05-26-2018  4:47 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amtrak: No evidence injured passenger was in fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old train passenger found severely injured next to railroad tracks in Truckee, California, suspects he may have been the victim of a hate crime, but Amtrak said Saturday that investigators have found no evidence of foul play.Aaron Salazar's family...

Investigation: Police fired 14 bullets, shotgun at man

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An investigation by the Portland Police Bureau says Portland police officers and a Multnomah County sheriff's deputy fired 14 bullets, three shotgun blasts and nine less-lethal rounds at a man inside a Portland homeless shelter.KATU-TV reports the investigation material...

City aims to block release of dangerous psychiatric patients

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (AP) — The city that houses Western State Hospital, Washington's main psychiatric facility, is fighting to keep patients from being released into its boundaries.The News Tribune reports Lakewood on Monday approved a moratorium on city business licenses for new adult family...

Missing fisherman found by divers in submerged vessel

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of a missing fisherman was found by divers inside the sunken vessel, the Kelli J.The Coast Guard said Saturday that the body was found before the vessel was refloated by contractors in Willapay Bay on Friday.The Pacific County Sheriff's Office took the fisherman's...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — More than 200 people turned out for a community meeting Saturday to protest the death of a young black man who was fatally shot by a Virginia police officer after he ran naked onto an interstate highway.Speakers at the meeting at Richmond's Second Baptist Church said...

The Latest: Family: Police need to handle people better

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal police shooting of a naked and unarmed man in Richmond (all times local):5:16 p.m.Family and friends of a man who was fatally shot by Richmond police after running naked onto an interstate highway are calling on police to find non-lethal ways of...

White neighbor gets prison for harassing black family

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A neighbor accused of harassing and using racial epithets against a black Pennsylvania family for years has been sentenced to prison.A Northampton County judge sentenced 45-year-old Robert Kujawa to the term Friday after a jury convicted him of ethnic intimidation,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Glenn Snoddy, inventor of fuzz pedal for guitarists, dies

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee (AP) — A recording engineer whose invention of a pedal that allowed guitarists to create a fuzzy, distorted sound most famously used by Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones' hit "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" has died.Glenn Snoddy was 96. His daughter Dianne Mayo...

Reaction to criminal charges filed against Harvey Weinstein

Reaction to rape and other criminal charges filed in New York on Friday against Harvey Weinstein:"I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us." — Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, to The Associated...

Vindication, triumph, also fear: Weinstein accusers react

NEW YORK (AP) — Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Resisting Trump in a bright red state

EDMOND, Oklahoma (AP) — Vicki Toombs was watching the returns on election night 2016 when her phone buzzed...

Legal hurdles may make Weinstein's prosecution an exception

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's arrest in New York Friday is a landmark moment in the #MeToo...

Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

PHOENIX (AP) — Until recently, Lilly Mucarsel has spoken Spanish just about everywhere since arriving in...

Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the...

Israeli soldier badly wounded in West Bank arrest raid dies

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says a soldier who was seriously wounded in action this week has...

US warns Syrian government not to advance on south

BEIRUT (AP) — The United States warned it would take "firm and appropriate measures" to protect a...

Ben Feller AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This is the economy election, right? Tell that to the world.

President Barack Obama is getting another dose of the reality of his job: the out-of-his-control events that shape whether he will keep it.

He is lobbying Israel not to launch on attack on Iran that could set the Middle East on fire and pull the United States into another war. He is struggling to get world powers to unite on halting a massacre in Syria. He is on the defensive about staying in Afghanistan after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a killing spree against civilians.

And back home, where the economy is king, everyone is talking about the price of gasoline. Which, as Obama can't say enough, no one can control right now.

The Republican presidential candidates don't have to worry as much about all this because they don't have the responsibility of governing - a luxury Obama likes to note, although he enjoyed the same when he was the challenger. The Republicans, though, are being drawn into events beyond their preferred message of the day.

For Obama, whose re-election bid looks rosier with every good month of job creation, the political risk in the least is that he gets knocked off message. That happened Monday when Obama and the White House spent a lot of effort trying to focus on energy, but the dominant news was the horrific rampage in Afghanistan.

Americans have turned against the war in Afghanistan, with most of them saying the fight isn't worth it anymore.

The bigger worry for Obama is that all the outside events conspire to sour the public mood, give people more to worry about and create an opening for Republicans to challenge his leadership. Just because presidents may not be able to control problems does not mean they don't get blamed for them.

"There are so many of them now, and dire ones," said Barbara Perry, a scholar of the American presidency at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.

"People may not care much about what Israel is doing, or even what Iran is doing, but given American dependence on Mideast oil, that has a direct impact on the pocketbook. Do these things inevitably have an impact on the campaign? Absolutely, because they will be the questions put to the presidential candidates."

As one example, the price at the pump carries political risk for Obama, who is taking a pounding over the issue in the polls.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline is now about $3.80, the highest ever for this time of year. The White House says anyone suggesting a quick fix is lying to voters. Instead, Obama pushes energy exploration across the board and reminds folks he championed a payroll tax cut that kept money in their pockets.

That doesn't offer as much election-year satisfaction for the typical commuter.

"The reality is that the oil prices and the gas prices that we pay here in the United States are set on the global market," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters Monday. "We don't set them, and we don't control them. This president and this Congress can't control those prices."

Clearly. Obama has gotten used to this dynamic.

Good news has come before on the economy, only to be suffocated by outside events. Just a few months ago, Obama attributed a slowing economy to the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring and the European debt crisis (not to mention his ugly showdown with Congress over a near-government default).

Now sizable job growth has taken hold by the month, but that pattern is hardly assured through Election Day. Obama still has a wary eye on Europe's economic stability, a slowdown in China could undermine the United States, and the turmoil surrounding Iran and Israel that could further jolt gas prices and, perhaps, lead to war.

It was a telling sign when Obama held his first news conference of the year last week and got not one question on the economy writ large. The focus was on the threat of a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Now the attention is back on the Afghanistan war as Obama warns against a hasty retreat.

So it goes for presidents.

The big problems of the day are covered by the media, evaluated by pollsters and viewed within the election context.

Still, the general election campaign is expected to come down to which contender has better answers for people looking for a job, a better career, a way to keep their house, a sense of security.

"The three most important issues of the election are the economy, the economy and the economy," Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said.

Indeed, an Associated Press-GfK poll of issues last month found 91 percent of people said the economy was highly important to them. Obama's team says the choice for voters is about restoring American security for all or going back to a free-for-all approach that led to the crisis. Republicans say he's failed to lead.

The White House isn't out to make this election about foreign policy, but Gibbs said "I don't think it hurts" if the conversation turns that way.

Obama has a story to tell on the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of the war in Iraq, the squeezing of Iran through sanctions.

The direction of the war in Afghanistan has been on that list too. But now it's a question, and Obama has to answer.

Afghanistan is raging with anti-Americanism after U.S. troops burned Qurans last month and, over the weekend, a soldier allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians and burned many of the bodies.

Obama was questioned about the horrific incident by television reporters from around the nation. They had been invited to the White House to talk about energy, but they pushed him on when the U.S. will be getting out of Afghanistan too. Obama said the United States must not rush to the exits.

So the timetable remains: the end of 2014, at the latest, for Americans to get out of a combat role in Afghanistan.

And this one: a little under nine months left for any issue in the world to rock Obama's re-election bid.

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White House Correspondent Ben Feller has covered the Obama and George W. Bush presidencies for The Associated Press. AP Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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