Corrections
8:41 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Corrections Chief Open To Expanding Private-Prison Use

Robert Patton is the new Oklahoma Corrections Dept. director.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

In Robert C. Patton, Oklahoma is getting a new corrections director from Arizona who is more than willing to use private prisons as a means to deal with inmate overcrowding.

“I’m a (prison) bed manager. I’ll tell the policy makers I need beds, and if I can convince them that I need beds, then it’s their jobs on whether it’s public or private,” said Patton, whose first day as Oklahoma Corrections Department director began Tuesday.

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State Capitol
8:21 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Oklahoma's Dept. Of Human Services Needs $33 Million This Year

Oklahoma DHS Director Ed Lake
Credit Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services

The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.

DHS director Ed Lake will discuss the supplemental funding request on Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.

In a letter to state officials, Lake says the agency has encountered several funding problems since the 2013 legislative session, when lawmakers approved the agency's budget for the fiscal that ends June 30.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Taxing Times For Oklahoma Tornado Survivors

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak speaks at a tax forum for tornado survivors.
Credit Kate Carlton

While many view tax season as a nuisance, it can be especially frustrating for people struggling to rebound from disasters, like the deadly tornadoes that swept through the state last May.  

Some residents of central Oklahoma lost homes, cars and old tax documents, so they’re confused and unsure how to proceed, and that’s left many tornado alley taxpayers with lots of questions. 

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Resignations In Egypt May Be Prelude To General's Presidential Run

Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in April 2013.
Jim Watson AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:42 am

In something of a surprise, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi announced Monday that his entire Cabinet is stepping down.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel says the prime minister gave no reason for the mass resignation.

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:10 am

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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The Edge
1:28 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Flame Goes Out In Sochi, Torch Passes To Pyeongchang

Pyrotechnics explode over dancers formed into the Olympic rings during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:42 pm

This post was last updated at 1:40 p.m. ET.

The torch has officially been passed. The 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are over with all the drama in the competition and not over safety and security during the 17 days of the events, as many had feared.

Outdoor fireworks rattled Sochi's Fisht Stadium as the Olympic flame was set to be extinguished Sunday. Winners and losers in the international competition now will have to look east to South Korea to test their Olympic mettle in the contest for medals four years from now, in 2018.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

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Latin America
4:19 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Drought Could Drain More Than Brazil's Coffee Crop

The ground outside Sao Paulo is cracked and dry. It was the hottest January on record in parts of Brazil, and the heat plus a severe drought has fanned fears of water shortages and crop damage.
Nacho Doce Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:01 am

Brazil, a country usually known for its rainforests, has been facing a severe drought in its breadbasket region, leaving people in the cities without water and farmers in the countryside with dying crops. Global prices for coffee, in particular, have been affected.

Scientists in Brazil say the worst is yet to come — yet no one in the government, it seems, is listening.

On a recent day, farmer Juliano Jose Polidor walks through the desiccated remains of his cornfields.

What's happened to this crop, he says, is a total loss.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin Captured In Joint U.S.-Mexico Raid

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City on Saturday. A senior U.S. law enforcement official said that Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, was captured alive overnight in the beach resort town of Mazatlan.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:04 am

This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

The head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was captured overnight by U.S. and Mexican officials in the Pacific coastal town of Mazatlan.

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The Two-Way
10:06 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Ukrainian President Voted Out; Opposition Leader Freed

Anti-government protesters stand guard in front of Ukraine's parliament in Kiev on Saturday.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:35 am

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Ukraine's parliament has voted to push President Viktor Yanukovych out of office hours after he fled the capital and denounced events in the country as "a coup d'etat" in a television interview.

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