01-18-2020  4:08 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

The Skanner in Step With Changing Times

Celebrating a history of service

Starbucks, Home of the $4 Latte, is Moving Into Poor Areas

Starbucks plans to open or remodel 85 stores by 2025 in rural and urban communities across the U.S. The effort will bring to 100 the number of "community stores" Starbucks has opened since it announced the program in 2015

Native American Curriculum Rolls Out in Oregon Classrooms

The state developed the curriculum, as required by Senate Bill 13, with the input of Native leaders for 18 months, but is still behind. A soft roll-out begins this month

Community Surprised at Police Chief’s Departure, Concerned by Quick Replacement

Deputy Chief Jami Resch immediately named as successor.

NEWS BRIEFS

Annual “Salute to Greatness” Luncheon Celebrating Students, Community & Civic Leaders

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Rukaiyah Adams, Chair of Oregon Investment Council & Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust....

Grant High School Students to Read Their Own Work at Broadway Books

Local author and writing instructor Joanna Rose will lead thegroup of young writers at the event to be held on Wednesday, January 22 ...

AG Rosenblum Announces $4 Million Settlement with CenturyLink

Since 2014, Oregon DOJ has received more than 1,200 consumer complaints about CenturyLink ...

Black Guest at Downtown Portland Hotel Sues Over ‘No Party’ Promise

Felicia Gonzales claims the front desk clerk at the Residence Inn told her that all guests had to sign the policy, but she watched...

National Urban League Warns Trump Administration: Don't Weaken Community Reinvestment Act to Allow Racial Discrimination in Lending

Proposed changes to the Community Reinvestment Act could further limit access to the American Dream ...

Democrats: Oregon climate bill is priority. GOP resists

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the speaker of the House of Representatives, both Democrats, said Friday that passing legislation aimed at stemming global warming is their priority when lawmakers return to the Capitol next month. But Rep. Christine Drazan, the leader of the...

Power still out, no school for some as storms continue

SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of people without power for as long as a week are slowly seeing their lights come back on after storms that brought feet of heavy snow to Western Washington, while thousands in Southern Oregon lost power in a Thursday snowstorm. Puget Sound Energy estimates that power...

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

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

How Putting Purpose Into Your New Year’s Resolutions Can Bring Meaning and Results

Only 4% of people report following through on all of the resolutions they personally set ...

I Was Just Thinking… Mama in the Classroom

I wrote my first column in 1988 for a local newspaper about a beloved Dallas guidance counselor and teacher that most students called “Mama” ...

How Being 'Tough on Crime' Became a Political Liability

In one of the most stunning shifts in American politics in recent memory, a wave of elected prosecutors have bucked a decadeslong tough-on-crime approach adopted by both major parties ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 more linked to neo-Nazi group arrested in Georgia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three men linked to a violent white supremacist group known as The Base were charged with conspiring to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group, police in Georgia announced Friday, a day after three other members were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and...

Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's highest court on Friday upheld a ban on firearms at an upcoming pro-gun rally in the state's capital, an event that authorities feared could erupt in violence at the hands of armed extremists.The Virginia Supreme Court's decision came a day after gun-rights...

Trump's black voter outreach looks in part to the pews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In the eight years since he became a pastor at First Immanuel Baptist Church, Todd Johnson says he's seen his congregation's politics make a subtle shift.The Philadelphia church, which recently hosted a Donald Trump campaign event reaching out to black voters, has...

ENTERTAINMENT

Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan put on 'administrative leave'

NEW YORK (AP) — The Recording Academy has placed Deborah Dugan, its president and CEO of just six months, on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct by a senior leader at the organization.The move announced late Thursday comes 10 days before the 2020 Grammy Awards will be...

Nashville songwriters spread outside country at Grammys

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville songwriters are showing up at the Grammys this year, but not just in the country music categories. The city’s writing talent has been increasingly tapped to help craft nominated soundtracks, pop songs and R&B albums over the last couple of...

Dior sparks mayhem with couture-infused Paris menswear show

PARIS (AP) — Guests crammed into Dior's annex in Paris' Place de la Condorde on Friday amid chaos before the show. Some guests had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit as cars came to unload celebrities, including David Beckham and Robert Pattinson, at an industrious pace. Mayhem such...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

PHOTO GALLERY: A selection of pictures from the past week

Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page...

Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday took another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama's...

US to screen airline passengers from China for new illness

NEW YORK (AP) — Three U.S. airports will screen passengers arriving from central China for a new virus that...

Turkey's Erdogan: Europe must back Libyan govt in Tripoli

Ankara (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the European Union to support the...

AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on...

Portrait found in gallery's walls verified as missing Klimt

PIACENZA, Italy (AP) — Art experts have confirmed that a painting discovered hidden inside an Italian art...

McMenamins
CNN





Amanda Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito took the stand in an Italian court Wednesday, defending himself at a retrial in the 2007 killing of British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

"I would like to make you understand that these charges against me are absurd," he said. "There was not a basis to charge me, to put me in jail. ... I don't wish anybody on Earth to go through what I went through."

He said that evidence against him -- a knife that was a key part of the prosecution's case -- was "an illusion."

"I ask you ... to really look at reality," he implored the judges.

"For me, it's a nightmare that goes beyond imagination," Sollecito said of what he's been through.

"Right now, I don't have a real life."

Sollecito, 29, is not testifying in the case, which is being heard in an appeals court in Florence. But he made a spontaneous declaration, which is the right of any defendant in an Italian trial, and he is not under oath.

He and Knox were convicted in 2009 of killing Kercher, 21, who was found stabbed in November 2007 in the villa that she and Knox rented in the central Italian university town of Perugia.

Their convictions were overturned in 2011 for "lack of evidence." But Italy's Supreme Court decided last year to retry the case, saying the jury that acquitted them didn't consider all the evidence and discrepancies in testimony needed to be answered.

Both Knox, 26, and Sollecito have maintained their innocence.

Afraid to return

The retrial began on September 30 without either of them present in court. The presiding judge, Alessandro Nencini, read out the details of the case, including the conviction of Ivory Coast citizen Rudy Guede for his role in Kercher's murder.

Knox returned to her hometown of Seattle after her acquittal and has been living there since. She says she is afraid to return to Italy, where she spent four years behind bars.

Sollecito was in the Dominican Republic at the start of the retrial but returned to Italy.

He and Knox made several spontaneous declarations throughout the original trial and first appeal. But only Knox testified.

DNA tests

The court hearing Wednesday is expected to address new DNA tests of the knife that prosecutors say was used to kill Kercher. The knife was a critical piece of evidence in the original trial.

The tests involve a small portion of the knife. According to recent Italian media reports, the tests rule out the possibility that Kercher's DNA is present in the sample. That would support Knox and Sollecito's case.

The results are expected to be revealed in court Wednesday. Written conclusions by forensic experts have already been filed in Florence.

The Italian authorities who examined the spot on the knife are expected to present their report. They will then be questioned by all parties.

Knox isn't the only person watching the retrial from afar.

Citing health reasons, Kercher's relatives said in September that they had decided not to return to Italy for the retrial. The family said it would follow closely from Britain and remain in close contact with lawyers.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

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