U.S. Women Head Into World Cup Final With Dominant Defense

It's here. It's today. It's the game the United States Women's National Soccer Team has dreamed about for four years. A return to the final of the World Cup.And, oh by the way, the team that beat the U.S. in the last World Cup is the same one they'll face today: Japan."For me, it's a constant reminder. It's been a constant reminder since July 17, 2011. It's kind of been that thing that's been within us, that fuels our fire, that motivates us," said star forward Abby Wambach. "It's always...
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OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Okla.
Granger Meador / Flickr

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to curb mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants across the country.

House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-Okla.) sits in the Oval Office with President Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Southeast Oklahoma is an unusual place, politically. Many southerners settled in the area after the Civil War, leading to its nickname “Little Dixie.”

Through the 20th century, it became the center of political power in Oklahoma, and the Democratic Party dominated politics well into the late 1990s. Decades after the formerly “Solid South” had switched to the Republican Party, Democrats enjoyed an 8:1 voter registration advantage in southeast Oklahoma.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Dr. Ervin Yen holds a prescription for Midazolam
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol Monday. The case centered on a single drug, midazolam, that’s now used as part of a three-drug cocktail. Critics claim it is unreliable during executions and cannot produce a “deep, coma-like state” on a regular basis.

But in hospitals across Oklahoma, the drug is being used by anesthesiologists very frequently.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says a recent story questioning the integrity of the university and the Oklahoma Geological Survey is “a bald-faced lie and some of the most inaccurate reporting I’ve ever seen in my life.”

It's been 70 years since a nuclear bomb was used in war, but in spite of that passage of time, it still has a great deal of relevance as a strategic construct even if they are unlikely to ever be used. Countries that possess nuclear weapons can pursue a more aggressive projection of power and a more aggressive foreign policy than they might be able to do otherwise.

Former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

An ex-Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a restrained and unarmed man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Defense attorney Clark Brewster told The Associated Press Friday that his client, Robert Bates, waived his right because the basic facts of the case are not in dispute. The former Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris on April 2.

Bates declined to comment outside of court Friday. He is next due in court July 6.

tedeytan / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. In a 5-4 decision Friday, the justices struck down bans on gay marriage that were in place in several states across the country.

Same sex marriage has been legal in Oklahoma since October 6, 2014, but neighboring states like Texas and Arkansas have enforced bans.

Read the decision from Obergefell v. Hodges

Ginny Sain, left and Anna Marie Lane protest the conditions at the Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday evening.
M. Scott Carter / Oklahoma Watch

The sewage problems at the Oklahoma County’s beleaguered jail continue. In an echo of last year, sewage lines at the jail overflowed recently, flooding an unknown number of cells.

The incident mirrored a problem from 2014 in which a sewage line under the building collapsed and prevented county officials from using the kitchen for months.

On Tuesday a half-dozen protesters took to the sidewalk in front of the jail. They said they wanted the public to know just how bad conditions were in the facility, with one calling it “the worst jail in America.”

Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof wearing a jacket with patches of the flags of apartheid-era South Africa (top), and the former nation of Rhodesia (bottom).
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Last week’s mass shooting that left nine dead at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina has sparked a broader discussion about the nature of white supremacy in the United States.

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