05-29-2020  3:00 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Agencies Investigate COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Townsend Farms Sites

OHA today named the business responsible for COVID-19 outbreaks at multiple locations

Oregon's Top Courts Begin Reversing Nonunanimous Convictions

These are the first of hundreds — and perhaps thousands — of cases that are being scrutinized

Washington Issues New Guidelines for Religious Services

Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that churches, mosques and synagogues can resume in-person services, with those in counties in the second stage of the reopening plan. King County, which includes Seattle, is among the 15 counties still in Phase 1.

Multnomah County Weighs Impact to Communities of Color in Decision to Re-Open

Multnomah County will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12.

NEWS BRIEFS

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census

Washington is one of the 6 states with the highest self-response rates and both Seattle and Portland are one of the top 8 cities with...

Federal Court Rules Florida Law That Undermined Voting Rights Restoration Is Unconstitutional

The law required people with past convictions to pay all outstanding legal fees, costs, fines, and restitution before regaining their...

New virus rules for farms, nursing homes in Washington state

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Employers must provide agricultural workers with face masks, more hand-washing stations and more frequently disinfect work surfaces under new coronavirus rules established Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.Also Thursday, Secretary of Health John Wiesman signed an...

1 dead in helicopter crash near Roseburg

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — A person was killed in a helicopter crash near Roseburg. The crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on private property south of the Green district of Roseburg, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. Local fire, EMS and police agencies responded and are...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Ballot Measure 26-210 is Needed Now

Though this measure was referred to the ballot by Metro, it was written by the HereTogether coalition ...

The Skanner News May Primary 2020 Endorsements

Read The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, and ballot measures ...

A New Earth Day

Happy Earth Day. If we actually mean it, we will elect representatives who will force the military to clean up their pollution ...

Covid-19 Financial Warning: Consumers and Banks Should Stay Away From Payday Loans

When living costs exceed available financial resources, tough times lead to tough decisions ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Columbus protest over George Floyd's death turns violent

COLUMBUS (AP) — Protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned out for a demonstration in Columbus that began peacefully but turned violent, leaving smashed storefront windows along downtown streets around the statehouse.The crowd of around 400 people...

Trump calls Floyd death 'shocking,' calls protesters 'thugs'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and vowed that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump tweeted after protesters outraged by the death of a black man in police custody torched a police station....

George Floyd protesters set Minneapolis police station afire

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cheering protesters torched a Minneapolis police station Thursday that the department was forced to abandon as three days of violent protests spread to nearby St. Paul and angry demonstrations flared across the U.S over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who...

ENTERTAINMENT

Winfrey, Pitt part of Grammys special for essential workers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Grammys is putting together an event featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Herbie Hancock and Harry Connick, Jr. to honor essential workers across America.The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammy Awards annually, announced Thursday that the two-hour special,...

In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert

NEW YORK (AP) — When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in...

Fox's Sean Hannity emerges as critic of Minneapolis police

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity has emerged as an unexpected critic of the Minneapolis police for their actions in the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.Hannity spent more than 15 minutes on his Fox show Wednesday replaying video of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

7 shot at Louisville protest over fatal police shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — At least seven people were shot in Louisville as protesters turned out to demand...

Communion ritual unchanged in Orthodox Church despite virus

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — One by one, the children and adults line up for the centuries-old ritual of Holy...

Stranded in paradise: Hundreds of sailors stuck in Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For as long as she can remember, 28-year-old Kristen Pankratz has shared in...

Roam close to home: Europe's tourists play safe in pandemic

BERLIN (AP) — Many a journey to far-flung corners of Europe starts in a dusty industrial yard in east...

Australian court rules queen's letters can be made public

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between...

McMenamins
Anne Flaherty the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.
The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as "don't ask, don't tell."
If Democrats lose seats in the upcoming congressional elections this fall, as many expect, repealing the ban could prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year. The Senate could take up the measure again during a lame-duck session after the elections, but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hasn't decided whether to do so.
"The whole thing is a political train wreck," said Richard Socarides, a White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.
Democrats included the repeal provision in a $726 billion defense policy bill, which authorizes a pay raise for the troops among other popular programs. In a deal brokered with the White House, the measure would have overturned the 1993 law banning openly gay service only after a Pentagon review and certification from the president that lifting the ban wouldn't hurt troop morale.
But with little time left for debate before the November ballot, the bill had languished on the Senate calendar until gay rights groups, backed by pop star Lady Gaga, began an aggressive push to turn it into an election issue.
Earlier this month a federal judge in Los Angeles declared the ban an unconstitutional violation of the due process and free speech rights of gays and lesbians. The decision was the third federal court ruling since July to assert that statutory limits on the rights of gays and lesbians were unconstitutional.
Reid agreed to force a vote on the bill this week and limit debate, despite Republican objections. A Nevada Democrat in a tight race of his own this fall, he also pledged to use the defense bill as a vehicle for an immigration proposal that would enable young people to qualify for U.S. citizenship if they joined the military.
Republicans alleged that Reid was using the defense bill to score political points with the Democratic base.
"This is not a serious exercise. It's a show," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Democrats countered that the bill merely reflects public opinion. Recent polls suggest that a majority of Americans think the ban on gays in the military should be overturned.
"We're going to fight for this," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
But at least for now, the question of how and when to change the policy returns to the Pentagon, which had set a December deadline to complete a study of the effects of lifting the ban. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that he supports President Barack Obama's goal of repeal, but Gates made it clear he thought the process should move gradually.
It is not clear how quickly the Pentagon might make its own recommendations. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell declined to comment Tuesday on what he called "an internal procedural matter for the Senate."
Initially, advocates had thought that Democrats might win the 60 votes needed to overcome GOP objections and advance the bill. Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican, was seen as a crucial vote because she supports overturning the ban.
But Collins ultimately sided with her GOP colleagues in arguing that the bill shouldn't advance because Republicans weren't given sufficient chance to offer amendments to the wide-ranging policy bill.
Democrats also failed to keep all of their party members in line. Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both of Arkansas, voted with Republicans to scuttle the bill. The vote was 56-43, four short of the 60 required to advance under Senate rules.
Lincoln said she objected to the limits on debate and wanted a chance to offer amendments that would benefit her state. In a statement, Pryor said the bill deserved more serious debate than was being allowed.
"There needs to be a genuine and honest effort to craft a defense bill that senators from both parties can support, because supporting our troops should not ever be a partisan issue," he said.
When it became clear that Democrats would lose, Reid cast his own vote in opposition as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, doing so enables him to revive the bill at a later date.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said no decision had been made as to when Reid might call up the bill again.
The episode upset many advocates, who believe that neither Obama nor Reid did enough to see the measure through. Meanwhile, conservative groups hailed the vote as a victory for the troops.
"At least for now they will not be used to advance a radical social agenda," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.

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