World Views
11:27 am
Tue March 17, 2015

What The Ongoing Nuclear Talks Mean For Iran’s Domestic Politics

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, flanked deputies, sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other advisers on March 17, 2015, in Lausanne, Switzerland, before resuming negotiations about the future of Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. Department of State Flickr

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on Monday in the latest round of nuclear talks. Iran and Western governments have been working on negotiations with the goal of reducing the size of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting sanctions imposed on the country.

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Oklahoma Watch
9:32 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Marriage Bill Would Not Eliminate State Involvement

Cavan Images Flickr Creative Commons

While supporters say House Bill 1125 would eliminate state-issued marriage licenses, public oversight of those marriages would continue, even if the licenses are no longer issued.

Currently, state law requires religious officials and others who officiate at marriage ceremonies to register with county officials before a marriage certificate can be considered valid.

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Oklahoma News
6:50 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Diversity Concerns Linger On University Of Oklahoma Campus

Demonstrators gather outside Evans Hall on the University of Oklahoma campus last week to protest the video with racist chants by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members.
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

In the days after a racially charged video circulated on social media and gained national attention, minority students at the University of Oklahoma spoke out, many expressing concerns about their experiences on campus.

The leaked video shows Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members chanting that African American males would never be allowed in their organization. It was blatantly racist, and emotions ran high with students and faculty at the university.

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11:19 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Used Syringes And Vials Found In Arkansas River

Credit Biggishben / Wikimedia Commons

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says medical waste including used vials and syringes has been found in the Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma.

Agency spokeswoman Erin Hatfield says the department was notified Monday of the discovery in Pawnee County and will send investigators to the scene about 60 miles west of Tulsa "in the next few days."

She said the river does not supply drinking water in Oklahoma. She also said there appears to be no immediate danger, other than to river users who might encounter any vials or syringes.

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Oklahoma News
6:08 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Bill Bans School Districts From Collecting Union Dues

A bill that prohibits Oklahoma school districts from making payroll deductions for its employees for union membership has narrowly passed a state Senate committee.

The Senate General Government Committee voted 4-3 Monday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm of Broken Arrow, the chairman of the committee. The bill already passed the House and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill's approval came despite opposition from the state's two largest teacher unions — the Oklahoma Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

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Oklahoma News
5:29 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

House Committee Passes Tobacco-Free Schools Bill

Credit Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Public schools in Oklahoma would become tobacco free under legislation approved by a state House committee and sent to the full House.

The House Common Education Committee voted 14-0 Monday for the bill that has already passed the state Senate. A similar bill was previously passed by the House and is pending in the Senate.

Oklahoma law already requires that public schools be tobacco-free during the school day. The bill by Republican Rep. Lee Denney of Cushing would extend that policy to include non-school hours as well as school vehicles and school-sponsored activities.

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4:26 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Excitement Over Mexico's Shale Fizzles As Reality Sets In

A platform owned by Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex is seen off the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The country has recently opened up its energy sector to foreign investors.
Victor Ruiz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:01 pm

The prolific shale formation that has made people rich in South Texas doesn't stop at the Rio Grande, as U.S. maps seem to indicate.

"The geology doesn't change when you cross that little 20-foot-deep river," says Brandon Seale, president of San Antonio-based Howard Energy Mexico. "What goes on 10,000 feet under the river is the exact same."

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Here & Now
1:36 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

The Week's News In Social Media

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough came under fire in social media for his comments about the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma that created racist chants. (MSNBC screenshot)

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 3:06 pm

Last week’s news blew up in social media circles, from Senator Tom Cotton’s letter about Iran, to comments from MSNBC hosts about racist chants by SAE frat members at the University of Oklahoma.

Slate editor-in-chief Julia Turner joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss to round up how the news reverberated through social media.

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Oklahoma News
12:13 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

University Of Oklahoma Hires Former Federal Judge To Assist In Fraternity Investigation

Forme U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage

The University of Oklahoma has retained a prominent Oklahoma attorney and former U.S. District judge to assist school officials with an investigation into a racist chant by some fraternity members.

In a statement released by the university on Monday, Oklahoma City attorney Michael Burrage says he will advise OU on a "range of legal matters." Burrage says he's been fully briefed on the university's investigation, which is focused on potential violations of the school's Student Code.

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Religion and Politics
9:28 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Professor Argues In Favor Of Hobby Lobby's Supreme Court Case

Credit Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

The United States is a divided nation and Americans need to figure out how to live together, according to Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame. Muñoz spoke at a recent lecture entitled "Hobby Lobby, Obamacare & the Future of Religious Freedom" at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Auditorium.

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