05-21-2018  9:37 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

OPINION

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 ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — China has sentenced a Tibetan language activist to five years in prison for inciting separatism after he appeared in a documentary video produced by The New York Times.Tashi Wangchuk's lawyer Liang Xiaojun told The Associated Press that a judge in Qinghai province passed down...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a...

Sony invests in image sensors, acquires more of EMI Music

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 trillion yen ( billion) mostly in image sensors over the next three years, under a revamped strategy to strengthen both hardware and creative content.Sony also plans to buy for [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion a 60...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his...

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Sarah Rose Summers from Nebraska beat out 50 other women Monday to win this year's...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Alan Silverleib and Ted Barrett CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm B. Todd Jones as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, giving the politically controversial agency its first permanent director since 2006.

Senators voted 53-42 to approve Jones - the ATF's acting director since the fall of 2011 - shortly after he received the bare 60 votes needed to clear a key procedural hurdle.

All 54 members of the Democratic caucus voted to move forward with consideration of President Barack Obama's pick, along with six Republicans - New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte, Maine's Susan Collins, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, Illinois's Mark Kirk, Arizona's John McCain, and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski.

In a rarely seen and dramatic full court lobbying press on the Senate floor, a dozen or so senators from both parties at one point surrounded Murkowski, imploring her to either support or oppose the nomination.

At times, voices were raised and frustrations were evident. Democrats were one vote shy of the 60 needed to move the forward with the nomination, so they were desperate to persuade the independent-minded Alaskan to switch the "no" vote she had already cast to "yes."

After about 30 minutes of heated discussion, Collins broke the logjam by slipping into the middle of the group, putting her arm around Murkowski and whisking her off the floor for relief and private conversation.

About 15 minutes later, Murkowski returned to the floor and told the clerk she would change her vote.

"Lisa's just a friend of mine," Collins told reporters. "I thought we'd have just a nice little chat about what we had to eat last night for dinner."

More seriously, Collins noted, "I was concerned that she was being pummeled by both sides, and thought she might need a little break."

Collins, a rare GOP moderate, said that while she has concerns about Jones, she believes "the way to express those concerns is to vote no on (the actual) nomination rather than voting no" on a procedural matter.

"I think that there are too many filibusters in the Senate," Collins said. "We need to move forward on bills and on nominations and let the Senate work its will."

After Murkowski flipped, Senate leaders held the vote open for several hours, waiting for North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp to return to Capitol Hill and provide the critical 60th vote needed to proceed.

"It was close," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota. "There were a lot of discussions" on the Senate floor about how to find 60 votes. "Sometimes that all gets done ahead of time. This time it was there for the world to see."

In addition to serving as ATF director, Jones, 56, also currently serves as U.S. attorney in Minnesota.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was one of the leading congressional opponents of Jones's nomination. Among other things, Grassley expressed concern over Jones's handling of a pair of whistle-blower complaints as U.S. attorney.

Congressional Republicans have also become increasingly concerned about the role of the ATF as the issue of the gun-related violence has become more politically polarizing. Jones's prospects received a boost when the National Rifle Association - always a powerful voice in GOP politics - declined to oppose his nomination.

In a statement released after the vote, Obama welcomed the Senate's final approval but accused Republicans of playing politics and delaying the process.

"For nearly seven years, Senate Republicans had refused to confirm an ATF director - not because they thought the nominees weren't qualified, but because they put politics ahead of the agency's law enforcement mission," he said. "I applaud Senator Reid, Senator Leahy, Senator Klobuchar, and the bipartisan group of senators who broke through that gridlock to give Todd Jones the up or down vote he deserved."

 

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