The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Supreme Court Agrees To Rule On Constitutionality Of Execution Drug Cocktail

Bottles of the sedative midazolam, which is at issue in the Oklahoma death row prisoners' lawsuit. The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the drug is effective at preventing unconstitutional suffering.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:23 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Oklahoma's method of execution by lethal injection. The justices agreed to hear the Oklahoma case a week after refusing to halt another execution that used the same drug formula.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

DNA Exonerates Man Who Served Nearly 40 Years For Murder

Joseph Sledge, 70, addresses members of the media after being released from jail in Columbus County, N.C., on Friday. He served nearly four decades behind bars for two slayings he didn't commit.
Jonathan Drew AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Joseph Sledge is a free man after 37 years in prison following Friday's decision by a judicial panel in North Carolina to overturn his 1976 conviction in the stabbing deaths of an elderly mother and her daughter.

The Associated Press says DNA evidence had helped to exonerate Sledge, now 70, whose case was referred last month to the three-judge panel by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.

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Oklahoma News
4:27 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Bureau Of Narcotics Goes After Meth Trafficking

Credit Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics

Arrest warrants have been issued following a yearlong methamphetamine trafficking investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Spokesman Mark Woodward says agents and officers from several departments fanned out early Friday with 18 arrest warrants for defendants accused of trafficking crystal methamphetamine into Ponca City.

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Oklahoma News
3:58 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Supreme Court To Review Use of Midazolam In Executions

Oklahoma has authorized four different lethal injection protocols: a single, lethal dose of either pentobarbital or sodium pentothal, a two-drug procedure using midazolam and hydromorphone, or the same three-drug method used in Florida.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court is stepping into the issue of lethal injection executions for the first time since 2008 in an appeal filed by death row inmates in Oklahoma.

The justices agreed Friday to review whether the sedative midazolam can be used in executions because of concerns that it does not produce a deep, comalike unconsciousness and ensure that a prisoner does not experience intense and needless pain when other drugs are injected to kill him.

Oklahoma uses midazolam as one of three drugs in lethal injection executions.

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World Views
12:58 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

German Anti-Islam Protests Not Just About French Attacks, But Larger Refugee Issues

Protesters in Germany, January 19, 2015
Sozialfotografie [►] StR Flickr

Strong crowds showed up for anti-Islam rallies in the German cities of Dresden, Leipzig, and Duisburg throughout the month as part of weekly rallies organized by a group called Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA.

Protesters have been wearing black ribbons to show their solidarity with the victims last week's terror attacks in Paris.

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World Views
11:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Shifting Middle East Strategy Among Few Foreign Policy Proposals In State Of The Union

President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress.
The White House Twitter

President Obama spent very little time on foreign policy and foreign affairs during Tuesday night's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

But he did call on lawmakers to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force against self-proclaimed Islamic State militants.

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It's All Politics
9:06 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Senate Says Climate Change Real, But Not Really Our Fault

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was the only senator to vote against an amendment calling climate change "real and not a hoax."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 1:20 pm

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

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Oklahoma Watch
8:11 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In Perry, Tribal Rights Clear Way For Neighborhood Casino

The Oteo Missouria Tribe has razed three homes in an east Perry neighborhood to build a casino and parking lot.
Jocelyn Pedersen Oklahoma Watch

The house, crouching in the middle of a neighborhood in east Perry, sat unoccupied for years.

Its shingles were rotted, and its metal porch railing was bent. Weeds and brush rose from the foundation past gaping, empty windows.

Last year, city officials notified the owners that they needed to clean up the property. The city wasn’t prepared for the counteroffer.

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe, which oversees the property, held in federal trust, proposed instead to raze the home and build a casino.

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Business Intelligence Report
6:46 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Three Statewide Business And Development Stories We're Watching This Week

Traffic passes in front of the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs The Journal Record

Tuesday the Oklahoma City Council approved a request for proposals for a hotel catering to the convention center that will be built as part of the series of projects funded by the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax extension.

During the meeting, the council heavily stressed the importance of building enough parking for the hotel, convention center, and other uses around town, as well as alternate funding to make sure developers can complete the project.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Dies; Witnessed A New Era

Saudi state TV reported Friday Saudi King Abdullah died at the age of 90.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:03 pm

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.

Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.

The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.

The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.

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