09-16-2021  8:16 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

With a thirty-four year career in corrections Captain Derrick Peterson announces his campaign for Multnomah County Sheriff ...

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 continues

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...

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...

Rodriguez's 3 TDs help Kentucky hold off Missouri 35-28

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky right guard Eli Cox recovered Chris Rodriguez Jr.'s fumble in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown and the Wildcats stopped Missouri late for a hard-fought 35-28 victory Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener. Rodriguez rushed...

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

BOSTON (AP) — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November. City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in Tuesday’s...

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

Long weekend becomes 9 week lockdown for AP Vietnam reporter

VUNG TAU, Vietnam (AP) — I wake up as the loudspeaker outside my window starts the community broadcast at 7 a.m....

Senate hopeful flexes power of AG's office through lawsuits

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s Republican attorney general, Eric Schmitt, sued China over the coronavirus. He...

German police detain 4 on Yom Kippur after synagogue threat

BERLIN (AP) — A 16-year-old boy and three other people were detained Thursday in connection with a suspected...

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...

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...

Zimbabwe orders government workers to get COVID vaccinations

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19...

Paul Schemm and Maggie Michael the Associated Press

TOBRUK, Libya (AP) -- Militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi clamped down in Tripoli, but cracks in his regime spread elsewhere across the nation, as the protest-fueled rebellion controlling much of eastern Libya claimed new gains closer to the capital. Two pilots let their warplane crash in the desert, parachuting to safety, rather than bomb an opposition-held city.

The opposition said it had taken over Misrata, which would be the largest city in the western half in the country to fall into its hands. Clashes broke out over the past two days in the town of Sabratha, west of the capital, where the army and militiamen were trying to put down protesters who overwhelmed security headquarters and government buildings, a news website close to the government reported.

Two air force pilots jumped from parachutes from their Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and let it crash, rather than carry out orders to bomb opposition-held Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, the website Quryna reported, citing an unidentified officer in the air force control room.

One of the pilots - identified by the report as Ali Omar Gadhafi - was from Gadhafi's tribe, the Gadhadhfa, said Farag al-Maghrabi, a local resident who saw the pilots and the wreckage of the jet, which crashed in a deserted area outside the key oil port of Breqa.

International outrage mounted after Gadhafi on Tuesday went on state TV and in a fist-pounding speech called on his supporters to take to the streets to fight protesters. Gadhafi's retaliation has already been the harshest in the Arab world to the wave of anti-government protests sweeping the Middle East.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said estimates of some 1,000 people killed in the violence in Libya were "credible," although he stressed information about casualties was incomplete. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has put the death toll at nearly 300, according to a partial count.

In Tripoli, militiamen and Gadhafi supporters were roaming main streets, firing weapons in the air from time to time as they chanted "long live Gadhafi" and waved green flags. In many neighborhoods, residents had set up watch groups to keep them out, barricading their streets with concrete blocks, metal and rocks and searching those trying to enter, said a Tripoli activist. Many were passing out fliers announcing a march by protesters on Tripoli on Friday, urging residents to take refuge in mosques in case violence erupts.

Gadhafi's residence at Tripoli's Aziziya Gates was guarded by Gadhafi loyalists, waving his picture and chanting slogans, along with a line of armed militiamen in vehicles, some masked, he said. The radio station building downtown was also heavily fortified.

"Mercenaries are everywhere with weapons. You can't open a window or door. Snipers hunt people," said another resident, who said she had spent the last night in her home awake hearing gunfire outside. "We are under siege, at the mercy of a man who is not a Muslim."

But below the surface, protesters were organizing, said the activist. At night, they fan out and spray-paint anti-Gadhafi graffiti or set fires near police stations, chanting "the people want the ouster of the regime," before running at the approach of militiamen, he said.

A group of 60 intellectuals, judges, doctors and journalists linked to the protesters drew up a list of demands for the post-Gadhafi era, calling for a national assembly formed of representatives from each region to draw up a transitional government and write a constitution, the activist said.

Libya's upheaval, just over a week old, has shattered the hold of Gadhafi's regime across much of the country. Protesters claim to hold towns and cities along nearly the entire eastern half of the 1,000-mile Mediterranean coastline, from the Egyptian border. In parts, they have set up their own jury-rigged self-administrations.

At the Egyptian border, guards had fled, and local tribal elders have formed local committees to take their place. "Welcome to the new Libya," a graffiti spray-painted at the crossing proclaimed. Fawzy Ignashy, a former soldier, now in civilian clothes at the border, said that early in the protests, some commanders ordered troops to fire on protesters, but then tribal leaders stepped in and ordered them to stop.

"They did because they were from here. So the officers fled," he said.

A defense committee of local residents was even guarding one of Gadhafi's once highly secretive anti-aircraft missile bases outside the city of Tobruk. "This is the first time I've seen missiles like these up close," admitted Abdelsalam al-Gedani, one of the guards, dressed in an overcoat and carrying a Kalashnikov automatic rifle.

"There is now an operating room for the militaries of all the liberated cities and they are trying to convince the others to join them," said Lt. Col. Omar Hamza, an army officer who had allied with the protesters. "They are trying to help the people in Tripoli to capture Gadhafi."

Protesters have claimed control all the way to the city of Ajdabiya, about 480 miles (800 kilometers) east of Tripoli, encroaching on the key oil fields around the Gulf of Sidra.

That has left Gadhafi's power centered around Tripoli, in the far west and parts of the country's center. But that appeared to be weakening in parts.

Protesters in Misrata were claiming victory after several days of fighting with Gadhafi loyalists in the city, about 120 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli.

Residents were honking horns in celebration and raising the pre-Gadhafi flags of the Libyan monarchy, said Faraj al-Misrati, a local doctor. He said six people had been killed and 200 wounded in clashes that began Feb. 18 and eventually drove out pro-Gadhafi militiamen.

Residents had formed committees to clean the streets, protect the city and treat the injured, he said. "The solidarity among the people here is amazing, even the disabled are helping out."

An audio statement posted on the Internet was reportedly from armed forces officers in Misrata proclaiming "our total support" for the protesters.

New videos posted by Libya's opposition on Facebook also showed scores of anti-government protesters raising the flag from the pre-Gadhafi monarchy on a building in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli. Another showed protesters lining up cement blocks and setting tires ablaze to fortify positions on a square inside the capital.

The footage couldn't be independently confirmed.

Further west, armed forces deployed in Sabratha, a town famed for nearby ancient Roman ruins, in a bid to regain control after protesters burned government buildings and police stations, the Quryna news website reported. It said clashes had erupted between soldiers and residents in the past nights and that residents were also reporting an influx of pro-Gadhafi militias that have led heaviest crackdown on protesters.

The opposition also claimed control in Zwara, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Tunisian border in the west, after local army units sided with the protesters and police fled.

"The situation here is very secure, the people here have organized security committees, and there are people who have joined us from the army," said a 25-year-old unemployed university graduate in Zwara. "This man (Gadhafi) has reached the point that he's saying he will bring armies from African (to fight protesters). That means he is isolated," he said.

The division of the country - and defection of some army units to the protesters - raises the possibility the opposition could try an assault on the capital. On the Internet, there were calls by protesters for all policemen, armed forces and youth to march to Tripoli on Friday.

In his speech Tuesday night, Gadhafi defiantly vowed to fight to his "last drop of blood" and roared at supporters to strike back against Libyan protesters to defend his embattled regime.

"You men and women who love Gadhafi ... get out of your homes and fill the streets," Gadhafi said. "Leave your homes and attack them in their lairs."

Gadhafi appears to have lost the support of several tribes and his own diplomats, including Libya's ambassador in Washington, Ali Adjali, and deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi.

The Libyan Embassy in Austria also condemned the use of "excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators" and said in a statement Wednesday that it was representing the Libyan people.

International alarm has risen over the crisis, which sent oil prices soaring to the highest level in more than two years on Tuesday and sparked a scramble by European and other countries to get their citizens out of the North African nation. The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting that ended with a statement condemning the crackdown, expressing "grave concern" and calling for an "immediate end to the violence" and steps to address the legitimate demands of the Libyan people.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also pressed Wednesday for European Union sanctions against Libya's regime because of its violent crackdown on protesters, and raised the possibility of cutting all economic and business ties between the EU and the North African nation.

"The continuing brutal and bloody repression against the Libyan civilian population is revolting," Sarkozy said in a statement. "The international community cannot remain a spectator to these massive violations of human rights."

Italian news reports have said witnesses and hospital sources in Libya are estimating there are 1,000 dead in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, alone.

"We have no complete information about the number of people who have died," Frattini said in a speech to a Catholic organization in Rome ahead of a briefing in Parliament on Libya. "We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible."

Libya is the biggest supplier of oil to Italy, which has extensive energy, construction and other business interests in the north African country and decades of strong ties.

Frattini said the Italian government is asking that the "horrible bloodshed" cease immediately.

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Michael reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Sarah El Deeb and Ben Hubbard in Cairo, Frances D'Emilio in Rome and Angela Doland in Paris contributed to this report.

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