09-18-2020  1:29 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
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NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

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United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

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NEWS BRIEFS

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

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Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

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National Black Farmers' Association President Calls for Boycott of John Deere

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City of Vancouver Welcomes New Fire Chief

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Wildfire smoke leaves lung damage long after air clears

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Firefighters battle exhaustion along with wildfire flames

BEAVERCREEK, Ore. (AP) — They work 50 hours at a stretch and sleep on gymnasium floors. Exploding trees shower them with embers. They lose track of time when the sun is blotted out by smoke, and they sometimes have to run for their lives from advancing flames.Firefighters trying to contain...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

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OPINION

One Huge Lie Crystallized

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“Losers”???!!!

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Letter to the Editor: Regarding 'Initially Supportive Some Community Leaders Criticize Move to Decriminalize Drugs'

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Princeton faces federal inquiry after acknowledging racism

The Trump administration has opened an investigation into racial bias at Princeton University, saying that the school's recent acknowledgment of racism on campus amounts to a “shocking” and “serious” admission of discrimination.In a letter to the university on Wednesday,...

Fired, pro-Black Lives Matter officer sues to get job back

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NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week

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ENTERTAINMENT

Woody Allen's 'A Rainy Day in New York' to get U.S. release

NEW YORK (AP) — After being shelved for two years, Woody Allen's “A Rainy Day in New York" will finally land in U.S. theaters next month.MPI Media Group and Signature Entertainment announced Thursday that the companies will release “A Rainy Day in New York” in North...

With picnic baskets, Christian Siriano puts on backyard show

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Emmys, live and virtual: 'What could possibly go wrong?'

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP-NORC poll: Majority plan to vote before Election Day

DENVER (AP) — A majority of President Donald Trump's supporters plan to cast their ballot on Election Day,...

CDC drops controversial testing advice that caused backlash

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Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups

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AP Exclusive: Pandemic shrinking Europe's monitor of US vote

Europe’s largest security organization said Friday that it has drastically scaled back plans to send as...

Russian military says US flights near Crimea fuel tensions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military on Friday accused the U.S. and its allies of provoking tensions in the...

Emergency tents, restrictions back as virus spikes in Madrid

MADRID (AP) — Many residents in Madrid will need a reason to leave their neighborhoods and will face...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
By Michael Pearson and Zain Verjee CNN







security officer outside Kenyan mallWitness photo of security officer outside the mall


NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Some answers may be revealed in blood-stained halls or deep in the rubble of Nairobi's Westgate Mall. Others may never be known.

That's the reality for investigators and the people of Kenya on Wednesday, still coming to grips with a vicious attack and armed standoff that ended a day earlier.

At least 61 civilians and six Kenyan security officers died in the attack and rescue efforts, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Tuesday, but the death toll will rise as recovery workers retrieve bodies buried in the rubble of the partially collapsed mall.

Kenyan forces killed five of the terrorists, and 11 other people are in custody for possible links to the attacks, Kenyatta said, declaring that his country had "ashamed and defeated" the attackers.

But even though Kenyatta declared the siege over, an immense amount of work remains to learn how Al-Shabaab, a terror group thought to be badly bruised by recent losses of territory in its Somalian homeland, was able to pull off such a well-coordinated and brazen attack.

How did they do it?

It started on Saturday when the attackers stormed into the upscale mall and began shooting. A senior Kenyan government official said they took "very few" people captive; the attackers were primarily out for blood.

"They were not interested in hostage-taking," the official said. "They only wanted to kill."

The attackers were well-enough equipped to kill dozens of civilians, then fend off Kenyan security forces for four days -- not the sort of action that can be pulled off on a whim.

That raises a number of questions: How could such a significant plot, involving travel arrangements, arms transfers and other details, have escaped the attention of intelligence officials? Did the attackers have inside help, either at the mall or within security forces?

So far, Kenyan and U.S. authorities aren't answering such questions, certainly not publicly. But The New York Times, citing unnamed American security officials, said Wednesday that it appeared the attack had been well-planned and that the attackers must have had access to storage at the mall to stash their weapons.

One official quoted by the newspaper said militants had access to a heavy belt-fed machine gun that couldn't have been openly carried into the mall without attracting notice.

Who were the attackers?

Kenyan authorities have said 10 to 15 attackers were believed to be involved.

One of the attackers was Dutch, another British, Kenya State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu told CNN on Wednesday.

Al-Shabaab had previously claimed that Americans were involved in the attack, a claim Kenyatta noted Tuesday but said has yet to be verified. Esipisu said Wednesday that Kenyan authorities believe attackers of "a few other nationalities" were involved.

Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters Wednesday that authorities cannot confirm the nationalities of the terrorists until forensic testing is complete. He said the United States, Israel, Britain, Germany, and Canada are helping in the mall forensic investigation.

Citing unnamed American officials, The Times reported that American officials believed Al-Shabaab may have recruited the attackers from the United States and other Western countries for their skill in English, which is widely spoken in Kenya.

One of the more tantalizing rumors suggests the involvement of Samantha Lewthwaite, a British woman whose husband killed himself in a 2005 London suicide bombing. Known as the "White Widow," Lewthwaite has been wanted by international counter-terrorism officials since authorities found bomb-making materials in her Mombasa, Kenya, apartment in 2011. She vanished shortly before a raid.

A senior Kenyan official said Tuesday that a woman was involved in the attack. Esipisu said Wednesday that authorities can't say much about who the woman was or what she was doing.

"What we've been told by multiple witnesses is that they saw a woman. We have also been told that if it is the same woman that they say they saw, that she would have been killed very early on in the attack," Esipisu said." We don't know for sure that we had a woman. And secondly, because of the bodies trapped under the rubble, we don't know if she is who everyone says she might be."

Where are they?

Some of them are dead, inside the rubble of the partially collapsed mall, Kenyatta said.

But while he said five of the terrorists had been killed by Kenyan forces and 11 people were in custody, it was not clear if all of the attackers had been accounted for, or if some may have been able to slip out in the chaos.

While a senior Kenyan official said forces were able to drive two attackers trying to escape by car back inside the mall, it's unclear if any others might have been able to successfully elude authorities early in the crisis. Others could have escaped by posing as civilians, perhaps after ditching their weapons and changing clothes.

On Wednesday, a high-level source who asked for anonymity told CNN that Kenyan counterterrorism police had arrested a British national of Somalia descent who had injuries on his face and was acting suspiciously as he tried to board a Turkish Airlines flight. It's not clear if Kenyan authorities suspect the man of being inside the mall during the attack, but authorities found they had no record of the man's entry into the country, the source said.

Kenyatta, whose country boasts deep counterterrorism ties to the United States, vowed to track down and punish the attack's perpetrators.

"These cowards will meet justice, as will their accomplices and patrons wherever they are," he said Tuesday.

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