06-21-2018  5:20 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

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 ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Beaverton basketball coach has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for sexually abusing a teenage girl he met through work.KOIN-TV reported Wednesday 34-year-old Laurence Metz was convicted of two counts of sex abuse.Metz was a coach...

Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

Mail-order weed? You betcha!With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

NEW YORK (AP) — The breakout star of the summer moviegoing season isn't a dinosaur, an Avenger or anyone aboard the Millennium Falcon. It's a giggling pipsqueak in diapers."The Incredibles 2," which last weekend set a new box-office record for animated films with 2.7 million in ticket...

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Israeli PM's wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli prosecutors have charged Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister's wife, with a series...

Military vows to recover bodies from sunken Indonesia ferry

TIGARAS, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military chief said Thursday that specialist navy equipment will be...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Cuban rally
Bradley Klapper, Andrea Rodriguez of the Associated Press

Protestors hold Cuban and American flags during a protest against President Barack Obama's plan to normalize relations with Cuba, Saturday, Dec, 20, 2014, in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The last three members of the "Cuban Five" spy ring were freed this week in a sweeping deal that included the release of American contractor Alan Gross and a Cuban who had spied for the U.S. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Cuba has completed the release of 53 political prisoners that was part of last month's historic deal between the United States and Cuba, the Obama administration said Monday. The move would clear a major hurdle for the normalization of ties between the two countries after more than five decades of estrangement.

Cuba's leading human rights group said it had not been informed of any prisoner release since Thursday, when the total count stood at 41. The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation has been keeping close track of the liberation of prisoners since they began last week, reporting releases within hours after hearing from family members or prisoners themselves.

The releases have been shrouded in confusion due to both a U.S. and Cuban reluctance to release the names of those on the list.

The prisoners had been on a list of opposition figures whose release was sought as part of the U.S. agreement last month with the Cuban government. They had been cited by various human rights organizations as being imprisoned by the Cuban government for exercising internationally protected freedoms or for their promotion of political and social reforms in Cuba.

Speaking in Louisville, Kentucky, President Barack Obama's U.N. ambassador said the prisoners were released in recent days. "Welcome as that step is, and heartening as it is for their families, (it) does not resolve the larger human rights problems on the island," Samantha Power said, according to prepared remarks.

Earlier, an official traveling with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Islamabad said the U.S. verified the release.

Power was speaking Monday at an event hosted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. She outlined issues which the administration and the Republican-led Congress could work together on and issues they remained further apart on.

Both sides want to advance freedom in Cuba, she said, but they disagree on strategy.

"Some of the embargo's staunchest defenders are Democrats and Republicans with deep ties to the island — people whose families came to America fleeing the Castros' repression," Power explained. "These are men and women who are completely dedicated to doing all they can to ensure that Cubans on the island get to enjoy true freedom. So it is important to acknowledge that while there may be disagreements on the best way to get there, we share a common goal of advancing the rights of the Cuban people."

Power said changes already are occurring in Cuba. When Cuban artist Tania Bruguera and other activists were detained after announcing an anti-government event in Havana's historic Revolution Square, she said, nearly 300 Cuban artists signed a letter supporting her freedom.

"In spite of genuine fear, Cubans were speaking out," Power said. "And the Castro government was forced to explain why it would rather arrest a woman than let her speak freely in a public square.

Last month, Cuba and the U.S. agreed to work to restore normal diplomatic relations as part of a deal in which Cuba freed an imprisoned U.S. aid worker along with an imprisoned spy working for the U.S. and the imprisoned dissidents. The U.S. released several Cuba intelligence agents.

"Certainly, for those 53 prisoners, it's a great deal. We don't know who they are," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in an appearance Monday on "CBS This Morning."

Rubio said he supports improving ties with Cuba but said he's worried that the Cubans are getting virtually everything they want from the United States for "these minimal changes."

He said he wants to be certain that improved relations between Washington and Havana provides equal benefits to the U.S.

"My interest in Cuba is freedom and democracy," he said. Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who's considering a run for the presidency, said there is "no current example" around the world where a "government of resistant tyranny" has moved to greater freedom and democracy as a result of changes in international relations that are based on economic incentives.

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AP's Bradley Klapper reported from Washington.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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