05-20-2018  10:46 am      •     
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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 ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

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

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Company in Cuba plane crash had received safety complaints

HAVANA (AP) — The Mexican charter company whose 39-year-old plane crashed in Havana had been the subject of...

Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after publicly setting...

Iran says EU political support not enough, urges investment

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that the country's foreign minister has urged the European...

The Latest: Maduro's challengers criticize 'red points'

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):1:01...

CNN Staff

 Syria warned the United States on Friday that it is prepared to confront any aggression against the war-torn nation. The challenge came as Western powers debated the use of military force against Syria's government in response to a chemical weapons attack in Damascus' suburbs last week.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said there's no doubt that Syria launched chemical weapons attacks against its own people. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has blamed the August 21 attack on rebels.

Most recent:

-- Former President George W. Bush, in an interview, said President Barack Obama has a "tough choice to make" on potential U.S. military action against Syria's president. "If he decides to use our military, he'll have the greatest military ever backing him up," Bush said in an appearance on Fox News.

-- Former President Jimmy Carter said "a punitive military response without a U.N. Security Council mandate or broad support from NATO and the Arab League would be illegal under international law and unlikely to alter the course of the war."




Previously reported:

-- The Obama administration will release on Friday declassified intelligence backing up the U.S. government assessment that the Syrian regime was responsible for a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus last week, a senior administration official said. The administration has said that the information would be made public by the end of the week.

-- Half of Americans say they oppose possible U.S. military action against Syria, according to a new national poll. And nearly eight in 10 of those questioned in an NBC News survey released Friday morning say President Barack Obama should be required to get congressional approval before launching any military attack against al-Assad's forces.

-- The British parliament vote to reject military action in Syria reflects "the majority opinion in Europe as a whole, not just Britain," Russian President Vladimir Putin's senior foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Vladivostok Friday, according to the Kremlin's press office.

-- British Prime Minister David Cameron said it is important for the United Kingdom to have a "robust response to the use of chemical weapons and there are a series of things that (Britan) will continue to do. But, he said, British involvement in a military action "won't be happening."

-- French President Francois Hollande told newspaper Le Monde that a possible military intervention should be limited and not have the goal of overthrowing al-Assad.

-- The Syrian army and its people will respond to any attack and are ready to confront any form of military aggression by superpowers against the country, Syria's defense minister, Fahd Jasem al-Freij, said during a telephone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Dehghan, Syrian state news agency SANA, reported Friday.

-- Iran's armed forces chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, warned the United States and its allies against any attack on Syria, saying any new military operation in the region would inflict serious damage and would only benefit Israel, the Iranian state news agency IRNA, reported Friday.

-- Washington respects a vote by the British parliament rejecting a strong response to recent developments in Syria, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Friday. "Every nation has a responsibility to make their own decisions, and we respect that of any nation," he told journalists in the Philippine capital, Manila. The United States is seeking "an international collaboration and effort" on "whatever decision is taken" to address the Syrian crisis.

-- The United States may have to take unilateral action against Syria after British lawmakers voted down a proposal for military action, a senior U.S. official said.

-- Cameron was dealt a blow Thursday in his push for a strong response, including possible military action, against Syria when the House of Commons rejected the measure.

-- The vote, 285 to 272, came just minutes after members of Parliament voted down a Labour Party motion calling for additional time for U.N. weapons inspectors to gather evidence over whether al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons in suburban Damascus.

-- A closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council ended with no agreement on a resolution to address the crisis in Syria, a Western diplomat told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh on condition of anonymity. "It was clear there was no meeting of minds, and no agreement on the text. It is clear that our approaches are very different and we are taking stock" of the next steps, the diplomat said.

-- Members of the Security Council expect U.N. weapons inspectors to brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shortly after they depart Syria on Saturday. Ban, in turn, will swiftly brief the Security Council on the findings, the diplomat said.

-- Cameron opened the emergency session of the House of Commons on Syria Thursday by saying the debate is about "how to respond to one of most abhorrent uses of chemical weapons in a century" -- not about regime change or invasion.

-- Cameron told the House of Commons that the UK government would not act without first hearing from U.N. weapons inspectors, giving the United Nations a chance to weigh in and Parliament to have a vote.

-- Failing to act would give al-Assad a signal that he could use such weapons "with impunity, Cameron said.

-- The British government on Thursday published a summary of its intelligence assessment on Syria's alleged chemical weapons use, arguing that at least 350 people died in an attack in the Damascus area on August 21, and that there is no plausible culprit other than the Syrian government. It is "highly likely" that the Syrian government was behind the attack, the report said.

-- The British government also published its legal reasoning for a strike on Syria Thursday, saying that it would be justified on humanitarian grounds.

-- "The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is a serious crime of international concern, as a breach of the customary international law prohibition on use of chemical weapons, and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity," the UK government's statement read. "However, the legal basis for military action would be humanitarian intervention; the aim is to relieve humanitarian suffering by deterring or disrupting the further use of chemical weapons."

-- British members of parliament received an open letter from the Syrian government Thursday, urging them not to take any military action against Syria, the press office for House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said.

-- The Syrian letter to British lawmakers compared the current situation to the march to war against Iraq a decade ago, and riffing on Shakespeare, saying: "If you bomb us, shall we not bleed?" It also says an attack on Syria would be illegal, and "would automatically strengthen our common enemy, al Qaeda and its affiliates."

-- Al-Assad vowed Thursday to defend against any Western military attack. "The threats of launching an aggression against Syria will increase its commitments," and "Syria will defend itself against any aggression," he said, according to Syrian state TV.

-- U.N. inspectors entered the eastern part of the Ghouta region outside Damascus on Thursday, Syrian activists said. The Ghouta area was hit by the August 21 attack, activists say.

-- Al-Assad's claim that rebels were behind the August 21 chemical attack is impossible, Obama said on "PBS NewsHour" Wednesday. "We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks," Obama said. "We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."

-- Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who along with President George W. Bush helped send the U.S. military into action in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Fox Business Network on Wednesday that the White House has yet to justify potential strikes in Syria.

  to gather evidence over whether al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons in suburban Damascus.

-- A closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council ended with no agreement on a resolution to address the crisis in Syria, a Western diplomat told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh on condition of anonymity. "It was clear there was no meeting of minds, and no agreement on the text. It is clear that our approaches are very different and we are taking stock" of the next steps, the diplomat said.

-- Members of the Security Council expect U.N. weapons inspectors to brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shortly after they depart Syria on Saturday. Ban, in turn, will swiftly brief the Security Council on the findings, the diplomat said.

-- Cameron opened the emergency session of the House of Commons on Syria Thursday by saying the debate is about "how to respond to one of most abhorrent uses of chemical weapons in a century" -- not about regime change or invasion.

-- Cameron told the House of Commons that the UK government would not act without first hearing from U.N. weapons inspectors, giving the United Nations a chance to weigh in and Parliament to have a vote.

-- Failing to act would give al-Assad a signal that he could use such weapons "with impunity, Cameron said.

-- The British government on Thursday published a summary of its intelligence assessment on Syria's alleged chemical weapons use, arguing that at least 350 people died in an attack in the Damascus area on August 21, and that there is no plausible culprit other than the Syrian government. It is "highly likely" that the Syrian government was behind the attack, the report said.

-- The British government also published its legal reasoning for a strike on Syria Thursday, saying that it would be justified on humanitarian grounds.

-- "The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is a serious crime of international concern, as a breach of the customary international law prohibition on use of chemical weapons, and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity," the UK government's statement read. "However, the legal basis for military action would be humanitarian intervention; the aim is to relieve humanitarian suffering by deterring or disrupting the further use of chemical weapons."

-- British members of parliament received an open letter from the Syrian government Thursday, urging them not to take any military action against Syria, the press office for House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said.

-- The Syrian letter to British lawmakers compared the current situation to the march to war against Iraq a decade ago, and riffing on Shakespeare, saying: "If you bomb us, shall we not bleed?" It also says an attack on Syria would be illegal, and "would automatically strengthen our common enemy, al Qaeda and its affiliates."

-- Al-Assad vowed Thursday to defend against any Western military attack. "The threats of launching an aggression against Syria will increase its commitments," and "Syria will defend itself against any aggression," he said, according to Syrian state TV.

-- U.N. inspectors entered the eastern part of the Ghouta region outside Damascus on Thursday, Syrian activists said. The Ghouta area was hit by the August 21 attack, activists say.

-- Al-Assad's claim that rebels were behind the August 21 chemical attack is impossible, Obama said on "PBS NewsHour" Wednesday. "We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks," Obama said. "We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."

-- Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who along with President George W. Bush helped send the U.S. military into action in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the Fox Business Network on Wednesday that the White House has yet to justify potential strikes in Syria.

 

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