05-21-2018  7:42 pm      •     
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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 ...

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

The Latest: Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on the case of LGBTQ discrimination at an Oregon high school.6:30 p.m.:The principal of an Oregon high school will resign and its school district will commit to improving the climate for LGBTQ students as part of a settlement reached between the American Civil...

Paul Allen donates jumiM to Washington gun initiative

SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated jumi million to a campaign seeking to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 in Washington state.Allen made the announcement on Twitter Monday.The Alliance for Gun Responsibility says...

Man accused of trying to kill woman with opioid spray

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — An Everett man is accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo hotel, shoving Xanax down her throat and forcing a fentanyl spray up her nose in what police say was attempted murder.The Daily Herald reports the woman survived and was able to escape and alert...

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

Settlement reached in LGBT school harassment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An openly gay couple was walking in their Oregon high school parking lot when the principal's son drove up, veered away at the last second and shouted an anti-gay slur at the two girls. In class, a teacher equated same-sex marriage with bestiality.The girls complained to...

Correction: 2018 Midterms-Endorsements story

ATLANTA (AP) — In a story May 20 about potential Democratic presidential candidates and their campaign activity in 2018, The Associated Press reported erroneously that former Vice President Joe Biden was planning to campaign in North Carolina on behalf of a congressional candidate Dan...

Border agent questions 2 women for speaking Spanish

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing an encounter between a Border Patrol agent and two women who were speaking Spanish at a gas station in northern Montana, the agency said Monday.Allegations have been made before of law-enforcement officers in...

ENTERTAINMENT

Netflix says it has signed Barack and Michelle Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Barack and Michelle Obama are getting into the television business with Monday's announcement that they had signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.The former president and first lady have formed their own production company, Higher Ground Productions, for the material. In...

Artist Robert Indiana, known for 'LOVE' series, dies at 89

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he...

Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Miss Nebraska has been named Miss USA.Sarah Rose Summers beat out 50 other women from all the states and the District of Columbia.At the start of the two-hour broadcast, the field was immediately narrowed down to 15 contestants according to how they performed during...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is pouring into the sea and setting off a chemical...

Syrian government declares capital fully under its control

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State...

Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that businesses can prohibit their workers from...

Congo Ebola vaccination campaign begins with health workers

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo began an Ebola vaccination campaign Monday in a northwest provincial capital...

Social media under microscope in emotive Irish abortion vote

DUBLIN (AP) — In homes and pubs, on leaflets and lampposts, debate is raging in Ireland over whether to...

Aide: Palestinian leader making swift recovery in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is alert and making a swift recovery after being...

Elise Labott, Michael Pearson and Joe Sterling CNN

iran un general assembly(CNN) -- It's been more than 30 years since high-level officials from the United States and Iran sat down together to talk face-to-face.

If everything holds, that drought ends on Thursday.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are set to meet in New York as part of a meeting between the Middle Eastern country and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. They will explore restarting talks on Iran's nuclear program.

Such a high-level meeting involving the United States and Iran hasn't happened since Iran's 1979 revolution, which sent relations between the two into a deep freeze.

But the election of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, widely seen as more moderate than his predecessor, seems to have opened the possibility of a thaw in relations.

Rouhani made comments this week that have led many leaders to conclude there is a chance to strike a nuclear accord between Iran and the other nations.

He called on Thursday for an end to nuclear weapons, saying such disarmament "remains our highest priority."

"As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use, threat of use and proliferation persist," said Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. "The only absolute guarantee is their total elimination."

The recent developments prompted President Barack Obama to dispatch Kerry to seek a deal with Tehran.

The United States and other world powers have long said they believe Iran wants nuclear weapons. Iran has said it only wants to harness nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Obama said on Tuesday that curbing Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, along with solving and the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, would be his highest foreign policy priority for the remainder of his term.

"While these issues are not the cause of all the region's problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace," he said during his address on the opening day of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Obama sounded cautious about any possible breakthrough, saying "the roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested."

Senior administration officials said Obama made the decision to appoint Kerry his point man on Iran to demonstrate a an increased emphasis and importance the president is putting on improved relations with Tehran.

Until now, negotiations have been held lower levels. But raising the dialogue through Kerry was intended to reiterate his openness to move forward with a bilateral approach on Iran.

Upon taking office, Rouhani appointed Foreign Minister Zarif, a western-educated former ambassador to the United Nations, as his lead nuclear negotiator. The move was similarly seen as a gesture at improving relations with the West.

In his speech to the General Assembly, Rouhani said Iran was prepared for immediate nuclear talks that are "time-bound and result-oriented ... to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties."

The Iranian leader also said he listened carefully to Obama's speech and hoped the United States "will refrain from following the short-sighted interests of warmongering pressure groups" so that the two nations "can arrive at a framework to manage our differences."

In February, the bloc of countries leading the diplomatic effort offered Iran a package of economic incentives to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

In exchange for easing of sanctions barring trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, the group wants Iran to shut its underground enrichment facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom and ship out its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20% purity.

The group also proposed fuel for a medical reactor and easing sanctions on aviation spare parts in exchange for Iran suspending its uranium enrichment and shipping its stockpiles out of the country.

Iran has never formally responded to the deal and it remains to be seen whether the group would be willing to sweeten the offer in the new climate.

Rouhani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he has the full backing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

"The supreme leader, I can tell you, has given permission for my government to freely negotiate on these issues," he said in the interview. Obama administration officials have said they believe the Iranians are ready to negoitate because of the toll international sanctions have taken on the economy.

In his remarks Thursday, Rouhani said Iran would be willing to live under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards against nuclear weapons, but scolded Israel for not signing on to international nuclear non-profileration agreements.

"Israel, the only non-party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in this region, should join thereto without any further delay. Accordingly, all nuclear activities in the region should be subject to the IAEA comprehensive safeguards," he said.

"The international community has to redouble its efforts in support of the establishment of this zone. This would constitute a contribution to the objective of nuclear disarmament."

Israel has never acknowledged having nuclear weapons but is widely believed to possess them.

Israeli officials fear Iranian nuclear weapons pose a direct threat to their security, especially after years of bellicose rhetoric from the previous Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

While Rouhani's tone has been different -- he recently wished Jews a happy Rosh Hashanah through his official Twitter account and on Wednesday acknowledged the reality of the Holocaust in Western media interviews -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week that he's not yet sold on Iran's seemingly more moderate tone.

 

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