World Views
10:27 am
Fri May 10, 2013

China Attempts 20-Year-Old Middle East Diplomacy

Credit Dainis Matisons / Flickr

Earlier this week Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to China. Even though the two leaders did not meet, the timing of the visits signals China could start to become a diplomatic player in the troubled region.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a longtime observer of Syria, says China tried to arrange a meeting in 2007 between Netanyahu and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but it didn’t work.

“[China has] been asserting themselves more and more in the Middle East,” Landis says. “And that’s a product of the United States withdrawing, and China is becoming much more self-confident.”

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8:29 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Consultant: Pay Private Insurers To Cover Medicaid Eligible Oklahomans

Lead in text: 
State leaders have been looking for a way to cover thousands of uninsured Oklahomans after Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a federal expansion of Medicaid. A consultant told the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to look toward Arkansas for an answer.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to propose ideas on state health care policies is recommending the state adopt a plan similar to one in Arkansas that channels state and federal money to private insurers to cover the uninsured. The approach would mean changing and expanding the current Insure Oklahoma plan, which subsidizes premiums for more than 30,000 uninsured people but is capped.
The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect Could Face Thousands Of Charges

Ariel Castro during his arraignment Thursday at Cleveland Municipal Court. He's accused of kidnapping and raping three young women, and then holding a daughter born to one of those women captive. The women had been missing for about a decade. The child is now six years old.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 9:56 am

  • Brian Bull of WCPN reports

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. DNA Testing Confirms Suspect Is Child's Father, Ohio Attorney General Says:

Preliminary DNA tests confirm that Ariel Castro, the man charged with kidnapping and repeatedly raping three young women held captive in his Cleveland home for about a decade, is the father of a girl born to one of the victims six years ago, Ohio's attorney general announced Friday morning.

A statement posted by Attorney General Mike DeWine's office says:

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State Capitol
7:58 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Ghost Vote? House Democrats Raise Questions Over Absent GOP Member

Rep. Terry O'Donnell
Credit Oklahoma House

Oklahoma House Democrats say an improper vote was cast for a $7.1 billion budget bill on behalf of a Republican legislator who had left the building.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Scott Inman said Thursday that Tulsa Republican Rep. Terry O'Donnell had left the Capitol when two votes were cast on the general appropriations bill. O'Donnell was shown voting yes on both votes.

It is a violation of House rules for a vote to be cast for any member who is not present in the chamber.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Reports: Survivor Rescued 17 Days After Bangladesh Building Collapse

Rescuers carry a survivor who was buried for 17 days under the rubble of a building that collapsed in Saver, near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Parvez Ahmad Rony AP

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:25 pm

(Most recent update: 1:15 p.m. ET.)

There's incredible news from Bangladesh:

"Miraculous as it may sound," a survivor was rescued Friday from the rubble of the eight-story building that collapsed 17 days ago near Dhaka, The Daily Star reported this morning.

That story from Bangladesh's English-language newspaper has been followed with these bulletins from other news outlets:

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Politics and Government
5:16 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House Approves Budget Deal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has approved a $7.1 billion bill to fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year, despite objections from Democrats and some Republicans who complained the measure doesn't provide enough money for public safety entities.

The House voted 59-40 on Thursday for the general appropriations bill that funds state agencies for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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Business and Economy
4:51 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

OK Horse Breeder Found Guilty of Money Laundering

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The brother of two leaders of one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico has been found guilty of buying racehorses to hide illegal drug profits.

A federal jury on Thursday found Jose Trevino Morales guilty of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors believe Trevino's older brothers run the Zetas drug cartel, considered the biggest criminal organization in Mexico.

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Health
4:44 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Utah Consultant Reports on OK Medicaid

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A consultant hired by Oklahoma to help answer the question of how to insure people without health coverage says an existing program could provide the bedrock for a broader project.

Utah-based Leavitt Partners gave the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board its preliminary report Thursday. The firm says Insure Oklahoma could be reworked and expanded to help almost 200,000 Oklahomans afford health insurance. Insure Oklahoma currently uses Medicaid money to help buy insurance for about 30,000 people.

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State Capitol
2:46 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

State House Approves Changes To Abortion Reporting

Credit Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Abortion providers in Oklahoma would be required to answer dozens of new questions on a state questionnaire under a bill given final approval in the House despite concerns the bill paves the way for costly litigation against the state.

The bill by State Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) adds several questions to the Individual Abortion Form that abortion providers in Oklahoma are required to fill out and submit to the Department of Health.

Providers already are required to ask a woman dozens of questions about her age, race, marital status, previous pregnancies, and relationship problems.

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Oklahoma City Thunder
11:58 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hobbled Westbrook Still Tries To Help Team From OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook during a game against the Washington Wizards - March 14, 2011
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr

Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook says he expects to be on crutches for at least four weeks after knee surgery that forced him to sit for the remainder of the NBA Playoffs.

“For now, I can’t travel,” Westbrook says. “When I get off crutches, we’ll sit down and see what the timetable is for me.”

Westbrook told reporters Thursday morning he’s still trying to find ways to help his team by offering input during halftime, practices, and in the film room.

“The group of guys we have, I think we have enough to get a ring,” Westbrook says.

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