Credit Technical Sergeant William Greer / United States Air Force
U.S. Army Spc. Rebecca Buck provides perimeter security outside an Iraqi police station in the Tarmiya Province of Iraq, March 30, 2008.
Credit U.S. Department of Defense
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sign a memo to lift the ban on women in military combat operations during a press conference at the Pentagon, Jan. 24, 2013.
Hear Rebecca Cruise's full interview with NPR's Rachel Martin
In January, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of the U.S. military’s 19-year-old ban on women officially serving in combat roles.
“Every time I visited the warzone, every time I've met with troops, reviewed military operations, and talked to wounded warriors, I've been impressed with the fact that everyone - men and women alike - everyone is committed to doing the job,” Panetta said. “They're fighting and they're dying together. And the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality.”
Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin covered national security issues for NPR from 2010-2012. She told KGOU’s World Views the change in policy recognizes the reality on the ground, but also will afford women the opportunity to compete for top-level spots in very elite military units.
The Republican leaders at the State Capitol gathered in the Blue Room Tuesday to announce what they’re calling major agreements on several key proposals before lawmakers this session.
Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) each took turns describing the plan to cut state income taxes, change the workers’ compensation system and repair the State Capitol.
Public health authorities in Taiwan have identified the first human case of a new type of bird flu seen outside China.
The development, while not unexpected, points to the potential spread of a new type of bird flu that has, according to the World Health Organization, sickened at least 108 people and been implicated in 22 deaths.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Tarrant v. Herrmann, an Oklahoma-Texas water fight with national implications.
The justices grappled with the 30-year-old Red River Compact, and whether a region of Texas can reach across state lines to access water in southeastern Oklahoma.
The two states have different interpretations of some language in the agreement. The compact gives Oklahoma and Texas “equal rights” to some of the water in southeastern Oklahoma. But “equal rights” means different things to each state.
"The income tax cut plan now calls for lowering the top income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent on Jan. 1, 2015. The rate would be cut to 4.85 percent on Jan. 1, 2016, if total revenue growth for the state is equal to or greater than the previous fiscal year."
Republican Governor Mary Fallin and GOP legislative leaders have agreed on proposals to reduce the state's top personal income tax rate, overhaul the workers' compensation system and develop a long-range plan for maintaining state buildings.
Attorneys representing Oklahoma and Texas argued Tarrant v. Herrmann at the U.S. Supreme Court. The case concerns water in the Red River, and experts say it's a regional water fight that could impact national water-sharing agreements. The Supreme Court has released a transcript of today's arguments. The above transcript is preliminary.
House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) says the moratorium is necessary because Oklahoma has raised fees by more than $100 million since 2007. During the recession, it was the easiest way Oklahoma had to raise revenues to fill budget gaps. Increasing taxes in Oklahoma requires a three-fourths supermajority in both houses of the legislature, or a vote of the people.
It's already nearly impossible to raise taxes in Oklahoma. Now, the legislature is poised to ban raising fees for drivers' licenses, state parks and other state services, too. A bill placing a moratorium on fee increases through 2016 has passed both houses of the state legislature.
Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.
The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.
The Oklahoma House has approved a bill that puts into state law Gov. Mary Fallin's executive order banning smoking on state property.
Fallin signed the executive order against smoking in state buildings last year. The House passed a bill 76-14 Tuesday that would expand the ban to properties that aren't buildings and would allow cities and counties to ban smoking on their properties.
The bill now goes to the governor for her signature.