05-22-2018  4:58 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

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 ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Springfield settles lawsuit with fired dispatcher for K

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay ,000 to settle a 2014 lawsuit by a dispatcher who said she was wrongly fired after accusing officers of inappropriate conduct.The Register-Guard reported Sunday that a joint statement from the city and the former dispatcher,...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Seattle, family reach M settlement for deadly crash

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a couple killed in 2013 by a drunk driver has settled with the city of Seattle for million.KOMO-TV reported Monday that the family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled with the city last month.Prosecutors say Mark Mullan was drunk when his pickup hit the...

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

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese judge sentenced a Tibetan shopkeeper to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting separatism, based on his comments in a New York Times documentary in which the man talked about the erosion of his culture and language in the tightly secured region.Tashi Wangchuk's...

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony buys most of EMI Music, to spend B on image sensors

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to spend [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion acquiring an additional 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog and contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.Sony already owns...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

Despite Spotify change, R. Kelly's streams still intact

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer's music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly's streaming...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Experts disclose new details about 300-year-old shipwreck

BOSTON (AP) — A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of...

Palestinians ask ICC for 'immediate' probe against Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on...

Economists see potential nightmare in new Italian government

MILAN (AP) — The prospect of a populist government in Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, has...

The Latest: Explosion kills 16 in Afghan city of Kandahar

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):4 p.m.An Afghan...

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on...

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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