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Daily Update from MPR News

Oct 19, 2017

Minnesota news for October 19, 2017

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

The bare, plaster walls of Yu Zu'en's new government-issued apartment are adorned with three decorations: an old photo from his years as a soldier, a shelf for his harmonica, and a poster featuring the busts of every Chinese Communist Party secretary since Chairman Mao. He points to the newest one and smiles.

"I wouldn't be here without Xi Jinping," he says. "Under his wise leadership, we're now taken care of. Before, we barely survived. Our village was up in the mountains. Corn didn't grow well, no roads. Then the leaders mobilized us and the entire village moved here."

It's not your ordinary sports doping scandal: Some dogs who mushed this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have tested positive for the opioid pain reliever tramadol, the event's governing board said Wednesday.

An anti-corruption court in Pakistan has indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law, in connection with leaks last year that appeared to show his family owned offshore shell companies they used for the secret purchase of high-value London real estate.

The Associated Press says "a lawyer for Sharif, who is currently in London, where his wife is receiving medical treatment, entered a plea of not guilty. The former prime minister's daughter, Maryam Sharif, and her husband, Mohammad Safdar, attended the hearing and also pleaded not guilty."

Quebec has approved a law that would require citizens of the Canadian province to uncover their faces while giving or receiving any public service — a rule critics say is aimed at Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa.

Updated at 5:15 a.m. ET

Spain was preparing to impose direct rule over semi-autonomous Catalonia after the region's leader Carles Puigdemont declined to categorically renounce an independence referendum, the prime minister's office announced Thursday.

Spain's government said it would hold a special Cabinet meeting and "approve the measures that will be sent to the Senate to protect the general interest of all Spaniards."

Candidates are breaking spending records in a special election that will decide which party controls the Washington Senate.

Republican Jinyoung Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra are vying to fill an open state Senate seat in Washington’s 45th legislative district which stretches from Kirkland to Duvall.

More people than ever—1.2 million in Washington state and more than 570,000 in Oregon—are registered to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake and tsunami drill Thursday morning.


Not coincidentally, a Washington state agency is using this week to highlight how the Evergreen State needs to play catch up with neighboring states on earthquake preparedness.

This weekend the Eastern Oregon Film Festival enters its eighth year of bringing quality indie films to audiences in La Grande.

Justin Martinez was young, in ninth grade, when he first experienced homelessness.

That year, he said he started living in a station wagon with his mom, dad and two brothers.

They parked it behind his high school in Truckee, a small town in northern California. “It was a snowy winter. We were hungry, barely keeping warm,” Martinez said.

“I flipped out in the car. I started slamming my head against the window. I remember that clear as day.”

Austin is officially in the race for perhaps the biggest corporate prize ever.

“This afternoon, we formally submitted the Austin-region bid for Amazon HQ2,” Mike Berman, senior vice president at the Austin Chamber of Commerce, said.

Three Travis County residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a Texas court to tell Central Health it can’t spend taxpayer money on anything other than health care for low-income people.

Central Health is the local hospital-taxing district in Travis County.

If there's one thing President Trump's critics want from him, and he refuses to give up, it's his tax returns.

The returns didn't come up during Wednesday's hearing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. But the hearing was the first step in a process that could loosen Trump's grip on them.

If the next step goes the plaintiffs' way, the case could make the president's tax returns surface.

Voters in the Portland suburb of Sherwood, Oregon, have voted overwhelmingly to remove two city council members from office.

Employment numbers are out for both Washington and Oregon. Since last September, Washington has gained more than 91,000 jobs and Oregon has gained more than 37,000 jobs. 



The largest growth in both states has taken place in the government sector.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic language.

As women around the world tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault using the phrase "#MeToo," one prominent voice added her own harrowing account.

Evening Update from MPR News

Oct 18, 2017

Minnesota news for October 18, 2017


Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

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Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

A Maltese journalist once described as a “one-woman WikiLeaks” was killed in a car bomb this week.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was perhaps the most famous journalist in Malta, known for her fearless reporting on crime and corruption that reached into the upper echelons of the government.

Refugees to be assessed on ability to 'assimilate'

Oct 18, 2017

Immigration experts are trying to get clarification of a new presidential directive on refugees. One issue of concern is language buried deep in the document about the need for refugees to be “assimilated.”

Voters in the Portland suburb of Sherwood have voted overwhelmingly to remove two city council members from office. In unofficial results from the Washington County Elections office, roughly 75 percent of Sherwood voters decided to oust Jennifer Harris and Sally Robinson. Both were in the middle of four-year terms that would have lasted until January 2019.

Usually, when we talk about Japanese prison camps during World War II, the story centers around Japanese Americans. But there was actually another group whose story intertwines with the Japanese Americans' during the war.

Ron Moore knows this firsthand.

At the age of 11, he moved with his family to Poston, Arizona in 1949.  “We moved into one of the barracks,” he says.  

Those barracks were at the Colorado River Relocation Center, which is known as the Poston internment camp.

Four American soldiers were killed in action in Niger this month.

Their deaths made a few headlines at the time. But this week they are in the news again, with far more prominence, because of a bitter political debate over presidential condolence calls.

The sudden prominence of the soldiers' deaths — but in a way that highlights political tension and factual disputes, rather than honoring of sacrifice — has left some military advocates struggling for words and striving to redirect attention back to the original loss.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a pregnant, undocumented teenager under federal custody has the right to access abortion services in Texas. Jane Doe, as she's referred to in court filings, is expected to attend a mandatory abortion counseling appointment tomorrow and have the abortion procedure on Friday. 

Barbara Dane just can't recall any good fascist songs

Oct 18, 2017

"Can you recall any good fascist songs?" Barbara Dane, the founder of Paredon Records, asks.

Unlike fascist music, Dane recalls protest and struggle songs as having a rallying effect. Songs like "Deutschlandlied," which was chosen as Germany's national anthem in 1922 (today only the third stanza is used in the national anthem), can be pointed out as nationally successful. But fascist songs just don't seem to bring people together the way that protest music from folk culture does. 

Two US judges order a freeze on Trump's third travel ban

Oct 18, 2017
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James Lawler/Reuters

US federal judges ordered a freeze on President Donald Trump's newest travel ban this week, saying it was essentially targeted at Muslims in violation of the US Constitution.

Maryland District Judge Theodore Chuang said Wednesday the ban on travelers from over half a dozen countries essentially had not changed from the first two versions, which were shot down in lower courts as discriminating against a single religion.

Flash Flood Watch In Effect For Chetco Bar Fire Area

Oct 18, 2017

A flash flood watch is in effect Thursday for the Chetco Bar Fire area, 16 miles west of Selma, Oregon.

Damaged soil, loosened vegetation and heavy rain in the forecast has increased the risk of landslides in recently burned areas ­— a threat that can last months and even years after a fire has burned out.

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