Politics and Government
8:27 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Proposed Legislation Would Require Increased Race And Diversity Training For Law Enforcement

Oklahoma Representative George Young, District 99, D-Oklahoma City
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

State police officers would go through increased racial sensitivity and diversity training if a bill filed for this session is approved by lawmakers.

HB2047, by Rep. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, would require the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training to, by Jan. 1, 2016, to include a number of requirements.

The bill requires basic training courses for law enforcement certification to include a minimum of four hours of diversity training and racial sensitivity education.

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Politics and Government
6:59 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Senator Shortey Files Bill To Allow For-Profit Organizations To Pursue Religious-Based Purposes

Senator Ralph Shortey - District 44, R-Oklahoma City
Credit Oklahoma Senate

A recently proposed bill would allow for-profit companies to pursue religious-based purposes.

Currently, all organizations incorporated for religious purposes must be registered nonprofit organizations.

SB0729, by Sen. Ralph Shortey, would allow any domestic corporations, limited partnership or limited liability company to establish itself as a religious-based entity if certain requirements are the met.

“What it’s doing is extending the same liberties that a nonprofit has and extending it to corporations,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City.

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Politics and Government
6:46 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Democratic Leaders Back Funding For American Indian Cultural Center

The incomplete American Indian Cultural Center & Museum.
Credit American Indian Cultural Center & Museum

Democratic leaders at the Oklahoma Capitol say they support the completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum near downtown Oklahoma City, but have different ideas on how to pay for it.

House Democratic Leader Scott Inman said at a Wednesday forum sponsored by The Associated Press that his 29-member caucus would support a $40 million bond issue to complete the museum.

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Politics and Government
6:32 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Fallin Says State Budget Should Be Legislature's Priority, Doesn't Comment On Anti-Gay Bills

Gov. Mary Fallin enters the House chamber of the state capitol shortly before delivering her State of the State address February 3, 2014.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated at 6:30 p.m.  

Gov. Mary Fallin says the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 should be the Legislature's top priority, and she wants lawmakers to closely examine tax credits and other policies that drain available revenue.

Fallin made the comments Wednesday during a speech to reporters and editors at The Associated Press' annual legislative forum.

Fallin also gave some hints on policies she would endorse for the session that begins on Monday, including a ban on texting while driving in Oklahoma.

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Politics and Government
4:41 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Rep. Bridenstine Named To House Armed Services Subcommittees

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Credit americanmajority.org

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine has been named to serve on the House Armed Services Subcommittees on Strategic Forces and Seapower and Projection Forces.

The Oklahoma lawmaker's office in Washington made the announcement on Wednesday.

Strategic Forces oversees the country's nuclear arsenal, missile defense and space programs. Seapower and Projection Forces cover Navy and Marine Corps purchasing and research and development programs. 

The HASC authorizes funding for national security and sets Department of Defense policy. 

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Parallels
3:46 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 7:57 pm

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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Capital Punishment
1:46 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Supreme Court Halts Scheduled Executions

Oklahoma has authorized four different lethal injection protocols: a single, lethal dose of either pentobarbital or sodium pentothal, a two-drug procedure using midazolam and hydromorphone, or the same three-drug method used in Florida.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has ordered Oklahoma to postpone lethal injections executions using a controversial sedative until the court rules in a challenge involving the drug.

The court's order Wednesday came as little surprise after both the state and the lawyers for three inmates who faced execution between now and March requested the temporary halt. The justices agreed on Friday to take up the challenge to the use of the sedative midazolam, which has been used in problematic executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The case will be argued in April and decided by late June.

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Weather and Climate
12:48 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Forecasters Apologize, But Why?

New Jersey-based National Weather Service meteorologist Gary Szatkowski apologized for not getting the forecast right for the snow storm this week. (Twitter)

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:17 pm

Meteorologists have apologized for getting yesterday’s snow totals so wrong in New Jersey, where only about 3 inches fell instead of the 24 that was predicted.

But other weather experts say the forecasts were not all that wrong because due to last-minute changes in the air, the storm simply tracked about 75 miles farther east than expected, and dropped 30 inches of snow on Long Island.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Judge Throws Out Friendship 9's Civil Rights-Era Conviction

Five members of the Friendship Nine — Willie Thomas Massey (from left), Willie McCleod, James Wells, Clarence Graham and David Williamson Jr. — sit at the counter of the Five & Dine restaurant in Rock Hill, S.C., on Dec. 17. A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961.
Jason Miczek Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:56 pm

Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET

A judge in South Carolina has thrown out the convictions of the Friendship Nine, nine black men who integrated a whites-only lunch counter in 1961, at the peak of the civil rights movement.

"We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history," Judge John C. Hayes III said before signing the order that vacated their trespassing convictions. (Hayes is the nephew of the judge who handed down the original sentence.) The prosecutor apologized to the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine who were in the courtroom.

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World Views
10:25 am
Wed January 28, 2015

From Florence Nightingale To Rosie The Riveter: Women’s Roles In 20th Century Conflict

Two nurses tend to wounded inside an ambulance-train ward, France, during World War I. Ambulance trains were used in the main to transport large groups of soldiers to the French coast so that they could return to England for treatment.
David McLellan National Library of Scotland

The demands of two world wars and changing gender roles opened the way for women to gain more rights as citizens in the United States and Britain.

Before the 20th century, women in the United States and Britain couldn’t vote in national elections and generally weren’t seen as key players in war efforts. With the professionalization of military nursing during the Crimean War, women’s participation in war efforts grew and paved the way for women’s heavy involvement between 1914 and 1918.

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