12-08-2019  12:26 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

Christmas Tree Shopping is Harder Than Ever, Thanks to Climate Change and Demographics

For Christmas tree farms to survive, shoppers will need to be more flexible

November Holiday Travel at PDX Brings More Comfort, Convenience and Furry Friends

If you’ve not been to Portland International Airport in a few months, you’re in for some surprises.

NEWS BRIEFS

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Artist Talk with 13-year-old Local to be Held This Tuesday, Nov. 26

Hobbs Waters will be discussing his solo exhibit “Thirteen” at The Armory in Portland ...

Oregon to change policy after losing parental rights fight

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials who attempted to end the parental rights of a couple because of the parents' low IQs have reached an agreement with U.S. officials requiring the state follow federal civil rights laws.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the Oregon Department of Human...

Commercial ocean crabbing further delayed in Oregon

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — State shellfish managers say the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be further delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crab are still too low in meat yield in half of the areas along the coast.The World reports the...

Missouri fires football coach Barry Odom after 4 seasons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri fired football coach Barry Odom on Saturday, ending the four-year stay of a respected former player who took over a program in disarray but could never get the Tigers over the hump in the brutal SEC.The Tigers finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the conference after...

Powell, Missouri snap 5-game skid with win over Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — In a game started by third- and fifth-string quarterbacks, the outcome was decided by one of their backups. It was appropriate enough for Arkansas and Missouri, two teams facing their longest losing streaks in decades.Fayetteville High School graduate Taylor Powell...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

In Florida, Trump says he's Israel's best pal in White House

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than him because, unlike his predecessors, “I kept my promises."Trump energized an audience that numbered in the hundreds at the Israeli American Council National...

Army football removes motto from spirit flag

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — The United States Military Academy at West Point removed a motto from a spirit flag used by the school's football team because of its connection to hate groups. The letters GFBD, which stand for “God Forgives, Brothers Don’t,” were emblazoned on a...

Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

HAZLEHURST, Ga. (AP) — When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.So residents...

ENTERTAINMENT

Bloomberg: His news reporters need to accept restrictions

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says employees at his news organization need to accept restrictions with their paycheck, including the ban on investigating their boss.Bloomberg, billionaire founder of Bloomberg News, was asked in a CBS News interview about...

Billy Joel, Kardashians Diplo descend on Miami for Art Basel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As gallerists and collectors descend on Miami's most prestigious art fair by day, the Hollywood crowd knows it's all about the exclusive after parties. Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Pharrell were in town while DJ Khaled and rappers Travis Scott and Gucci Mane held...

Belafonte recalls Horne’s activism as Solange is honored

NEW YORK (AP) — Lena Horne was a fierce advocate for civil rights in her later years, but that part of her legacy is often pushed behind her glamorous image. Her good friend Harry Belafonte hopes that a new award in her honor will push that aspect of her life front and center.“She had...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Simplicity is genius': Joshua boxes smart to reclaim titles

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Anthony Joshua jumped up and down in the ring with his massive entourage,...

New Amazon lease for NY space renews debate over failed deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has signed a lease for a new office space in Manhattan that will house more than...

Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians

Port-au-Prince (AP) — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and...

Pro-government protesters denounce Hong Kong 'rioters'

HONG KONG (AP) — Only after finding safety in numbers, joining hundreds of other pro-government protesters...

Iran says new budget bucks US oil embargo, uses Russian loan

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president said on Sunday his country will depend less on oil revenue next year,...

Nobel laureate: Face up to climate change, no escaping Earth

STOCKHOLM (AP) — An astronomer who shares this year's Nobel physics prize for discovering a planet outside...

McMenamins
Jeannine Aversa AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sketched a more optimistic view of the economy on Friday, but said the Fed's $600 billion bond-buying program is needed because unemployment is likely to stay elevated for up to five more years.

Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee that there's increasing evidence that a "self-sustaining" recovery is taking hold. He said he expects stronger economic growth because consumers and businesses will boost spending this year.

Bernanke spoke one hour after the government released a disappointing employment report. Employers added only 103,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent partly because people gave up looking for jobs. Many economists had forecast much bigger job gains and were looking for a signal that businesses were ready to step up hiring.

Asked about Friday's 103,000 job gains, Bernanke said if that pace of job creation were maintained "you won't see sustained declines in the unemployment rate."

The Fed chief defended the central bank's move to buy $600 billion in Treasurys through June and gave no hint that it would change its course.

The bond purchases are designed to boost the economy by lowering interest rates and lifting stock prices.

The program has been criticized by Republicans in Congress and some Fed officials who contend it will do little to help the economy and could hurt it by unleashing inflation and speculative buying on Wall Street. China, Germany and Brazil complained it was really a scheme to push down the value of the dollar, giving U.S. exporters a competitive edge.

The Fed chief said the threat of deflation - a dangerous drop in prices, wages and in the values of homes and stocks - and the potential for persistently high unemployment were sufficient reasons to launch the program.

Bernanke predicted that the overall pace of the economy will be "moderately stronger" this year and said the Fed recently has seen "increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery" is taking place.

Factories are cranking up production. The service sector is growing at its fastest pace in more than four years. Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits over the past month than in any other four-week period in more than two years. Consumers are spending more freely, and a payroll tax cut is likely to boost their activity further. Tax cuts are also likely to lead businesses to expand and hire more.

But weakness in job growth could slow this momentum, Bernanke cautioned, especially if consumers spend less.

Bernanke said unemployment is likely to be around 8 percent two years from now.

Other threats to the economic outlook, Bernanke said, are:

- A depressed housing market, where growth in foreclosures could push down home prices even more.

- Deeper spending cuts and more layoffs from state and local governments.

- Rising gasoline prices, which now top $3 a gallon.

Bernanke also argued for Congress and the White House to come up with a long-term plan to reduce the government's trillion-plus-dollar budget deficits. However, he warned them not to slash spending or boost taxes now because the economy is too fragile.

President Barack Obama's debt commission at the end of last year failed to reach a consensus on a deficit-reduction plan. Over the coming decade government deficits are estimated in the $10 trillion range. If Congress fails to come up with a reduction plan, the economy could be hurt, Bernanke said. Big deficits could force investors to demand more returns on government loans and interest rates could soar.

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