09-21-2020  7:07 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

US Judge Blocks Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail

The Yakima, Washington judge called the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Black and Jewish Community Join to Revive Historic Partnership

United in Spirit Oregon brings together members of the NAACP, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, others to serve as peacemakers 

Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

Federal officials were told that Portland police officers were explicitly told not to respond to the federal courthouse

Latest: Report: Downed Power Lines Sparked 13 Oregon Fires

As wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and the west, here are today's updates.

NEWS BRIEFS

Black Leaders Endorse Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor

Iannarone seeks to unseat an embattled Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has increasingly high unfavorable approval ratings. ...

Today in History: Senate Confirms Nomination of First Female Justice to Supreme Court

On Sept. 21, 1981, the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the...

Free Masks and Gloves Now Available for Small Businesses

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. ...

Forest Service Explains 'Containment'

US Forest Service, Riverside Fire provides a special update to explain how they achieve wildfire containment. ...

Oregon Receives Approval of Federal Disaster Declaration for Wildfires

Decision will enable federal aid to begin flowing, as unprecedented wildfires ravage state and force evacuation of thousands ...

Wildfire death toll in Oregon increases to nine

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The number of fatalities from Oregon’s recent wildfires has increased to nine people, the state's Office of Emergency Management confirmed Monday.Fires continued to rage across the West Coast Monday. The Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service reported Monday...

Man shoots self in groin while flaunting gun in supermarket

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (AP) — Police say an Oregon man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself while flaunting a handgun at a Lincoln City supermarket. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the mishap happened Sunday night when Nicholas J. Ellingford brandished his Glock 9mm in the checkout...

AP Top 25 Reality Check: When streaks end, but not really

For the first time since the end of the 2011 season, Ohio State is not ranked in the AP Top 25.The Buckeyes' streak of 132 straight poll appearances is the second-longest active streak in the country, behind Alabama's 198.Of course, in this strange season of COVID-19, Ohio State's streak was...

Potential impact transfers this season aren't limited to QBs

While most of the offseason chatter surrounding college football transfers inevitably focuses on quarterbacks, plenty of notable players at other positions also switched teams and could make major impacts for their new schools this fall.Miami may offer the clearest example of this.Quarterback...

OPINION

SPLC Statement on the Passing of Rev. Robert S. Graetz Jr.

Graetz was the only white clergyman to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott ...

Tell Your Senators: “Let the People Decide”

Just 45 days before Election Day, voters like you should have a say in choosing our next Supreme Court justice ...

Inventor Urges Congress to Pass Laws Upholding Patent Rights

German Supreme Court ruling prevents African American company Enovsys from licensing its widely used technology in Germany ...

The Extraordinary BIPOC Coalition Support Measure 110

Coming together to change the systemic racism of the failed approach to drugs and addiction ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Hamlin, Michael Jordan partner on NASCAR team for Wallace

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin has partnered with Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan to form a NASCAR team with Bubba Wallace as the driver, a high-profile pairing of a Black majority team owner and the only Black driver at NASCAR’s top level.The partnership was announced...

China uproots ethnic minority villages in anti-poverty fight

CHENGBEI GAN’EN, China (AP) — Under a portrait of President Xi Jinping, Ashibusha sits in her freshly painted living room cradling her infant daughter beside a chair labeled a “gift from the government.” The mother of three is among 6,600 members of the Yi ethnic...

Chastain snags Ganassi Cup ride in busy NASCAR free agency

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ross Chastain snagged one of the coveted open Cup seats on Monday in a promotion at Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 next season.This year marks a particularly active free agency period with heavy turnover expected among a limited number of rides. The No. 42...

ENTERTAINMENT

Fox News apologizes for using debunked coronavirus story

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel apologized on Monday “for any confusion” in reporting a now-debunked story about the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, supposedly concealing the number of coronavirus cases linked to bars and restaurants in that city because they were so low.The...

The 'Pandemmys' were weird and sometimes wonderful

It was Regina King, winning her fourth career Emmy on Sunday, who perhaps summed up the proceedings the most succinctly — and accurately: “This is freaking weird."Why, yes, being handed your Emmy inside your home, by a person you didn't know was coming, with fellow nominees zooming in...

Review: 'Agents of Chaos,' from Russia, but not with love

Let's take a trip back in American history, but not too way back. To a time not that unfamiliar — the last presidential election. Do you remember all the stuff swirling around in 2016?Fancy Bear. Paul Manafort. Julian Assange. Guccifer 2.0. George Papadopoulos. The Steele dossier. The...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soaring wealth during pandemic highlights rising inequality

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' household wealth rebounded last quarter to a record high as the stock market...

Born to prevent war, UN at 75 faces a deeply polarized world

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations marked its 75th anniversary Monday with its chief urging leaders...

Former Wisconsin police chief to review Jacob Blake shooting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's attorney general announced Monday that he has selected a former Madison...

Navalny says nerve agent was found 'in and on' his body

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demanded Monday that Russia return the clothes he...

Indian couple run street-side classes for poor students

NEW DELHI (AP) — On a quiet road in India's capital, tucked away on a wide, red-bricked sidewalk, kids set...

Plaque symbolizing Thai democracy removed in less than a day

BANGKOK (AP) — A plaque honoring struggles for democracy in Thailand was removed from a royal field less...

Don't Call the Police for domestic disturbances
McMenamins
By The Skanner News

BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) -- Rebel forces on Monday fought their way to the doorstep of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, a key government stronghold guarding the road to the capital Tripoli, their rapid advance built on powerful international airstrikes that have battered Gadhafi's air force, armor and troops.
The Skanner News Video: Libyan Rebels Advance on Sirte
The rebels' offensive has restored to the opposition all the territory they lost over the past week and brought them closer than ever to Sirte, with their fighters advancing to within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the bastion of Gadhafi's power in the center of the country.

But the advance on Sirte and the flip-flop in the conflict's momentum brought into sharper relief the central ambiguity of the international mission in Libya. When Gadhafi's forces were besieging rebel-held cities in the east last week, allied airstrikes on his troops more directly fit into the U.N. mandate of protecting civilians. But those same strikes have now allowed rebels to go on the assault.

Russia on Monday criticized the international campaign, saying it had overstepped its U.N. mandate to protect civilians and had taken sides in a civil war.

NATO's commander for the operation, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of Canada, said his mission was clear, saying every decision was designed to prevent attacks on civilians. "Our goal is to protect and help the civilians and population centers under the threat of attack," he said.

But in Brussels, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu noted that the allied operation was launched in response to "the systematic attacks by Col. Gadhafi against his own people."

"That is how this all started, we have to remember that," she said.

Some residents were fleeing Sirte, as soldiers from a brigade commanded by Gadhafi's son al-Saadi and allied militiamen streamed to positions on the city's outskirts to defend it, witnesses said. Sirte - where a significant air and military base is located - was hit by airstrikes Sunday night and Monday morning, witnesses said, but they did not know what was targeted.

The city of 100,000 is crucial both for its strategic position and its symbolic value. Over the years, Gadhafi has made it effectively Libya's second capital, building up what had been a quiet agricultural community with lavish conference halls where Arab and African summits were held. The city is dominated by members of the Libyan leader's Gadhadhfa tribe, but many in another large Sirte tribe - the Firjan - are believed to resent his rule, and rebels are hoping to encourage them and other tribes there to rise up to help in their capture of the city.

Its fall to the rebels would largely open their way to move on the capital, Tripoli, 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the northwest along the Mediterranean coast.

About halfway between the two lies Libya's third largest city, Misrata, which has been in rebel hands since early on in the nearly month-and-a-half-old uprising but has been under heavy siege by Gadhafi forces for weeks. Misrata came under renewed heavy shelling on Monday, witnesses said. There is little but empty desert highway and a few small hamlets between Sirte and Misrata.

Gamal Mughrabi, a 46-year-old rebel fighter, said there are both anti- and pro-Gadhafi forces inside Sirte and predicted a tough fight. "Gadhafi is not going to give up Sirte easily because straightaway after Sirte is Misrata, and after that it's straight to Gadhafi's house," he said. "So Sirte is the last line of defense."

In a symbolic diplomatic victory for the opposition, the tiny state of Qatar recognized Libya's rebels as the legitimate representatives of the country - the first Arab state to do so.

Libya's rebels have recovered hundreds of miles (kilometers) of flat, uninhabited territory at record speeds after Gadhafi's forces were forced to pull back by the strikes that began March 19. When the first strikes were launched, regime troops were deep in the rebel-held territory, storming toward the opposition capital of Benghazi, 370 miles (more than 600 kilometers) east of Sirte.

A rebel commander among the fighters advancing on Sirte acknowledged that their offensive would not have been possible without the strikes, which he said had evened the two sides' firepower.

"Now because of NATO strikes on (the government's) heavy weapons, we're almost fighting with the same weapons, only we have Grad rockets now and they don't," said Gen. Hamdi Hassi at the small town of Bin Jawwad, just 18 miles (30 kilometers) from the front.

The U.S. launched six Tomahawk missiles Sunday and early Monday from navy positions in the Mediterranean Sea, two defense officials said Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to release the information.

That brought to 199 the number of the long-range cruise missiles fired by international forces in the campaign, one official said.

International air forces flew 110 missions late Sunday and early Monday - 75 of them strike missions. Targets included Gadhafi ammunition stores, air defenses and ground forces, including vehicles and tanks, a third official said.

Hassi said there was fighting now just outside the small hamlet of Nawfaliyah, 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Sirte and scouting parties had found the road ahead to be heavily mined.

He added that the current rebel strategy was to combine military assault with an attempt to win over some of the local tribes loyal to Gadhafi over to their side.

"There's Gadhafi and then there's circles around him of supporters, each circle is slowly peeling off and disappearing," Hassi said. "If they rise up it would make our job easier."

Hundreds of residents, mainly women and children, fled Sirte - some fleeing to the town of Bani Walid about 150 miles west (250 kilometers), said Hassan al-Drouie, a Libyan in exile in France in contact with family members in Sirte who were among those who fled. Some members of Gadhafi's tribe in Sirte fled to another of his strongholds, the city of Sebha, deep in Libya's southwestern deserts, said another Libyan in exile, Abdel-Rahman Barkuli, who cited his relatives in Sebha.

Some men had remained in Sirte and had taken up weapons to protect their homes - but not to fight alongside Gadhafi's troops against the rebels, said al-Drouie. He said the al-Saadi Brigades headed by Gadhafi's son have taken up positions on the city's southern and eastern entrances.

International airstrikes also hit Sebha, 400 miles (650 kilometers) south of Tripoli. The area remains strongly loyal to Gadhafi and is a major transit point for ethnic Tuareg fighters from Mali and Niger fighting for the government. The state news agency JANA said the strikes destroyed a number of houses. Britain's Defense Ministry announced Monday that its Tornado aircraft had attacked ammunition bunkers around Sebha.

A rebel push into the west would deeply complicate the conflict. The east of the country shook off nearly 42 years of Gadhafi's rule in a series of popular demonstrations starting in mid-February and inspired by similar successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Several cities in the west also rose up - including Zawiya, Zwara, Sabratha and others - but each was subsequently crushed by Gadhafi's forces, often bloodily. In Zawiya, for example, a still unknown number of people were killed in a brutal siege by Gadhafi's forces that lasted more than a week and reportedly included heavy shelling of civilian areas. Regime militiamen also squashed attempts at protests in Tripoli.

Anti-Gadhafi sentiment is believed to still be widespread in many of those areas, but they are mixed together with regime supporters in some places.

Gadhafi is not on the defensive everywhere. His forces continued to besiege Misrata, the main rebel holdout in the west. Residents reported fighting between rebels and loyalists who fired from tanks on residential areas.

Rida al-Montasser, of the media committee of Misrata, said that nine young men were killed and 23 others wounded when Gadhafi brigades shelled their position in the northwestern part of the city on Sunday night. He also said that the port was bombed.

Turkey's Anatolia new agency said a Turkish civilian ferry carrying 15 medics, three ambulances and medical equipment was heading for Misrata to help treat some 1,300 people injured in attacks there.

Libya accused NATO of becoming directly involved in the fighting.

"This is the objective of the coalition now, it is not to protect civilians because now they are directly fighting against the armed forces," Khaled Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said in the capital, Tripoli. "They are trying to push the country to the brink of a civil war."

His position found some support in Russia, where Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said strikes on Gadhafi's forces would amount to interference in what he called Libya's civil war, and thus would breach the U.N. Security Council resolution that envisaged a no-fly zone only to protect civilians. The council mandate, however, goes beyond a no-fly zone to allow "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

After retaking two key oil complexes east of Sirte in the past two days, rebels promised to quickly restart Libya's stalled oil exports, prompting a slight drop in the soaring price of crude oil to around $105 a barrel.

The tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, however, has formally recognized the rebels as the legitimate representatives of the country and promised to help them sell their crude oil on the international market.

Qatar has been well ahead of other Arab countries in embracing the rebels and is also participating in the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Libya.

 

Multnomah County Breastfeeding
Oregon Wildfires hub
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Kevin Saddler