10-17-2019  4:22 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

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

Grocery Workers Union Ratifies Contract with Stores

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has agreed a three-year contract for stores in Oregon and Southwest Washington

PCC Weighing Community Input on Workforce Training Center, Affordable Housing in Cully

Portland Community College is compiling the results of door-to-door and online surveys

Lawsuit Filed Against Hilton Hotels in “Calling His Mother While Black” Discrimination Case

Jermaine Massey was ousted from the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland where he was a guest and forced to find lodging at around midnight

NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Black Women Help Kick off Sustainable Building Week

The event will be held at Portland’s first and only “green building” owned and operated by African-American women ...

Voter Registration Deadline for the November Special Election is Oct. 15 

The Special Election in Multnomah County will be held on Nov. 5, 2019 ...

Franklin High School’s Mercedes Muñoz Named Oregon Teacher of the Year

In a letter of recommendation, Muñoz was referred to as “a force of nurture.” ...

Oregon officer tower receives building sustainability award

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — One of Oregon's largest office buildings has achieved the highest level of certification from an organization promoting sustainability in building design, construction and operation.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that U.S. Bancorp Tower in Portland has...

Oregon waterway pesticide levels fall due to farming changes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Environmental regulators say pesticide levels in some Oregon waterways have dropped to fractions of former concentrations due to voluntary changes by farmers.The Capital Press reported Wednesday that the state Department of Environmental Quality found that growers who...

Bryant bounces back to lead Missouri over Mississippi

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Last week, when he heard a pop in his left knee after being hit low, Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant briefly saw his college football career pass before his eyes. The injury wasn't as bad as it looked, and Bryant played like his old self in a 38-27 victory over...

Missouri out to stop Ole Miss ground game in SEC matchup

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke has watched every game Missouri has played this season, and he was no doubt excited by the way Wyoming ran wild against the Tigers in their season opener.It should have portended good things for the Rebels' own vaunted rushing attack.But the more Luke looked at the video,...

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

UK Labour lawmaker leaves party, says Corbyn unfit to serve

LONDON (AP) — A longtime U.K. Labour legislator has left the opposition party and warned that leader Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to become prime minister.Louise Ellman said Thursday she is leaving the party after 55 years because of Corbyn's failure to confront mounting anti-Semitism in its...

Cause for hope and caution following police shooting in home

In the days after Atatiana Jefferson's killing in her own home by a white Fort Worth police officer, many in the black community say they've seen at least initial signs of swifter action with the officer's arrest, but also are noticing some recurring and troubling themes.These include the release...

Fort Worth faith leaders want judge to enforce police reform

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Community and faith leaders on Wednesday called on the Trump administration to open a civil rights investigation into the Fort Worth Police Department in the wake of a white officer's fatal shooting of a black woman in her home, saying the goal should be a police...

ENTERTAINMENT

2 writers claim they deserve credit on Lizzo's 'Truth Hurts'

NEW YORK (AP) — There's a debate about the truth behind Lizzo's "Truth Hurts."Lizzo's breakthrough tune, which spent six weeks on top of Billboard's Hot 100 chart this year, features the signature line: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100 percent that bitch." The lyric originated from...

Review: Pattinson and Dafoe shine in 'The Lighthouse'

Enter "The Lighthouse " at your own risk.This is a stark, moody, surreal and prolonged descent into seaside madness that will surely not be for everyone. But those who do choose to go on this black-and-white journey with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe will ultimately find it a rewarding one,...

Farrow books sells across Australia despite legal threat

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Ronan Farrow's new book is being sold in Australia despite threats of defamation lawsuits that the Pulitzer-winning journalist believes led some Australian retailers to drop the bestseller."Catch and Kill" covers events leading to Farrow's New Yorker magazine...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Dubai bets billions that Expo 2020 won't be a desert mirage

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — It rises out of what were once rolling sand dunes stretching toward the...

Chicago teachers to strike in nation's 3rd largest district

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago parents and community groups are scrambling to prepare for a massive teachers'...

Cause for hope and caution following police shooting in home

In the days after Atatiana Jefferson's killing in her own home by a white Fort Worth police officer, many in the...

Former Nazi SS guard, 93, going on trial in Hamburg

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — From his post as a young SS private in a watchtower in Nazi Germany's Stutthof...

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The weed is expensive, the selection is limited, the black market...

Opposition lawmakers again shout down Hong Kong leader

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was forced from the legislature for the second day on Thursday...

McMenamins
Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman the Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In an instant, the disappearance of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson in Iran went from a cold case to something very hot.

After nearly four years without word about what happened to Levinson, his family received proof late last year that the father of seven was alive. It was a dramatic development that sharply intensified diplomatic efforts to bring him home. The Skanner News Video: Hillary Clinton

Until then, there had never been any evidence of whether Levinson was alive or dead since he disappeared in March 2007 from the Iranian island of Kish. It remains unclear who is holding Levinson or where he is, but the proof that he is alive was a hopeful sign that whoever has him was willing to negotiate for his release.

"It has been almost four years since I have seen my beloved husband Robert Levinson," his wife, Christine, said in a statement on the family's website. "Our family is tremendously encouraged by the news Bob is alive but remains concerned for his safety and well-being."

The AP has known about the proof that Levinson is alive since shortly after it arrived but delayed reporting it because officials said any publicity would jeopardize getting Levinson home safely. The AP is not disclosing the nature of the proof because officials believe that would hurt efforts to free him.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton renewed her appeal to Iran for help on Friday.

"His family misses him dearly," Clinton said. "He does have medical issues and we continue to welcome any help that the Iranian government can provide in determining Mr. Levinson's welfare and whereabouts so that he can be reunited with his family as soon as possible."

Authorities don't know why the evidence that Levinson was alive surfaced after years of silence. But it has touched off the most hopeful round of diplomacy since he disappeared.

Iran has repeatedly said it has no information about Levinson, but U.S. diplomats and investigators have long said they believed he was taken by Iranian government agents. The U.S. announcement Thursday was an abrupt change in tone from what had been stalemated discussions. The U.S. has previously expressed deep frustration over what it said was Iran's lack of cooperation.

As years passed, many in the U.S. government believed the 62-year-old with diabetes and high blood pressure might have died. With proof that he is alive, the case becomes one of the longer international hostage situations involving U.S. citizens. Levinson is unusual, however, since nobody has publicly acknowledged holding him.

"It's encouraging that we may have good news," Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said. "I'm praying that he can be reunited with his family."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been circumspect about what his country knows about Levinson. In the course of a single interview, he said he had no information, offered to help and accused the FBI of withholding information about why Levinson was in Iran.

Levinson retired from the FBI in 1998 and became a private investigator. He was investigating cigarette smuggling in early 2007, and his family has said that effort took him to Iran. Kish is a popular resort area and a hotbed of smuggling and organized crime. It is also a free trade zone, meaning U.S. citizens do not need visas to travel there.

Iran shares borders with the southwest Asian countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, raising the possibility that Levinson was shuttled into one of those countries. Both border crossings are known smuggling routes. The route into Pakistan leads into a lawless tribal region that's home to insurgents, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

Levinson disappeared after a meeting with Dawud Salahuddin, an American fugitive wanted for the assassination of a former Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980. Salahuddin has said he last saw Levinson being questioned by Iranian officials. Levinson's distinctive signature was used to check out of his hotel, but he never made it to the airport.

Over the years, stories have trickled in from witnesses claiming to have evidence about Levinson's whereabouts. But like so much about Iran, the U.S. was never able to verify those accounts.

An Iranian defector now living in the United States, Reza Kahlili, told the AP that Levinson was picked up by the Quds Force, a unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Kahlili said he was told by sources inside Iran that Levinson was investigating money laundering and discovered a link between the Russian mob and the Revolutionary Guard.

Kahlili said Levinson was taken to a safe house in Tehran but he does not know what happened to him. A former FBI official said the U.S. was aware of that account, and though he described Kahlili as credible, the U.S. could never confirm his story.

In 2009, an Iranian defector told U.S. authorities that while imprisoned by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, he saw the name "B. Levinson" scrawled on the door frame of his cell. That account was included in a diplomatic memo obtained by the WikiLeaks website and published last month. Former officials have raised doubts about the defector, however, and when the AP located him in Europe in early January, he said he never saw Levinson's name.

The State Department has repeatedly called on Iran to provide more information about Levinson. U.S. diplomats have also asked foreign leaders to intervene. Even the Vatican was enlisted, but in 2008 the Iranian government chastised the pope's ambassador to Tehran, saying the Vatican had no business asking about the case, according to State Department documents.

In 2009, Clinton ordered a fresh diplomatic push. At a United Nations conference at The Hague that year, she personally passed a note to Iranian officials, urging them to help find Levinson.

---

Associated Press writer Lisa Orkin contributed to this story from Coral Springs, Fla.

mlkbreakfast2020 tickets 300x180

Pacific University Master in Fine Arts Writing
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Carpentry Professionals