06-22-2024  3:12 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather

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NORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle Police Officer Fired for off-Duty Racist Comments

The termination stemmed from an altercation with his neighbor, Zhen Jin, over the disposal of dog bones at the condominium complex where they lived in Kenmore. The Seattle Office of Police Accountability had recommended a range of disciplinary actions, from a 30-day suspension to termination of employment.

New Holgate Library to Open in July

Grand opening celebration begins July 13 with ribbon cutting, food, music, fun

Nurses in Oregon Take to the Picket Lines to Demand Better Staffing, Higher Pay

The Oregon Nurses Association says they're seeking a contract that includes competitive wages and sufficient staffing levels. The CEO of Providence Oregon says they’ve been preparing for the strike for months and have contracted with replacement workers to ensure patient care does not suffer. 

Black Leaders Urge County to Continue Funding Multnomah Mothers Trust

The program has been entirely funded by American Rescue Plan grants, which run out after this year.

NEWS BRIEFS

Tiffani Penson to Kick Off Her Campaign for Portland City Council, District 2

Host Committee Includes Former State Senators Margaret Carter and Avel Gordly ...

Calling All Nonfiction Media Makers: Real to Reel is June 29

Join Open Signal for a day of collaboration and opportunity with Portland's community of nonfiction media makers. ...

Governor Kotek Observes Juneteenth

Governor Kotek joins Oregon Black Pioneers, Just Walk Salem Keizer and the Willamette Heritage Center for In Freedom’s Footsteps...

University of Portland Honored with Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

UP recognized as one of 25 institutions nationwide committed to advancing leadership in pursuit of justice, equity, diversity and...

The National Civil Rights Museum Announces 33rd Freedom Award Honorees

This is the museum's signature event, which pays tribute to individuals who have shown unwavering commitment to promoting equity and...

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and...

Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer was fired for calling his Chinese American neighbor racist and sexist slurs while off duty in 2022, according to a news report. Officer Burton Hill was fired in May, The Seattle Times reported. The termination stemmed from an...

Kansas governor signs bills enabling effort to entice Chiefs and Royals with new stadiums

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' governor signed legislation Friday enabling the state to lure the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Major League Baseball's Royals away from neighboring Missouri by helping the teams pay for new stadiums. Gov. Laura Kelly's action came three days...

A Missouri mayor says a fight over jobs is back on. Things to know about Kansas wooing the Chiefs

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan in Kansas for luring the Kansas City's two major league sports franchises from Missouri has prompted their hometown's mayor to declare that the move ends a 5-year-old agreement by the states not to poach each other's jobs. The Kansas Legislature has...

OPINION

State of the Nation’s Housing 2024: The Cost of the American Dream Jumped 47 Percent Since 2020

Only 1 in 7 renters can afford homeownership, homelessness at an all-time high ...

Juneteenth is a Sacred American Holiday

Today, when our history is threatened by erasure, our communities are being dismantled by systemic disinvestment, Juneteenth can serve as a rallying cry for communal healing and collective action. ...

Supreme Court Says 'Yes” to Consumer Protection, "No" to Payday Lenders 7-2 Decision Upholds CFPB’s Funding

A recent 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court gave consumers a long-sought victory that ended more than a decade of challenges over the constitutionality of the agency created to be the nation’s financial cop on the beat. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

South Africa's new government brings Black and white together. It's also reviving racial tensions

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — In a country where racial segregation was once brutally enforced, South Africa's new coalition government has brought a Black president and a white opposition leader together in an image of unity. Yet the power-sharing agreement sealed a week ago...

Buttigieg tours Mississippi civil rights site and says transportation is key to equity in the US

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Friday toured the home of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Mississippi's capital city, saying afterward that transportation is important to securing equity and justice in the United States. ...

Celebrations honor Willie Mays and Negro League players ahead of MLB game at Rickwood Field

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — As Ajay Stone strolled around historic Rickwood Field and gazed at tributes displayed in honor of Willie Mays and other Negro Leaguers, he clutched a cherished memory under his arm. It was a picture from 2004 of Mays holding Stone's then-10-month-old daughter...

ENTERTAINMENT

Book Review: 'Swole' explores what masculinity could be in a hyperconnected, TikTok-imaged world

Author Michael Brodeur takes the gym too seriously, and not seriously at all at the same time, in his book “Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscles” in an effort to show the readers that the overly online world of hypermasculinity is an illusion and what a man can be is what you...

List of winners at the 2024 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Winners at the 2024 Tony Awards, announced Sunday. Best Musical: “The Outsiders” Best Play: “Stereophonic” Best Revival of a Musical: “Merrily We Roll Along” Best Revival of a Play: “Appropriate” ...

Sony Pictures acquires Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the dine-in movie theater chain

Sony Pictures Entertainment is getting into the exhibition business. The studio behind recent films like “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” and “The Garfield Movie” has acquired the distinctive theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the companies said Wednesday. Included in the deal is the genre film...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, criticized for saying West provoked Putin to invade Ukraine

LONDON (AP) — Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing Reform U.K party, is facing wide-ranging criticism across...

US aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as a show of force against nuclear-armed North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier arrived Saturday in South Korea for a...

A year ago, Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin challenged the Kremlin with a mutiny

On a lazy summer weekend a year ago, Russia was jolted by the stunning news of an armed uprising. The swaggering...

How does heat kill? It confuses your brain. It shuts down your organs. It overworks your heart.

As temperatures and humidity soar outside, what's happening inside the human body can become a life-or-death...

Italian coast guard recovers 14 more bodies of shipwreck victims off Calabria, dozens still missing

ROME (AP) — The Italian coast guard has recovered 14 more bodies from last week's shipwreck in the Ionian Sea...

As U.S.-supplied weapons show impact inside Russia, Ukrainian soldiers hope for deeper strikes

KHARKIV REGION, Ukraine (AP) — Weeks after the decision allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons for...

Jim Sciutto, Jennifer Rizzo and Tom Cohen CNN

68th UN general assemblyUNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Will they or won't they?

The key question at Tuesday's opening of the U.N. General Assembly was whether U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would change years of diplomatic animosity by meeting in person, even if just for a handshake.

Both leaders were speaking on the first day of the annual gathering of world leaders in New York, and Obama made clear in his morning remarks that the United States was committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

"We will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction," he said.

At the same time, Obama welcomed what he called positive signals from Iran that it was ready to negotiate with the international community on how it can develop a peaceful use of nuclear power without creating any weapons.

"We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy," Obama said. "Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and U.N. Security Council resolutions."

He noted that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and Rouhani "just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon."

"These statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement," Obama said, adding that "to succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable."

Whether Obama and Rouhani would meet on the sidelines of the gathering remained uncertain.

A senior U.S. administration official said Tuesday the White House has "left the door open" to some kind of face-to-face interaction between the presidents.

In lieu of a full-blown meeting, could there be a chance handshake between the leaders?

"I don't think that anything would happen by happenstance on a relationship and an issue that is this important," Rhodes said.

Secretary of State John Kerry will be meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at a Thursday meeting of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany. Discussions will surround restarting talks on Iran's nuclear program.

One European Union official expressed optimism over the chance for concrete progress.

"In terms of whether we're on the verge of a breakthrough, I would put it like this: I was struck as I said by the energy and determination the foreign minister demonstrated to me," said Catherine Ashton, high representative for foreign affairs and security policy of the European Union.

But no one is expecting an overnight solution to halting Iran's effort to build a nuclear weapon, an effort Tehran denies, instead insisting its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

"The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,"Obama said.

Syria a point of contention

Iran's recent overtures signaling cooperation, though, likely stop at the topic of Syria. Iran is Syria's closest ally in the region.

"There are a lot of signs to suggest Iran is preparing for a nuclear compromise, but there are few signs to suggest that Iran is preparing to cut loose (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad," said Karim Sadjadpour, an expert on Iran at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Syria is under U.S.-led pressure to give up its chemical weapons arsenal in the aftermath of the August 21 attack on suburban Damascus that Washington and its allies blame on the al-Assad regime.

Obama said Tuesday that Syria's use of chemical weapons tested the relevance of the United Nations in the modern world, and he rejected contentions by the al-Assad regime and its main ally, Russia, that rebel forces were responsible for the attack.

"It is an insult to human reason -- and to the legitimacy of this institution -- to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack," Obama said.

Russia has blocked U.S. efforts to secure a strong Security Council resolution authorizing possible military force if Syria fails to comply with international regulations on turning over its chemical stockpiles. Obama argued Tuesday that such a resolution was vital.

"There must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so," he said. "If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the U.N. is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that this body means what it says."

In his remarks to open the General Assembly on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the Syrian government to "fully and quickly" honor its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which calls for turning over control of its stockpiles.

At the same time, Ban appealed for all sides to stop supplying any weapons to all parties in the Syrian civil war while urging both the Syrian government and the opposition to respect international humanitarian law.

Al-Assad hinted at potential trouble for chemical weapons inspectors coming into the country, saying other countries may order terrorists to attack them.

"Those militants might want to stop experts' arrival. We know that those terrorists are under the control of some countries," he said in an interview Sunday with Chinese television. "And those countries may encourage the terrorists to stop experts from arrival, so that they could accuse the Syrian government for violating the agreement."

Despite al-Assad's veiled threat, positive progress has been made on the Syrian chemical weapons deal brokered by the United States and Russia in Geneva. Over the weekend, the United States said it was pleasantly surprised by the extent of Syria's initial declaration of its chemical weapons stockpile reported to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The United States is pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution this week in New York to enforce the Geneva deal.