The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
8:48 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Sequester Has Air Force Clipping Its Wings

To save money, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina is keeping some of its pilots out of the sky.
Airman 1st Class Aubrey White U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 11:58 am

The Pentagon says the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration could leave the U.S. with a military that is simply unprepared for the most challenging combat missions. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told Congress in April that the military is eating its seed corn.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Astronauts Go On Spacewalk To Fix Ammonia Leak

NASA.gov

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 4:11 pm

Two astronauts went on a last-minute spacewalk Saturday to replace a pump suspected of being the source of a serious ammonia leak.

It was unclear what caused the ammonia leak, NASA spokesman Rob Navias said, "but the installation of this spare pump package — at least at the moment — seems to have done the trick."

NASA officials called the spacewalk a success, but said it would take time to see if the leak was indeed stopped. Engineers will review photos the astronauts took at the site.

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Politics and Government
6:23 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

House Expected to Consider OHP Raise

Members of the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol academy.
Credit Oklahoma Highway Patrol

The Oklahoma House is expected to consider a measure that would increase the amount of money Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers receive each month for an equipment allowance.

A bill expected to be considered next week would boost the troopers' monthly allowance from $150 to $300, effectively giving them an $1,800 annual raise. The bill would still need to pass both the House and Senate.

The money to pay for the increase was freed up from the Department of Public Safety's operating budget after a bill passed earlier this session to increase driver's license fees.

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World Views
2:42 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

As Gitmo Hunger Strike Grows, So Does "Desperate Situation"

Col. Bruce Vargo, the joint detention group commander at Guantanamo Bay, gives a tour of a detainee holding cell to Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - January 13, 2008
Credit Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley / U.S. Navy

More and more detainees are participating in the third month of a hunger strike to protest their treatment at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Suzette Grillot says the hunger strike started over raids in cell blocks and the improper and inappropriate handling of the Qur’an, but the issue has evolved to “When are we going to get out of here?”

Rebecca Cruise says another goal of the detainees is to simply draw attention back to the situation that’s fallen off the front pages in the decade since the camp opened.

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Oklahoma Politics
12:50 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

State Senator To Seek Democratic Party Post

State Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) at a press conference during the Rev. Jesse Jackson's 2012 visit to the State Capitol
Credit Oklahoma Senate

A state senator from Oklahoma City has announced her candidacy for chairwoman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

State Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) said Friday she will seek the post during the party's annual convention on Saturday, May 18. Democratic campaign strategist Jed Green will seek the vice-chair position.

Current Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins also is seeking re-election to the post, along with current vice-chair Dana Orwig. Collins is a former Democratic state legislator from Norman.

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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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