On Tuesday President Obama reiterated that the U.S. has evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and regular contributor and Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses "game changers" and crossing "red lines."
Universidad de Chile industrial engineering professor and Educación 2020 founder Mario Waissbluth joins the program for a conversation about socio-economic segregation in the South American country's schools.
U.S. and other diplomatic officials say discussions within the Obama administration in favor of providing arms to the Syrian rebels are gaining ground amid new indications that President Bashar Assad's regime may have launched additional chemical weapons attacks.
Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says eliminating Syria's air defenses would be the first step before inspectors could determine if the regime did indeed use chemical weapons.
"Once you've destroyed the Syrian military, you're in Iraq in a sense," Landis says. "We were criticized in Iraq because we only had 100,000 troops to protect an entire country."
Lawmakers have until the end of this month to complete their work, including the passing of a state budget. The adjournment date might come sooner with the announcement of an agreement on how to spend the state’s money.
The budget to pay for Oklahoma’s government will be $7.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, under an agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. For most state agencies the amount of money they’ll receive in the new budget year is the same as last, but Fallin says the largest increase in the budget is for public schools in Oklahoma.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A government report says the rate of suicide among middle-aged Oklahomans rose 34.4 percent from 1999 to 2010.
The Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday that there were 231 suicides among the 35-64 age group in 1999 for a rate of 18.2 suicides per 100,000 population. The report says there were 345 suicides in that age group in 2010 for a rate of 24.4 per 100,000.
The CDC report is based on death certificates and says people ages 35 to 64 account for about 57 percent of suicides.
It's "clear that the manner in which the DOC accounts for its funds needs to be more accurate, more transparent or both," Fallin administration spokesman Alex Weintz said in a prepared statement Wednesday. "The governor is not comfortable giving the agency more resources until it has thoroughly investigated these issues."
When coal mining began to die off, so did many of the towns founded around it. Oklahoma’s coal is just too high in sulfur to be of much use in the U.S. Burning it in large quantities is against federal clean air regulations.
Listen to Mario Waissbluth's full interview with Suzette Grillot
Students in Chile took to the streets of Santiago again last month protesting for reform of the country’s education system.
The BBC reports the students started a second wave of protests this decade in 2011, but the April demonstration was the first of 2013.
Mario Waissbluth teaches industrial engineering at Universidad de Chile. In 2008 he founded Educación 2020, a nongovernmental organization that wants to improve primary and secondary education in the country.
“Forty percent of the kids that go out to university don't understand what they read,” Waissbluth told KGOU’s World Views. “And they are grabbed by a university sector completely and fully deregulated, for profit, which abuses them to the point that we've had the explosions that we've had.”
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - April showers won't bring May flowers to parts of Oklahoma this week. Instead, forecasters say some areas could see sleet and snow over the next few days.
The National Weather Service says temperatures are expected to plummet from the 70s and 80s on Wednesday to near or below freezing early Thursday. A handful of severe thunderstorms popped up Wednesday in southwestern Oklahoma ahead of the cold front.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi says she will explore all the state's options to ensure that the needs of students and school districts are met following a series of technical glitches in student testing.
Barresi participated in a conference call Wednesday with the president of the testing company, CTB/McGraw Hill, after it experienced problems with online assessments for grades 6 through 12 on Monday and Tuesday.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with the war in Syria and the possibility of U.S. involvement. Today, in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used the opportunity of May Day to make a rare public appearance. He visited a power plant and said, we hope that by this time next year, we will have overcome the crisis in our country.