05-24-2018  6:51 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

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

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Man gets 13 years for crashing motorhome into patrol cars

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for assault against Salem police officers after leading police on a chase through Salem and ramming his motor home into officers in their patrol cars.The Statesman Journal reports 61-year-old Roy...

Woodburn officer gets 150 days in jail for child sex abuse

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A former Woodburn police officer has been sentenced to 150 days in jail and five years of probation for having sex with an underage girl and soliciting sexual contact from the child online.The Statesman Journal reports that 29-year-old Daniel Kerbs was sentenced Wednesday....

Worker who died in fall at Sound Transit site identified

SEATTLE (AP) — Officials have identified the man who died after falling from a light rail column at a Sound Transit construction site in Bellevue.The Seattle Times reports 63-year-old Walter Burrows was a foreman and a longtime employee at Kiewit, the company building the elevated light rail...

Case of Legionnaires' disease suspected at UW Medical Center

SEATTLE (AP) — A case of Legionnaires' disease has been suspected at the University of Washington Medical Center.KOMO-TV reported Wednesday that this is the third time in as many years that the disease has been suspected at the facility.Officials said the patient "has been diagnosed with a...

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

Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been disciplined for acting "inappropriately" after the Bucks player was zapped with a stun gun during his arrest for a parking violation in January.Brown, who is African-American, said in a...

George Zimmerman tells court he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The ex-neighborhood watch volunteer who killed a black teen in Florida in 2012 says he's [scripts/homepage/home.php].5 million in debt and has no income.George Zimmerman filed paperwork detailing his financial state as he fights a misdemeanor stalking charge.The Orlando Sentinel reports a public...

Senate primary splits Arizona conservatives between 2 icons

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (AP) — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was asking dozens of tea party activists for their backing in Arizona's Republican Senate primary when one audience member said it was a shame disgruntled conservatives couldn't send "both of you" to Washington.The man...

ENTERTAINMENT

In taking on 'Solo,' Ehrenreich faced an unenviable task

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thandie Newton jokes that there might be something off about Alden Ehrenreich — because how else could he take on the pressure-filled role of Han Solo with so much ease?"Every week, I was expecting a call that Alden had had a nervous breakdown and wouldn't be coming...

Rockwell work at center of controversy gets M at auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — One of the two Norman Rockwell paintings at the center of a Massachusetts museum's contentious decision to sell 40 works of art has been sold at auction for more than million."Blacksmith's Boy — Heel and Toe," also known as "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop," was...

Michael Jackson estate slams ABC TV special on his last days

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The estate of Michael Jackson is objecting to an ABC TV special on the end of the King of Pop's life, calling it a crass attempt to exploit Jackson without respect for his legacy or children.The estate said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that "The Last...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Bucks' Brown decries 'police intimidation' during arrest

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee police chief has apologized to Sterling Brown and says officers have been...

Feds: Uber self-driving SUV saw pedestrian but didn't brake

DETROIT (AP) — Federal investigators say the autonomous Uber SUV that struck and killed an Arizona...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu pounded the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea...

More than 350 observers to monitor Turkish elections

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An international security body says it is deploying 22 long-term and 350 short-term...

North Korea demolishes nuclear site ahead of Trump summit

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea (AP) — Just weeks ahead of a planned summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, Kim...

Spanish ruling party fined in major corruption case

MADRID (AP) — The conviction of more than two dozen Spanish businesspeople and officials in a major...

Sara Sidner and Laura Smith-Spark CNN

(CNN) -- A decision by world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking not to attend a conference in Israel in support of an academic boycott of the country has sparked controversy in Israel and a vitriolic debate online.

Hawking, who's a professor at Britain's Cambridge University, had initially accepted an invitation to the high-profile Israeli Presidential Conference, taking place in Jerusalem in June.

His change of heart this week appears to be the result of pressure from Palestinian academics to abide by a boycott set up in protest over Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

"A letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli president's office from Stephen Hawking regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott," a Cambridge University spokesman told CNN on Thursday.

Hawking is also unable currently to fly for health reasons, the spokesman said.

Cambridge University initially said Hawking's poor health was the reason he was no longer attending, according to local media reports. Hawking, who is quadriplegic as a result of an incurable degenerative disease, has had repeated health problems.

Hawking's letter said he had first accepted the invitation "to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank," the conference organizers said.

His decision to boycott the conference, hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel peace laureate, has prompted a "Twitterstorm."

Some tweeters accuse him of anti-Semitism or comment on his physical disabilities, while others applaud his support for the Palestinian academics.

One tweeter, Ali Abunimah, observes: "Amazing how many Israelis on Facebook want Stephen Hawking dead, electrocuted or made to suffer in other nasty ways."

Haaretz writer Chemi Shalev, who describes himself as a "political junkie, proud father, concerned Israeli, veteran journalist," tweets: "My take: Stephen #Hawking is now the academic boycott movement's unlikely poster boy."

'Outrageous and improper'

Israel Maimon, chairman of the Presidential Conference, said Hawking's decision to pull out of the event was wrong.

"The academic boycott against Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission," he said in a statement.

"Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be. The imposition of a boycott is incompatible with open, democratic dialogue."

Some 5,000 people from around the world are expected to attend, Maimon said, to hear speakers who include global technology company executives, academics, Nobel laureates, artists and past and present world leaders.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Soviet-era President Mikhail Gorbachev and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair are all expected to attend, he added.

Hawking, who's also a cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician, is the author of books including the best-seller, "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes."

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement was established in 2005 by Palestinian civil society groups, which called for international groups and "people of conscience" to boycott or put pressure on Israel "until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights."

Omar Barghouti, one of the founding members of the movement, told CNN: "Stephen Hawking is the most prominent academic today to respect the Palestinian boycott guidelines and to refuse to visit Israel. This reminds us of the moral weight of academics in the boycott of apartheid of South Africa."

He said Hawking had been convinced by the "unanimous Palestinian voice" he heard from his contacts within the Palestinian community.

"There is deep appreciation among the Palestinians for Professor Hawking's respecting the boycott, and we sincerely hope that we convince many hesitant academics to follow suit and to shoulder a moral responsibility of boycotting Israel until it complies with international law," Barghouti said.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Hawking has visited Israel four times, most recently in 2006, when he lectured at Israeli and Palestinian universities.

West Bank housing

Israel's government gave initial approval Wednesday to plans to build 296 housing units in the settlement of Bethel, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned the decision, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Thursday.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina, in a media statement quoted by WAFA, said the Israeli move would sabotage the peace process and efforts made by the U.S. administration to move it forward.

A U.N. Human Rights Council report in January said Israeli settlements had taken a "heavy toll" on the rights and sovereignty of Palestinians.

It outlined the consistent violation of Palestinians' rights in what it called a "creeping annexation" by Israel in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Palestinians welcomed the report's findings, but Israel, which considers the Human Right Council to be biased, said the report would hurt the peace process.

There are about 250 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the report said, all started since Israel seized the lands after the Six Day War in 1967.

Israel's consistently growing presence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has caused great tension between Israel and the Arab world, including Palestinians. Israel says its presence is needed for security.

CNN's Kareem Khadder, Stephanie Halasz, Michael Schwartz and Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

 

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