06-22-2018  3:13 pm      •     
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 ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Oregon woman accused of mistreating 3 children

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department says Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and...

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules.Backers say the move offers more flexibility to keep smoke away from people but health advocates counter that it will lead to breathing problems for some residents.The U.S. Environmental...

Teen arrested by Seattle police linked to Shoreline killing

SHORELINE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a teenager arrested by Seattle police last weekend was responsible for a killing in Shoreline nine hours earlier.The King County Sheriff's Office says the 17-year-old boy was arrested for unlawful gun possession, and that tests determined it to be the...

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

The Latest: Death threat made against Colombia midfielder

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):12:44 a.m.Colombian authorities are investigating a death threat made on social media against Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who was sent off early on in the team's 2-1 defeat to Japan at the World Cup.Police say the...

Trial set in long-delayed post-Katrina racial shooting case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date has been set for a white man accused of shooting at three black men in what federal prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack following Hurricane Katrina.The case of Roland Bourgeois Jr. has dragged on for years. He was indicted five years after the...

Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Albania's national flag was at the center of Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday at the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.Both players put their open hands...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress Betty Buckley wants to 'make America happy again'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's busy. And then there's Betty Buckley busy.The veteran singer and actress began the month with four nights of concerts in New York celebrating the release of her new live album, "Hope."Buckley appeared earlier this week on the season finale of The CW's "Supergirl,"...

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police shooting of boy spurs more protests, appeals

Protesters demonstrated Friday for a third day over the fatal police shooting in Pennsylvania of an unarmed black...

Ex-New England Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' guilty in slaying

BOSTON (AP) — Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was convicted Friday of killing a nightclub owner to keep...

Inmate charged with capital murder in Kansas deputy deaths

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths...

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — It's been two years since the shoppers and traders of London's Romford market voted by a wide...

Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy

ROME (AP) — Barely a week in office, Italy's populist interior minister lost no time in bringing home his...

Rival Koreas agree to August reunions of war-split families

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families...

In this Jan. 5, 2016, file photo, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee appears before the Rules Committee, joined at right by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans hope that as President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services, Price will preside over the dismantlement of President Barack Obama's signature health care law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
STEVE PEOPLES and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reaching deep into conservative territory, President-elect Donald Trump chose Georgia Rep. Tom Price to oversee the nation's health care system on Tuesday, picking a fierce "Obamacare" critic who also has championed efforts to privatize Medicare. Trump selected another veteran Republican, Elaine Chao, to lead the Department of Transportation.

Both have long ties to Washington.

Price, picked to lead the Department of Health and Human Services after more than a decade in Congress, helped craft House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare — a position Trump opposed in the campaign. Chao, who was the first Asian-American woman to serve in a president's Cabinet, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump announced his choice of Price, while the selection of Chao was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the decision but not authorized to speak publicly.

The selections came as Trump spent Tuesday with advisers in his Manhattan skyscraper, racing through meetings with prospective administration hires as high-profile vacancies loom — none bigger than secretary of State. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on the shortlist for the nation's chief diplomat, was to have a private dinner with the incoming president.

Trump also met with former Vice President Dan Quayle, who is not a Cabinet candidate, among a half dozen visitors on the day.

Price's selection raised questions about the incoming president's commitment to Medicare, among other popular entitlement programs he repeatedly vowed to preserve before the election. The Georgia congressman led GOP efforts on Capitol Hill to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system, a change that if enacted, would likely dramatically reduce government spending on the health care program that serves an estimated 57 million people.

Trump did not address Price's position on Medicare in a statement released by his transition team. The team did not respond to subsequent questions about it.

"Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health care policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity," Trump said. "He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible health care to every American."

Trump, in a 2015 interview promoted on his campaign website, pledged not to cut expensive entitlement programs that Republicans have fought for years to cut to help reduce the federal deficit.

"I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican's going to cut," Trump told the Daily Signal.

He later changed his mind on Medicaid, embracing the GOP concept of turning the program over to the states with a fixed amount of federal "block grant" funding.

Like any Cabinet official, Price would carry out the wishes of the president. And a sweeping Medicare initiative would have to go through Congress with some Democratic support, which would be unlikely.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a leading Democratic voice on health care, called Price a leader of the movement to privatize Medicare. She said his selection "will result in the complete undermining of our nation's health care system."

Like Price, Chao is well-known in Washington, having led the Department of Labor for several years under President George W. Bush.

Her record at the Labor Department suggests she would bring a light hand to safety enforcement as transportation secretary. Under Chao at Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration didn't issue a single significant new safety regulation for four years. Mine safety inspectors were cut and inspections reduced.

Whether it's integrating drones into the national airspace, deploying self-driving cars or "some other new technology, she's not going to be especially inclined to second guess the industry when they say that this will be safe," said Thomas McGarity, a University of Texas law professor and author of "Freedom to Harm," a book about the Labor Department that includes Chao's tenure.

Both Price and Chao would require Senate confirmation. Major Cabinet vacancies remain.

The president-elect summoned Romney for dinner Tuesday night to discuss the secretary of state job for a second time. He also met with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, having met with former CIA director David Petraeus the day before.

After his meeting, Corker told reporters, "The world needs to know that the secretary of state is someone who speaks fully for the president," a possible jab at Romney, who aggressively opposed Trump's candidacy.

Transition aides said Trump was likely at least a few days away from a decision.

Even as he weighed crucial Cabinet decisions, Trump appeared distracted by outside issues — or eager to create distractions himself. He tweeted that "nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag." He warned that those who do should face "perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"

Trump offered no context for his message. The Supreme Court has ruled that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment, and Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he doesn't support Trump's approach.

"I support the First Amendment," he said.

The president-elect spent the weekend tweeting his opposition to recount efforts in up to three states led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and joined by Hillary Clinton's team. He also falsely claimed that millions of people had voted illegally in the presidential election and provided no evidence.

Trump's team also announced that Seema Verma has been chosen to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

___

AP writers Catherine Lucey and Jonathan Lemire in New York and Julie Pace, Joan Lowry and Erica Werner in Washington contributed to this report.

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