The Two-Way
6:57 am
Fri June 28, 2013

With Mandela's Health As Backdrop, Obama Heads To S. Africa

Children release 95 balloons to mark Nelson Mandela's upcoming birthday outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection in Pretoria, South Africa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 3:10 pm

Update at 4 p.m. ET: President Arrives In South Africa

President Obama and his family landed in South Africa late Friday. It's the second stop on his one-week trip to the African continent.

Our original post continues:

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Job Market
12:39 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

AT&T Brings Jobs To Oklahoma

Credit Flickr

AT&T says it is bringing more than 100 new jobs to Oklahoma at a center that will serve small- and medium-size business customers. 

The company said Thursday that 25 project managers have already been hired for the new office in Oklahoma City.

Officials say AT&T will draw on a number of state incentives, including the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program, the Training for Industry Program and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's Strategic Investment Program.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:59 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Public Shelter Policy in Oklahoma: Yes for Nukes, No for Natural Disasters

Oklahoma had licensed more than a half-million public shelters in the mid-'60s, like this one in a Post Office in Sapulpa.
Credit FALLSROAD / Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1960s, survey teams of architects and engineers started hunting across Oklahoma for places to hunker down.

They found basements and tunnels, underground parking garages and well-built structures in municipal and private buildings.

At the time, Oklahoma’s big worry was an attack from Soviet Russia. That threat never materialized, but the state is targeted by tornadoes every year. And public shelter spaces are disappearing from the map.

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Abortion
9:53 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Supreme Court Looking At Oklahoma Abortion Case

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court is sending back to state court a case about an Oklahoma anti-abortion law that bans off-label use of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

The justices on Thursday asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to clarify some questions before the high court considers an appeal.

The state court threw out the law requiring doctors to follow strict guidelines authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and barring off-label uses of certain abortion-inducing drugs.

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Oklahoma City
8:26 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Four Options: OKC Metro Rail Line

City of Oklahoma City

Consultants working on the route for a proposed modern streetcar system in Oklahoma City presented four routes to the MAPS3 Citizens Advisory Committee.

All the proposals focus on the central sections of the metro, connecting Bricktown, Midtown and the central business districts, according to a June 26 news release.

There is no mandate for city council members to approve any of the routes, or a modern streetcar at all. A vote by the council could change that direction.

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Shots - Health News
8:24 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Test-Driving The Obamacare Software

Hit return for health coverage.
iStockphoto.com

All the outreach in the world won't count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn't work.

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Higher Education
6:39 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Regents: Average Likely Tuition Hike Under 5 Percent

The cost of a college education is expected to increase in Oklahoma.
Credit Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education heard from the state’s university and college presidents Wednesday to discuss tuition and fee increases for the coming school year.

ECapitol reports, if the regents approve the increases, costs for attendance at Oklahoma’s institutions of higher learning will go up 4.7 percent, on average.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Mandela's Daughter: 'It Doesn't Look Good'

A man holds a picture as people gather to leave messages of support for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 9:59 am

Nelson Mandela's condition is "very critical," his daughter Makaziwe Mandela told South African broadcaster SABC.

"I reiterate that Tata is very critical, that anything is imminent," said Makaziwe. "But I want to emphasize again that it's only God who knows when the time to go is. So we will wait with Tata. He's still giving us hope by opening his eyes, he's still reactive to touch, we will live with that hope until the final end comes."

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State Capitol
5:20 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Dialysis, E-Cigarettes, More Fill Senate Study Requests

State Sen. Kim David, R-Wagoner, has requested an interim study on how dialysis centers receive state certification.
Credit newslighter / Flickr Creative Commons

Senators requested a total of 55 interim studies by Friday’s deadline for submitting their proposals. ECapitol reports the proposed studies cover a variety of different issues.

Sen. Kim David, R-Wagoner, for example, requested a study of the certification process for dialysis centers, Interim Study Request 2013S-22.

Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Yukon, has requested a study of the taxes and youth access to e-cigarettes. Johnson was the author of one bill related to the issue during the legislative session and contributed language concerning the products for another bill, neither of which was approved.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:13 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Why Obama’s Keystone XL Climate Change Comments Confused Everyone

President Obama visited an Oklahoma pipe yard in 2012 and pledged his support for the Cushing-to-Texas Keystone Gulf pipeline.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s hard to know where President Barack Obama stands on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which still awaits his approval.

Obama has rejected Transcanada’s permit for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline in the past, but championed parts of the project during a 2012 trip to the pipeline’s hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

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