02-27-2020  6:17 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

After passing the House, the bill will head to the president’s desk to be signed into law ...

Jury: Man callously disregarded life in train murders

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ruled that Jeremy Christian callously disregarded the lives of the three men he stabbed on a Portland light rail train, was fueled by racist and religious bigotry, poses a future danger and can’t be rehabilitated.The 12-person jury on Thursday also...

Missing fisherman found dead off Newport

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — A body found in the waters off Newport, Oregon has been identified as that of a fisherman who has been missing for nearly three weeks, the Newport Police Department said Thursday.Norman Grant was reported missing on Feb. 9 and hadn't been seen since the evening of Feb....

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Buttigieg back in political fray after respite for bad cold

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A bit hoarse and with an occasional cough, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg returned to the political fray Thursday, resuming a whirlwind schedule after taking a half-day to rest after getting hit with a bad cold. “Excuse me, I've had my own...

Trump meets with black supporters, vows equal opportunity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday cited low unemployment rates for African Americans and passage of a criminal justice bill providing earlier release for thousands of federal drug offenders as examples of how he’s helping the black community.Trump met with African...

Students stage sit-in outside University of Oklahoma offices

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of University of Oklahoma students staged a sit-in for a second day Thursday outside OU's administrative offices following two instances of professors using racial slurs in the classroom.However, OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. has rejected the demands of...

ENTERTAINMENT

A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

NBC renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago' dramas for 3 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC is giving three-year renewals to its drama series from veteran producer Dick Wolf, including the perennial “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”The pickups for the “Law & Order” series and Wolf’s three Chicago-set dramas are...

Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay lead the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations for Dan Smyers and five for Shay Mooney and helped pop star Justin Bieber earn his first-ever ACM noms. In the nominations announced Thursday, the powerhouse duo share...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biggest explosion seen in universe came from black hole

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the universe,...

Plácido Domingo revises apology, as Spain drops more shows

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opera star Placido Domingo amended his apology to the multiple women who have accused...

29 Turkish soldiers killed in northeast Syria air strike

BEIRUT (AP) — An air strike by Syrian government forces killed 29 Turkish soldiers in northeast Syria, a...

Grief grips Peruvian community one month after deadly fire

LIMA, Peru (AP) — One month after a gas tanker leak triggered fires and explosions that killed 30 people in...

Putin rejected offer to use body doubles during Chechen war

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had rejected an offer to use body doubles for...

22 Turkish soldiers killed in northeast Syria air strike

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish official said early Friday 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an air...

McMenamins
Jessica Mintz and Joel Schectman Associated Press

SEATTLE — A decision by Consumer Reports against endorsing the latest iPhone because of reception problems threatens to tarnish Apple Inc.'s reputation, yet fans who have braved poor reception for years are likely to keep buying the product.
In fact, some analysts say Apple could simply ignore calls by bloggers and others to recall the iPhone 4 or offer free cases to mitigate the problems.
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As of Tuesday evening, Apple hadn't returned phone calls or e-mails about the Consumer Reports critique, which the magazine posted on its website Monday. While some Apple watchers find the company's responses to the reception issue objectionable, they don't see any penalties for Apple if it does nothing further.
People buy iPhones for emotional reasons, not because they're the best phones, said Deborah Mitchell, executive director of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin.
"People see you using the iPhone, and they think you are a certain type of person — hip, fresh and youthful in attitude," she said. "It's a brand that helps you identify yourself."
The iPhone has also been ahead of competitors when it comes to features such as easy Web browsing and shopping for music, movies and applications to download.
Greg Brown, a retired Philadelphia Eagles football player who lives in Sicklerville, N.J., said he has overlooked the iPhone's propensity for dropping calls because of congestion on the network of AT&T Inc., the iPhone's exclusive U.S. wireless carrier.
"When I am talking on the phone I like to finish the conversation before the phone call ends," Brown said. "But I forgive it because of all the features."
Consumer Reports said Monday it won't endorse the iPhone 4 as "recommended" because tests show that simply holding the gadget can cause reception to fade. Although Consumer Reports only recommends a handful of phones that it considers exceptional, this was the first time the publication isn't giving an iPhone its "recommended" stamp of approval.
The publication's tests confirmed suspicions from many iPhone customers. Hours after the iPhone 4 launched on June 24, people were writing on Apple's support website that gripping the phone a certain way made it show fewer "bars" of cell signal strength and even caused calls to disconnect.
The company's first response came in a curt note attributed to CEO Steve Jobs, who told one iPhone buyer to either hold the phone a different way or buy a case.
After complaints persisted, Apple issued a formal letter saying an illusion caused by software was the culprit. For years, the iPhone had been showing people too many bars, a problem Apple says it plans to fix with a software update. At least then, dropped calls in areas with weak networks wouldn't come as a surprise.
Apple also said all phones, not just the iPhone, have reception problems when a user's hand covers the antenna.
Consumer Reports, however, believes Apple is dodging responsibility for a larger hardware problem.
This doesn't mean Consumer Reports believes the iPhone 4 is all bad, editor Mike Gikas said. It outperformed every other smart phone on the market in other regards. And avoiding the problem is as simple as buying a $30 "bumper" case from Apple that goes around the edges. Consumer Reports says even a simple a strip of duct tape would work (though one can imagine Jobs shuddering at such aesthetic blasphemy).
"It's like finding a dream home but then finding a leak in the basement," Gikas said.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner Inc., believes Jobs' early e-mail was an atypical public-relations blunder on Apple's part.
"Reception is pretty crucial. You can't tell people, 'You can't hold the phone that way,'" Milanesi said.
A year or two ago, his comments might have prompted jokes, she said. But now, Apple is the world's largest technology company by market capitalization, and Jobs' remarks are being perceived as arrogant.
Brian Marshall, a Gleacher & Co. analyst who is typically very positive about Apple, was horrified when Apple said it had used a bad formula for calculating signal strength.
"That, to me, is atrocious," Marshall said. "It's so un-Apple-like. It shows a lack of attention to detail. Apple is a company that doesn't mess things up."
But neither Marshall nor Milanesi see the matter hurting Apple in the long run, even though shares slipped about 2 percent to close Tuesday at $251.80.
Marshall said the most likely scenario is that Apple does nothing beyond the software update it promised. Offering free cases or issuing a recall would amount to Apple admitting a problem.
"I don't believe for a second that they're shipping what they view as a faulty product," Marshall said.
Even if Apple does issue a recall, that's not likely to hurt the company.
"We think $100 million here and there for a bumper or maybe a recall is a drop in the bucket for Apple," Standard & Poor's equity analyst Clyde Montevirgen said. "Sure, it might affect the company on a headline level, but from a financial standpoint we really don't see much of an impact."
Schectman reported from New York. AP Videographer Luke Sheridan contributed to this report.

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