter Alexandra

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'Gaslighting' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — “Gaslighting” — behavior that's mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful — is Merriam-Webster's word of the year. Lookups for the word on merriam-webster.com increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before. But something else happened. There...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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Trial starts in Norway for Putin ally's son who flew drone

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Man arrested in UK over deaths of 27 during Channel crossing

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By Fred Pleitgen. Josh Levs and Chelsea J. Carter CNN

The United States has concluded Syria carried out chemical weapons attacks against its people, President Barack Obama told "PBS NewsHour" on Wednesday, a declaration that comes amid a looming diplomatic showdown among the world's powerhouses over whether to launch a military strike against Bashar al-Assad's military.Obama's claims came at the end of a day that saw Russia and China walk out of a U.N. Security Council meeting as word surfaced Britain planned to pursue a resolution to authorize the use of force against Syria, even as United Nations weapons inspectors were in Syria assessing whether chemical weapons have been used.

"We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out," Obama told "NewsHour."



"And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences," the president added.

 

They Couldn't Breathe

Allegations of a chemical weapons attack carried out by al-Assad's forces in a Damascus suburb last week triggered the international machinations, which have been growing as body counts on both sides in the more-than-2-year-old civil war have increased.

Those who claimed to have survived the alleged chemical weapons attack described a horrific scene in the town of Zamalka.

"After the chemicals, they woke us up and told us to put masks on," a 6-year-old boy said, describing the alleged attack.

"I told my dad I can't breathe. My father then fainted and I fainted right after that, but we were found and taken to the emergency room."

CNN obtained video of the boy and others who made the claims to a journalist in the area.

Al-Assad's government has blamed rebels for carrying out the attack, a claim that Obama told PBS was impossible.

"We have looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed ... chemical weapons of that sort," he said. "We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks."

In the video obtained by CNN, one man claimed he evacuated two dead bodies during the attack. "Then there was another explosion. I couldn't breathe, I had cramps and I couldn't see. The doctors helped me."

The horror of the attack on civilians has jolted the world into potential action on a crisis that has killed more than 100,000 people, according to the United Nations.

Last week was not the first time chemical weapons are believed to have been used in the conflict. But it was by far the worst.

"Syria is now undoubtedly the most serious crisis facing the international community," Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. and Arab League special envoy to Syria, said Wednesday in Geneva.

"It does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people," he said. The death toll could be in the hundreds, or possibly more than a thousand, he said.

Brahimi said the crisis in Syria shows how important it is "for the Syrians and the international community to really develop the political will to address this issue seriously and look for solutions for it."

NATO also followed suit with a warning of its own Wednesday.

"The Syrian regime maintains custody of stockpiles of chemical weapons. Information available from a wide variety of sources points to the Syrian regime as responsible for the use of chemical weapons in these attacks. This is a clear breach of long-standing international norms and practice.

"Any use of such weapons is unacceptable and cannot go unanswered. Those responsible must be held accountable. We consider the use of chemical weapons as a threat to international peace and security," NATO said in a statement. Some Syrians have told CNN they doubt their government used chemical weapons.

'Not warmongers'

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari lashed out Wednesday at the warnings and threats.

"We are not warmongers. We are a peaceful nation seeking stability in the area because instability would serve the Israeli interests," he told reporters at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

"We are in a state of war," and preparing for the possibility of such a scenario, he said. "The Syrian government is looking for stability."

Jaafari accused rebels of obtaining material to produce chemical weapons "from outside powers -- mainly speaking, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar."

In a letter to the United Nations, Syria asked for the U.N. weapons inspectors to stay in the country beyond their weekend deadline, Jaafari said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not address the letter directly but seemed to ask for a reprieve Wednesday for the sake of the inspectors. "The team needs time to do its job," he said from The Hague, where he visited the International Criminal Court.

He said the inspectors had already collected valuable evidence.

'Groundless excuses'

Russia, a close ally of Syria, is expected to use its veto power to block a resolution, setting up a possible diplomatic showdown.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insists there is no proof yet Syria's government is behind the chemical weapons attack.

The ministry accused Washington of trying to "create artificial groundless excuses for military intervention."

"The West handles the Islamic world the way a monkey handles a grenade," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted.

China, which also has a permanent seat on the council, would also probably object to military measures.

"It's time that the United Nations Security Council shouldered its responsibilities on Syria, which for the past two and a half years it's failed to do," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

He added that even if China and Russia veto a resolution, "We and other nations still have a responsibility" to act.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile, warned Wednesday of "graver conditions" if strikes are carried out against Syria.

"If any country attacks another when it wants, that is like the Middle Ages," he said.

U.S. ruled out ground troops

For almost two years, President Barack Obama has avoided direct military involvement in Syria's bloody civil war as the death toll skyrocketed to more than 100,000, according to U.N. estimates.

But Obama had warned that a chemical attack would cross a "red line."

The White House previously ruled out sending ground troops to Syria or implementing a no-fly zone to blunt al-Assad's aerial superiority over rebels.

Brahimi said international law requires that that the Security Council approve military action.

"I do know that President Obama and the American administration are not known to be trigger-happy," he said. "What they will decide I don't know."

Outside of the United Nations, a military coalition is taking shape among Western powers.

France has also signaled it would join Western military intervention against forces supporting al-Assad.

French President Francois Hollande said France is "ready to punish those who made the decision to gas these innocent people."

The French parliament will hold a session next week to debate the situation in Syria.

Britain's Parliament, meanwhile, is voting on a motion Thursday that would rule out any consideration of possible military action until the United Nations chemical weapons inspectors explain their findings to the U.N. Security Council.

After the inspectors have made their findings, members of Parliament would be required to take another vote, according to the motion being put forward.

Australia said Wednesday it will not send troops to Syria.

Meanwhile, Iran is sending a delegation to Syria on Saturday to "study the latest developments," the semi-official Fars News Agency reported Wednesday, citing a senior parliamentary lawmaker.

The visit will examine "Syria's conditions and showing support for the Syrian government and nation after the recent US threats," Seyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, parliament's national security and foreign policy commissioner, told the news agency.

 

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reported from Syria. CNN's Josh Levs and Chelsea J. Carter reported from Atlanta. CNN's Ben Brumfield Hamdi Alkhshali, Jomana Karadsheh, Boriana Milanova, Chris Lawrence, Jim Acosta, Samira Said, Joe Sterling, Elise Labott, Jill Dougherty and Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report.

 

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