02-19-2020  9:56 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

NEWS BRIEFS

Wednesday, February 19 Will Be Declared 'Rip City Day'

Ceremony at City Hall will honor the rich history of the organization ...

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Man described as burglar fatally shot by homeowner ID'd

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County medical examiner has identified a person who police say broke into a house and was fatally shot by a homeowner Thursday as a 19-year-old Vancouver man.Franson Take was killed by a gunshot wound to the torso, according to the medical examiner’s...

US jury in Las Vegas mulling accused Vagos racketeering case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jurors in Las Vegas began deliberating Wednesday whether federal prosecutors proved after five months of contentious testimony that eight accused Vagos biker gang members conspired in a broad criminal racketeering enterprise to commit violent crimes. Those crimes included...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

'Black in Space' looks at final frontier of civil rights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In 1959, Ronald Erwin McNair walked into a South Carolina library. The 9-year-old aspiring astronaut wanted to check out a calculus book, but a librarian threatened to call the police if he didn't leave. McNair was black.Years later, McNair was selected to become...

The Latest: Sanders: Democrat with most delegates should win

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The latest on the 2020 presidential campaign and Democratic debat e (all times local):8 p.m.Bernie Sanders is the only Democratic candidate on the debate stage who thinks the candidate with the most delegates should win the party’s presidential nomination even if he...

Racist comment stirs emotion for black Rhode Island lawmaker

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island lawmaker who is accused of calling another black female lawmaker a term that disparages their culture says she's ready to have a private conversation with her colleague so they can heal and discuss issues that the state's black and brown communities...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jury ends 1st day of deliberations in Weinstein's rape trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial ended their first day of deliberations Tuesday with lots of questions and no verdict in the landmark #MeToo case that could put the once-powerful Hollywood producer behind bars for the rest of his life.The panel of seven men and...

Jennifer Lawrence to star in Adam McKay comedy for Netflix

NEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer Lawrence will star in the Adam McKay comedy “Don't Look Up” for Netflix. The streaming giant on Wednesday announced that it acquired the the project. McKay, who wrote the script, will direct the film about two low-level astronomers who go on a media...

Bestselling young adult authors are aiming at older readers

NEW YORK (AP) — After gaining millions of young readers for her “Divergent” fantasy series, Veronica Roth decided she and her characters were ready for the next phase — a novel for adults.“I grew up on stories like ‘Dune’ and ‘Harry...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

PM says Australians 'devastated' by domestic violence attack

SYDNEY (AP) — Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that Australians were “shocked, saddened...

NFL's Saints head to court in Catholic Church email dispute

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints headed to court Thursday in a bid to block the release of...

Plaintiffs' attorneys take aim at Boy Scouts' `dark history'

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Like millions of other Americans in the 1950s and '60s, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower spent...

France steps up investigation around Ghosn, Omani dealership

PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors are turning up the heat on disgraced car industry executive Carlos Ghosn,...

Duke and Duchess of Sussex to begin new life on March 31

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UK employers fear worker shortages in new immigration plan

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McMenamins
Paul Schemm the Associated Press

RAS LANOUF, Libya (AP) -- Government forces drove hundreds of rebels from a strategic oil port with a withering rain of rockets and tank shells on Thursday, significantly expanding Moammar Gadhafi's control of Libya as Western nations struggled to find a way to stop him.

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France became the first country to recognize the rebels' governing council, and an ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy said his government was planning "targeted operations" to defend civilians if the international community approves.

The Obama administration said it was suspending relations with the Libyan embassy in Washington and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would meet with opposition leaders in the U.S., Egypt and Tunisia.

But there was no concrete sign of Western moves toward military assistance such as the no-fly zone that the rebels pleaded for as they retreated through the pancake-flat desert scrubland outside the port of Ras Lanouf, scanning the skies for government warplanes.

The fleeing rebels said government forces showered rockets and tank shells on Ras Lanouf in preparation for a full-scale advance. Lightly armed opposition members sped back to their territory by the hundreds, fleeing eastward in cars and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns.

A rebel official in the town of Ajdabiya inside opposition territory said Gadhafi's troops and tanks were battling the insurgents at the western entrance to Ras Lanouf and using gunboats to fire on the rebels from the sea.

"These are tough battles," said Akram al-Zwei, a member of the post-uprising town committee. "We are fighting against four battalions heavily equipped with airpower, tanks, missiles, everything."

He added that the rebels are fighting alongside the Saaiqa 36 Battalion, which had been based in Benghazi but defected to the opposition.

Taking back Ras Lanouf would be a major victory for Gadhafi, reestablishing his power over a badly damaged but vital oil facility and pushing his zone of control further along the main coastal highway running from rebel territory to the capital, Tripoli.

A rebel governing council spokesman said Gadhafi's air force, army and navy had bombarded Ras Lanouf, targeting the main hospital, mosques and civilian areas.

"The regime that has lost legitimacy is practicing a scorched earth policy," spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga said. "We have requested for all steps to be taken to protect the Libyan people. We believe the U.N. can do that."

The rebel hospital in the eastern town of Brega said four were confirmed dead in the fighting, 35 were wounded and 65 were missing.

The international Red Cross said dozens of civilians have been wounded or killed in recent days in grueling battles between Gadhafi's army and the opposition.

"We need help from the international community, but we just hear promises," said Mohammed Ali Al Zuaiee, a 48-year-old rebel fighter. "They are doing nothing."

The main hospital in Ras Lanouf was hit by artillery or an airstrike and the rebels are pulling their staff out and evacuating patients to the towns of Brega and Ajdabiya, said Gebril Hewada, a doctor on the opposition's health committee in the main eastern city of Benghazi.

France said it planned to exchange ambassadors with the rebels' Interim Governing Council after Sarkozy met with two representatives of the group based in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

"It breaks the ice," said Mustafa Gheriani, an opposition spokesman. "We expect Italy to do it, and we expect England to do it."

French activist-intellectual Bernard Henri-Levy sat in the meeting and said France was planning "targeted operations" to defend civilians if the interim council demands them and the international community approves. Henri-Levy did not elaborate and the French government declined to comment, so it was not clear if Henri-Levy was describing a new, more aggressive plan for intervention.

NATO has said it is planning a no-fly zone but would only act with the approval of the UN Security Council, which diplomats say would hinge on the OK of African and Arab countries. Britain and France have backed the rebels' calls for a no-fly zone, but the Obama adminstration has expressed deep reservations about involvement in another conflict in the greater Middle East.

NATO said it had started round-the-clock surveillance of the air space over Libya, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said a meeting of EU foreign ministers would discuss how to isolate the regime.

Germany said it froze billions in assets of the Libyan Central Bank and other state-run agencies. The U.S., UK, Switzerland, Austria and other countries have also frozen Gadhafi's assets.

"The brutal suppression of the Libyan freedom movement can now no longer be financed from funds that are in German banks," Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said.

The Libyan government tried to stave off tough action, sending envoys to Egypt, Portugal and Greece.

In the west, Gadhafi claimed victory in recapturing Zawiya, the city closest to the capital that had fallen into opposition hands. Western journalists based in Tripoli were taken late Wednesday to a stadium on the outskirts of Zawiya that was filled with Gadhafi loyalists waving green flags and launching fireworks. Libyan TV cameras filmed the celebrations as food, drinks and cooking oil were distributed.

Government escorts refused journalists' requests to visit the city's main square.; phone lines there have not been working during a deadly, six-day siege.

Red Cross President Jakob Kellenberger said local doctors over the past few days saw a sharp increase in casualties arriving at hospitals in Ajdabiya, in the rebel-held east, and Misrata, in government territory.

Both places saw heavy fighting and air strikes, he said.

Kellenberger said 40 patients were treated for serious injuries in Misrata and 22 dead were taken there.

He said the Red Cross surgical team in Ajdabiya operated on 55 wounded over the past week and "civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence."

He said the aid organization is cut off from access in western areas including Tripoli but believes those are "even more severely affected by the fighting" than eastern rebel-held territories.

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Zeina Karam in Cairo, John Heilprin in Geneva, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Don Melvin in Brussels and Alan Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this report.

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