06-04-2020  10:07 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

More Protests in Portland, Mayor Signs Police Reform Pledge

More than 10,000 people demonstrated peacefully in Portland in one of the largest U.S. protests Tuesday

Black Leaders Call For Change in Policing, Change in Media Coverage of Demonstrations

The Albina Ministerial Alliance of Portland’s Coalition for Justice and Police Reform has a long history of working on a deep policy level to effect change in local law enforcement practices, often in response to police killings

Portland, Oregon, Remains Largely Peaceful, Curfew Lifted

Portland will not impose a curfew on Tuesday night for the first time in four days

Inslee Orders Statewide Guard Activation Following Unrest

Inslee had previously authorized 400 troops for Seattle and 200 troops for Bellevue.

NEWS BRIEFS

ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police for Attacking Journalists at Protests

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Jared Goyette, a journalist covering the demonstrations, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet ...

Statement by AG Rosenblum on People of Color Caucus Recommendations

People of Color Caucus released policy recommendations yesterday pertaining to police accountability ...

An Important Message From Nataki Garrett

#BlackLivesMatter at OSF and we will not remain silent ...

Oregon Health Authority Investigating COVID-19 Increase at Unnamed Business

Oregon reports 71 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases today, no new deaths ...

Some Columbia River Gorge Trails, Parks Reopen Today

Crowded sites including most waterfall viewing areas, campgrounds, and visitor’s centers will stay closed because of the coronavirus...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland and the Path Forward

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler invites Portlanders, as public servants, to join him "in insisting that we never return to business as usual." ...

Local Business Leaders Share Messages of Hope

President, CEO of SAIF says each of us must move forward in "our understanding of the problem, in holding ourselves accountable for our own attitudes and biases, and in coming together, not apart." ...

Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence

Thomas Knapp says the root of police violence is the creation of "police forces" as state institutions separate from the populace and dedicated to suppressing that populace on command ...

A Letter to George Floyd: (Posthumous)

As Black mothers, so often we say, our Black boys across this nation belong to all of us. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: US Cardinal at Vatican to lead prayer for Floyd

The Latest on the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:TOP OF THE HOUR:— Russia urges US to respect right to protest.— Gov. Cuomo: Police in NYC ambush have tough job.— Minn...

Floyd to be eulogized in Minneapolis memorial, first of 3

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mourners converged in Minneapolis on Thursday for the first in a series of a memorials to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of police has sparked turbulent protests around the world against racial injustice.The afternoon event was set for North Central University,...

Prosecutors describe racist slur as Ahmaud Arbery lay dying

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A state investigator alleged Thursday that a white man was heard saying a racial slur as he stood over Ahmaud Arbery's body, moments after killing him with three shots from a pump-action shotgun. The lead Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent in the case testified that...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Splash,' 'Stern' writer Bruce Jay Friedman dead at 90

NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Jay Friedman, an Oscar-nominated screenplay writer and popular playwright and author known for the wry comedy and subtle pathos of such novels as “Stern” and “About Harry Towns” and for his scripts for “Splash” and “Stir...

With 'Succession' shut down, Brian Cox takes on other roles

LONDON (AP) — “Succession” may be temporarily shut down, but star Brian Cox is still finding projects to keep him busy. Not that he's a fan of being an actor working from home.Cox recently filmed “Little Room,” a “whodunnit” for the Zoom age. The...

Lin Miranda doc postponed out of solidarity with protesters

NEW YORK (AP) — Just two days before it was to begin streaming, “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme," a documentary about the hip-hop improv group with Lin-Manuel Miranda and friends, has postponed its release out of solidarity with protesters. The group announced the postponement...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

VIRUS DIARY: When the class hamster came home - and stayed

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — After 60-plus days, I threw in the towel. Mr. Rich had to go.Mr. Rich is a hamster...

Farm-to-table dining takes on new meaning amid pandemic

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Eric Pray is used to shipping seafood all over the country. But since the...

Hong Kong marks Tiananmen anniversary, defying a police ban

HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police ban Thursday evening, breaking through...

Turkey strips 3 legislators of seats, setting off protest

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament on Thursday stripped three opposition party deputies of...

Landslide in Arctic Norway sweeps away 8 homes

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Jan Egil Bakkedal had just prepared himself a sandwich when he heard a huge...

Prince Charles misses hugging his family amid virus lockdown

LONDON (AP) — Prince Charles says he has missed giving his family members a hug during the long weeks of...

McMenamins
Matt Volz the Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Two Montana lawmakers are trying to start a class-action lawsuit against "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson, claiming they were duped into buying Mortenson's best-selling book and donating to his charity based on lies they thought were true.

The claim filed Thursday in federal court in Missoula is the latest fallout from reports by "60 Minutes" and author Jon Krakauer last month that alleged that Mortenson lied in "Three Cups of Tea" about how he became involved in building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The reports also questioned whether Mortenson financially benefited from his charity, Central Asia Institute, and whether CAI built the number of schools it claimed.

The complaint, which tells only one side of a legal argument, alleges Mortenson and CAI induced state Rep. Michele Reinhart of Missoula to buy the book and Rep. Jean Price of Great Falls to donate to the charity. Reinhart and Price claim Mortenson and the charity engaged in fraud, deceit, breach of contract and racketeering under a statute normally used for prosecuting mobsters.

The Democratic legislators are seeking class-action status, saying the lawsuit potentially could be joined by millions of people who bought Mortenson's books, heard his speeches or donated to his charity.

"They purchased the book because of his heart-wrenching story which he said was true," said Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett, who is representing Reinhart and Price. "If people had known all of this was fabricated, they would not have given the money."

Mortenson was in his Bozeman home awaiting word on whether he could safely undergo surgery to repair a hole in his heart, according to a statement by his doctor posted on the Central Asia Institute's website.

Anne Beyersdorfer, a Mortenson family friend who is running the charity in Mortenson's absence, told The Associated Press that officials at CAI have not seen the complaint and she could not comment on the particulars. But, she said, Mortenson has done nothing wrong and he is looking forward to refuting the accusations against him when his health improves.

"He's weak, his oxygen levels are low and he's not well," Beyersdorfer said. "He is not able to speak because of his health issues, but he (will be) ready to tell his version of the story, which is very important."

Mortenson has previously denied any wrongdoing, though he has admitted some of the events in his book were compressed over different periods of time. CAI has pledged full transparency and posted years of financial statements on its website.

Reinhart heard Mortenson speak at the University of Montana in 2007 and bought "Three Cups of Tea" in 2009. Price heard a presentation by Mortenson or CAI in Great Falls in 2009 and made a donation "relying on the truthfulness of his statements," according to the complaint.

Neither immediately returned calls for comment. Their attorney, Blewett, is the father of another Democratic state lawmaker, Sen. Anders Blewett.

The plaintiffs are asking a judge to rule that Mortenson and CAI violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO. They made the RICO claim because Price gave CAI a second donation after receiving a solicitation in the mail, which Alexander Blewett said constitutes mail fraud.

The racketeering claim allows the plaintiffs to seek triple the amount Mortenson and CAI have made from book sales, speeches and donations.

The complaint asks the judge to place the money into a trust administered by a court-appointed charity that would direct it to schoolchildren in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Three Cups of Tea" was released in 2006 and sold more than 3 million copies. That notoriety helped Mortenson grow the Central Asia Institute by generating more than $50 million in donations.

The fallout from the "60 Minutes" and Krakauer reports prompted Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock to open an inquiry into the charity last month.

Blewett said a class-action lawsuit represents the best way for the public to find out the truth because it could result in Mortenson's sworn testimony.

"We welcome the opportunity to let Mr. Mortenson testify under oath to all these things. To us, it seems overwhelmingly false and we will give him ample opportunity to explain away all of the falsehoods," Blewett said.

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