09-26-2021  4:07 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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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

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Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

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

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

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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

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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

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AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Nonprofit grants propel prosecutor push on racial injustice

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Govt offices in Kosovo targeted as tensions soar with Serbia

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Biden risks losing support from Democrats amid DC gridlock

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ENTERTAINMENT

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Filmmaker revisits case that challenged her and her 2 moms

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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

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

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In Mexico, some Haitians find a helping hand

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So close! Iceland almost gets female-majority parliament

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Israeli troops kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank gunbattles

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Ryan Lucas the Associated Press

BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) -- Libyan government tanks and rockets have driven back rebels who attempted an assault on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. Opposition fighters fleeing in a panicked scramble pleaded for international airstrikes that never came.

ClintonCalls for United Action on Libya, The Skanner News Video here

Gadhafi's forces drove the rebels out of Bin Jawwad, a hamlet east of Sirte, on Tuesday. Cars and trucks of the retreating rebels filled both lanes of the highway east to the oil port of Ras Lanouf.

Some fleeing rebels shouted "Sarkozy, where are you?" - a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the strongest supporters of airstrikes against Gadhafi's forces.

There were no international airstrikes in Bin Jawwad during the hourslong battle there, possibly because of overcast skies.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BIN JAWWAD, Libya (AP) - Libyan government tanks and rockets blunted a rebel assault on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte on Tuesday and drove back the ragtag army of irregulars, even as world leaders prepared to debate the country's future in London.

Rockets and tank fire sent Libya's rebel volunteers in a panicked scramble away from the front lines, before the opposition was able to bring up truck mounted rocket launchers of their own and return fire.

The latest rebel setback emphasizes the see-saw nature of this conflict and how the opposition is still no match for the superior firepower and organization of Gadhafi's forces, despite an international campaign of deadly airstrikes.

The two sides traded salvos over the small hamlet of Bin Jawwad amid the thunderous crash of rockets and artillery shells as plumes of smoke erupted in the town. The steady drum of heavy machine gun fire and the pop of small arms could also be heard above the din.

"There aren't a lot of us in Bin Jawwad right now," said Faisal Ali, a 20-year-old-rebel who had retreated from the town. "If (Gadhafi) has enough firepower and forces using tanks, he will surely take over Bin Jawwad," he added, noting that the rebels' special forces, one of their few trained units, had not yet retreated.

A U.N.-mandated no-fly zone and campaign of strikes by the U.S. and its allies helped rebel forces regain territory lost over the past week, when they were on the brink of defeat by government forces.

It is unclear, however, if the international support exists for the deepening of the air campaign to the wholesale destruction of Gadhafi's heavy weaponry that would be necessary to allow any further rebel advance.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Tuesday there are plenty of "non-military means at our disposal" to oust Gadhafi.

France, which has been at the forefront of the international campaign against Gadhafi in Libya, struck a more forceful tone, however, with the defense minister suggesting the strikes could go beyond their mandate of just protecting civilians.

"We, the French and English, we consider that we must obtain more" than the end of shooting at civilians, said Defense Minister Gerard Longuet on France-Inter radio. He also said Libyan politicians could be targeted since they gave orders to the military.

In London, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Arab League, the African Union and around 40 foreign ministers were scheduled to join talks over the future of Libya and to ratchet up pressure on Gadhafi.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said several nations planned to put forward a deal which would propose a cease-fire, exile for Gadhafi and a framework for talks, between Libya's tribal leaders and opposition figures, on the country's future.

In a sign of emerging ties between the opposition and the international community, a senior U.S. administration official said it would soon send an envoy to Libya to meet with leaders of the rebels.

The official said former U.S. envoy to Tripoli, Chris Stevens, will travel to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the coming days to establish better ties with groups seeking to oust the longtime Libyan leader. The move doesn't constitute formal recognition of the opposition.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning, as Clinton met with Libyan opposition envoy Mahmoud Jibril in London.

In an open letter to the international community, meanwhile, Gadhafi called for a halt to the "monstrous assault" on Libya and maintained that that the rebels were supported by the al-Qaida terrorist network.

"What is happening now is providing a cover for al-Qaida through airstrikes and missiles to enable al-Qaida to control North Africa and turn it into a new Afghanistan," he said, accusing the international community of carrying out genocide against the Libyans.

The rebels remain woefully outgunned by Gadhafi's forces and it is unclear how they can take the stronghold of Sirte without further aggressive international air support.

NATO has insisted that it was seeking only to protect civilians and not to give air cover to an opposition march. But that line looked set to become even more blurred. The airstrikes are clearly the only way the rebels bent on overthrowing Gadhafi are going to continue their push to the capital.

There was growing criticism from Russia and other countries that the international air campaign is overstepping the bounds of the U.N. resolution that authorized it. The complaints came at a critical transition in the campaign from a U.S. to a NATO command. That threatens to hamper the operation, as some of the 28 NATO member nations plan to limit their participation to air patrols, rather than attacks on ground targets.

Russia's envoy to NATO, Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin urged the alliance on Tuesday not to bomb Libyan ground targets when it assumes command of the campaign, saying NATO should restrict itself only to enforcing the arms embargo and the no-fly zone.

The rebel advance reached Nawfaliyah some 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Sirte on Monday, but the next day they were driven back to the hamlet of Bin Jawwad, a few dozen miles (kilometers) to the east.

In a scene reminiscent of the rebels' rout last week, panicked volunteers jumped into their pickup trucks and attempted to speed away from the bombardment, kicking up dust clouds and choking the narrow coastal highway in a mad scramble of vehicles.

Sirte is dominated by members of the Libyan leader's Gadhadhfa tribe and was used as a second capital by Gadhafi. Its loss would be a symbolic blow and open the way to the capital Tripoli.

"This is their last defensive line they will do everything to protect it," explained rebel fighter Twate Monsuri, 26. "It's not Gadhafi attacking us, he's just defending himself now."

Fighting in such a densely populated area is likely to complicate the rebels' advance and add to the ambiguity of the NATO-led campaign, authorized by a Security Council resolution to take all necessary measures to protect civilians.

Gadhafi forces continued to besiege Misrata, the main rebel holdout in the west and Libya's third-largest city. Residents reported shelling by government tanks of residential areas, with three people killed.

The U.S. Navy reported that two of its aircraft and a guided missile destroyer attacked a number of Libyan coast guard vessels that were "firing indiscriminately" at merchant ships in the port of Misrata, rendering them inoperable.

One of Libya's top officials, meanwhile, abruptly made a "private visit" to Tunisia late Monday, according to the official news agency there.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim in Tripoli insisted on Tuesday that Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa's visit was not a defection.

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Associated Press writers Bradley Klapper in London, Angela Charlton in Paris, Maggie Michael in Cairo and Hadeel al-Shalchi in Tripoli contributed to this report.

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