05-20-2018  10:42 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 ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

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

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

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, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

'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...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Company in Cuba plane crash had received safety complaints

HAVANA (AP) — The Mexican charter company whose 39-year-old plane crashed in Havana had been the subject of...

Palestinian publicly sets himself on fire in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A 20-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after publicly setting...

Iran says EU political support not enough, urges investment

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that the country's foreign minister has urged the European...

The Latest: Maduro's challengers criticize 'red points'

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela (all times local):1:01...

Dawn arrives at the now closed Camp X-Ray, which was used as the first detention facility for al-Qaida and Taliban militants who were captured after the Sept. 11 attacks at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. Following a lengthy tug-of-war with Capitol Hill, the Pentagon has given one senator the first-ever, unclassified report detailing the suspected militant backgrounds of more than 100 detainees at or recently released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, a report that will likely fuel debate over shutting it down.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report on Guantanamo detainees tells the stories of former al-Qaida bomb makers and bodyguards as well as low-level militant cooks and medics who have been transferred or cleared for release — despite fears they are at risk of returning to battle.

Many of the detainees have been held without charge for more than 14 years at the military prison President Barack Obama wants to close.

The Pentagon gave the unclassified report to Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who has been pushing the Obama administration for years to be more transparent about who is being transferred out of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She shared it with The Associated Press and posted it online Wednesday. See the report (pdf)

"By clearly detailing some of the disturbing terrorist activities and affiliations of detainees at Guantanamo, the report demonstrates why these terrorists should not be released — they pose a serious risk to our national security," Ayotte said in an email response to questions.

The remaining detainees "will no doubt" return to the fight once released, she said, noting that the Defense Department told her that 93 percent of the detainees still at Guantanamo as of late last year were high risk for re-engagement in terrorism.

The report tells the story of detainees like Karim Bostan, who once ran a flower shop and later was accused of running an al-Qaida-affiliated explosives cell believed to have targeted U.S.-led coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan. He's been at Guantanamo for more than 13 years, but has been cleared for transfer to a country willing to accept him.

It also, however, tells the story of Muhammad Said Salim Bin Salman, a Yemeni who traveled to Afghanistan to train at an al-Qaida camp. He says he became a cook and never fought because he suffers from back pain. Deemed a medium intelligence risk, he was cleared for release and transferred to Oman in January following 14 years of detention.

David Remes, a human rights lawyer who represents several detainees, says dangerous men are not being released.

"Holding the men at all was a deep injustice and a lasting stain on the U.S. These men shouldn't have been in Guantanamo in the first place," Remes said. "It's one thing to prosecute detainees for attacks on the U.S. ... It is quite another thing — and contrary to the values the U.S. says it is committed to — to hold men for many years, who are accused of no crime."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reports that 5 percent of Guantanamo prisoners released since Obama took office have re-engaged in militant activities and another 8 percent are suspected of doing so. That compares with 21 percent confirmed and 14 percent suspected during the Bush administration.

Opened in January 2002, the prison once held about 770 detainees. Bush transferred more than 500 and, so far, Obama has transferred 162 detainees to other countries.

The report given to Ayotte covers 107 detainees who were at the prison as of Nov. 25, 2015, the day Obama signed the 2016 defense policy bill, which required the administration to provide more information to Congress about the detainees. The population has been whittled to 76 today.

Republican lawmakers accuse Obama of rushing to downgrade detainees' threat status to clear them for transfer so he can make good on his campaign pledge to close the prison before he leaves office in January. Myles Caggins III, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, declined to predict whether Obama will achieve his goal, but said the U.S. continues to work with countries willing to receive the 34 detainees — nearly half the remaining prison population — who have been cleared for transfer.

The GOP-led Congress has tried to slow or stop detainees from being transferred out and has banned any from being moved to U.S. prisons.

The dispute between the White House and Republicans in Congress got especially heated this spring when Paul Lewis, the Pentagon's special envoy for closing Guantanamo, told a congressional committee that Americans have been killed by detainees released from Guantanamo. Lewis did not say how many or offer any other details.

Amid the debate, Ayotte has been working for months to get the Pentagon to provide Congress more information. The Pentagon had until Jan. 24 to send a report to Congress. Defense officials missed that deadline and, in response, Ayotte on March 16 blocked a nomination vote on the Defense Department's pick for general counsel.

The Pentagon submitted a report to congressional defense committees on April 8, but Ayotte wasn't satisfied, saying that much of the substantive information about the detainees ended up in a classified annex that could not be shared with the public. She only released her hold on the nominee when this separate, unclassified report was delivered to her office on June 13.

While some unclassified information about Guantanamo detainees can be found in hundreds of government documents, news stories, court files and detainee threat assessments leaked by WikiLeaks, the Pentagon has never compiled it in a single, unclassified report for lawmakers, or the public, to peruse.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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