Regional Interests

It has been an epic clash of media titans worthy of a blockbuster movie itself like, say, the X-Men — notably a property of 21st Century Fox. And as with any blockbuster franchise, there are already sequels lined up.

The broadband, cable and entertainment giant Comcast announced Thursday that it would withdraw from the field, conceding defeat in its audacious bidding war for most of the entertainment assets of Fox, controlled by the Murdoch family.

  

The Substation Fire near The Dalles has burned over 50,000 acres since it started Tuesday night. One person has died, and dozens of homes have been evacuated. OPB reporter Ericka Cruz Guevarra is on the scene.

2018 Slingshot band Mt. Joy has had a fruitful year. From festival appearances to nationally televised studio sessions, the band has seen a burgeoning growth in support and notoriety. In the midst of all this success, the band members still recall their humble yesteryears and marvel at their steady rise to indie-rock stardom.

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Jeff Rosenstock has always made music for the slow days after the end-times, and "All This Useless Energy" is a kick-the-can punk ballad for crawling out of aimlessness toward a purpose.

When Saudi Arabia started allowing women to drive last month — a historic shift in the last country in the world to ban women from getting behind the wheel — Samah Damanhoori was watching closely from California. The 29-year-old Saudi woman has a lot at stake.

Superintendents of color are few and far between in Oregon and across the nation.

The head of Portland Public Schools said there are only seven in Oregon — out of nearly 200 school districts. Across the United States, they make up just four percent of district executives, while the share of students of color is many times that. Three of them met in Portland Wednesday to discuss their priorities and approaches to improving struggling urban schools.

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Thoughts of suicide, hours of confinement and denial of medical care are among the complaints outlined in new federal court documents from immigration detainees being held at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon.

“I feel bad. I get depressed. I have thought about taking my life because I had never been locked up,” said one detainee, identified in court documents as ICE Detainee No. 3.

Did you notice the emoji explosion on social media this week?

Mission Health, the largest hospital system in western North Carolina, provided $100 million in free charity care last year. This year, it has partnered with 17 civic organizations to deliver care for substance abuse by people who are low-income.

Based in bucolic Asheville, the six-hospital system also screens residents for food insecurity; provides free dental care to children in rural areas via the "ToothBus" mobile clinic; helps the homeless find permanent housing and encourages its 12,000 employees to volunteer at schools, churches and nonprofit groups.

When WAMU photographer Tyrone Turner got the opportunity to travel to Antarctica, he thought he would be fascinated with the continent's wildlife.

But instead, it was the ice — in its myriad shapes and textures, "bathed in polar light that morphed from powerfully sharp and blue, to gentle and pink" — that Turner says mesmerized him.

"Antarctica just seemed to me absolutely 'the other world,'" Turner says. "There is no other landscape like it."

Caltrans District 1

The public has the opportunity to weigh in on Last Chance Grade in Del Norte County. According to Caltrans, the state agency announced the release of a geotechnical risk assessment for the project. 

Last Chance Grade expands over a coastal stretch of Highway 101, four miles south of crescent city in Del Norte County. The particular area is notorious for its susceptibility to landslide activity. The risk assessment will help Caltrans narrow down long-term solutions for the area.

It's built for oversize cargo, but it also sports a smile: The Airbus BelugaXL took off on its first flight on Thursday, creating a unique sight as the jet with the bulbous upper half rolled down the runway.

The BelugaXL's paint job "features beluga whale-inspired eyes and an enthusiastic grin," the aircraft company says. That whale flew over southern France, soaring over the coast and mountainside.

Smartphones and tablets have quickly become a permanent part of students' daily lives. Kids up to 8 years old spent almost an hour a day on mobile devices, Common Sense Media reported last year.

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British police examining CCTV footage have reportedly identified multiple Russian suspects believed to have carried out the March nerve-agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The Skripals were found slumped on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury, in southern England, on March 4. Subsequent investigation indicated they were poisoned by a nerve agent of the type Novichok, a group of deadly chemicals developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.

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