Trump Orders Strike on Syria, Oregon Senator Calls for Congressional Authorization

President Donald Trump announced on Friday he ordered strikes on the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities in coordination with France and the United Kingdom in response to a chemical weapons attack last weekend.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US specifically targeted the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.

“We also selected targets that would minimize the risks to innocent civilians,” Mattis said.

“Right now this is a one-time shot and I believe that it sent a very strong message to dissuade (Assad), to deter him from doing this again,” he added.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued a response on Friday night, saying the president needs to seek congressional authorization for any act of war.

Full Statement from Senator Jeff Merkley on Air Strikes Against Syria:

“Bashar al-Assad has carried out a brutal campaign of attacks on his own people. The use of chemical weapons is unconscionable and he must be held accountable.

“But military action is not the only tool we have. And if President Trump is going to use military force he must seek congressional authorization. The power to make war rests with Congress in Article I of the Constitution.

“We have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq the dangers of launching military actions without clearly articulated objectives and exit strategies. If the President wants to wage war, the American people and Congress need to be part of that decision.”

Trump’s New Plan for Opioid Epidemic

President Donald Trump unveiled his plan for fighting the nation’s opioid epidemic today. Parts of the plan have already received plenty of criticism, specifically a proposal for the death penalty to be applied to drug traffickers.

First Lady Melania Trump introduced the President in New Hampshire, a state then candidate Trump described as a “drug infested den,” but it was here that Trump announced his new plan.

The president’s initiative is getting the most attention for its crackdown on drug traffickers.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers we are wasting our time,” said Trump, “and that toughness includes the death penalty.”

Trump also repeated his demand for a wall on the US/Mexican border, saying it will stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.

The White House is also taking aim at the health care industry and looking to stop the over-prescription of powerful and addictive painkillers. The White House’s goal is to reduce opioid prescriptions by a third within three years.

Trump invited Jim and Jeanne Moser to share the story of their sun, who died after battling an addiction that started with a prescription painkiller.

“He got hooked on it and had to go to the street eventually and found fentanyl,” said Jeanne Moser.
Trump’s plan also called for expanding the access to treatment for those already struggling with addiction.

The latest figured from 2016 show that opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the U.S.

To help counter this Trump is also declaring the need for a nationwide public relations effort to convince Americans, particularly children, to not start using drugs.

The White House announced a new website, crisisnextdoor.gov, that warns of the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl. Trump also called for broadcasting “great commercials” during “the right shows” that demonstrate to children “how bad” drugs are.

Web Exclusive: Women’s March 2018

An estimated 3,000 people gathered in Drake Park on January 20, 2018 for the second annual Central Oregon Women’s March. In this web exclusive Central Oregon Daily’s Austin Reed spoke with a few of those people who came out to protest and march.

The Women’s March started in January of last year, right after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. This year’s march came on the one year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration and like last year brought together millions of protestors across the country marching for a variety of issues.

In Bend protestors carried signs in support of women’s rights, including reproductive rights and equal pay. Many signs also nodded to the recent #MeToo movement, which has brought sexual assault and harassment into the public eye.

Protestors also held signs and chanted in support of immigrants, refugees and DACA recipients, known as Dreamers. The DACA program is still up for debate after a government shut down last week.