06-19-2018  1:36 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...

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...

Police seize 2,500 marijuana plants from 6 Tacoma homes

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been arrested after police searched six Tacoma houses connected to an illegal marijuana growing operation.The News Tribune reports authorities seized at least 2,500 marijuana plants from the properties that police searched Monday...

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...

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...

School honoring Confederate general to be renamed for Obama

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States' first black president.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama...

ENTERTAINMENT

List of winners from the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, presented Saturday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California:Movie of the year: "Black Panther"Actor in a Movie: Chadwick Boseman, "Black Panther"Show of the Year: "Stranger Things"Actor in a Show: Millie Bobby Brown,...

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...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On a big night for 'Panther,' Boseman honors real-life hero

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The MTV Movie & TV Awards gave "Black Panther" its first taste of awards...

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...

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...

Engine catches fire on plane with Saudi WCup team, none hurt

MOSCOW (AP) — Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabian soccer team to a World...

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of...

In Mexico, longtime foes 'AMLO' and elite getting pragmatic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On the campaign trail, presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has railed...

Children, one wearing adult sized shoes, walk next to large puddles at the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Sunday, March 13, 2016. Bad weather returned after a brief pause and conditions in the refugee camp on the Greek-Macedonian where about 14,000 people are stranded have further deteriorated, many of its residents struggling struggling to cope with the many challenges posed by the heavy rain. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
PHILIP ISSA, Associated Press

 BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian conflict has had outsized impact on global politics. Five ways the world has changed:

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RISE OF ISLAMIC STATE

It was in the vacuum of the deteriorating Syria conflict that a little-known and terrifically violent branch of al-Qaeda grew into the foremost terror group on the planet.

In 2014, the Islamic State group completed its takeover of the eastern Syria city of Raqqa and went on to conquer Iraq's Mosul. It eventually took over an area straddling the countries' border the size of Britain — absorbing weapons, wealth, and personnel along the way. The expansion went largely unchecked by the Syrian government, busy fighting opponents in its more populated regions closer to the Mediterranean coast.

IS has sparked deep anxieties in the region and around the world by slaughtering minorities, institutionalizing sex slavery, vanquishing state armies, and executing opponents in gruesome spectacles of violence. It destroyed heritage sites, such as temples in the ancient city of Palmyra, and fueled the global antiquities trade.

The group has waged terror attacks from France to Yemen and has established a beachhead in northern Libya that could outlast its so-called "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps most confounding, thousands of young men and women from Europe — not all of Muslim origin — have flocked to join it.

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RESURGENT RUSSIA

"There is one man on this planet who can end the civil war in Syria by making a phone call, and that's Mr. Putin," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said recently.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has established a renewed Middle East foothold after watching for years as the United States called shots in the region. Last September, after showering arms, advisers, and economic assistance on President Bashar Assad to insufficient effect, Putin sent his air force to pound the Syrian government's opponents. The recent ebb in violence is largely because Russia dictated it. Russia's designs for Syria are still veiled, but whoever leads Syria next will largely owe their chair to Putin.

Before Syria, there was Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, precursors to the current intervention, where Putin was unafraid to show the lengths he would go to protect perceived Russian interests. Now, Russia is positioned as a major broker in the region with significant oil and gas wealth. Expect political movements of all stripes to ask how Russia can serve their interests.

 

migrant feetPHOTO: Syrian girl Diana, 10 years-old, whose family fled a suburb of Damascus, stands barefooted due to lack of shoes, one of the major problems affecting many migrants, on the wet stones covering the railway tracks at the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Sunday, March 13, 2016. Bad weather returned after a brief pause and conditions in the refugee camp on the Greek-Macedonian where about 14,000 people are stranded have further deteriorated, many of its residents struggling struggling to cope with the many challenges posed by the heavy rain .(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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EUROPE DESTABILIZED

When Europe fashioned its open border agreements late last century, it did not anticipate over a million migrants -- mostly refugees from Syria -- in one year alone, as happened in 2015.

Thousands have died trying to cross by sea, posing a moral challenge for the continent. The stream, which continues unabated, has brought on both generosity and xenophobia, ultimately shaking the open-border arrangement to the core.

Europeans are now erecting barriers along the migrants' Balkan route from Greece to Germany, after initially allowing entry to hundreds of thousands. Multitudes fester in squalid conditions in southeastern Europe. Many face legal limbo around the continent, waiting for asylum applications to be processed or residing without permits.

The Islamic State attack on Paris in November, though largely perpetrated by French and Belgian nationals, sparked security recriminations across Europe and boosted nationalist politicians. Echoes could be heard as far away as the United States, where Republican front-runner Donald Trump shocked many by proposing a ban on Muslims entering the country.

Europe is now exploring a deal to send all migrants arriving in Greece back to Turkey, in exchange for admitting pre-selected refugees from Syria. On top of its currency crisis, the mass migration has strained Europe's unity to the limit.

 

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NEIGHBORS SUBVERTED

Europe's migrant crisis is dwarfed by the wave of displacement that has washed into Syria's neighbors. Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan alone host around 4.4 million refugees from Syria; in Lebanon, they make up more than one-fifth of the population.

Syrian refugees have brought capital and labor and produced mixed economic outcomes in their host societies, depending on what figures are consulted.
The Syria conflict has also ensnared militias and state actors across the region, destabilizing fragile neighbors like Lebanon and reawakening ethnic tensions in Turkey, where the Syria conflict has provoked concerns of a civil war with the Kurds.

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IRAN ASCENDANT
The Syria conflict has rebalanced regional axes of power. Predominantly Shiite Iran's sphere of influence now extends from Beirut to Tehran, with dependent governments in Baghdad and Damascus. The commander of the elite Quds Force of the vaunted Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, has visited Russia and is often seen directing deployments in Syria and Iraq. Iran has militias in both countries said to operate outside sovereign command structures.

In Lebanon, Iran is powerfully represented by Hezbollah, the party-militia hybrid that expelled Israel from the south of the country in 2000. It has sent thousands of fighters to prop up Assad in Syria. Israel glumly watches its nemesis training with modern artillery alongside Russian and Iranian contingents, and fortifying its position along the Jewish state's northern border. Hezbollah steadily marginalizes Saudi-backed opponents in Lebanon's government.

Saudi Arabia, the regional Sunni powerhouse, is struggling to maintain support for the mainly Sunni rebels it backs in Syria while also fighting Iran-supported Shiite rebels in Yemen.

 

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