02-24-2020  10:04 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Jeremy Christian Guilty of Killing 2 Who Tried to Stop His Slurs on Max

Today jurors found Christian guilty of the May 26, 2017 stabbing deaths of Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best

States Step Up Funding for Planned Parenthood Clinics

A spokesman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon said the agency has been "working closely with state officials to create critical backstops and protect access to care for all Oregonians who need it, regardless of federal action on Title X"

Oregon Denies Permit for Pipeline Before Federal Decision

Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development says a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos Bay would have significant adverse effects on the state's coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, endangered species and critical habitat

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

African American Initiative Breast Cancer Survivor Celebration to be Held Saturday

Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington celebrate breast cancer survivors in the African American community with a free gala this...

Dr. Karin Edwards Named New President of Clark College

Board of Trustees names Dr. Karin Edwards as the college’s 15th leader in its 87-year history ...

OneUnited Bank Launches New Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Card

OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in America, introduces the new limited-edition Harriet Tubman Card in celebration of...

Scientists gather to study risk from microplastic pollution

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tiny bits of broken-down plastic smaller than a fraction of a grain of riceare turning up everywhere in oceans, from the water tothe guts of fish and the poop of sea otters and giant killer whales. Yet little is known about the effects of these “microplastics"...

US pushes changes to Western land plans that judge blocked

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Department officials are seeking to bolster their case for easing restrictions on energy development, mining and grazing in Western states inhabited by a declining bird species. A federal judge in Idaho blocked the Trump administration plans last year...

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

Sanders' 2016 movement now has political machine to push it

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — By the fall of 2018, when Democrats were promoting a slate of centrist candidates to topple Republicans in Congress, Bernie Sanders was seeing a very different picture.The Vermont senator and avowed democratic socialist was convinced his most fervent supporters were as...

Pioneering black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits for NASA’s early space missions and was later portrayed in the 2016 hit film “Hidden Figures,” about pioneering black female aerospace workers, has died. She was 101.NASA Administrator Jim...

Suspect linked to racist graffiti found at Maryland college

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Authoritieshave identified a suspect in connection to racist graffiti that was found scrawled in academic buildings at a Maryland university last week.Salisbury University President Charles A. Wight announced the development in a message to the campus community Friday,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' readies for Garden visit

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Kyle Scatliffe has gone to Madison Square Garden plenty of times — for a Rangers game, a Muse concert and a WWE event. Next week, he's going back again, but this time he won't be in the seats.Scatliffe on Wednesday will be starring in the hit Broadway play...

OWN's 'Cherish the Day' is a rare celebration of black love

LOS ANGELES (AP) — To separate filmmaker and TV producer Ava DuVernay’s trenchant, history-driven projects, including “Selma” and “When They See Us,” from her new romantic drama series is to sell short the determined thoughtfulness that shapes all her...

Unscripted 'Friends' reunion special to launch with HBO Max

LOS ANGELES (AP) — WarnerMedia's new streaming service will debut with some extra “Friends.”The company announced Friday that the entire original “Friends” cast will reunite for an unscripted special that will be available on HBO Max when the service debuts in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Fans take photos before Kobe Bryant memorial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the public memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in downtown...

Mars lander confirms quakes, even aftershocks on red planet

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's newest Mars lander has confirmed that quakes and even aftershocks are...

Pioneering black NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson dies

Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits for NASA’s early...

'Deportation with a layover:' US sends migrants to Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — After he was involved in a fender bender with a gang member, the Honduran delivery...

Italy tries to contain virus as isolated towns hunker down

CODOGNO, Italy (AP) — Police manned checkpoints around quarantined towns in Italy's north on Monday and...

Hero or criminal? Court hears 2 views of WikiLeaks' Assange

LONDON (AP) — Truth-telling journalist or reckless criminal: A British judge was given two conflicting...

McMenamins
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Brushing past Democratic opposition, President Barack Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night to extend expiring tax cuts for all Americans, renew jobless benefits and grant a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes for millions.  The Skanner News Video: AFL-CIO on Unemployment impact

The emerging agreement also includes tax breaks for businesses that the president said would contribute to the economy's recovery from the worst recession in eight decades.

Obama said there were elements of the deal he personally opposed, including an extension of expiring income tax cuts at upper income levels and a more generous deal on estates. But he said he decided that an agreement with Republicans was more important that a stalemate that would have resulted in higher income taxes at all income levels on Jan. 1.

"Make no mistake, allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family and that could cost our economy well over a million jobs," he said at the White House.

Top Democrats traveled to the White House earlier Monday and left later without discussing the details of their discussions with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Several officials said there was discontent over tax cut provisions that Republicans had demanded from the president, apparently successfully.

The White House meeting occurred after Obama returned to Washington from a trip to North Carolina, where he said he and Congress must "make sure we're coming up with a solution, even if it's not 100 percent what I want or 100 percent what the Republicans want."

Democrats have repeatedly raised objections to including the upper-income in any plan to extend tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 when George W. Bush was president. The Democratic-controlled House recently passed legislation to let the cuts lapse on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. On Saturday, Republicans blocked an attempt by Senate Democrats to do the same.

Despite the grumbling, White House officials underscored the benefits of the overall proposal for lower and middle class workers.

They noted that without the proposed extension of long-term unemployment benefits, 2 million workers would lose their assistance in December, and 7 million by the end of 2011.

They said the payroll tax holiday under consideration would be for one year, and mean an extra $120 billion would remain in worker paychecks. The proposal would supplant an earlier White House demand to extend a tax cut for lower-income and middle-income families.

They also said there were tax breaks for businesses that would encourage them to expand operations, thus stimulating an economy that is struggling to recover from the worst recession in 80 years.

But White House officials were far more reticent about claiming economic benefit from a planned extension in the estate tax. Officials said in discussions with Republicans, the White House was willing to entertain a two-year extension in which estates totaling $5 million and less would pass to heirs tax-free. Anything over that level would be taxed at 35 percent.

Many Democrats favor a far less generous proposal, under which the first $3.5 million would be tax-free, and anything above that level taxed at 45 percent.

Obama pushes middle class tax cuts, investment

The grumbling among Democrats underscored a dramatic shift in political power in the month since midterm elections, in which Republicans won control of the House and strengthened their hand in the Senate.

The newly elected lawmakers have yet to take their seats, but the White House has been quick to reach out in search of compromises.

In contrast, Obama spent his first two years in office generally bargaining with Democrats as he labored to pass key legislation such as an economic stimulus in 2009 and his health care overhaul earlier this year.

Momentum for a year-end deal picked up after Obama met at the White House last week with Republican leaders for the first time since his party's dispiriting election losses, and accelerated again when the government reported last week that joblessness had risen in November, to 9.8 percent.

The flurry of negotiations is taking place with lawmakers eager to wrap up their work for the year and adjourn for the holidays.

Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have all said in recent days they believe a deal on tax cuts and unemployment benefits is possible by midweek. If so, that would leave time for the Senate to hold a ratification debate on a new arms control treaty with Russia, which Obama has made a top year-end priority.

Senate Republicans have seemed more willing to hold a ratification debate in recent days as the negotiations over taxes intensified, suggesting at least an implicit link between the two issues in the talks.

Few details of the negotiations were available, including the length of a payroll tax holiday under discussion.

But it appeared increasingly likely that any extension of the Bush-era income tax cuts would be for two years.

Obama and Democrats have long insisted that tax cuts be allowed to lapse for incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples, saying that would cushion the impact on the deficit.

On the other hand, Republicans want all tax cuts extended permanently, arguing it made no economic sense to raise taxes with the economy still recovering from the recession.

Questions remained about how many concessions Obama could extract from Republicans in exchange for extending current tax rates for high earners, a proposal he opposed. But without action, lawmakers face the prospect of delivering a tax hike to all taxpayers at the end of the year, when the current rates expire and revert to higher pre-2001 and 2003 levels.

Negotiations between the Obama administration and a bipartisan group of lawmakers centered on a two-year extension of current rates.

At the same time, a jump in the unemployment rate to 9.8 percent is putting pressure on Republicans to accede to Obama's demand that Congress extend unemployment insurance for a year. GOP congressional leaders had opposed an extension of benefits without cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

Oregon Symphony Tituss Burgess
We Shall Overcome
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Photo Archives