Portland-Bound Amtrak Train Flies Off Rails

At least three people are dead after an Amtrak passenger train headed for Portland derailed from an overpass onto Interstate 5 near Olympia, Wash., on Dec. 18. The crash occurred during the first trip for the Amtrak Cascades along a new, $181 million route designed to speed up train travel in the Northwest. The cause of the crash is still unclear, but National Transportation Safety Board officials say a data recorder shows the train was traveling 80 mph shortly before entering a 30 mph curve. A safety precaution called the "positive train control system," designed to prevent dangerous speeds, was meant to be installed along the newly opened high-speed route, but Amtrak said the system had not been activated when the train crashed.

Portland Police Sharpen Immigration Policy

The Portland Police Bureau clarified its policies on immigration enforcement this week, specifying what exactly officers may and may not do when interacting with undocumented immigrants. The new rules prohibit officers from asking about someone's immigration status except when that status might affect the investigation of a crime, such as human trafficking. Officers are also barred from participating in any operation whose sole purpose is to enforce federal immigration laws, and from arresting undocumented immigrants for legal use of cannabis. But police will still have some obligations: "If a federal immigration law enforcement agency requests emergency cover from the Bureau, members will provide cover," the policy says. The revised policy will take effect Jan. 18, 2018.

Neo-Nazi Fliers Strewn Near Portland State

Residents of downtown Portland found a handful of neo-Nazi recruitment fliers littering their neighborhood Dec. 16. The fliers, apparently created by a group called Patriot Front, were found on car windshields and park benches less than a block from Portland State University, suggesting they were intended to recruit college students. Patriot Front is a brand-new white supremacist organization started after a "Unite the Right" rally that drew white supremacists to Charlottesville, Va., in August. "My initial reaction was confusion and shock," says Allen Mottard, who found the fliers. "Am I really seeing Nazi propaganda outside my home?"

Give!Guide Nears $2 Million in Donations

WW's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at giveguide.org. Giving has neared $1.9 million. This Thursday, Dec. 21, you could win a 60-guest pingpong ice cream party of your dreams by giving $10 or more to the nonprofit of your choice.