10-19-2019  11:13 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Video shows coach disarming, embracing Oregon student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have released a video that shows part of a former Oregon football star's successful effort to disarm a student who brought a shotgun to a Portland high school.The video released Friday by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office shows Keanon Lowe and...

Parents guilty of starving 5-year-old daughter to death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Redmond couple of starving their 5-year-old adopted daughter to death.The Bulletin reports by unanimous jury verdicts Friday after a weekslong trial, Sacora Horn-Garcia and Estevan Garcia were found guilty of murder by abuse and criminal...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

No. 22 Missouri heads to Vandy, 1st road trip since opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Missouri coach Barry Odom knows only too well the dangers of going on the road and how a few mistakes can prove very costly.While some of his players my not remember that stunning loss at Wyoming to open this season, Odom hasn't forgotten."We're going to treat it just...

OPINION

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 ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Emmett Till marker dedicated to replace vandalized sign

GLENDORA, Miss. (AP) — A new bulletproof memorial to Emmett Till was dedicated Saturday in Mississippi after previous historical markers were repeatedly vandalized.The brutal slaying of the 14-year-old black teenager helped spur the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.The...

Parents sue Virginia school district over racist 2017 video

HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The parents of a Virginia student who say their son was assaulted and bullied by his middle school football teammates in an incident captured on video two years ago are suing the school system.The video, which showed football players simulating sex acts on black students...

Team abandons FA Cup qualifier after racial abuse

LONDON (AP) — An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper...

ENTERTAINMENT

Adam Lambert: Happy to see more LGBTQ artists find success

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on "America Idol" in 2009, says he's happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success."I think it's less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there's so many cases you can point to like,...

Jane Fonda returns to civil disobedience for climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inspired by the climate activism of a Swedish teenager, Jane Fonda says she's returning to civil disobedience nearly a half-century after she was last arrested at a protest.Fonda, known for her opposition to the Vietnam War, was one of 17 climate protesters arrested Friday...

Naomi Wolf and publisher part ways amid delay of new book

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Wolf and her U.S. publisher have split up amid a dispute over her latest book, "Outrages."Wolf and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced separately Friday that they had "mutually and amicably agreed to part company" and that Houghton would not be releasing "Outrages."...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Altuve's HR in 9th sends Astros to World Series over Yankees

HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve, the 5-foot-6 driving force of Houston, delivered a swing that will play in...

In many parts of Mexico, government ceded battle to cartels

EL AGUAJE, Mexico (AP) — The Mexican city of Culiacan lived under drug cartel terror for 12 hours as gang...

Impeachment inquiry puts spotlight on Perry, who shunned it

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long after more flamboyant colleagues flamed out of President Donald Trump's favor amid...

The Latest: Syria Kurds say they will withdraw from border

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Turkey's invasion of northern Syria (all times local):11:15 p.m.A senior Syrian...

South Sudan opposition leader returns to meet with president

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar returned to the country Saturday to meet...

Ethiopia's Nobel-winning leader launches million-copy book

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister is launching a book of his...

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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