01-26-2022  4:11 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

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU to Present 'To Survive on This Shore

Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults' ...

Final Week for 'Mending The Social Fabric' Interactive Exhibit

A parachute with rips and tears encourages community over the course of the exhibition as visitors sit and mend. The piece will be...

Nearly 35,000 Oregon Households Have Received More Than $243 Million in Rental Assistance Relief During Pandemic

OHCS will again begin accepting new applications for OERAP starting on Wed., Jan. 26, 2022. ...

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...

COVID cases decline in Seattle area, surge moves east

SEATTLE (AP) — Cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 are decreasing in the Seattle metro area, but hospital leaders are warning that the variant is gaining steam in eastern Washington and could further stress health care facilities. In King County, data shows the rise in omicron...

Oregon Legislature: Will Dems, GOP be able to get along?

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As Oregon lawmakers prepare to return to the state Capitol next week for the 35-day legislative session, Republicans and Democrats have differing opinions on what that time should be used for. While Republicans say traditionally the short legislative session...

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

Biden nominating 6 lawyers for federal prosecutor posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is nominating six lawyers to run U.S. attorney’s offices across the country, a diverse group of candidates in the latest picks for the top law enforcement positions. The nominees, being announced by the White House on Wednesday, would run the...

India's Republic Day parade curtailed amid COVID-19

NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of people braved a morning chill Wednesday on a ceremonial boulevard in India's capital to watch a display of the country’s military power and cultural diversity, but the colorful annual Republic Day spectacle was curtailed amid COVID-19. Nearly 500...

Prosecution witnesses say they feared for Floyd's life

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors at the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights are trying to show that even bystanders knew the Black man needed help, while the officers failed to act as former Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on...

ENTERTAINMENT

At Sundance, documentaries resurrect lost eras of music

NEW YORK (AP) — Can a music scene still develop the way grunge did in 1990's Seattle or hip-hop did in the Bronx in the 1970s? Or has the digital makeover of music made such geographical-based explosions obsolete? It's a question that hovers over the Sundance Film Festival...

‘Aftershock’ puts human face to maternal health crisis in US

It was 2017 when filmmaker Paula Eiselt started seeing articles about rising maternal mortality rates in the United States. She’d had traumatic experiences giving birth to her four children, but didn’t realize that the problems were widespread and disproportionately affecting Black women. ...

Howie Mandel urges pal Jay Leno to air 'Late Night' laundry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Howie Mandel has a bone to pick with his longtime friend Jay Leno. On the podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff,” he tells Leno he should have publicly defended himself in the “Tonight Show" rivalries of decades past, when Leno and David Letterman and then Leno...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Picasso heirs launch digital art piece to ride 'crypto' wave

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Meet Methuselah, the oldest living aquarium fish

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Indigenous town in Mexico survives on remittances from US

COMACHUEN, Mexico (AP) — In Comachuen, a Purepecha Indigenous community of about 10,000 inhabitants nestled high...

Picasso heirs launch digital art piece to ride 'crypto' wave

GENEVA (AP) — Pablo, meet Crypto. Heirs of Pablo Picasso, the famed 20th-century Spanish artist,...

Pope's right knee ligament inflamed, curbing mobility

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday he is suffering from an inflamed ligament in his right knee that makes...

Australia navy ship with infected crew offloads aid to Tonga

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian navy's largest ship docked at disaster-stricken Tonga on Wednesday and...

By Ramy Inocencio CNN



The death of several girls and women from injuries sustained during rapes spurred mass anti-rape protests in India


A Hindu holy man castrated himself in India Wednesday following the arrest of popular preacher Asaram Bapu, revered by millions across the country for his sermons on enlightenment. Police have charged the 72-year old guru with raping a 16-year-old schoolgirl at one of his ashrams, or religious centers, in August.

Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh found Baba Premdas, a 60-year old follower of Bapu, bleeding at his home in Amethi from apparently self-inflicted wounds, city police chief Alankrita Singh told CNN. Premdas was admitted to a local hospital and then taken to a bigger health facility for surgery where his condition "is stable", said Singh.

Asked whether his act was related to the arrest of Asaram Bapu, Singh added, "We have heard such things, but all this is unconfirmed."

"Some say it was because of Bapu's arrest," said Singh to AFP earlier, "some say it was because he feared ending up in Bapu's situation. No one knows."

Bapu has denied the sexual assault allegations leveled by the teenage girl and her parents, both devotees of the guru. The elderly preacher has also claimed he is physically incapable of rape but police say medical tests show him to be in good shape.

"The team of doctors is saying he is perfectly, medically, mentally and physically fit," said Ajayal Lamba, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Jodhpur.

Bapu, also referred to as the "godman" in local Indian media, is currently in jail awaiting trial after a court rejected his bail plea earlier this week, public prosecutor Anand Purohit told CNN. The prosecution plans to present a detailed dossier of the charges in the trial soon, he said.

This month's unfolding rape case against Bapu is just the latest in a series of sexual assault incidents in India since late 2012 that have gained high-profile attention both for their frequency and ferocity.

It was the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi last December that galvanized Indian society and the media in particular, to examine the pervasive incidence of rape and other forms of violence against women. The barbarity of the crime ignited a wide-ranging discussion across all levels of the Indian media and prompted multiple debates in the national and regional assemblies. Stung into action by public outrage, the government instituted new laws and crucially stricter punishments, which includes the death penalty when victims are killed or left in a vegetative state.

Furthermore in a sharp departure with previous practice, predatory behavior such as voyeurism, stalking and groping can now lead to arrest and punishment. India's court system is now making greater use of fast-track trials to prosecute the most heinous and high-profile crimes against women. Local and national media have maintained their spotlight on sexual assaults and other violence against women, leading to a torrent of disturbing reports following last December's horrific rape incident.

In March, at least five men from a local tribe gang-raped a Swiss woman camping with her husband in a forest in India's Datia district. A court convicted six men to life in prison four months later.

In April, a 4-year-old Indian girl was raped by a 35-year-old man in India's central Maharashtra state. The girl suffered brain damage and was in a coma for two weeks before dying from cardiac arrest.

And in June, at least three men gang-raped a 31-year-old American tourist in northern India after she visited the Vashishth Temple after midnight. She accepted a ride from the group after failing to find a taxi. They drove her to a wooded area where they assaulted her.

While such incidents have been covered extensively by international news media, an even larger number of cases are only reported in domestic Indian news outlets -- and an unknown number simply go unreported.

Just this week in local media, the Times of India reported two men gang-raped a 27-year-old woman who had gone to a local dairy in northern Uttar Pradesh state, the Hindustan Times reported at least six to seven girls were lured to and raped at a deserted steel mill south of Mumbai over the past half year, and the Indian Express reported the story of a 14-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by two people over several months in western Gujarat state. Villagers discovered the girl was pregnant but later miscarried twin babies.

According to India's National Crime Records Bureau, the country recorded 24,923 cases of reported rape in 2012 -- a 57% rise in reported cases since 2003. This number is widely considered to be extremely underreported for a country of more than 1 billion people. The United States, with a population of more than 310 million, recorded 270,000 cases of rape in 2010, the most recent year for which national rape statistics are available.

CNN's Harmeet Singh and Lonzo Cook contributed to this article from New Delhi.

 

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