06-21-2018  8:12 pm      •     
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 ...

Fire forces evacuation of some residents in Jefferson County

CULVER, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jefferson County have told residents in the Three Rivers community to leave immediately as winds whipped a fire burning in central Oregon.Sheriff Jim Adkins issued an evacuation order Thursday night for the private development near Lake Billy Chinook. The...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

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

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

VP Joe Biden speaking to students at Harvard
Josh Lederman, Associated Press

 In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden answers questions from students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. Biden’s biggest mistake in accusing U.S. allies of supporting extremists in Syria may be that he said publicly what Obama administration officials have long preferred to say only privately. Biden apologized over the weekend to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates after saying they had a role in allowing foreign fighters, weapons and money into Syria to bolster groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. He also made similar statements about Saudi Arabia’s role in aiding extremists. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden's supporters often brush off his slips of the tongue as byproducts of the speak-your-mind politics many Americans crave. But this time, Biden's verbal blunders are causing more than just a few rough headlines and a momentary nuisance for the White House.

Twice in two days, Biden had to apologize to key U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State militants after accusing the allies of arming and funding al-Qaida-linked groups in Syria. Not only did his comments threaten to jeopardize President Barack Obama's fragile coalition, they also put the White House on the defensive, forced to clean up for Biden without specifically rebutting what he said.

As Biden seeks to fashion himself as a credible alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, his latest missteps have rekindled lingering questions about his ability to serve as commander in chief. After all, voters who affectionately overlook a bit of misplaced candor may be less thrilled by the prospect of a president who has trouble differentiating between what he says in public and in private.

"When he makes missteps, he becomes a character," Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said. "Although he may be successful in lining up some of the Democratic leadership, he will be less likely to get the Democratic nomination if he looks foolish."

In this case, Biden's mistake wasn't in saying something that wasn't true. In fact, what Biden said at Harvard University largely conformed to what Obama administration officials long have said privately. His mistake was in saying it in front of television cameras that carried his remarks to far-away capitals like Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, where exasperated leaders demanded — and received — a mea culpa.

"The vice president is somebody who has enough character to admit when he's made a mistake," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Making matter worse: Biden's blunt talk about the situation in Syria came during a two-week period in which the vice president's loose tongue had already gotten him in trouble with groups ranging from the Anti-Defamation League to Asian-Americans.

After a quick visit to Iowa last month, Biden had to apologize to the head of the ADL, a Jewish group that fights anti-Semitism, after using the word "shylocks" to describe unscrupulous moneylenders who had taken advantage of U.S. troops. On the same trip, he raised eyebrows by referring to Asia as "the Orient," and the White House had to clarify comments he made that seemed to suggest the U.S. would consider deploying ground troops to fight the Islamic State group.

Former aides who have prepped Biden say they repeated predetermined talking points to him over and over before sensitive meetings and high-profile speeches. The vast majority of the time he hits the script perfectly, the aides said.

But sometimes their pleas not to freelance were met with a roll of the eyes by Biden, who served for decades on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has strong views of his own.

Biden's supporters say his candor amid an overly sanitized political environment is part and parcel of his appeal.

"The more people know about him, the more they value that he says what he thinks," said former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., Biden's longtime confidante and political adviser. "I think that's really put him in a good stead with foreign leaders around the world."

But Biden's detractors say the short-term headaches that emerge when he goes off-script pale in comparison to the damage that could be done with Biden in the Oval Office. As Biden ponders a third presidential bid in 2016, they say, voters will have to make a call about whether they want a loose cannon in charge when, for instance, the U.S. is confronting the threat from the Islamic State group.

"As head of state there are times when you have to have a moment where you are trying to achieve larger national ends that aren't always served by having a case of no internal monologue that tells you to shut the heck up," said Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist.

Such caricatures of the second highest-ranking U.S. leader paint a particularly stark contrast to Clinton, who gained a reputation as a hawkish, intensely disciplined diplomat during her tenure as Obama's secretary of state. Most Democrats doubt that Biden will challenge Clinton if she decides to run.

But even with Clinton emerging as the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination, Biden has offered frequent reminders that he still covets the top job. As he told a student council vice president last week about holding the No. 2 job, "Isn't that a bitch?"

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AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report.

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