12-13-2019  1:31 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Louisiana State University President Heading to Oregon Job

F. King Alexander will succeed Ed Ray, who is retiring from the position at Oregon State University at the end of June after 17 years as president. Ray will continue in a teaching role at the university

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

Oregon educator boosts student achievement and future prospects at Gresham High School

Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

Fewer Black patients receive live kidney donations

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

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Oregon Humane Society Celebrates the Adoption of the 11,000th Pet of 2019

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EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Louisiana State University president heading to Oregon job

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University is looking for a new system chief, after President F. King Alexander was appointed Friday to lead Oregon State University.Oregon State's Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to hire Alexander in a special meeting, confirming that Alexander...

As California thins forests to limit fire risk, some resist

SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, Calif. (AP) — Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Donor pulls jumi.5M grant to UNC-Chapel Hill over 'Silent Sam'

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A New York-based not-for-profit foundation has withdrawn a jumi.5 million grant intended for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in light of a financial deal between leaders of the university system and a Confederate group to preserve a controversial...

Belgian carnival removed from UNESCO list over racism row

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — A famous Belgian carnival was removed from the U.N.'s cultural heritage list on Friday following complaints that its most recent edition contained blatant displays of anti-Semitism.The Aalst carnival was taken off UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list during a...

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s order to expand the scope of potential anti-Semitism complaints on college campuses is raising the stakes of an already tense battle over how to define discrimination against Jews.The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday tells the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Greta Gerwig on making 'Little Women' 'at the speed of life'

NEW YORK (AP) — The first movie Greta Gerwig saw in a theater was “Muppets Take Manhattan.” When it was over, her parents momentarily couldn’t find her. She had run to the front of the theater to put her hands on the screen.“I thought I could get into it,”...

'Lemonade' by Beyoncé is named the AP's album of the decade

NEW YORK (AP) — The top 15 albums of the decade by Associated Press Music Editor Mesfin Fekadu:1. Beyoncé, “Lemonade”: At the beginning of this decade, Beyoncé was already the greatest singer of her generation. She won a record six Grammys in a single night, had women...

'Mad Men' actress Christina Hendricks files for divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” actress Christina Hendricks filed for divorce Friday from her husband of 10 years, actor Geoffrey Arend. Hendricks filed the marriage dissolution documents in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The 44-year-old Hendricks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Blue-collar character actor Danny Aiello has died at age 86

NEW YORK (AP) — Danny Aiello, the blue-collar character actor whose long career playing tough guys included...

‘Rise of Skywalker’ is almost here, but a dark side looms

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In surprise decision, US approves muscular dystrophy drug

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators approved a second drug for a debilitating form of muscular...

Ex-PM elected Algeria's new president, to protesters' dismay

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria newly-elected president Abdelmadjid Tebboune vowed after his victory was...

El Salvador court gives hefty sentences in mass gang trial

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A court in El Salvador has sentenced 373 convicted members of the...

Battle ahead: Scotland party leader vows independence push

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won the majority he needs to push through Brexit, but he...

McMenamins
CNN

Protest in TurkeyTurkish authorities' use of live ammunition, tear gas, beatings and sexual assaults to crush street protests earlier this year constitute "human rights violations on a massive scale," according to a report by human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Amnesty documented cases of Turkish riot police firing plastic bullets and tear gas canisters at the heads of protesters. It also accused police of sexually abusing female demonstrators and of severely beating and shooting protesters with live ammunition, resulting in the deaths of two men in separate incidents.

The report, released Wednesday, focused on the turmoil that erupted in May and June, when police tried to put down an environmentalist sit-in. Demonstrators had staged an Occupy Wall Street-style protest over government plans to demolish Istanbul's Gezi Park and replace it with a shopping mall.

"The levels of violence used by police in the course of Gezi Park protests clearly show what happens when poorly trained, poorly supervised police officers are instructed to use force -- and encouraged to use it unsparingly -- safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely ever to be identified or prosecuted for their abuses," said Amnesty International's Turkey expert, Andrew Gardner.

The Turkish government has launched an investigation into the possible excess use of force. At least one police officer from a counter-terrorism unit is standing trial along with other suspects for beating a protester named Ali Ismail Korkmaz in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. The 19-year-old university student later died as a result of his injuries.

Government announces democratic reforms

Amnesty International's report emerged two days after the Turkish government unveiled a long-awaited series of reforms, which the rights group said fails "to address these violations or to take any serious steps to ensure that they will not occur in the future."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan applauded what he called the "democratization package," declaring it a historic moment for the country.

The legislation lifts the ban on women wearing Islamic headscarves in public institutions. However, women serving as police officers, judges or military personnel are still not allowed to wear headscarves.

The reforms also removed the ban on teaching the Kurdish language, and ended the ban of the Kurdish letters "q," "x" and "w," which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet. However, Kurdish can only be taught in private schools, even though it is the language spoken by Turkey's largest ethnic minority.

Another change called for expanding the definition and punishment for hate crimes committed on the basis of ethnicity or religious belief.

The democratization package quickly inspired a chorus of criticism from a wide range of ethnic, religious and political groups.

"This is more of an election package," said Sebahat Tuncel, a lawmaker from the main Kurdish opposition party, referring to municipal elections expected to be held in 2014.

"This package could have lifted the obstacles to democratization. It could have lifted barriers to freedom of the press, to freedom of expression and amended the anti-terror laws," Tuncel added.

Thousands of Kurds have been arrested in recent years, accused of collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose militants have been fighting a guerrilla war for the past 30 years against the Turkish state.

Erdogan's government has tried to bring an end to the simmering conflict by launching negotiations with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The peace talks have prompted some of the PKK's thousands of fighters to voluntarily leave Turkey for neighboring Iraq.

Meanwhile, women's groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual activists are upset that the reforms did not include reference to hate crimes committed on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

Though Erdogan offered to create a cultural institute for Turkey's Roma minority and promised to return a government-seized monastery to the Assyrian Christians, he stopped short of reopening the Halki Seminary, which traditionally educated the country's top Greek Orthodox clergy.

For decades, members of Turkey's dwindling Greek community, as well as many Western governments, have called for Turkey to lift its ban on Halki.

"I think it is a step forward and the government says more will come," wrote Suat Kinklioglu, a former lawmaker from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in an e-mail to CNN.

"However, the real issue in Turkey is political and cultural polarization. I wish the package would address issues such as freedom of expression and pluralism."

Turkish president calls for reform

Turkey's president warned about the threats this polarization posed in an address before the Turkish parliament Tuesday.

"I viewed the peaceful demonstrations of the young people at Gezi Park... as a new manifestation of our democratic maturity," said Abdullah Gul.

Gul argued that Turkey still had a long way to go in its democratization process.

"The effective and efficient operation of executive, legislative and judicial powers; the existence of a serious, constructive and strong opposition; a free, critical, impartial and independent media are of utmost importance for a country's democratic development," he said in his speech to lawmakers.

Gul has been a loyal ally of Erdogan through the prime minister's decade in office.

But as his term in the largely symbolic post of president draws to a close, Gul has increasingly challenged some of Erdogan's more controversial policies.

The increasingly divergent political positions have prompted widespread speculation that Gul may be preparing to submit himself as a candidate to be the next prime minister of Turkey.

 

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