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White House Asked FBI To Publicly Refute Reports Trump Associates Had Russia Contacts

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story. FBI Director James Comey refused. The administration is pushing back on a CNN report that White House officials "sought the help." A senior administration official told reporters Friday morning that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe asked to speak to...

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Nadim Shehadi

 

During the 20th century, countries in the Middle East developed strong, nationalist states that created a homogenous model for their societies. Lebanon, however, did not follow suit. As Middle East expert Nadim Shehadi likes to say, Lebanon skipped the 20th century altogether.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt talks to state lawmakers at the Oklahoma capitol in February 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory agency the Oklahoma politician has built his brand fighting against. 

Pruitt has led a coordinated legal effort to fight the EPA through the courts, an alliance with other Republican attorneys general that’s made him popular among conservatives. The confirmation sends a strong signal that Congressional Republicans share with President Donald Trump a vision of diminished federal oversight of the fossil fuel industry.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

 

Health care providers are lining up behind a proposal to increase Oklahoma’s sales tax on cigarettes by $1.50. The proposal is also attracting the supports of child advocacy groups.

Storme Jones / KGOU

 

A five-star point guard from Norman North High School made his college decision on Thursday. Trae Young is staying close to home.

Young said his decision was difficult but he reached a place of peace.

“That place of peace for me, in the fall of 2017, will be at the University of Oklahoma,” Young said.

Center for Media and Democracy attorney Robert Nelon, center, outside a courtroom in Oklahoma City on Feb. 16, 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma County District judge on Thursday ordered Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office to turn over emails and other documents requested two years ago by a watchdog group.

In the ruling against Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, judge Aletia Haynes Timmons said the agency violated state transparency laws.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma House of Representatives took a step toward becoming Real ID compliant Thursday. The House voted 78 to 18 to approve the measure that allows the state to produce identification that meets federal security guidelines under the federal 2005 Real ID Act. Oklahomans must use a Real ID-compliant identification or passport by January 2018 to board a commercial airline flight, or by June of this year to enter federal facilities.

State Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, authored the bill. She says compliance is way overdue.

Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, the new chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Representative Leslie Osborn is the new chair of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee, an influential position that gives her bills extra weight. StateImpact talked to Osborn about legislation she’s pushing to increase mining fees, and to explore the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.

GRDA IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson and mathematician Rudy Horne.
Rudy Horne

 

The movie Hidden Figures is about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson - African American women who worked as “human computers” for NASA in the early days of the space race. They helped launch John Glenn into orbit and played a role in the moon landing.

Math is all over the place in the movie. In this scene, Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, calculates where Glenn’s spacecraft will land when he returns to Earth.

illustration of Trump's profile with speech bubble
NPR

President Trump is the latest in a succession of U.S. presidents pledging unbreakable support for Israel. Last year, for instance, the US signed a $38-Billion military aid package with the Israelis even as Washington pressed Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump signaled an intent to bolster Israel in even more demonstrative ways. But lately, in the early days of the Trump administration, the language of support has become somewhat less robust.

OU Women & Gender Studies Program

Dr. Patricia Hill Collins is professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park and a past president of the American Sociological Association Council. Collins was the one hundredth president of the ASA and the first African-American woman to hold this position.

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