08-10-2020  3:21 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Portlanders Struggle to be Heard Amid Protests

The Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing Steering Committee will meet Tuesday, August 11, 2020 from 5:30 –7pm

Portland Protests Persist with Some Flashes of Violence

Tear gas was used by police on protesters Wednesday for the first time since the U.S. agents pulled back their presence

Reimagine Oregon Issues Equity Demands, Gains Legislative Support

Coalition of Black-led and Black-focused organizations takes new approach to concrete change 

Oregon Criminal Justice Commission: Initiative Petition 44 Will Nearly Eliminate Racial Disparities for Drug Arrests, Convictions

The initiative would expand access to drug addiction treatment and recovery services, and decriminalize low-level drug possession.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Housing and Community Services Awards $60,822,101 to Build and Preserve 802 Affordable Homes

Investments address the statewide shortage of affordable housing through the development and preservation of affordable rental homes. ...

Phase Two Re:Imagine Grant Deadline August 11

The fund focuses on supporting ten artists with grants of $5,000 as they reimagine their practices and pivot toward the...

U.S. Bank Announces $1 Million in Grants to Black-Led CDFIs; Additional Support for African American Alliance

A total of 15 CDFIs will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 while the African American Alliance will receive...

Vote.org Holds #GoodTroublePledge Voter Registration Drive to Commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

2020 VRA anniversary observance to honor the memory of voting rights activist and late-Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) ...

White Democrats in Congress Falling Short on Reparations Bill

Democracy in Color releases “The White List” showing 79% of democratic House members haven’t cosigned HR 40 despite popular...

Lawmakers talk police reform, other bills at special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers discussed unemployment benefits and police reform bills Monday as they returned to the Capitol for a special session that was largely supposed to be focused on the state's jumi billion budget hole. Sunday night, less than 24 hours before the second special...

Washington apple crop projected to be larger than 2019

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — This year's Washington state apple crop is expected to be slightly larger than the 2019 crop.The Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimates the 2020 crop will total 134 million standard forty-pound boxes of fresh apples. That's just above 2019’s total of...

LSU adds Missouri, Vanderbilt in revamped SEC schedule

Defending Southeastern Conference and national champion LSU will host Missouri and visit Vanderbilt in its expanded Southeastern Conference schedule, while Alabama will visit Mizzou and host Kentucky in league play revised by the coronavirus pandemic. The league on Friday released two additional...

Missouri's Drinkwitz takes side in mask-or-no-mask debate

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz has been the head coach at Missouri for just over seven months. He has yet to lead the Tigers onto the football field, much less win a game, yet his role in the community already has forced him to take some important stands.First, it was supporting his new...

OPINION

Historians Offer Context, Caution on Lessons 1918 Flu Pandemic Holds for COVID

Scholars find parallels of inequitable suffering between pandemic of 1918 and pandemic of 2020 ...

US Reps Adams and DeFazio Call on Postmaster General to Resign

The legislators say Trump appointee Louis DeJoy is sabotaging the US Postal Service and could harm the election ...

Da 5 Bloods and America Abroad

Even before I returned to the United States from my combat tour in Vietnam, I had decided that we were fighting an unjust war. ...

Falling Behind: COVID, Climate Change, and Chaos

Multiple Crises, Multiple Obstacles ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Protesters met with jeers by crowd with guns in Nevada city

MINDEN, Nev. (AP) — Several dozen Black Lives Matter demonstrators at a weekend protest in rural Nevada were greeted by a far larger group of counter-demonstrators, including some bearing military-style weapons and tactical gear, but a sheriff who had made controversial remarks earlier about...

Report: Agency in Alabama city segregated public housing

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A federal review found that a public housing authority in Alabama let white people live in riverfront towers with scenic views and other amenities while segregating Black people in another apartment development without the frills, a newspaper reported. A Housing and...

UConn's Bueckers marches for her little brother's future

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — UConn freshman Paige Bueckers marched for racial justice in her home state of Minnesota after the death of George Floyd and says she plans to continue using her voice for social change now that she's at Connecticut.The 5-foot-11 guard, last year's national high school...

ENTERTAINMENT

The always intimate Theatre for One goes online

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus hasn't stopped the world's smallest theater. “Theatre for One,” where one audience member sees one short play performed by a single actor in a portable theater, has now gone online.“The experience is unique to Theatre for One. And in that...

'Don't shut up!' Film spotlights Filipino journalist

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maria Ressa says she didn’t take Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seriously when he declared four years ago that “corrupt” journalists weren’t “exempted from assassination.”“In 2016, it was really, really laughable. And...

Jolie seeks removal of private judge in Pitt divorce case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Angelina Jolie asked Monday that the private judge overseeing her divorce from Brad Pitt be disqualified from the case because of insufficient disclosures of his business relationships with one of Pitt's attorneys. In a filing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jolie argues...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump, coaches push for college football as cracks emerge

President Donald Trump joined a U.S. senator and a number of coaches Monday in the push to save the college...

55 years after riots, Watts section of LA still bears scars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There were no fires this time in Watts. There was no looting, no shooting and no...

McDonald's sues ousted CEO, alleging employee relationships

McDonald’s says it's suing Stephen Easterbrook, the CEO it ousted last year over an inappropriate...

El Salvador waits for president, congress to act on pandemic

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — If El Salvador President Nayib Bukele and the country’s congress...

Pandemic wrecks global Class of 2020's hopes for first job

LONDON (AP) — British fashion school graduate Phoebe St. Leger’s dream of landing a job at a design...

Protester dies in clashes after disputed Belarus vote

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A protester died amid clashes between police and thousands of people gathered for a...

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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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