06-21-2018  5:24 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Beaverton basketball coach has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for sexually abusing a teenage girl he met through work.KOIN-TV reported Wednesday 34-year-old Laurence Metz was convicted of two counts of sex abuse.Metz was a coach...

Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

Mail-order weed? You betcha!With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

NEW YORK (AP) — The breakout star of the summer moviegoing season isn't a dinosaur, an Avenger or anyone aboard the Millennium Falcon. It's a giggling pipsqueak in diapers."The Incredibles 2," which last weekend set a new box-office record for animated films with 2.7 million in ticket...

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

CHICAGO (AP) — Now that the world's leading public health group says too much Minecraft can be an...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Official: Polish leader's ill health not sparking infighting

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A government official is denying rumors that the illness of Jaroslaw Kaczynski,...

Bill Mears and Joe Johns CNN

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- The U.S. Justice Department will seek a federal court order forcing Texas to resume "preclearing" any changes to its voting laws, the first enforcement action by the Obama administration since the Supreme Court tossed out a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

Attorney General Holder made the announcement Thursday in a speech before the Urban League.

"My colleagues and I are determined to use every tool at our disposal to stand against discrimination wherever it is found," Holder said in Philadelphia. "Even as Congress considers updates to the Voting Rights Act in light of the court's ruling, we plan, in the meantime, to fully utilize the law's remaining sections to ensure that the voting rights of all American citizens are protected."

A divided 5-4 Supreme Court last month invalidated the formula used to determine which states or local jurisdictions -- mostly in the South -- could remain under special federal oversight, requiring them to get approval from Washington before making any changes in voting procedures.

That blunts much of the federal government's enforcement power in states and localities with a history of discrimination at the polls.

The ruling does not change the fact it remains illegal to discriminate against a person when it comes to voting. But it does change how some governments have been singled out.

Holder said the Obama administration will use a different section of the Voting Rights Act that allows federal authorities to ask a judge to order a state to be put under the preclearance regime. To do so the Justice Department must prove "purposeful" discrimination.

Texas will be test case of the tactic.

The state is the subject of two ongoing court fights over its voter identification law and the voting boundaries created by the legislature.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had indicated after the high court ruling that both the state voter identification law and its redistricting maps would go into effect immediately.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry criticized Holder's remarks and defended the Texas "voter integrity" laws.

"Once again, the Obama administration is demonstrating utter contempt for our country's system of checks and balances, not to mention the U.S. Constitution," Perry said in a prepared statement. "This end-run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas, and casts unfair aspersions on our state's common-sense efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections process."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was also defiant. "Texans should not -- and will not -- stand for the continued bullying of our state by the Obama administration," he said in a news release Thursday.

Lawmakers in Congress have begun considering proposals to update the Voting Rights Act to ensure continued federal oversight. Holder said that while his department could act unilaterally, updating current laws is the real key.

"It is the duty of today's Justice Department to continue monitoring jurisdictions around the country for changes that may hamper these voting rights -- to keep taking appropriately aggressive action against any jurisdiction that attempts to hinder free and fair access to the franchise," he said. "And to keep refining and refocusing current enforcement efforts while we work with Congress to craft stronger tools for protecting voting rights."

Holder called the high court ruling "deeply disappointing and flawed."

Under the section of the Voting Rights Act invalidated by the high court, any changes in voting laws and procedures in all or parts of 15 covered states -- including Texas -- were subject to federal oversight. That meant the Justice Department or a federal court had to sign off on all aspects, including something as simple as moving a polling place temporarily across the street.

The provision was reauthorized by Congress in 2006 for another 25 years. Officials in Shelby County, Alabama, subsequently filed suit, saying the monitoring was overly burdensome and unwarranted.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his majority opinion, for the Supreme Court, said the decades-old formula still being used had "no logical relation to the present day."

"While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy the problem speaks to the current conditions," he said.

President Obama had characterized the ruling as a "setback," even as he vowed his "administration will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal voting process."

Texas will not be the first state the Justice Department has sought to "bail in" under a different enforcement regime from the Voting Rights Act, which would still be allowed in the wake of the high court decision. Parts of New Mexico and Arkansas also were subject to that special federal oversight, but the provision requires the Justice Department to establish a new, comprehensive record of alleged "intentional" discrimination.

That means the burden of proof would initially be on Washington to show a state like Texas deserves continued special scrutiny. If that oversight is granted, the burden of proof would then shift to the state, when justifying any future changes in its voting laws.

Joe Johns reported from Philadelphia; Bill Mears wrote in Washington

 

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