10-27-2021  12:02 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Report Faults WA Sheriff Over Confrontation With Black Man

An investigation has found a sheriff in Washington state violated policies against bias-free policing and other standards during a controversial encounter with a Black newspaper carrier.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown gets COVID-19 vaccine booster

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and encouraged other eligible Oregonians to discuss booster shots with doctors.

King County's Proof of COVID Vaccine Policy Starts Monday

Beginning Monday proof of vaccination or a negative test for COVID-19 will be required to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters or entertainment venues in Washington state's most populous county.

N.E. Portland Glass Recycler Reaches Deal with DEQ to Curb Pollution

A glass recycling plant in northeast Portland has consented to either shut down or install pollution control technology, according to an agreement announced between the plant’s operators and the state of Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

Strickland Amendment to Strengthen Workplace Equity for Women & Mothers Passes House

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus and a Leader in the Pro-Choice Caucus, released the...

Join Portland Parks & Recreation at a Family-Friendly Tree Planting Kickoff Event and Arbor Day Celebration

Arts and crafts, hundreds of tree plantings in SE Portland’s Lents Park and neighborhood ...

Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General to Speak About Cyber Trends and National Security

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds will deliver a virtual presentation sponsored by Oregon State University at 4 p.m. Oct....

Power Outages Continue in Northwest Following Wind Storm

Utilities in the Portland area listed about 3,000 customers without power. ...

Federal Court Strikes Down Attempt to Limit State, Tribal Rights to Protect Water

A U.S. District Court vacated a rule issued by the prior federal administration that sought to limit state and Tribal rights to...

Portland, Oregon, school board shut down amid vaccine debate

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland, Oregon, school board ended an in-person meeting amid controversy over a proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children 12 and older after unmasked protesters showed up and refused to don a face covering. The board that oversees Oregon’s...

'Atmospheric river' drenches drought-stricken California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A powerful atmospheric river storm that swept through California set rainfall records and helped douse wildfires. But it remained to be seen how much of a dent it made in the state's drought. The weather system weakened as it moved south but still dropped...

No. 21 Texas A&M runs over Missouri, 35-14

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher warned his team all week that it couldn’t afford a letdown after its upset of top-ranked Alabama. His message got through, as the 21st-ranked Aggies buried Missouri early in a 35-14 victory Saturday. “We preached it,...

No. 21 Texas A&M heads to Mizzou after 'Bama upset win

No. 21 Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at Missouri (3-3, 0-2), Saturday at noon EDT (SEC Network). Line: Texas A&M by 9 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Series record: Texas A&M leads 8-7. WHAT’S AT STAKE? ...

OPINION

Letter to the Editor: About the UN Climate Change Conference

Global leaders have failed to take the action necessary to avert climate disaster and Oregon leadership is scant better. ...

How Food Became the Perfect Beachhead for Gentrification

What could be the downside of fresh veggies, homemade empanadas and a pop-up restaurant specializing in banh mis? ...

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Attorney: Deputy who ran over Black man now works at prison

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff’s deputy caught on dashcam video running over a Black man who was fleeing shirtless across a field is now working at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility while under criminal investigation, according to the attorney for the injured man. ...

Voting rights advocates sue Texas again over GOP-drawn maps

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Voting rights advocates are suing Texas again, this time with support from a former U.S. attorney general, over the state's newly redrawn congressional district maps that favor the GOP, claiming the maps dilute the vote of communities of color after growth in America's...

Roller derby team sues Cleveland Guardians to stop name use

CLEVELAND (AP) — A roller derby team that has called itself the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the city's Major League Baseball team in federal court in Cleveland on Wednesday alleging that the switch from Indians to Guardians infringes on its trademark. “A Major League...

ENTERTAINMENT

Stars stunned by 'mismanaged set' in fatal prop-gun shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As questions linger about safety protocols on the movie set where Alec Baldwin killed a cinematographer with a prop gun he’d been told was safe, Hollywood professionals say they’re baffled by the circumstances and production crews have quickly stepped up safety measures. ...

'Dune' to get sequel, with theater-only release set for 2023

“Dune” isn't done. Legendary Entertainment announced Tuesday that Denis Villeneuve's “Dune," which adapts the first half of Frank Herbert's 1965 science-fiction epic, will get a sequel. Whether that would be the case had been an unanswered question throughout the film's...

Potential legal woes mount after 'Rust' shooting tragedy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alec Baldwin the actor, who pulled the trigger on a prop gun while filming “Rust” in New Mexico and unwittingly killed a cinematographer and injured a director, likely won’t be held criminally or civilly liable for the tragedy. But Alec Baldwin the...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NATO's Afghan mission hit by 'mission creep,' official says

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO’s security operation in Afghanistan became a victim of “mission creep" as the military...

In Somalia, a rare female artist promotes images of peace

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Among the once-taboo professions emerging from Somalia’s decades of conflict and...

Beijing confirms strict 'closed loop' for Winter Olympics

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese organizers have confirmed participants in next year’s Winter Olympics will be strictly...

UN envoy says 'civil war' has spread throughout Myanmar

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The outgoing U.N. envoy for Myanmar says “civil war” has spread throughout the country...

Election likely in Portugal after govt defeat in budget vote

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s parliament on Wednesday rejected the minority Socialist government’s...

Gulf Arab states, squeezed by climate change, still tout oil

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The global energy transition is perhaps nowhere more perplexing than in the Arabian...

By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's former ruler and his wife were convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges on Monday after $27 million (euro18.97 million) in jewels and public funds were found in one of his palaces.

Five months after being forced from power, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi were sentenced to 35 years each in prison and fined tens of millions of dollars in the first of what is sure to be a long string of trials.

However, the trial in some ways failed to live up to its billing. With the 74-year-old Ben Ali not present for his judgment, there was a sense of frustration among many. The couple went into exile on Jan. 14 in Saudi Arabia, which failed to respond to an extradition request.

Monday's convictions followed a day-long hearing before the Tunis criminal court.

The ex-president was fined 50 million dinars (about $36 million) and his wife 41 million dinars for embezzlement of public funds and misappropriation.

The trove of jewels, some which the court said had "historic value," and the money were found in a palace in the picturesque town of Sidi Bou Said, outside Tunis, following Ben Ali's departure.

The verdict in a second affair stemming from the discovery of weapons and drugs in the official presidential palace in Carthage, this one targeting only Ben Ali, was postponed. Public defenders assigned to Ben Ali said Monday that they needed time to study the file. The trial was to resume June 30.

Ben Ali vigorously denied the charges in a statement through his French lawyer, calling the proceedings a "shameful masquerade of the justice of the victorious."

"I devoted my life to my country and aspire, at the twilight of my existence, to conserve my honor," Ben Ali said in the statement, referring to his years as interior minister and his 23 years as president.

Ben Ali, and in particular his widely detested wife's Trabelsi clan, are widely accused of treating Tunisia as their personal property to amass money, privilege and power.

An official for the Ministry of State Domains, Mohamed Adel Ben Ismail, has evaluated the fortune amassed by Ben Ali and the Trabelsi clan at a quarter of the value of the Tunisian economy.

The much despised Trabelsi family, alleged to have operated as a mafia, had vast control over the economy of this North African country with stakes in everything from tourist hotels to banks or car dealerships and radio and television.

However, the total value of assets in Tunisia and abroad of Ben Ali and his wife are not known. The Swiss were among the first nations to seize the families' assets and prosecutors said in January they had launched a money laundering investigation into the family's accounts.

Blocked accounts for Ben Ali and some 40 members of his entourage contained tens of millions of Swiss francs, according to the Swiss prosecutors office said.

French judicial authorities are also working to identify any assets, and eventual misdeeds, in France.

According to the act of accusation read at the trial, Ben Ali's monthly stipend skyrocketed during his time in power, which began in 1987 after a bloodless palace coup. Receiving 2,000 dinars per month in 1987, he was taking in nearly 4.7 million dinars by 1998 "with no (fiscal) controls."

The court also accused him of ordering up special privileges "in violation of rules" for the Trabelsi clan and the Ben Ali family.

Ben Ali "vigorously denies" accusations against him, according to a statement issued a day before the trial by his French lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, who was not allowed by Tunisian law to assist in the proceedings.

More serious charges, including plotting against the security of the state and murder, will be dealt with at future trials. Judicial authorities say that Ben Ali and his entourage are implicated in 93 civil affaires and 182 others that fall under military jurisdiction.

He is expected to have to answer for the deaths of 300 people during the uprisings. Numerous cases are likely to be joined together.

Monday's trial was a veritable media show and included, for the first time, TV cameras in the packed courtroom.

One public defender of the ex-president justified his defense of Ben Ali before the court. Abdessatter Massoudi said he accepted the job of defending Ben Ali - refused by at least one other public defender - "to honor the profession and ensure the basis for a balanced trial."

Backed by his powerful party that controlled all sectors, Ben Ali governed with an iron fist, suppressing dissent and quashing all freedom of expression. Ben Ali's regime unraveled with a monthlong uprising around the country triggered by the fatal self-immolation of an unemployed man in the rural heartland. That sparked protests that moved through the countryside to Tunis, the capital, and failed to die down despite concessions from the president. In a surprise move a day after a third televised speech aimed at appeasing the restive population he left for exile.

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