02-06-2023  4:57 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Cop Fired for Leaking False Allegations Against City Commissioner Reinstated

Mayor Ted Wheeler fired Brian Hunzeker after he leaked a false complaint saying city Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty had been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

Hundreds of Portland City Workers on Strike for Better Pay

Workers represented by the union Laborers’ Local 483 have been without a contract since June. Negotiations over a new four-year deal broke down in December

Washington State Gov. Inslee Tests Positive for COVID-19

He plans to continue working. Trudi Inslee, the first spouse, has tested negative.

Oregon BIPOC Caucus Calls for Action to Support Victims of Gun Violence

The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus has released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color

NEWS BRIEFS

Market Features Work of Local Black-Owned Businesses for Black History Month

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The Seattle Public Library's Homework Help Program Expands to Eight Locations and Increases Hours

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County Seeks Community Needs Survey Responses From Residents

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"Meet Me at Higo" Opens in the Level 8 Gallery of The Seattle Public Library's Central Library

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NAACP Portland Calls for Justice With Community Prayer Vigil

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US states take control of abortion debate with funding focus

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Though the Insight Women’s Center sits at the epicenter of a reinvigorated battle in the nation’s culture wars, the only hint of its faith-based mission to dissuade people from getting abortions is the jazzy, piano rendition of “Jesus Loves Me” playing in a waiting...

Arrest made in stolen yacht rescue, 'Goonies' fish incident

SEATTLE (AP) — A stolen yacht. A dramatic Coast Guard rescue. A dead fish. And the famed home featured in the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Combined, Oregon police called it a series of “really odd” events along the Pacific Northwest coast spanning 48 hours that concluded...

Jones scores 18, Southern Illinois tops Missouri State 73-53

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Lance Jones' 18 points helped Southern Illinois defeat Missouri State 73-53 on Sunday. Jones also added four steals for the Salukis (18-7, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference). Troy D'Amico shot 5 of 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the line to add 15 points....

DeVries and Drake earn 85-82 2OT win over Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Tucker DeVries scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Drake beat Valparaiso 85-82 in double overtime on Saturday night. Roman Penn scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (19-6, 10-4 Missouri Valley...

OPINION

Updates That May Affect Your Tax Season

The IRS released a statement that taxpayers should brace themselves for small tax refunds due to no economic impact payments ...

Unaffordable Rental Costs Now Plague 44 Million People in Every State Economic Inequality Places Most Risk of Eviction on Blacks and the Poor

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The Beating and Murder of Mr. Tyre Nichols, A Black Man

Time to Abolish the Criminal Injustice System ...

It's Time to Irrigate the Fallow Ground of Minority Media Ownership

In 2023, one aspect of civil rights and racial justice that barely remains addressed is racial inclusion in media ownership. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

DeSantis eyes 2024 from afar as GOP rivals move toward runs

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At Nichols' funeral, Black America's grief on public display

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Arkansas Gov. Sanders to give GOP response to Biden address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican address to the nation in response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech next week as the GOP seeks to show it's creating a new generation of leaders. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and...

ENTERTAINMENT

Why is R&B music more explicit than ever? It’s complicated.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tank was nervous after sending his manager a preview of “When We” — he’d never released a song that explicit. “He’s like, ‘You’re crazy, but it’s jammin'!’” the R&B singer recalled. “It ended up being my biggest record ever.” Released in...

Gordy, Robinson honored at reunion of Motown stars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Temptations, the Isley Brothers and the Four Tops turned back time, singing and dancing as if in their prime at a reunion of Motown stars. The occasion was to honor Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson for their musical...

'Knock at the Cabin' knocks off 'Avatar' at the box office

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in almost two months, the box office doesn't belong to blue people. After seven weeks as the top film in theaters, “Avatar: The Way of Water” was finally knocked out of the No. 1 spot by the M. Night Shyamalan thriller “Knock at the Cabin”...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Sports pitch for level playing field in cricket-mad Pakistan

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Sinema's split from Democrats shows party discord in Arizona

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Victims to speak in court in Chasing Horse's sex abuse case

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Greece: Snow reaches Acropolis, halts services

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Vinícius Júnior again targeted by racist insults in Spain

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Concern rises for lives of 2 Thai activists on hunger strike

BANGKOK (AP) — Concerns about the condition of two hunger strikers in Thailand seeking political and judicial...

By Faith Karimi Holly Yan and Lillian Leposo





Kenya Mall AttackNAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Fifty-nine dead. At least 175 injured. About 30 hostages still inside, as well as perhaps a dozen gunmen.Those are the grim numbers, a day after attackers stormed an upscale Nairobi mall, spraying bullets and holding shoppers captive.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta told reporters Sunday afternoon the tragedy was personal; one of his nephews and his fiancee were among the 59 people killed.

"We will punish the masterminds (of the attack) swiftly, and indeed very painfully," Kenyatta said.

Kenyan government and Western diplomatic sources said Al-Shabaab militants were holding about 30 hostages inside the shopping center.

By noon Sunday, as grim-faced Kenyan soldiers warily searched the five-story building -- and as Al-Shabaab maintained its defiant stance -- the siege was no closer to a resolution.

Officials believe 10 to 15 gunmen are involved, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Sunday.

"We know that they were across the building," Esipisu told CNN's Zain Verjee. "We know that they are now isolated somewhere within the building."

More than 175 were injured in the attack, Kenyatta said.

It was the deadliest terror attack in the nation since al Qaeda blew up the U.S. Embassy in 1998, killing more than 200 people.

The attack Saturday targeted a popular weekend meeting spot. Kenyans and expatriates gather at the luxurious Westgate mall on weekends to drink lattes, catch a movie or browse through the more than 80 stores.

Al-Shabaab, al Qaeda's proxy in Somalia, claimed responsibility, and said it was not backing down. In a message on its Twitter feed, the group said "all Muslims" were escorted from the mall before the attack.

"When justice is denied, it must be enforced," it said in a tweet Sunday. "Kenyans were relatively safe in their cities before they invaded us & killed Muslims #Westgate"

As the sun rose Sunday, the standoff between Kenyan forces and the attackers continued.

Soldiers kept vigil outside the mall, guns dangling from their shoulders.

"We want to do everything possible, and the security people are doing everything possible to make sure we lose no more lives," Esipisu said.

 

Many questions

Three injured security forces were taken out of the besieged mall, but the severity of their injuries was unclear.

By midday Sunday, at least 1,000 people had been freed from the mall, Esipisu said. "Our priority is now those that remain inside."

An apparent hostage left the building Sunday, and said she had been hiding in the basement of the mall, CNN affiliate KTN reported.

Al-Shabaab vowed not to negotiate with Kenyan authorities.

"The Mujahideen are still strong inside #Westgate Mall and still holding their ground," the group tweeted late Saturday.

Israeli special forces are at the scene and are working with their Kenyan counterparts in the hostage crisis, Kenyan government sources tell CNN.

Esipisu said there were reports of a white woman among the hostage takers. Kenyan intelligence officials were investigating the claims, he said.

Esipisu was asked if the reported woman was thought to be the infamous Al-Shabaab-affiliated "White Widow," Samantha Lewthwaite. "Nothing is being ruled out," he said.

But CNN terrrorism analyst Peter Bergen said it was unlikely.

"It would be very unusual for a woman to be involved in one of these operations," he said. "Typically these groups are misogynist. Their view is the woman should be in a home and shrouded in a body veil."

Lewthwaite's husband, Germaine Lindsey, was one of the suicide bombers killed in the 2005 attack on London's transportation system. His Buckinghamshire-born widow is wanted by Kenyan authorities for her alleged role as an Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda-linked financier.

 

A day of horror

The calm was shattered around noon local time Saturday. Gunshots erupted as shoppers picked up groceries, savored lunch and browsed through the racks at stores.

Before long, pools of blood smeared pristine hallways. Bodies lay strewn across the floor.

Uche Kaigwa-Okoye was sipping coffee when he heard what first sounded like a fallen table, then the continuing rat-a-tat of gunfire. As the gunshots became louder, screaming crowds headed for the exits.

He joined 20 people who took shelter for about five hours in a women's bathroom cubicle.

"They had grenades, and it was really, really loud," he said of the attackers. He noticed tear gas in the hallways as well.

"All of us felt like they were close," he said.

As people texted family and friends outside the mall, word spread that nobody could be trusted. And even if the good guys could be sorted from the bad guys, the intermittent barrages of gunfire made any escape attempt seem futile.

Sara Head, a Washington resident, experienced similar horror in the mall's parking garage. As her car pulled up, she heard gunfire. She crawled underneath and hid behind cars before getting into a stairwell.

Eventually, the stairwell lights came back on and the door to a nearby supermarket opened. She dashed through, passed a nearby loading dock and fled to safety.

"There was blood throughout the supermarket," Head said. "It wasn't clear if it was OK to exit."

The national disaster agency reported early Sunday morning that five "visibly shaken" hostages had been released. It said "major operations underway." What that meant was a mystery.

 

Foreigners among casualties

Most of the casualties are Kenyan, authorities said. But the mall is popular with expatriates and foreign nationals, who were among those killed and injured.

Those killed include three British citizens, two French nationals and two Canadians, including a diplomat, their governments said.

Several American citizens were among the wounded, including Elaine Dang, a University of California, Berkeley, graduate.

Dang worked as the general manager for Eat Out Kenya, which confirmed her injuries on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

The State Department said Saturday there were several Americans among the injured, but none among the dead. Secretary of State John Kerry didn't offer details.

The U.S. Embassy is asking personnel to stay in place Sunday and avoid the Westgate Mall area and any large gatherings. All U.S. citizens in Kenya are urged to register online so the embassy can provide them with updated information on travel and security -- and can contact them in case of emergency.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said one national was slightly wounded and three escaped. A cafe at the mall is owned by an Israeli, but the ministry does not believe the mall was targeted because of that.

The Ghana president's office said literary figure Kofi Awoonor was among those killed in the attack.

"Such a sad twist of fate to place Prof at the wrong place at the wrong time," President John Mahama said in a statement.

 

A plea for blood

Several Kenyan agencies made a plea for blood donations.

"Hospitals are appealing for more blood, the response is incredible but more is needed," tweeted Francis Kimemia, secretary to the Cabinet.

And as the nation grappled with the aftermath, Kenyatta blasted "the despicable perpetrators of this cowardly act," and said they will be brought to justice.

'We shall hunt down the perpetrators'

 

Kenya is no stranger to terrorism.

A 1998 bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi left 213 dead. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

Since Kenya launched attacks against Al-Shabaab in Somalia in 2011, the group has hurled grenades at Kenyan churches, bus stops and other public places.

In a televised speech late Saturday, Kenyatta said his nation has "overcome" attacks before, refusing to budge from its values or relinquish its security. And it will do so again, he promised.

"We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to," the president said. "We shall get them, and we shall punish them for this heinous crime."

But first, authorities will have to get to all the assailants and hostages still inside the mall.

 

CNN's Faith Karimi, Holly Yan and Greg Botelho reported and wrote from Atlanta; Lillian Lesposo reported from Nairobi. CNN's Tim Lister, Nima Elbagir, Joseph Netto, Boriana Milanova, Jamie Crawford, Stefan Simons, Karen Smith and Azadeh Ansari contributed to this report.

MLK Breakfast 2023

Photos from The Skanner Foundation's 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.