05-21-2018  5:40 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 high school seniors die in crash weeks before graduation

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — School officials say three senior girls were killed in a car crash on Interstate 5 in western Oregon, just weeks before graduation.Eagle Point High School said on its Facebook page that Luciana Tellez, Giselle Montano and Esmeralda Nava died Saturday night after their...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

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

Native American lacrosse teams leagueless in South Dakota

Travis Brave Heart was planning to spend his senior season this spring and summer tuning up to play college lacrosse in the fall. Instead, the 17-year-old standout from Aberdeen, South Dakota, is faced with the prospect of not playing at all.His Lightning Stick Society team was one of three Native...

2018 midterms show start of Democratic scramble for 2020

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie...

Black women look to flex power in Georgia governor's race

ATLANTA (AP) — This week's primary election in Georgia presents black women voters with a rare opportunity: To give a Democrat who looks like them a chance at occupying the governor's mansion in a Republican-controlled state.A Democratic primary win Tuesday for Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.Fox's "Deadpool 2" brought in 5 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney's "Avengers:...

Winners in the top categories at Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A list of winners in the top categories at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, held Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.— Top Hot 100 song: "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber— Top Billboard 200 album: "DAMN." by...

The Latest: Janet Jackson honored at Billboard Awards

The Latest on the Billboard Music Awards (all times local):7:18 p.m.The youngest of the legendary Jackson musical family, Janet Jackson gave her first televised performance in nine years at the Billboard Music Awards.She was honored as the first black woman to receive the Billboard Icon Award on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in...

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the...

In North Korea nuke site closure, spectacle trumps substance

TOKYO (AP) — Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this...

Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian president's condition has seen a "clear improvement" after he was taken to...

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

BANGKOK (AP) — Four years after seizing power, Thailand's junta has a singular success it never hoped for:...

Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural northwestern town where the...

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Darlene Superville, Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama urged Ethiopia's leaders Monday to curb crackdowns on press freedom and political openness as he began a visit that human rights groups say legitimizes an oppressive government.

"When all voices are being heard, when people know they are being included in the political process, that makes a country more successful," Obama said during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Obama's trip marks the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Ethiopia, a fast-growing economy once defined by poverty and famine.

Later Monday, Obama was to convene a meeting with African leaders on the crisis in South Sudan. The world's newest nation has been gripped by violence as warring factions in the government fight for power.

"The conditions on the ground are getting much, much worse," Obama said. He said if a peace agreement isn't reached by an Aug. 17 deadline, the U.S. and its partners would have to "consider what other tools we have."

Options under consideration include deepening economic sanctions and an arms embargo.

Obama arrived in Ethiopia late Sunday following a stop in Kenya, the country of his father's birth. The crisis in South Sudan and the human rights challenges on his agenda punctured a trip that had otherwise been a celebratory visit of the first black U.S. president to Africa.

Despite Ethiopia's progress, there are deep concerns about political freedoms on the heels of May elections in which the ruling party won every seat in parliament.

Obama said he was frank in his discussions with Ethiopian leaders about the need to allow political opponents to operate freely. He also defended his decision to travel to the East African nation, comparing it to U.S. engagement with China, another nation with a poor human rights record.

"Nobody questions our need to engage with large countries where we may have differences on these issues," he said. "That's true with Africa as well."

Ethiopia's prime minister defended his country's commitment to democracy.

"Our commitment to democracy is real — not skin deep," he said. Asked about his country's jailing of journalists, he said his country needed "ethical journalism" and reporters that don't work with terrorist organizations.

Ethiopia is the world's second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Ahead of Obama's arrival, the Ethiopian government released several journalists and bloggers it had been holding since April 2014 on charges of incitement and terrorism. Many others remain in detention.

Sarah Margon, the Washington director of the organization Human Rights Watch, said Obama's visit undermines the president's goals of good governance on the African continent.

"In many ways, I guess it's a reward," Margon said. "Ethiopia at this time doesn't deserve that."

Despite differences on human rights, the U.S. sees Ethiopia as an important partner in fighting terrorism in the region, particularly the Somalia-based al-Shabab network. Ethiopia shares intelligence with the U.S. and sent troops into Somalia to address instability there.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab claimed credit for a suicide bomb at a luxury hotel in Somalia's capital Sunday that killed nine people and injured nearly two dozen more. The Jazeera Hotel was considered the most secure in Mogadishu and is frequented by diplomats, foreigners and visiting heads of state.

Obama said the attack was a reminder that "we have more work to do" in stemming terrorism in the region.

Ethiopia has also been an important U.S. partner in the effort to end South Sudan's civil war. The prime minister was among the leaders joining Obama in Monday's meeting on the crisis.

South Sudan was thrown into conflict in December 2013 by a clash between forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, and President Salva Kiir, a Dinka. The fighting has spurred a humanitarian crisis, throwing the country into turmoil four years after its inception.

The U.S. was instrumental in backing South Sudan's bid for independence, which was overwhelmingly supported by the country's people.

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