06-23-2018  6:59 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 ...

State Supreme Court won't hear Sweet Cakes by Melissa appeal

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has declined to consider the case of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the now-defunct bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple in 2013 based on the bakers' religious objections.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Friday the Supreme...

No longer behind a mask, Eugene umpire is being recognized

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After 31 years behind the plate as an MLB umpire, Dale Scott knows how to recognize a strike.Throwing one is, uh, another matter.When the Los Angeles Dodgers asked Scott to throw a ceremonial first pitch earlier this month, he was honored of course, but also a little...

Evacuation orders lifted in wildfire near Vantage

VANTAGE, Wash. (AP) — Evacuation notices have been lifted for residents in about 30 homes as a wildfire burning in central Washington reaches 50 percent containment.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports fire crews were hoping to fully contain the fire near Vantage and the Columbia River by...

Central Washington suicide rate rises 23 percent

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — On June 7, 2016, Kori Haubrich thought she found a solution to the problems that had been gnawing at her for weeks.That Monday, the Sunnyside native sat outside her Bellingham apartment struggling to figure out what she would do after graduating from Western Washington...

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

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

ENTERTAINMENT

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beyond World Cup: Advocates call attention to Russian abuses

MOSCOW (AP) — Wrapped in national flags, jubilant fans dance at midnight in the streets of Moscow, smiling,...

Ex-S. Korean premier Kim Jong-pil, spy agency founder, dies

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Kim Jong-pil, the founder of South Korea's spy agency whose political skills...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's skewed claims on immigration, economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is distorting the truth when it comes to the impact of his...

The Latest: Malta tells aid boat with migrants to go away

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on immigration issues in Europe (all times local):3:45 p.m.Malta's premier is...

Vatican convicts ex-diplomat of child porn distribution

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican tribunal on Saturday convicted a former Holy See diplomat and sentenced him...

The Latest: 1st confirmed death after Ethiopia rally blast

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Latest on rally for Ethiopia's reformist new prime minister (all times...

By Adnan Hadad and Ivan Watson CNN



Syria mapONCUPINAR BORDER CROSSING, Turkey (CNN) -- Al Qaeda-linked militants were on the verge of capturing a strategic border gate between Turkey and opposition-controlled northern Syria late Wednesday night.
Hardline Islamist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made their advance toward the Turkish border hours after they attacked and pushed more moderate Syrian rebels out of the nearby Syrian town of Azaz.

"We are trying to bring reinforcements to make sure that the border crossing is not lost to the ISIS," said Abu Rashid, a commander from the Northern Storm Brigade, a rebel contingent from the opposition Free Syrian Army.

That rebel faction has controlled Azaz and the Syrian side of the Oncupinar-Bab el Salama border crossing with Turkey for the past year after it wrested control of the town from the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The fighting erupted first erupted in Azaz between FSA rebels and ISIS militants on Wednesday afternoon.

The clashes raised tensions on the Turkish side of the border as convoys of ambulances raced back and forth through the border gate and large numbers of Turkish border guards and plain-clothed security personnel deployed throughout the customs terminal, prohibiting journalists from filming the commotion.

The advance of the jihadist fighters threatens the main entry point for international aid on the main highway linking the Turkish city of Gaziantep and the divided Syrian northern metropolis of Aleppo.

In recent months, deliveries of U.S. humanitarian and nonlethal assistance to the opposition-held north have been trucked through the Bab el Salama gate. This was also the border crossing used by U.S. Sen. John McCain when he made a brief surprise visit to Syria to meet the commander of the Free Syrian Army.

During Wednesday's battle between the rival opposition groups in Azaz, a prominent opposition activist named Omar Hajouleh was shot dead by a sniper from ISIS, his brother said. Hajouleh was the head of the Azaz Media Center, a rebel-affiliated group that has long facilitated visits for foreign journalists to northern Syria.

"These guys (ISIS) are infidels. They killed my brother and wounded my other brother," said Hajouleh's older brother, Khaled, who wept as he spoke to CNN.

The elder Hajouleh said he had previously helped facilitate the arrival of foreign jihadist fighters from Turkey, some of whom volunteered to fight with the hardline ISIS militia in Syria.

"I let these guys in, and I totally regret it," said Khaled Hajouleh. "I thought these guys were coming to help us and protect us."

The apparent power play at the border by ISIS, one of the newest and most ideologically extreme jihadist groups to have established itself in Syria, immediately triggered calls for vengeance from the more moderate Free Syrian Army.

"[ISIS] are not rebels anymore; from this point, they are terrorists now," said Louay Almokdad, the political and media coordinator for the FSA, said in an interview broadcast live on CNN.

"We are fighting two terrorist teams on two fronts; one al-Assad regime and Hezbollah militia and the Iranian revolutionary guards and the other the extremists al Qaeda, ISIS," Almokdad added.

Until recently, there had been cooperation between the two groups.

Last month, ISIS' al Qaeda-linked fighters fought alongside the FSA to capture a long-besieged Syrian government airbase that's less than 20 minutes' drive from the Turkish border.

Government troops barricaded inside Minnigh Airbase had succeeded in holding out for months against the rebel siege. Their defenses finally collapsed on August 5, after an ISIS suicide bomber drove a captured armored personnel carrier loaded with explosives to the gates of the airbase and then detonated the huge mobile bomb.

The stated goal of ISIS is to establish an Islamic caliphate uniting Iraq and Syria. The group includes many foreign militants hailing from North Africa, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and other countries.

Eyewitnesses say some of the fighters wear suicide bomb belts as part of their daily uniform.

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