11-29-2020  12:34 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
  • Election workers, right, verify ballots as recount observers, left, watch during a Milwaukee hand recount of presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin finished a partial recount of its presidential results on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Wisconsin Recount Confirms Biden Won Election

    Wisconsin recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirmed that Democrat Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes...   MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded. Dane County was the second and last countyRead More
  • A canvas observer photographs Lehigh County provisional ballots as vote counting in the general election continues in Allentown, Pa., Nov. 6, 2020. President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a number of lawsuits across six battleground states this month as he tried to upend the 2020 election. Judges uniformly rejected his claims of vote fraud. The latest case ended Saturday, Nov. 21, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania said Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani presented only ‘speculative accusations’ that brought to mind ‘Frankenstein’s Monster.' (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    Pennsylvania High Court Rejects Lawsuit Challenging Election

    Pennsylvania justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. “They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinionRead More
  • Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

    The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the monthRead More
  • Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

    Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%Read More
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Reports Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases

The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month

Black Drivers Stopped at Disproportionate Rate in Portland

Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%

Many Turn to Real Christmas Trees as Bright Spot Amid Virus

Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever

Black Drivers Stopped a Disproportionate Rate in Portland

The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data

NEWS BRIEFS

Extended Benefits Reduced Based on Oregon’s Falling Unemployment Rate

Benefits will be reduced from up to 20 weeks of benefits to up to 13 weeks, beginning Dec. 13, 2020 ...

Judge Rejects Challenge to Oregon's 2-week Virus Rules

Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order ...

D’artagnan Bernard Caliman Named Meyer Memorial Trust’s New Director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives

Raised in NE Portland's Historic Albina, Caliman is currently the executive director at Building Changes in Seattle ...

Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

$450,000 in emergency grant funding is supporting 159 local schools ...

Oregon Employment Department Begins Issuing 'Waiting Week' Benefits

246,300 Oregonians to receive a combined total of $176 million in benefits in the initial payment run ...

Oregon nurse on leave after video flouting virus rules

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon hospital has placed a nurse on administrative leave after she posted a video on social media in which she said she does not follow safety directives meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when she is not at work.Salem Health said it is investigating the post by...

7 deputies placed on leave following fatal shooting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Seven Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies are on administrative leave following a domestic disturbance call that led to a deadly, officer-involved shooting Friday night.KOIN 6 reports that around 8 p.m. a woman called 911 and said that her husband was armed, had...

Vanderbilt K Fuller becomes first woman to play in Power 5

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller was playing around with a teammate a couple months ago when she kicked a soccer ball through the uprights from 45 yards away. She joked about being able to kick a football with teammates during the Southeastern Conference soccer tournament. On Saturday, she...

Vanderbilt kicker breaks barrier but Missouri dominates 41-0

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sarah Fuller made history, but her barrier-breaking kickoff was the only highlight for Vanderbilt as Missouri dominated the Commodores 41-0 on Saturday. Fuller became the first woman to participate in a Power 5 conference football game when she kicked off to start the...

OPINION

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

Trump’s Game

Trump’s strategy is clear: maintain control of the Republican Party as the Trump Party, install “acting” officials who will not cooperate with the Biden transition team ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Faith takes the forefront as Georgia Senate runoffs heat up

ATLANTA (AP) — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia...

Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic.Two new...

To court Latinos, Democrats have to expand strategy in 2022

PHOENIX (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign credits its success in Arizona to the immigrant-rights and grassroots organizations that have been mobilizing Latinos for nearly two decades. The fruits of their labor — in triple-digit heat, no less — paid off in this...

ENTERTAINMENT

A new doc peeks inside the USPS’s Operation Santa program

Filmmaker Dana Nachman wanted to make a documentary about the United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa program for years, but it never seemed like the right time. Then in 2018 she got up some courage and decided to cold email the USPS press office. They responded immediately and agreed...

Bad Bunny caps week of awards and Grammy-noms with new album

NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of Bad Bunny are used to expecting something different each time he releases new music.He's done it since his first studio album, 2018's “X 100pre” ("Forever"); then with “Oasis”, his collaboration with J Balvin in 2019, and last February with...

Jerry Seinfeld digs into 45 years of his jokes for new book

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forget the high-performance sports cars, the luxury Rolls-Royces and all those other classic automobiles in which Jerry Seinfeld ushers his fellow comics to the diner on television’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."The most valuable things Seinfeld owns...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'World's loneliest elephant' Kaavan starts trip to Cambodia

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Kaavan, dubbed the "world’s loneliest elephant" after languishing alone for years...

Mysterious silver monolith disappears from Utah desert

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A mysterious silver monolith that was placed in the Utah desert has disappeared less...

Mother of slain Florida teen shot during burial service

COCOA, Fla. (AP) — An unknown gunman fired into a crowd gathered at a Saturday afternoon burial service of...

Over 300 detained in Belarus during anti-government protests

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday...

Fact or fiction? UK govt says 'The Crown' should be clear

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s culture minister thinks the Netflix TV series “The Crown”...

Court orders France to rethink 30-person limit on worship

PARIS (AP) — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
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.

 

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