03-03-2021  9:48 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Blumenauer, Pressley Reintroduce Legislation to Fully End Qualified Immunity

Unjust doctrine shields police officers from accountability for misconduct and criminal behavior

Ruby Haughton-Pitts’ Dismissal as Oregon AARP Director Draws Fire

State leaders, members and supporters are questioning AARP’s secrecy around the decision to fire the highly regarded leader after two years of service

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

NEWS BRIEFS

$500,000 Grant Funding Will Invest In Racial Equity In WA

Kaiser Permanente commits funding to grassroots organizations to dismantle practices and structures that prevent communities of color...

Girls Inc. of the PNW Welcomes Cyreena Boston Ashby as CEO

Boston Ashby has served as interim executive director since summer 2020, plans to focus on paths to addressing learning loss ...

Changes Made To Scheduling Vaccine Appointments via the Vaccine Information Tool

Adults who are 65 and older, and most people who are eligible for vaccines in Phase 1A in the Portland metro area, will no longer be...

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Sheriff's sergeant on leave over a year in sex abuse probe

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office sergeant remains on paid leave more than a year after Redmond Police started investigating him over an alleged sexual assault.A newly released police report outlines an ongoing criminal investigation into Richard...

University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. President Michael Schill says the decision was made following an announcement Friday from Gov. Kate Brown that higher education will be included in the...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

OHA Marks 1 Year One-Year Anniversary of Oregon’s First COVID-19 Case

Director thanks Oregonians and asks state residents to maintain pandemic precautions and choose vaccination ...

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides that fought for Black civil rights and an end to racial segregation when he received his next assignment.It was one that would help change the course of American history.“I...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has launched an investigation into alleged Israeli crimes in the Palestinian territories, plunging the court into the midst of one of the most fraught conflicts of the past half century.The...

NBA says million going to HBCUs through All-Star Game

ATLANTA (AP) — The last shot of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will be worth 0,000 for either the Thurgood Marshall College Fund or United Negro College Fund, the league said Wednesday in revealing how an estimated million in charitable donations from the contest will be...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: 'Klara and the Sun' is a poignant mediation on love

“Klara and the Sun,” by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)“Klara and the Sun,” by Nobel-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro, takes readers on a journey through the mind of Klara, one of many artificial friends who have been built to keep lonely children company. Klara is a one-of-a-kind...

Vanessa Bryant still perseveres after Kobe, Gigi's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year.Bryant said...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: 'It's always special'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has won nine Grammys throughout her career is competing for her 50th honor.Parton's first Grammy nomination was at the 1970 show for “Just Someone I Used...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee to honor civil rights icons

DETROIT (AP) — Bernard Lafayette Jr. was a young activist emerging from the 1961 sit-ins and Freedom Rides...

Biden stands by May timeline for vaccines for all US adults

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine...

EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising...

ICC investigates alleged crimes in Palestinian territories

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Wednesday she has...

Google vows no new user tracking in Chrome to sell ads

LONDON (AP) — Google says it won't develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it...

China, looking post-virus, to push tech autonomy at Congress

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leaders are shifting focus from the coronavirus back to long-term goals of making...

The Skanner News

Sen. Bernie Sanders took to the floor of the Senate at 10:25 am Eastern time, 7:35 am Pacific, determined to filibuster the tax cut bill. Four hours later he is still speaking. The bill is overwhelmingly opposed by the Congressional Black Caucus. oregon Rep. Peter De Fazio led the opposition in the house.  House Democrats voted in a closed-door meeting Thursday not to allow the package to reach the floor for a vote without changes. The Skanner News Video: Live feed

  President Barack Obama said he expects disgruntled Democrats to make changes to the sweeping tax-cut deal he reached with Republican leaders, a pact he predicted will win congressional approval.

Democrats have objected to the deal on grounds it is too generous to the rich, especially its provisions cutting estate taxes for the wealthiest Americans. House Democrats voted in a closed-door meeting Thursday not to allow the package to reach the floor for a vote without changes.

Asked about those objections, Obama said there will be talks between House and Senate leaders about the package's final details.

"Keep in mind, we didn't actually write a bill," he said of his agreement with Republican leaders. "We put forward a framework. I'm confident that the framework is going to look like the one that we put forward."

The deal was hammered out as Republicans prepare to take a majority in the House of Representatives starting in January. Obama's Democrats lost control of the House and saw their Senate majority weakened in November elections.

Throughout his campaign for the White House and the first two years of his presidency, Obama had vowed he would not allow the tax reductions to continue for the wealthy, defined as households earning more than $250,000 a year, when the cuts expire at the end of this month.

However, the president has said he had no choice except to agree to an extension of the tax cuts, which date back to Republican President George W. Bush's administration. Tax cuts for middle-class and lower-earning Americans are also set to expire at the end of the year, and Republicans are refusing to back the tax cuts if the wealthy are excluded.

The uprising among fellow Democrats so soon after the party suffered a major defeat in last month's elections only compounds Obama's increasing political fragility with the approach of the 2012 presidential campaign.

In an interview with National Public Radio released Friday, Obama said that despite a rebellion by many Democrats against his tax deal, it will pass because "nobody - Democrat or Republican - wants to see people's paychecks smaller on Jan. 1 because Congress didn't act."

The pact would extend cuts in income tax rates for all earners that would otherwise expire next month, renew long-term jobless benefits and trim payroll taxes for one year.

The measure appears headed for Senate approval after negotiators added a few relatively modest sweeteners to promote ethanol and other forms of alternative energy. It was unclear whether House Democrats would be able to demand changes that go much further.

Tax provisions designed to increase production of hybrid automobiles, biodiesel fuel, energy-efficient homes, coal and energy-efficient household appliances would be extended through the end of 2011.

The measure also includes tax breaks for commuters who use mass transit. The program saves commuters about $1,000 a year.

There is no precise timetable for passage in the Senate, but a procedural vote was set for Monday afternoon that appears likely to demonstrate overwhelming support for the legislation. Supporters say it would help accelerate a sluggish recovery from recession.

"This bill is not perfect, but it provides the economic boost middle-class families and small businesses in Nevada and across America need," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat. "Middle-class families and small businesses will see their taxes go down."

At the insistence of Republicans, the measure includes a more generous estate tax provision. That infuriated Democrats already unhappy with Obama for agreeing to extend tax cuts at incomes of more than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

In all, the package would cost about $855 billion, according to a preliminary congressional estimate.

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