02-23-2019  9:22 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

The Association of Black Cardiologists Celebrates National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day to Encourage People to 'Listen to Their Heart'

This marks the third year the ABC has partnered with a coalition of organizations to engage in a live Twitter chat ...

Q Center to Host Feb. 24 Town Hall on Reported Violent Attacks

Individuals can receive a free Uber ride to the event ...

NAACP Challenge to Prison Gerrymandering Moves Forward

Federal judge refuses to dismiss suit over discriminatory counting of incarcerated persons ...

Law Librarians in Beaverton and Tigard Libraries

A law librarian will provide assistance on a walk-in basis once a month at the Beaverton City Main Library and Tigard Public Library ...

Students Tour Washington to Support 100% Clean Energy

WashPIRG Students and Environment Washington are pushing a clean energy bill with support from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal ...

Washington state measles outbreak now at 65 confirmed cases

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state health department has identified another new case of measles, bringing the state total to 66.The Clark County Public Health department said Saturday that it confirmed 65 people have now been affected by the highly contagious viral illness.The latest...

Judge dismisses case against homeless man in airport arrest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a case against a homeless man accused of bypassing security at Portland International Airport.The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports 30-year-old Badr Ziti, who was accused of entering the so-called "sterile area" of the airport, was acquitted of...

Missouri appeals NCAA sanctions levied against 3 sports

Missouri filed a notice of appeal with the NCAA's committee on infractions Thursday, beginning what could be a lengthy fight of what it considers overly harsh sanctions levied against three of its programs for academic misconduct involving a former tutor.The NCAA banned the football, baseball and...

Indiana St gives Mallory contract extension through 2023

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana State coach Curt Mallory has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will run through 2023.Athletic department officials made the announcement Tuesday.Last season Mallory led the Sycamores to a 7-4 mark, a No. 22 ranking and a third-place finish in the...

OPINION

Why We Need Net Neutrality

It didn’t have to be this way for net neutrality, and it doesn’t need to stay this way either ...

There’s an Uprising Going on in Sudan

We have heard stories of horror, murder, refugees, and systematic repression — now we hear of revolution ...

NAACP Celebrates 110th Anniversary of Freedom Fighting

After the Springfield race riots of 1908, “People got together around the country, especially throughout Illinois, and said again enough is enough." ...

Decreasing Harm to Communities Impacted by the Criminal Justice System

Many facets of the justice system have taken heavy financial and social tolls on individuals struggling with addiction and mental illness ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

R. Kelly's life mirrors that of prosecutor who charged him

In R. Kelly's fight for his freedom, he faces a straight-talking prosecutor whose life in some ways parallels his own.Though the singer was dogged for decades by allegations he victimized women and girls, his fate only came into question after a documentary brought renewed public derision and...

Trans athletes make great gains, yet resentment still flares

Across the U.S. and in many places abroad, transgender athletes are breaking barriers in high school, college and pro sports and being embraced by teammates and fans. But resentments can still flare when transgender women start winning and dominating their sport.Exhibit A is a recent public...

French yellow vest protesters seek momentum on 15th week

PARIS (AP) — Thousands of yellow vest protesters took to the streets across France on Saturday for a 15th straight weekend of demonstrations, trying to re-energize supporters while tamping down on the violence and anti-Semitism in the movement's ranks.Among the many rallies around Paris and...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Empire' producers cut Smollett from season's last episodes

CHICAGO (AP) — Actor Jussie Smollett's character on "Empire" will be removed from the final two episodes of this season in the wake of his arrest on charges that he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself last month in downtown Chicago, producers of the Fox TV show announced Friday.The...

A bumpy road to the Oscars could end in triumph for Netflix

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The most tumultuous Oscar season in memory might pale in comparison to the aftermath.The best picture race to Sunday's 91st Academy Awards remains unpredictable, but odds makers peg Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma" as the film most likely to triumph at the end of the night. That...

Indictments against R. Kelly list 4 victims

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors on Friday charged R&B star R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four female victims, including three who were younger than 17. Below are details of the allegations in the grand jury indictments and outlined by the Cook County...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Ole Miss players kneel in response to Confederacy rally

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Eight University of Mississippi basketball players kneeled during the national anthem...

'Beale Street' tops Spirit Awards, Close wins best actress

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Two years after his "Moonlight" triumphed on the eve of the Oscars, Barry...

AP PHOTOS: A night at Hanoi lake before Kim-Trump summit

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — As Vietnam's capital gears up for the second summit between President Donald Trump...

The Latest: Pompeo urges Venezuelan troops to let aid in

CUCUTA, Colombia (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):11:05 p.m.U.S....

Counting starts in Nigeria's delayed poll marked by violence

DAURA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria began counting votes in a presidential election on Saturday marked by an...

In Milan, Ferragamo, Cavalli focus on color, inclusiveness

MILAN (AP) — Color was the watch word on the fourth day Saturday of the mostly womenswear collections...

McMenamins
By 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.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events