The National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention in Houston this weekend. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend for speeches and demos and acres of guns, ammo and camo.
The NRA is coming off of a major victory: the defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate. While the talk in the convention hall is about keeping up the fight and staying true to the Constitution, a small protest against gun violence is being held outside.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Late timing and skepticism among legislators have pushed into next year an effort by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Treasurer Ken Miller to consolidate the state's pension boards.
The plan would combine the administration boards of Oklahoma's seven pension systems, which cover more than 200,000 teachers, judges, police and other employees and retirees. The pensions' funds would be kept separate. The governor says the change would save millions of dollars.
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.”