09-16-2021  8:37 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

OSU University Day Speaker Gives Blunt Assessment of Where Science, Higher Education Need to Do Better

Science journal Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp provided an unvarnished view of the challenges facing higher education and the scientific community, especially in light of the pandemic

School Vaccine Campaigns Targeting Students Face Blowback

In a total of eight states, Oregon included, providers can waive parental consent requirements

Seattle Council Shifts Money Saved By Officer Departures

More officers are leaving this year than City Hall budgeted for, yielding an estimated million in salary savings

Commission Grants Conditional Approval to I-5 Proposal

The Oregon Transportation Commission has granted conditional approval to a plan to expand Interstate 5,  as well as build a cap over the freeway to allow for the redevelopment of a Black community destroyed when the interstate was first built.

NEWS BRIEFS

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

National Black Law Enforcement Leader Announces Campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff

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University Of Portland Ranked 3rd in Western Region on 2022 U.S. News & World Report

In-person fall semester classes proceeding with vaccination rates above 96% among faculty, staff, and students; and adherence to...

Black Parent Initiative With Joy Degruy Publications Awarded $500,000 From MacArthur Foundation Supporting an Equitable Recovery

The grant will support Black Parent Initiative and Joy DeGruy Publications work to advance Racial Justice Field Support, with a Focus...

Oregon Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9%

This is only the third time in the past 45 years that the rate has dropped below 5% ...

Idaho rations health care statewide as COVID surge drags on

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho public health leaders on Thursday expanded health care rationing statewide amid a massive increase in the number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement after St. Luke's...

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West

MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown. Across...

Kentucky looks to maintain momentum against FCS Chattanooga

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Mark Stoops quickly dismisses any notion of FCS Chattanooga being a “breather” game for Kentucky. Not with the Wildcats (2-0) facing another Southeastern Conference challenge looming next week at South Carolina. And certainly not with Kentucky hungry...

After tough L, Mizzou turns focus to SEMO, continued growth

Missouri already has a couple high-profile wins under Eli Drinkwitz in just over one pandemic-shortened season, and the Tigers have been hauling in four- and five-star recruits like never before. Yet their narrow loss at Kentucky last weekend was a reminder: The Tigers are still...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Chauvin pleads not guilty to alleged civil rights violation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegedly violating the civil rights of a teenager in a separate case that involved a restraint similar to the one used on Floyd. ...

Boston getting mayor of color as Wu, Essaibi George advance

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Los Angeles County votes to phase out oil and gas drilling

Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to phase out oil and gas drilling and ban new drill sites in the unincorporated areas of the nation's most populous county. Over 1,600 active and idle oil and gas wells in the county could be shuttered after the 5-0 vote...

ENTERTAINMENT

In Sandra Cisneros' new book, an overdue letter to a friend

NEW YORK (AP) — With her new book, “Martita, I Remember You," Sandra Cisneros feels like she's finally answered a long overdue letter. The author of the best-selling novella “The House on Mango Street” is back with her first work of fiction in almost a decade, a story of...

Review: A man. A boy. And a chicken. 'Cry Macho' lays an egg

Last year, Tom Hanks and George Clooney each took on movie parts in which they showed off their fatherly sides by taking care of a child. Apparently, there's something in the water over in Hollywood because this month, it's time for Clint Eastwood. The one-time Dirty Harry...

Emmy host Cedric the Entertainer says stuffiness is banned

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As busy as Cedric the Entertainer is with his sitcom “The Neighborhood” and other projects, he quickly said yes when asked to host his first major awards show. Then he sought advice on how to handle Sunday's Emmy ceremony, airing on CBS (8 p.m. EDT). ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'New' Van Gogh drawing to go on display in Amsterdam museum

AMSTERDAM (AP) — A drawing newly attributed to Vincent van Gogh that has never been displayed publicly before is...

Hezbollah-organized fuel arrives in crisis-hit Lebanon

AL-AIN, Lebanon (AP) — A convoy of tanker trucks carrying Iranian diesel crossed the border from Syria into...

Idled Thai taxis go green with mini-gardens on car roofs

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Latest: Britain gives boosters over 50, with health issues

LONDON — Britain is giving coronavirus booster shots to people over age 50 and those 16 to 49 with underlying...

Southwest China earthquake collapses homes, kills at least 3

BEIJING (AP) — An earthquake destroyed houses, killed at least three people and injured dozens Thursday in...

Ozone hole over Antarctica larger than usual, scientists say

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say the hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer over the Southern Hemisphere is...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats voted Thursday to reject President Barack Obama's tax deal with Republicans in its current form, but it was unclear how significantly the package might need to be changed.

The Skanner News Video

By voice vote in a closed caucus meeting, Democrats passed a resolution saying the tax package should not come to the House floor for consideration as written, even though no formal House bill has been drafted. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced the resolution.

Said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: "If it's take it or leave it, we'll leave it."

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said "it's a pretty clear message. We don't like the bill."

The vote will at least temporarily stall what had seemed to be a grudging Democratic movement toward the tax package. Before the caucus vote took place, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Obama's tax compromise embodies "the objective we need to reach" even though Democrats dislike several components.

"We're going to have an increase in taxes on working Americans ... if we continue to have gridlock," Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on MSNBC.

But the the voice vote in the caucus was quite lopsided. Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada told reporters afterward that "one person voted against it. That would be me."

Asked what happens next, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 person in the Democratic leadership, said, "I don't know. Well wait and see."

Speaking earlier Thursday at a White House event promoting American exports, Obama said the vote will determine whether the economy "moves forward or backward."

The president again pressed Congress to pass the agreement, saying it has the potential to create millions of jobs. He said if it fails, Americans would see smaller paychecks and fewer jobs.

But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said "the jury is still out" on the measure's enactment because many Democrats are furious over an estate tax provision.

Obama agreed to exempt the first $5 million of a deceased person's estate, and to tax the rest at 35 percent. Congressional Democrats had expected a 45 percent tax rate on anything above $3.5 million. Without congressional action, the estate tax will revert to an even higher rate: 55 percent on estates valued above $1 million. That should have strengthened Obama's hand when negotiating with Republicans, Van Hollen said.

Some Democrats have reluctantly embraced the tax package, which would let rich and poor Americans keep Bush-era tax cuts that were scheduled to expire this month. Even so, 54 House Democrats wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying they're opposing the deal.

Led by Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, they said they were against "acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires."

"We're paying a king's ransom," Welch said in an interview. "We didn't need to and couldn't afford to."

The 54 Democrats, by themselves, would not be enough to block the package in the House, depending on how much support it gets from Republicans.

After Obama publicly defended the plan for a third day Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden met with Democratic lawmakers in the Capitol for a second day, several Democrats predicted the measure will pass, mainly because of extensive Republican support.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., predicted the tax cut compromise "will be passed by virtually all the Republicans and a minority of Democrats." He said he would vote against it.

Obama said more congressional Democrats would climb aboard as they studied details of the $900 billion year-end measure.

Raising the direst alarm yet, his administration warned fellow Democrats on Wednesday that if they defeat the plan, they could jolt the nation back into recession.

Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser, told reporters that if the measure isn't passed soon, it will "materially increase the risk the economy would stall out and we would have a double-dip" recession. That put the White House in the unusual position of warning its own party's lawmakers they could be to blame for calamitous consequences if they go against the president.

With many House and Senate Republicans signaling their approval of the tax cut plan, the White House's comments were aimed mainly at House Democrats who feel Obama went too far in yielding to Republicans' demands for continued income tax cuts and lower estate taxes for the wealthy.

Obama says the compromise was necessary because Republicans were prepared to let everyone's taxes rise and to block the extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans if they didn't get much of what they wanted.

Economists say the recent recession officially ended in June 2009. But with unemployment at 9.8 percent, millions remain out of work or fearful of losing ground economically, and the notion of the nation falling back into a recession would strike many as chilling. It also could rattle markets and investors.

The deal Obama crafted with Senate Republican leaders would prevent the scheduled Dec. 31 expiration of all the Bush administration's tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, even though Obama had often promised to end the cuts for the highest earners.

House Democrats, who will lose their majority in January, still hold a 255-179 edge in the current Congress. To pass a big bill with mostly Republican votes would mark a dramatic departure from recent battles, such as the health care overhaul, which was enacted with virtually no GOP support in either chamber.

Passage of Obama's plan seems more assured in the Senate, where numerous Democrats have agreed that the president had little choice in making the compromises with Republicans. Still, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he and colleagues are considering possible changes, and action could come within days.

 

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