Republican candidate gains momentum in Oregon governor's race
Oregon may be on the verge of electing its first Republican governor in a generation next month. It would be a heavy blow for Democrats, an indictment of the party’s brand in what has been one of the most progressive states in the country.news.yahoo.com
Contaminated Columbia River island added to Superfund list
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday added Bradford Island and surrounding waters of the Columbia River to its Superfund list of toxic waste sites, beginning the process for the eventual cleanup of the area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates nearby Bonneville Dam, for years dumped toxic waste on the island, located 40 miles (63 kilometers) east of Portland, Oregon, and into a portion of the river. The uninhabited Bradford Island is part of the federal Bonneville Dam complex on the Columbia River, which divides Washington and Oregon.news.yahoo.com
Bezos' comments on workers after spaceflight draws rebuke
“I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this,” the 57-year-old Bezos said during a news conference Tuesday after becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride in his own spacecraft. Bezos built Amazon into a shopping and entertainment behemoth but has faced increasing activism within his own workforce and stepped up pressure from critics to improve working conditions. Labor groups and Amazon workers have claimed that the company offers its hourly employees not enough break times, puts too much reliance on rigid productivity metrics and has unsafe working conditions.news.yahoo.com
Democratic lawmakers urge Biden to loosen White House's pot use policies
Hundreds of advocates for marijuana legalization rally and smoke pot outside the White House in Washington, D.C. The letter cited a Daily Beast report last week, which said "dozens" of young White House staffers had been sidelined or asked to resign. That report came weeks after administration officials said the White House would not automatically disqualify staffers for past marijuana use. "The Biden White House has been more permissive than past administrations on past marijuana use," the official said. The Biden White House approved an exemption from the requirement that staffers in that office be "Top Secret-eligible," the official said.cnbc.com
House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package
House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package Overnight, the House of Representatives passed President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The bill passed predominantly along party lines, with two Democrats voting against the plan. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who represents Oregon's 3rd congressional district, spoke with Lana Zak about the impact the COVID-19 relief package will have on the country, and how it will help revitalize the nation's struggling restaurant industry.cbsnews.com
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez seek 'climate emergency' declaration
A week after President Joe Biden signed executive orders intended to combat the worst effects of global warming, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers urged him to go even further and declare a national emergency on climate change. “If there ever was an emergency, climate is one,'' the New York Democrat told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow last week, adding that an emergency declaration would give Biden “more flexibility.'' The sweeping plan is aimed at staving off the worst of global warming caused by burning fossil fuels. Sanders said the climate emergency has long been clear. But Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy panel, said declaring a climate emergency would effectively “muzzle Congress.''
House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana, set up steps to wipe out convictions
On Thursday, he quipped that the House is "spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana" instead of coronavirus relief. It marks the first time the House has voted to remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The House passed a bill Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and set up a process to expunge past convictions. The legislation would require federal courts to expunge marijuana arrests and convictions and resentence Americans after a judicial review process, according to Blumenauer's office. As marijuana would no longer be considered a federal controlled substance, possession of it would not be a cause for deportation.cnbc.com
'Chopped' judge Marcus Samuelsson: Failure to pass restaurant aid would cost millions of jobs
Samuelsson, co-founder of Red Rooster in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, specifically referenced the so-called RESTAURANTS Act from Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. The legislation would provide $120 billion targeted toward independent restaurants in the U.S., offering grants to put toward payroll and other operating costs. The $120 billion relief bill passed the House last Thursday as part of the larger $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation. However, a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program is believed to be a key pillar of any future coronavirus relief legislation. "It's not so much about getting this bill passed in terms of, 'we want another loan.'cnbc.com
House approves second bill aimed at forced labor in China
FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2018, file photo, people line up at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center at the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in western China's Xinjiang region. The Associated Press has found that the Chinese government is carrying out a birth control program aimed at Uighurs, Kazakhs and other largely Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Chinas repression in Tibet, the status of the exiled Dali Lama, and its treatment of ethnic minorities spurred violent protests ahead of Beijings 2008 Olympics. China is host to the 2022 Winter Olympics with rumblings of a boycott and calls to remove the games from Beijing because of widespread human rights violations. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
House approves second bill aimed at forced labor in China
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)WASHINGTON – For the second time in two weeks, the House on Wednesday approved a bill aimed at cracking down on U.S. imports of goods made with the forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China. Its passage follows approval last week of a bill aimed at barring U.S. imports of goods produced in the vast Xinjiang region of northwestern China on the presumption that they were likely made with forced labor. “If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interest, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech last week. While the U.S. has long banned imports made with forced labor, traditional human rights monitoring efforts are thwarted in tightly controlled regions such as in northwestern China, Wexton and other lawmakers said. It calls the camps vocational training centers and denies allegations by U.S. officials and human rights groups that the camps amount to modern slavery.
Congress seeks to block goods from China over forced labor
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill aimed at keeping goods out of the U.S. that are made with the forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China passed overwhelmingly Tuesday in the House of Representatives despite concerns about the potential effects on global commerce. The House voted 406-3 to declare that any goods produced in the vast Xinjiang region of northwestern China are presumptively made with the forced labor of detained Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, and therefore banned from being imported to the U.S. Imports made with forced labor have been banned since 1930 to ensure fair trade. The bill passed Tuesday would go further, shifting the burden to any company that operates in Xinjiang or buys goods from there to prove their goods are not tainted. Republicans and Democrats have been vocal in their condemnation of China over the treatment of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.
Tear gas at Portland protests raises concern about pollution
FILE - In this July 25, 2020, file photo, a protester carries an umbrella as federal police officers deploy tear gas during a protest at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. There is no American city, that I am aware of, that has endured the level of tear gas, agency spokeswoman Diane Dulken said. The protests over racist policing often ended with a fog of tear gas as federal agents tried to disperse the crowd. I really think that the federal government and also local health departments have really neglected their duty to reinvestigate the safety of tear gas," Jordt said. Dulken said Portland has worked to be proactive about stopping pollutants from reaching the river, including any tear gas residue.
Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas
FILE - In this July 26, 2020, file photo, federal officers launch tear gas at demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Ore. The Associated Press found that there is no government oversight of the manufacture and use of tear gas. Instead, the industry is left to regulate itself. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas
The Associated Press found that there is no government oversight of the manufacture and use of tear gas. Eells has taught tear gas use with a Colorado police department and with Defense Technology, a tear gas manufacturer. They tried to run through the clouds of tear gas, which is actually a powder that hangs in the air. Thirteen U.S. senators, concerned about federal officers using tear gas, rubber bullets, and other so-called less-lethal weapons, have called on the Government Accountability Office to study the use and safety of tear gas. Were trapped in tear gas.After the incident, the Charlotte City Council banned the purchase of tear gas for a year.
Fires set, fences moved: Police call Portland protest a riot
The fire at the Portland Police Association building was put out a short time later, Portland police said on Twitter. Fencing that had been placed around federal courthouse had also been removed by protesters and made into barricades, police tweeted. Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city," Wheeler said Friday. Federal agents emerged from an office building next door and used impact munitions, stun grenades and tear gas to clear the area, the news organization reported. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell told reporters Friday that his officers are in contact with the federal agents, but that neither controls the others actions.
Cannabis companies pay federal taxes but are shut out of small business loans
Different strains of cannabis are displayed for sale at the Harborside dispensary in Oakland, California, U.S., on Monday, March 23, 2020. April 20 (4/20) is traditionally the biggest sales day of the year for the cannabis industry. However, these businesses cannot access federal aid because they are illegal in the eyes of the federal government. So Blumenauer and three colleagues from both parties are pushing for the next round of Small Business Administration loans to include the cannabis industry. Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of Harborside in California, a chain of four cannabis stores, said sales in the Golden State remain solid, for now.cnbc.com