06-19-2018  5:18 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

Germany: Syrian teen on trial over anti-Semitic assault

BERLIN (AP) — A 19-year-old from Syria is on trial in Berlin over an assault in the German capital on an Israeli wearing a skullcap.The young man is charged with bodily harm and slander. The April 17 attack caused nationwide outrage and fueled concerns over anti-Semitism in Germany.German...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...

ENTERTAINMENT

In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo share baby photo

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine spent his first Father's Day as a dad of two.Supermodel Behati Prinsloo shared a photo on Instagram of the 39-year-old holding their second daughter, Gio Grace, who was born in February. Their first daughter, Dusty Rose, is nearly 2 years...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

A big stink erupts over landfills ringing Russia's capital

KOLOMNA, Russia (AP) — Walking to a store in March, Olga Yevseyeva was hit by the familiar, noxious stench...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

North Korea's Kim meets with Chinese President Xi in Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday at the...

Twin brothers reunited 74 years after WWII death at Normandy

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — For decades, he was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II...

France's Macron admonishes teenager; video goes viral

PARIS (AP) — A video of French President Emmanuel Macron strongly admonishing a teenager who called him by...

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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