The Two-Way
6:12 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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Parallels
4:17 am
Tue March 18, 2014

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:22 am

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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May 2013 Tornados
5:12 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Feds Give Additional $109 Million In Aid To Oklahoma

The aftermath of the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced an additional $109 million in disaster aid for Moore and the state of Oklahoma for recovery efforts from last year's tornadoes and other disasters.

Moore will receive nearly $26 million and the state will receive $83 million from the federal agency's community development block grant program.

Monday's announcement is in addition to nearly $28 million in HUD funds announced last August.

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Education Standards
4:10 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Opponents Of Common Core Rally At Oklahoma State Capitol

Credit Terrapin Flyer / Flickr Creative Commons

More than 200 opponents of a set of education standards in math and English known as Common Core are rallying at the Capitol and urging the Senate to pass a bill to repeal the standards.

Wearing green shirts that read "Common Core is not OK," the group that included parents, teachers and students roamed the Senate halls and lobbied for the bill, which passed the House last week.

The Senate so far has thwarted attempts to delay or repeal the standards, which were adopted in Oklahoma in 2010 and are supported by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and Superintendent Janet Barresi.

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Here & Now
2:00 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

New Documentary Revisits Anita Hill’s Testimony

In 1991, Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the hearings to confirm Clarence Thomas as an associate Supreme Court justice.

Now, the new film Anita revisits those hearings, the passions it provoked, and the long lasting impact of Anita Hill’s testimony.

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Death Penalty
12:28 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Oklahoma Lacks Drugs To Carry Out Thursday Execution

The main gate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., home to the state's death row.
Credit duggar11 / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma's attorney general says the state does not have all of the lethal drugs necessary to carry out an execution set for Thursday.

Despite the drug shortage, state lawyers are fighting an attempt by two inmates to delay their executions while they seek more information about Oklahoma's execution procedures.

The state says it is still working to obtain execution drugs and will change protocols if necessary to execute Clayton Lockett this Thursday.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Russia Recognizes Independent Crimea; U.S. And EU 'Stand Firm' With Ukraine

A pile of the votes cast Sunday in Simferopol, Ukraine, the regional capital of Crimea.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:28 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

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Oklahoma Watch
11:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

OKC, Tulsa Superintendents Weigh In On Read-Or-Fail Law, Common Core, The Arts

Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, and Dave Lopez, interm superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, answer questions from the audience on a range of education issues at an Oklahoma Watch-Out forum on March 6.
Credit Carmen Forman / Oklahoma Watch

Third-grade reading, new education standards, teacher pay and the arts were among key issues addressed by superintendents from Oklahoma’s two largest public school systems during an education forum last week.

Dave Lopez, interim superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, and Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, fielded questions from an audience of more than 50 during the forum, held at Kamp’s 1910 Café in Oklahoma City. The forum was sponsored by Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit journalism organization.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Westboro Baptist Will Find Justification To Continue, Pastor's Son Says

Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps' followers believe "they're not going to feel the sting of death," one of his sons says. Phelps, who's now in hospice care, is seen here at the Topeka, Kan., church in 2006.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 10:44 am

Westboro Baptist Church founder Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. is in hospice care and near death, according to family and church members say. His estranged son says the longtime pastor's passing would put his followers in a crisis, because the church's members "think that death is a judgment from God."

"So far, that illusion has held because none of them has passed," Nathan Phelps continues in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Sounding The Social Media Alarm During Severe Weather

Harold Brooks, Rick Smith and Michelann Ooten speak about storm safety at The Oklahoma Tornado Project's March 12, 2014 forum.
Credit Kate Carlton / Oklahoma Tornado Project

With tornado season approaching, many Oklahomans will turn to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay informed of the latest hazards. 

Use of these outlets explodes during severe weather outbreaks, as people try to disseminate information, share pictures and update each other on the course of the storm. But despite their ability to quickly deliver breaking news, social media can often contribute to spreading outdated information. 

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