11-21-2019  8:01 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Merkley Announces Legislation Passed to Ban Export of Crowd Control Munitions to Hong Kong

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed Senator Merkley's bipartisan legislation, which follows reports that U.S.-made equipment has been used by Hong Kong police to violate the human rights of peaceful protesters

Why the Nation Should Screen All Students for Trauma Like California Does

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Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act Introduced

In honor of Veterans Day, Monday, Merkley, Brown, Reed, Van Hollen introduced legislation to extend financial protections for servicemembers to veterans and consumers

Home Base Keeps More Than 400 Families in Their Homes in Seattle

The United Way of King County program aims to reduce homelessness by preventing evictions

NEWS BRIEFS

New Oregon Group Is Tackling Opioid Misuse and Addiction

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Rose Festival Opens Label Art Contest to Entire Community

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Smithsonian Magazine Announces the 2019 American Ingenuity Awards Honorees

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Noodle Dish at Portland Public Schools One of Best School Meals in US

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Clark College names new VP for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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Police: Hillsboro teen dead in pool after swim practice

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police in Hillsboro say a teenager was found dead in a swimming pool after a swim practice.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that the girl drowned at the Shute Park Aquatic & Recreation Center on Wednesday night.Lifeguards and emergency responders tried to...

Woman accused of embezzling K from hockey team

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — A Medford woman has been arrested and is suspected of stealing ,000 from a youth hockey organization.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 43-year-old Cara Ruettgers faces charges of second-degree theft, aggravated theft, identity theft and forgery. Police said in a news...

No. 4 Georgia continues playoff chase with another big test

Here are some things to watch during the 13th week of the Southeastern Conference football season.GAME OF THE WEEKNo. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 SEC) at No. 4 Georgia (9-1, 6-1, No. 4 College Football Playoff): Georgia already has clinched a berth in the SEC championship game and is seeking to keep...

College Football Picks: Scoreboard watching for CFP hopefuls

Pac-12 powers No. 6 Oregon and No. 7 Utah are on the road this weekend, trying to continue their march to a mega-meeting with huge playoff ramifications in the conference championship game next month.They should also both be keeping an eye on the Big 12, where No. 8 Oklahoma is looming. And, of...

OPINION

Illinois Prison Bans Black History Books

Officials claim the works are ‘racial’ ...

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

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Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

AP Interview: Commisso promises to keep Fiorentina ‘forever’

ROME (AP) — Less than six months into his tenure as Fiorentina owner and president, Rocco Commisso is already starting to grapple with Italy’s infamous bureaucracy as he attempts to build a new stadium for the club.First, Commisso’s plan to overhaul the existing Stadio Artemio...

Noose found in Auburn University residence hall

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn University says it’s investigating after an extension cord tied into a noose was found inside a campus residence hall.Tweets sent late Wednesday by the school’s safety and security department say the noose was discovered and removed Wednesday from a...

The Latest: Buttigieg takes hits on issue of his experience

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential debate (all times local):11:20 p.m.In Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Pete Buttigieg became the focus of several of his Democratic opponents for what they characterized as a lack of experience.After the South Bend, Indiana,...

ENTERTAINMENT

15 Grammy facts: Michelle Obama in, Bruce Springsteen out

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Apple cancels premiere of ‘The Banker’ over ‘concerns’

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Review: ‘Dark Waters’ plunges into ‘forever chemicals’

Todd Haynes’ “Dark Waters,” about the prolonged (and ongoing) legal fight to uncover the environmental damage of cancer-inducing “forever chemicals” and hold their corporate makers accountable, is a sober and ominous docudrama. On its surface, it’s an...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Across Mister Rogers’ actual neighborhoods, his faith echoes

PITTSBURGH (AP) — His TV neighborhood, was, of course, a realm of make believe — a...

Where parents feel like chauffeurs, companies step in

NEW YORK (AP) — When Deb Fink heard about a company that could drive her 9-year-old son to his after-school...

Chinese state media deny torture of ex-UK consulate staff

BEIJING (AP) — China’s ruling Communist Party’s newspaper published surveillance videos...

China demands Trump veto bills on Hong Kong

BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday demanded President Donald Trump veto legislation aimed at supporting human...

More protesters leave Hong Kong campus ahead of weekend poll

HONG KONG (AP) — More than 20 protesters inside a Hong Kong university campus surrendered to police on...

Pope in Thailand calls for action to protect women, children

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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.

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