10-19-2019  6:43 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Video shows coach disarming, embracing Oregon student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have released a video that shows part of a former Oregon football star's successful effort to disarm a student who brought a shotgun to a Portland high school.The video released Friday by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office shows Keanon Lowe and...

Parents guilty of starving 5-year-old daughter to death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Redmond couple of starving their 5-year-old adopted daughter to death.The Bulletin reports by unanimous jury verdicts Friday after a weekslong trial, Sacora Horn-Garcia and Estevan Garcia were found guilty of murder by abuse and criminal...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters arrested Friday...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Video shows coach disarming, embracing Oregon student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have released a video that shows part of a former Oregon football star's...

Move over, Honeycrisp: New apple to debut at grocery stores

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — They call it the Cosmic Crisp. It's not a video game, a superhero or the title of a...

'I am back,' Bernie Sanders tells supporters at NYC rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Storming past questions about his health, Bernie Sanders vowed that he's "more ready than...

The Latest: Johnson sends EU request for Brexit delay

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):10:15 p.m.The British government has formally asked...

Officials: Blast at Afghan mosque kills 62 during prayers

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan as dozens of people gathered...

Chile's president rolls back subway fare hike amid protests

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Saturday announced the suspension of...

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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