Affordable Care Act
4:59 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Attorney: Contraception Mandate Losing Legal Battle

Credit Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

An attorney representing Hobby Lobby Inc. says “the tide is turning” against a federal mandate requiring companies to pay for what they view as unacceptable forms of contraception for their workers.

Kyle Duncan said Friday’s ruling by a federal judge exempting Hobby Lobby from paying for the medications as part of the store’s health care plan likely means the mandate will die.

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World Views
2:22 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Latest "Cuban Missile Crisis" Brings Back Cold War Memories

Panama Canal
Credit Lyn Gately / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week Panamanian authorities stopped a North Korean ship carrying cargo from Cuba that violates UN sanctions against the reclusive Asian country.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says Panama has exercised its legitimacy by trying to uphold the sanctions as the ship passed through its territory.

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came out and praised Panama for taking this action, and claimed that it really is the responsibility of all members of the United Nations to uphold these types of sanctions,” Cruise says. “They have legitimacy as the Panama Canal goes through their territory.”

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World Views
1:55 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

VIDEO: How A Taliban Attack Further Inspired Pakistani Education Activist

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Malala Yousafzai (center) on July 12, 2013. The Secretary-General presented her with a leather-bound copy of the United Nations Charter, which normally is given only to heads of state.
Credit Eskinder Debebe / UN Photo

Earlier this week Pakistani Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed wrote a letter to 16-year-old women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai saying he wished the October 2012 attack on her life hadn’t happened.

The letter came shortly after Yousafzai’s July 12 speech before the United Nations, where she said the attack gave her a renewed sense of strength, power and courage.

“The attack on her was not in response to her support for girls' education, but because she was critical of the Taliban,” says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “He encourages her to come back to Pakistan and pick up her pen in the name of Islam.”

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Affordable Care Act
11:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Hobby Lobby Granted Temporary Exemption To Federal Health Law

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby stores, leave the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City after Friday's ruling temporarily exempting the company from paying for all forms of birth control under its health care plan.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

A federal judge is temporarily exempting Hobby Lobby Inc. from a provision in the new federal health care law that requires it to offer insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar birth control or face steep fines.

After hearing brief arguments Friday, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued a preliminary injunction for the Oklahoma arts and crafts chain. The judge stayed the case until Oct. 1 to give the federal government time to consider an appeal.

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Student Loan Interest Rates
10:55 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Coburn Joins Plan For Lower College Loan Rates

Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is part of a bipartisan group of eight senators announcing a deal that lets students avoid higher interest rates on federal loans.

The bipartisan group of senators on Thursday told reporters they've reached a compromise to lower the rates for students who borrow from the federal government.

The rates would be linked to financial markets, meaning interest rates would climb in coming years — but with a limit on how high the rates could be.

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State Capitol
10:04 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Capitol Remodel Won't Affect Possible Special Session

Oklahoma State Capitol
Credit ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

As workers remodel House and Senate space in the State Capitol, lawmakers are confident the construction will not affect a possible special legislative session.

House Media Director Jason Sutton and Senate Communications Director Malia Bennett told eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley the current construction on offices or committee rooms would not impact the work lawmakers may be called to do.

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Open Records
8:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Corporation Commission Sets Phone Records Privacy Policy

Credit Chris Campbell / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has decided to determine whether the records of telecommunications companies are confidential on a case-by-case basis.

The three-member commission Thursday agreed to dismiss a proposal that it determine what records will be kept confidential under the Oklahoma Open Records Act and decided instead to use the case-by-case method.

The commission uses information in annual reports by telephone companies to review which companies are doing business in a particular exchange and to determine the public utility assessment fee for each company.

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Affordable Care Act
7:28 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Hobby Lobby Wants Exemption From Health Care Law

Credit Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

Hobby Lobby stores and a sister company want a federal judge to exempt them from new federal health care law requirements that they offer the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby and the Oklahoma City-based Mardel Christian bookstore chains will argue their case Friday before U.S. District judge Joe Heaton.

The companies claim their owners' religious beliefs are so deeply rooted that having to provide every form of birth control would violate their conscience.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Now That Detroit's Filed For Bankruptcy, What Happens Next?

A portion of downtown Detroit along the Detroit river.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:59 am

With its bankruptcy filing Thursday, Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to seek Chapter 9 protection.

As Scott reported, the city is saddled with $18.5 billion in debt.

Today, we ask, what happens next?

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Shots - Health News
2:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 5:13 am

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

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