05-23-2018  3:35 pm      •     
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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 ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

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

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Good Morning America' to expand; 'The Chew' canceled

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC's "Good Morning America" is expanding to a third hour — and swallowing "The Chew" to make room.The network said Wednesday the new third hour will air at 1 p.m. Eastern, which is often the spot for the cooking show. "GMA" starts at 7 a.m."The Chew" has aired for...

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

CNN

Protest in TurkeyTurkish authorities' use of live ammunition, tear gas, beatings and sexual assaults to crush street protests earlier this year constitute "human rights violations on a massive scale," according to a report by human rights watchdog Amnesty International.

Amnesty documented cases of Turkish riot police firing plastic bullets and tear gas canisters at the heads of protesters. It also accused police of sexually abusing female demonstrators and of severely beating and shooting protesters with live ammunition, resulting in the deaths of two men in separate incidents.

The report, released Wednesday, focused on the turmoil that erupted in May and June, when police tried to put down an environmentalist sit-in. Demonstrators had staged an Occupy Wall Street-style protest over government plans to demolish Istanbul's Gezi Park and replace it with a shopping mall.

"The levels of violence used by police in the course of Gezi Park protests clearly show what happens when poorly trained, poorly supervised police officers are instructed to use force -- and encouraged to use it unsparingly -- safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely ever to be identified or prosecuted for their abuses," said Amnesty International's Turkey expert, Andrew Gardner.

The Turkish government has launched an investigation into the possible excess use of force. At least one police officer from a counter-terrorism unit is standing trial along with other suspects for beating a protester named Ali Ismail Korkmaz in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. The 19-year-old university student later died as a result of his injuries.

Government announces democratic reforms

Amnesty International's report emerged two days after the Turkish government unveiled a long-awaited series of reforms, which the rights group said fails "to address these violations or to take any serious steps to ensure that they will not occur in the future."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan applauded what he called the "democratization package," declaring it a historic moment for the country.

The legislation lifts the ban on women wearing Islamic headscarves in public institutions. However, women serving as police officers, judges or military personnel are still not allowed to wear headscarves.

The reforms also removed the ban on teaching the Kurdish language, and ended the ban of the Kurdish letters "q," "x" and "w," which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet. However, Kurdish can only be taught in private schools, even though it is the language spoken by Turkey's largest ethnic minority.

Another change called for expanding the definition and punishment for hate crimes committed on the basis of ethnicity or religious belief.

The democratization package quickly inspired a chorus of criticism from a wide range of ethnic, religious and political groups.

"This is more of an election package," said Sebahat Tuncel, a lawmaker from the main Kurdish opposition party, referring to municipal elections expected to be held in 2014.

"This package could have lifted the obstacles to democratization. It could have lifted barriers to freedom of the press, to freedom of expression and amended the anti-terror laws," Tuncel added.

Thousands of Kurds have been arrested in recent years, accused of collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), whose militants have been fighting a guerrilla war for the past 30 years against the Turkish state.

Erdogan's government has tried to bring an end to the simmering conflict by launching negotiations with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The peace talks have prompted some of the PKK's thousands of fighters to voluntarily leave Turkey for neighboring Iraq.

Meanwhile, women's groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual activists are upset that the reforms did not include reference to hate crimes committed on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

Though Erdogan offered to create a cultural institute for Turkey's Roma minority and promised to return a government-seized monastery to the Assyrian Christians, he stopped short of reopening the Halki Seminary, which traditionally educated the country's top Greek Orthodox clergy.

For decades, members of Turkey's dwindling Greek community, as well as many Western governments, have called for Turkey to lift its ban on Halki.

"I think it is a step forward and the government says more will come," wrote Suat Kinklioglu, a former lawmaker from Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in an e-mail to CNN.

"However, the real issue in Turkey is political and cultural polarization. I wish the package would address issues such as freedom of expression and pluralism."

Turkish president calls for reform

Turkey's president warned about the threats this polarization posed in an address before the Turkish parliament Tuesday.

"I viewed the peaceful demonstrations of the young people at Gezi Park... as a new manifestation of our democratic maturity," said Abdullah Gul.

Gul argued that Turkey still had a long way to go in its democratization process.

"The effective and efficient operation of executive, legislative and judicial powers; the existence of a serious, constructive and strong opposition; a free, critical, impartial and independent media are of utmost importance for a country's democratic development," he said in his speech to lawmakers.

Gul has been a loyal ally of Erdogan through the prime minister's decade in office.

But as his term in the largely symbolic post of president draws to a close, Gul has increasingly challenged some of Erdogan's more controversial policies.

The increasingly divergent political positions have prompted widespread speculation that Gul may be preparing to submit himself as a candidate to be the next prime minister of Turkey.

 

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