08-23-2019  2:51 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

New Hate Crime Law Kicks In

SB577 requires state to better track bias crimes

Mayor: Show Extra Love at Portland Businesses After Protests

The City of Portland and more are offering deals and free parking downtown this weekend in an effort to generate some of the revenue lost during last weekend's political protests

Community Leaders Heartened By Portland Response To Proud Boys Rally

Proud Boys outnumbered by counter-demonstrators in largely peaceful event

Black Man Told He Couldn't Enter Portland Bar Because of Jewelry Sues

An African American man has filed a 0,000 lawsuit against a Portland bar owner, claiming he was prevented from going inside in 2018 because he was wearing "too many" chain necklaces

NEWS BRIEFS

Travel Portland Opens New Director Park Visitor Center

Hosts “Celebrating All Things Portland” grand opening weekend celebration ...

Police are Trying to Connect Floyd Leslie Hill to His Loved Ones

The Portland Police Bureau is asking for the community's help in locating the loved ones of Floyd Leslie Hill who passed away on...

Study Finds Lack of Racial Diversity in Cancer Drug Clinical Trials

New research published this week in JAMA Oncology has found a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for cancer drugs ...

Portland Parks, Partners Host Charles Jordan Birthday Celebration

A celebration of the life of one of Portland’s most influential leaders, held at his namesake community center ...

Matt Dishman Community Center Annual Block Party

The event will feature free food, arts and crafts, family fun, live music and more ...

Court ends lawsuit over Washington school's isolation booth

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A federal court ruling has effectively ended a lawsuit against a Washington state school district over use of an isolation booth at an elementary school.The Daily News reported Thursday that the U.S. Court of Appeals decision upheld a lower court ruling in favor of the...

Oregon DA removes lobby photo display of past office holders

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon district attorney's office has removed a display of photographs of people who previously held the position.KOIN-TV reported Monday that Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill had the photos placed in storage in an attempt to create a "welcoming and...

Ex-Clemson star Kelly Bryant takes over at QB for Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Barry Odom never seems stressed about the future, whether the Missouri coach is pondering tough sanctions handed down by the NCAA over a recruiting scandal or the fact that one of the most prolific passers in school history is now in the NFL.When it comes to the...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...

OPINION

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

Why Lady Liberty Weeps

The original concept was to have Lady Liberty holding a broken shackle and chain in her left hand, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. ...

Avel Gordly's Statement in Advance of Aug. 17 Rally

'All we have on this planet is one another' ...

A National Crisis: Surging Hate Crimes and White Supremacists

Our history chronicles the range of hate crimes that have taken the lives of Latinos as well as Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, and the LGBTQ community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Descendants of America's first Africans will mark 400 years

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — A family that traces its bloodline to America's first enslaved Africans will gather at its cemetery to reflect on their arrival 400 years ago.The family is holding a reflection Friday at the Tucker Family Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia. The reflection is one of several...

Dolphins' Flores says he supports player protest movement

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores says he supports the NFL player protest movement and receiver Kenny Stills' involvement, but wants him to play better."Everything these guys protest, I've lived it, I've experienced it," said an impassioned Flores, who is the son...

Judge close to naming special prosecutor in Smollett case

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge seems close to appointing a special prosecutor to look into why state prosecutors abruptly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett accusing him of staging a racist, anti-gay attack against himself.A hearing Friday will be one of the first opportunities...

ENTERTAINMENT

Once upon a time in fatherhood: Tarantino to become a dad

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Quentin Tarantino is going to be telling a whole new brand of "Once upon a time" tale — the bedtime-story kind.The "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood" director is about to become a father.His representative Katherine Rowe says Tarantino and his wife, Israeli model...

Manslaughter case continues against Mexican actor Pablo Lyle

MIAMI (AP) — A manslaughter case against Mexican actor Pablo Lyle will move forward after a Florida judge refused to dismiss it under the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law.The Miami Herald reports that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alan Fine made his ruling Thursday, meaning the case...

Man dubbed 'Boy Next Door Killer' found sane by jury

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors on Thursday found a man prosecutors have dubbed "The Boy Next Door Killer" was sane when he fatally stabbed two women and tried to kill a third inside their Southern California homes.The decision was announced after less than a day of deliberations in the sanity...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Japan leader says S. Korea ending intel deal damages trust

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said South Korea's decision to cancel a deal to share...

Serial killer who preyed on gay men executed in Florida

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — Gary Ray Bowles, a serial killer who preyed on older gay men during an eight-month...

Canada halts Hong Kong consulate staff travel after UK case

HONG KONG (AP) — Accountants in Hong Kong marched Friday in support of the pro-democracy movement, while...

Security in Kashmir tightened following call for march

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Authorities have intensified patrols in the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir...

Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after spending a month in...

Women, late-in-life new authors expand Japanese literature

TOKYO (AP) — The works receiving one of Japan's most coveted literary awards, the Naoki Prize, have...

McMenamins
Tim Lister CNN

(CNN) -- On July 24, 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed tens of thousands of Germans on the avenue that leads from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In a pointed reference to the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush, he promised a new era of "allies who will listen to each other, who will learn from each other, who will, above all, trust each other."

One German present among the hugely enthusiastic crowd said the occasion reminded him of Berlin's famous "Love Parade." No U.S. politician since John F. Kennedy had so captured Europeans' imagination.

Five years on, in the words of the song, it's a case of "After the Love Has Gone." The U.S. ambassador in Berlin has been summoned to the foreign ministry over reports in Der Spiegel that the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's official cellphone. His counterpart in Paris received a similar summons earlier this week after revelations in Le Monde.

Both Der Spiegel and Le Monde used documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, lamented a "grave breach of trust." One of Chancellor Merkel's closest allies, Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told broadcaster ARD there would be consequences.

"We can't simply turn the page," he warned.

Der Spiegel reported Thursday that Thomas Oppermann, who leads the parliamentary committee that scrutinizes Germany's intelligence services, complained that "the NSA's monitoring activities have gotten completely out of hand, and take place beyond all democratic controls."

In an article for the forthcoming edition of Foreign Affairs magazine, Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore argue that it's the disclosure of such practices rather than their existence that is damaging.

"When these deeds turn out to clash with the government's public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington's covert behavior and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own," they write.

"The U.S. government, its friends, and its foes can no longer plausibly deny the dark side of U.S. foreign policy and will have to address it head-on," they argue.

Among the Twitterati, #merkelphone has gained some traction, with the famous Obama motif "Yes We Can" finding a new interpretation. And the European media has begun to debate whether the revelations provided by Edward Snowden to The Guardian and other newspapers will do to Obama's image on the continent what the Iraq war did to that of President George W. Bush.

Hyperbole perhaps, but the Obama administration is on the defensive, caught between fuller disclosure of just what the NSA has been up to and the need to protect intelligence-gathering methods. The president himself received what German officials describe as an angry call from Merkel Wednesday demanding assurances that there is no American eavesdropping on her conversations.

The language out of the White House has been less than forthright, with spokesman Jay Carney saying that "the president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring, and will not monitor, the communications of the chancellor." His careful avoidance of the past tense has heightened suspicions in Europe that only the Snowden disclosures have forced a change of practice.

Even pro-U.S. newspapers like the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are in full throttle, writing that: "The government in Washington has apparently not yet understood the level of damage that continues to be caused by the activities of American intelligence agencies in Europe."

Le Monde reported that the NSA collected details of millions of phone calls made in France, and described it indignantly as "intrusion, on a vast scale, both into the private space of French citizens as well as into the secrets of major national firms."

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault commented it was "incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defense."

The U.S. Director of National Intelligence insisted in a curt statement that "the allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million "recordings of French citizens' telephone data" is false." But President Obama called his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, and the White House subsequently acknowledged the allegations had raised "legitimate questions for our friends and allies."

The fall-out may be more than rhetorical. Germany's opposition Social Democrats are asking whether the European Union can -- or should -- agree a free trade deal with the U.S. in the current atmosphere. Negotiations on the Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership were already in a fragile state and will not be helped by claims in Le Monde that large French corporations such as telecom company Alcatel-Lucent have been targeted by the NSA.

The European parliament has always been prickly about data-sharing with the U.S., and for years held up the U.S. Treasury's efforts to use the SWIFT interbank apparatus to keep tabs on terrorists' financial flows. The parliament this week passed a non-binding resolution calling for the agreement that was eventually reached to be suspended. And a parliamentary committee has agreed tough measures that would forbid U.S. companies providing data services in Europe to transfer the information to the U.S. without obtaining permission. The legislation must be agreed with member states, but for those hoping to get the provision deleted the wind is blowing in the wrong direction.

Not unlike the WikiLeaks disclosures, reports based on the Snowden documents have caused embarrassment and friction around the world. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil cancelled a visit to the United States after it was alleged that the NSA had intercepted her messages as well as communications from the state oil company, Petrobras, now one of the biggest players in the oil industry. Spiegel reported the U.S. had also accessed emails to and from former Mexican President Felipe Calderón while he was still in office.

Obama, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly last month, tried to head off the gathering storm - saying: "We've begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."

And there is a hint in the U.S. response this week that, to borrow from Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much." The NSA itself has made the point that "the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations." The UK and France are among governments that run their own expansive technical programs. Der Spiegel reported -- again based on Snowden's disclosures -- that the British equivalent of the NSA was involved in a cyber-attack against Belgium's state-run telecommunications company, Belgacom. The company would only say that "the intruder had massive resources, sophisticated means and a steadfast intent to break into our network."

The Europeans have been very grateful to share the benefits of the NSA's immense data-gathering abilities in counter-terrorism and other fields. U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks show Germany was enthusiastic in 2009 and 2010 for closer links with the NSA to develop what is known as a High Resolution Optical System (HiROS) -- a highly advanced "constellation" of reconnaissance satellites. One cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin said: "Germany anticipates that their emergence as a world leader in overhead reconnaissance will generate interest from the USG and envisions an expansion of the intelligence relationship."

The 9/11 attacks changed espionage beyond recognition, leading to massive investment in the U.S. in "technical means" -- the flagship of which is the enormous NSA data center being completed in Bluffdale, Utah. Its computing power, according to the specialist online publication govtech.com is "equivalent to the capacity of 62 billion iPhone 5s." But 9/11 also shifted the balance between intelligence-gathering and civil liberties, with the U.S. federal government acquiring new powers in the fight against terrorism -- some sanctioned by Congress but others ill-defined.

The technology that allows such enormous data-harvesting cannot be put back in the box, but the limits to its use pose an equally huge challenge. Ultimately, the Europeans need to collaborate with the U.S. on intelligence-gathering, to deal with international terrorism, cyber threats and organized crime. But the Snowden allegations, whether reported accurately or not, have changed the public perception and mood in Europe, obliging leaders like Merkel to take a tougher stand.

At least there has been plenty of room for black humor amid the diplomatic back-and-forth. "Earnest question: What do European leaders talk about that's worth spying on?" asked Politico's Blake Hounshell on Twitter, while New York Times London bureau chief Steve Erlanger quipped: "I'm not sure I'd want to listen in to Silvio Berlusconi's cellphone."

 

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