01-18-2021  8:24 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Online Events Honouring Dr Martin Luther King are Underway

 From a jazz concert and a reading challenge to an online film festival we are all invited to celebrate Dr Martin Luther King and complete his work

Interview: Portland Physician on Coronavirus Vaccine, Reaching Out to Wary Communities

Black Americans report highest levels of distrust as country distributes millions of Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines

Blumenauer Calls for Resignations of Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise

Congressman Blumenauer said: "We need to ensure our Republican colleagues acknowledge and accept the consequences for their own involvement in encouraging this insurrection..."

Officials: Republican Lawmaker Let Protesters into Oregon Capitol

House Speaker Tina Kotek said during a news conference about the Capitol operations safety plan that Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, had allowed protesters into the building.

NEWS BRIEFS

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

NFL Reaches More Than $95M in Contributions to Further Advance Social Justice

The Oregon Justice Resource Center will use funding from the NFL to support the Women’s Justice Project – the first and only...

Oregon State Police Warns Against Armed Takeover of Capitol

The agency also asked Oregonians to report anyone who may be planning an armed takeover to authorities. ...

Oregon Marijuana Sales Soared in 2020, Topping $1B

Oregonians began buying a lot more recreational cannabis in March when Gov. Kate Brown instituted a stay-at-home order ...

Hanford contractor to lay off 30 workers

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance plans to lay of 30 workers as its Department of Energy contract expires.The layoffs are set for Thursday, the last full business day before the expiring contract held by Mission Support Alliance transitions to a new 10-year...

Brown moves forward with closing 3 prisons in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown is closing three Oregon prisons, a decision authorities say would save the state more than million.The governor said she believes the money could be better invested elsewhere, such as early childhood education. The prison closure plan was included in...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

Georgia Senate Races Will Decide the Fate of Biden’s Presidency 

Voter turnout is reportedly lagging in the more rural and conservative areas of Georgia and is higher in more traditionally Democratic areas of the state ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anonymous million gift funding 50 civil rights lawyers

ATLANTA (AP) — The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund launched a million scholarship program on Monday to support a new generation of civil rights lawyers, dedicated to pursuing racial justice across the South.With that whopping gift from a single anonymous donor, the fund plans to...

Israel moves to rein in rights group over 'apartheid' use

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel's education minister says he is banning groups that call Israel an “apartheid state” from lecturing at schools — a move that targets one of the country's leading human rights groups after it began describing both Israel and its control of...

Harris prepares for central role in Biden's White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris will make history on Wednesday when she becomes the nation’s first female vice president — and the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to hold that office. But that’s only where her boundary-breaking role...

ENTERTAINMENT

Journalists prepare for protests where they could be targets

NEW YORK (AP) — While monitoring online chatter about protests at state capitols in advance of next week's presidential inauguration, the Seattle Times came across a chilling description for journalists: soft targets.The phrase drove home the importance of safety precautions being put in...

AP Exclusive: Selena Gomez: Big Tech 'cashing in from evil’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hours after an angry mob of Trump supporters took control of the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection, Selena Gomez laid much of the blame at the feet of Big Tech.“Today is the result of allowing people with hate in their hearts to use platforms that should be...

Phil Spector's death resurrects mixed reaction from skeptics

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Spector was viewed as a man with two distinct personas: The late music producer was regarded as a rock ‘n’ roll genius who elevated the genre with his “Wall of Sound” style in the 1960s and created hits for several big names from the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China economy grows in 2020 as rebound from virus gains

BEIJING (AP) — China eked out 2.3% economic growth in 2020, likely becoming the only major economy to...

'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential traditions are usually known for their solemnity and carry the weight of...

What Biden can and can't get from an evenly divided Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden?Washington has barely had time...

12 workers trapped week ago in China mine blast are alive

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say 12 out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in a gold...

EU insists virus shots will remain voluntary

The European Union sought Monday to ease concerns that citizens might be obliged to get shots against the...

Watchdog: Fossil fuel firms need to curb climate gas leaks

BERLIN (AP) — The International Energy Agency says oil and gas companies aren't doing enough to reduce the...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
By The Skanner News

BU MARIEM, Libya (AP) -- An American fighter jet crashed in Libya's rebel held east, both crew ejecting safely as the aircraft spun from the sky during the third night of the U.S. and European air campaign. Moammar Gadhafi's forces shelled rebels regrouping in the dunes outside a key eastern city on Tuesday, and his snipers and tanks roamed the last major opposition-held city in the west.

The Skanner News Video: Crashed U.S. Jet

The crash was the first major loss for the U.S. and European military air campaign, which over three nights appears to have hobbled Gadhafi's air defenses and artillery and rescued the rebels from what appeared to be imminent defeat. But the opposition force, with more enthusiasm than discipline, has struggled to exploit the gains. The international alliance, too, has shown fractures as officials struggle to articulate an endgame.

China and Russia, which abstained from the U.N. Security Council vote authorizing the international intervention, called for a cease-fire Tuesday from international forces.

The U.S. Air Force F-15E came down in field of winter wheat and thistles outside the town of Bu Mariem, about 24 miles (38 kilometers) east of the rebel capital of Benghazi.

By Tuesday afternoon, the plane's body was mostly burned to ash, with only the wings and tail fins intact. U.S. officials say both crewmembers were safe in American hands.

"I saw the plane spinning round and round as it came down," said Mahdi Amrani, who rushed to the crash site with other villagers. "It was in flames. They died away, then it burst in to flames again."

The U.S. Africa Command said both crewmembers were in American hands with minor injuries after what was believed to be a mechanical failure of the on Monday night. One was picked up by a rebel force and the other by a Marine Corps Osprey search and rescue aircraft.

Most of eastern Libya, where the plane crashed, is in rebel hands but the force has struggled to take advantage of the gains from the international air campaign.

Ajdabiya, city of 140,000 that is the gateway to the east, has been under siege for a week. Outside the city, a ragtag band of hundreds of fighters milled about on Tuesday, clutching mortars, grenades and assault rifles. Some wore khaki fatigues. One man sported a bright white studded belt.

Some men clambered up power lines in the rolling sand dunes of the desert, squinting as they tried to see Gadhafi's forces inside the city. The group periodically came under artillery attacks, some men scattering and others holding their ground.

"Gadhafi is killing civilians inside Ajdabiya," said Khaled Hamid, a rebel who said he been in Gadhafi's forces but defected to the rebels. "Today we will enter Ajdabiya, God willing."

Since the uprising began on Feb. 15, the opposition has been made up of disparate groups even as it took control of the entire east of the country. Regular army units that joined the rebellion have proven stronger and more organized, but only a few units have joined the battles while many have stayed behind as officers try to coordinate a force with often antiquated, limited equipment.

The rebels pushed into the west of the country in recent weeks, only to fall back to their eastern strongholds in the face of Gadhafi's superior firepower.

Misrata, Libya's third-largest city and the last major western redoubt for the rebels, was being bombarded by Gadhafi's forces on Tuesday, his tanks and snipers controlling the streets, according to a doctor there who said civilians were surviving on dwindling supplies of food and water, desperately in search of shelter.

Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals if the city falls to Gadhafi's troops, he accused international forces of failing to protect civilians as promised under the United Nations resolution authorizing military action in Libya.

"Snipers are everywhere in Misrata, shooting anyone who walks by while the world is still watching," he said. "The situation is going from bad to worse. We can do nothing but wait. Sometimes we depend on one meal per day."

Mokhtar Ali, a Libyan dissident in exile elsewhere in the Mideast, said he was in touch with his father in Misrata and described increasingly dire conditions.

"Residents live on canned food and rainwater tanks," Ali said. He said Gadhafi's brigades storm residential areas knowing that they won't be bombed there. "People live in total darkness in terms of communications and electricity."

Monday night, Libyan state TV said a new round of strikes had begun in the capital, Tripoli, marking the third night of bombardment. But while the airstrikes can stop Gadhafi's troops from attacking rebel cities - in line with the U.N. mandate to protect civilians - the United States, at least, appeared deeply reluctant to go beyond that toward actively helping the rebel cause to oust the Libyan leader.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others said the U.S. military's role will lessen in coming days as other countries take on more missions and the need declines for large-scale offensive action like the barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles fired mainly by U.S. ships and submarines off Libya's coast.

A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss classified data, said Monday that the attacks thus far had reduced Libya's air defense capabilities by more than 50 percent. That has enabled the coalition to focus more on extending the no-fly zone, which is now mainly over the coastal waters off Libya and around the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the east, across the country to the Tripoli area this week.

In his first public comments on the crisis, Army Gen. Carter Ham, the lead U.S. commander, said it was possible that Gadhafi might retain power.

"I don't think anyone would say that is ideal," the general said Monday, foreseeing a possible outcome that stands in contrast to President Barack Obama's declaration that Gadhafi must go.

The Libyan leader has ruled the North African nation for more than four decades and was a target of American air attacks in 1986.

 

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