09-26-2021  2:45 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

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

Harry and Meghan visit with students at a Harlem school

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, offered lots of hugs to kids at a Harlem public school Friday where she read her children's book to about two dozen students who sat cross-legged with her husband in the play yard. The hourlong visit to PS 123,...

'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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

UK gas stations run dry as trucker shortage sparks hoarding

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of British gas stations ran dry Sunday, an industry group said, as motorists scrambled...

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? ...

Utah's Lowe killed in shooting less than a year after Jordan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah sophomore cornerback Aaron Lowe died in a shooting at house party early Sunday, less...

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

AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) -- Moammar Gadhafi's ground forces recaptured a strategic oil town Wednesday as they made new inroads in beating back a rebel advance toward the capital Tripoli. Western powers kept up the pressure to force Gadhafi out with new airstrikes to weaken his military, hints that they may arm the opposition and intense negotiations behind the scenes to persuade Libya's leader of nearly 42 years to step down.

Airstrikes have neutralized Gadhafi's air force and pounded his army, but those ground forces remain far better armed, trained and organized than the opposition. Rebels have few weapons more powerful than rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, and are no match for Gadhafi's tanks and longer-range heavy weapons.

That disparity was obvious as government forces pushed back rebels who had been closing in on the strategic city of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown and a bastion of support for the longtime leader. Under heavy shelling, rebels retreated from Bin Jawwad on Tuesday and from the oil port of Ras Lanouf on Wednesday. Gadhafi's forces were shelling another oil port to the east, Brega, and some rebels were retreating farther still.

It looked like a mad scramble: Pickup trucks, with mattresses and boxes tied on, driving east at 100 mph (160 kilometers per hour).

Many regrouped east of Brega at the green, arching western gate of Ajdabiya, sharing water, dates and tuna sandwiches on a sandy, windswept plain next to two burned-out tanks and two burned-out cars from the airstrikes last week that drove Gadhafi's forces back.

"There's something strange about the way he attacked us today," said Abdullah Abdel-Jalil, a 31-year-old ambulance driver. "The Grad rockets, the tanks, the quantity of it all, he's stronger than we thought. It's way too intense."

NATO planes flew over the zone where the heaviest fighting was under way and an Associated Press reporter at the scene heard explosions, in contrast with Tuesday, when rebel fighters' pleas for airstrikes went unheeded. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Clint Gebke, a spokesman for the NATO operation aboard the USS Mount Whitney, said he could not confirm any specific strikes but Western aircraft were engaging pro-Gadhafi forces.

Whatever air support NATO provided, however, did not appear to turn the situation at all to the rebels' advantage.

"We don't know why they're not here," said Moftah Mohammed, a 36-year-old rebel soldier. "Our forces are mainly on the side of the main road. We've heard Gadhafi's forces are pushing deep into the desert" in an attempt to head off rebel forces. "We don't want to be stuck in the middle of that."

Mohammed, however, thought loyalist forces would stop pursuing the rebels. "Gadhafi aims to take back Ras Lanouf and Brega because he's running out of oil. I think he'll stop there," he said.

As Gadhafi's forces push rebels toward their de-facto capital Benghazi, some 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Brega, pressure is growing for NATO members and other supporters of the air campaign to do more.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain believes a legal loophole could allow nations to supply weapons to Libya's rebels - but stressed the U.K. has not decided whether it will offer assistance to the rebels.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that Washington also believes it would be legal to give the rebels weapons. As to whether the country would do so, President Barack Obama told NBC, "I'm not ruling it out, but I'm also not ruling it in."

France, one of the strongest backers of international intervention in Libya, believes arming rebels would require a new U.N. resolution; the existing one includes an arms embargo. But Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, "We are ready to discuss it with our partners."

Under the U.N. resolution authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians, nations supplying weapons would need to be satisfied they would be used only to defend civilians - not to take the offensive to Gadhafi's forces.

Cameron's spokesman Steve Field said British and other diplomats were involved in negotiations with the rebel leadership in Benghazi partly to gauge if the opposition would be trustworthy allies.

"We are in the process of talking to those people and learning more about their intentions," Field told reporters.

Another possibility is to ramp up airstrikes, which so far have been conducted with the stated goal of helping civilians, rather than with helping the rebels advance. But even the airstrikes conducted so far have been criticized by world powers such as Germany and Russia.

There are also hopes for a diplomatic solution.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said negotiations on securing Gadhafi's exit were being conducted with "absolute discretion" and that there were options on the table that hadn't yet been formalized.

"What is indispensable is that there be countries that are willing to welcome Gadhafi and his family, obviously to end this situation which otherwise could go on for some time," he said.

But the Italian diplomat insisted immunity for Gadhafi was not an option. "We cannot promise him a 'safe-conduct' pass," he stressed.

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa visited Tunisia briefly, but there was no word if this was linked to the secret talks.

Uganda appeared to be the first country to publicly offer Gadhafi refuge. The spokesman for Uganda's president, Tamale Mirundi, told the AP on Wednesday that he would be welcome there.

France - which was the first nation to formally recognize the Libyan rebels - confirmed that a diplomatic presence was established in Benghazi on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe stressed that Antoine Sivan will not be a formal ambassador but rather a diplomat there to establish relations with the Council in Benghazi.

Mahmoud Shammam, a spokesman for the Libyan opposition, told reporters in London that, properly equipped, rebels "would finish Gadhafi in a few days."

"We do not have arms. We ask for the political support more than we are asking for the arms, but if we get both that would be great," Shammam said.

Britain, meanwhile, said it expelled five Libyan diplomats loyal to Gadhafi, including the country's military attache, because of their intimidation of opposition supporters and their potential threat to the U.K.'s national security.

 

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