09-26-2021  3:59 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Police: 3 killed in shooting outside bar near Seattle

DES MOINES, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say three people were killed and three others injured in a shooting early Sunday outside a bar in Des Moines, Washington. Police said shots were fired after a dispute between two people inside the La Familia Sports Pub and Lounge, just...

1 killed, WSU football player hurt in shooting near campus

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed one person and critically injured another near the Washington State University campus early Saturday morning. Police in Pullman, Washington, later identified the injured...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

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 ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nonprofit grants propel prosecutor push on racial injustice

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When Deborah Gonzalez took office in January as the district attorney for the Western Judicial District of Georgia, she noticed that too few defendants, especially Black defendants, qualified for a program that promised treatment for addiction or mental health and not jail. ...

Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A public building in Kosovo was set on fire and another was hit by grenades that did not explode in what government officials described Saturday as criminal acts related to ethnic Serbs protesting a symbolic move on license plates. Serbian media quoted...

Biden risks losing support from Democrats amid DC gridlock

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden is losing support among critical groups in his political base as some of his core campaign promises falter, raising concerns among Democrats that the voters who put him in office may feel less enthusiastic about returning to the polls in next year's midterm...

ENTERTAINMENT

'BMF' series explores climb of '80s drug kingpin 'Big Meech'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson remembered hearing stories about how two brothers emerged from rough inner-city Detroit streets to become wealthy drug kingpins and eventually embraced by hip-hop culture. Jackson heard Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory’s...

Elon Musk, singer Grimes 'semi-separated' after three years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elon Musk and singer Grimes have ended their romantic relationship after three years. The Tesla and SpaceX founder tells the New York Post's Page Six that he and the Canadian singer are “semi-separated.” But he says they remain on...

Filmmaker revisits case that challenged her and her 2 moms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ry Russo-Young knew she had a story worth hearing, but it was one she was struggling to tell. As a youngster, Russo-Young was at the heart of a legal fight that drew headlines in 1990s America: The two mothers who raised her in New York, including one...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UK counts on vaccines, 'common sense' to keep virus at bay

LONDON (AP) — Britons are encouraged these days — though in most cases not required — to wear face coverings...

Clemson falls to No. 25 in AP poll, snapping top-10 streak

Clemson tumbled to No. 25 in The Associated Press college football poll on Sunday, snapping its streak of 97...

What's the price of Biden’s plan? Democrats drive for zero

WASHINGTON (AP) — What will it cost to enact President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs? ...

In Mexico, some Haitians find a helping hand

CIUDAD ACUÑA, México (AP) — Some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who briefly formed a camp in the Texas...

So close! Iceland almost gets female-majority parliament

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament Sunday, before a...

Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank gunbattles

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops conducted a series of arrest raids against suspected Hamas militants across the...

By The Skanner News | 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.

 

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events