World Views
1:59 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Landis: On Syria Anniversary, Very Little To Be Optimistic About

A crowd gathers outside London's National Gallery in Trafalgar Square Thursday for a vigil to mark the third anniversary of the start of Syria's civil war.
Credit Andy Armstrong / Flickr Creative Commons

This weekend marks three years since the first mass protests in Damascus, Aleppo, and Daraa lit kindling of unrest in Syria that eventually ignited a full-scale civil war.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and the author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment, says countries in the region and the United States now view the Syrian crisis as a counterterrorism problem.

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World Views
12:50 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

To Understand Russia's Interest In Crimea, Start With Catherine The Great

Allegory of Catherine the Great’s Victory over the Turks and Tatars
Credit Stefano Torelli, 1772, Oil On Canvas / Wikimedia Commons

Talks in London about Ukraine between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up Friday, but the country’s top two diplomats say there’s “no common” vision between Russia and the United States.

“It’s not just about power and access to the base,” says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Historically, there’s much more to this story.”

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Fri March 14, 2014

No Breakthrough In Talks About Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their talks Friday in London. Afterward, they reported no breakthroughs on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:11 pm

This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

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State Capitol
10:14 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Oklahoma House's No. 2 Not Seeking Re-election

State Rep. Mike Jackson (R-Enid)
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives

An Enid Republican who currently serves as the Number 2 leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives says he won't run for another term in office.

Representative Mike Jackson said Thursday the current term will be his last representing House District 40.

Jackson currently serves as the Speaker Pro Tem, the Number 2 leadership position in the House. He lost the race to become speaker of the House earlier this session to Representative Jeff Hickman of Fairview. The two men were seeking to replace former Speaker T.W. Shannon, who resigned as he runs for U.S. Senate.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Missing Jet Reportedly Kept Sending Signals For 5 1/2 Hours

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday, a woman writes on a banner full of messages about the 239 missing passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Edgar Su Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:14 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Frank Langfitt reports

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: After Flight MH370 Disappeared, It Kept Telling Satellites 'I'm Awake':

Communications satellites continued to receive signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane for at least 5 1/2 hours after it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand, a source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Frank Langfitt.

Frank, reporting from Shanghai, writes that:

"Flight MH370's last known communication came after 1 o'clock last Saturday morning, local time, according to Malaysian officials.

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Travel
8:11 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Spring Break Travel Delays Possible At OKC, Tulsa Airports

A concourse at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
Credit Ragesoss / Creative Commons

Officials at Will Rogers World Airport inOklahoma City and at Tulsa International Airport say airlines are expected to be busy through the weekend because of students who are out on spring break.

Passengers are advised to arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight — especially for flights scheduled to depart before 8 a.m.

Officials also note that many airlines now close flight check-in, both online and at the ticket counter, 25-30 minutes prior to departure to ensure on-time departures.

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Around the Nation
6:46 am
Fri March 14, 2014

A Boom In Oil Is A Boon For U.S. Shipbuilding Industry

A welder at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 3:58 pm

Scott Clapham peers down into a cavernous dry dock at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. He points to massive pieces of steel, some covered with a light dusting of snow. When assembled, they will form a 115,000-ton oil tanker.

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Author Interviews
4:16 am
Fri March 14, 2014

In 2009, 3 Americans Went For A Hike, And Ended Up In A Tehran Prison

Joshua Fattal (from left), Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer were on a hike in 2009 when they unknowingly crossed a road that bordered to Iran. They were stopped by border patrol and imprisoned in Tehran.
Mia Nakano Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:27 am

In the summer of 2009, three young Americans went for a hike. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were living together in Syria, teaching and writing. Their friend Josh Fattal was visiting from the U.S. The three took a tour to a waterfall in the Kurdish highlands of Iraq, and as they hiked along a road that turned out to be the border with Iran, an armed man in uniform waved them over.

The next thing they knew, they had embarked on a two-year ordeal in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. They join NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about their new memoir, A Sliver of Light.

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Prison Guards requested bill
6:11 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Criminals Won't Be Earning Early Credits For Good Behavior

Rep. Scott Biggs
Credit Oklahoma State Legislature

The Oklahoma House has shot down a bill to allow criminals to begin earning credits for good behavior earlier in their sentence after a lawmaker warned that a vote on the bill would be seen as being "soft on crime."

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StateImpact Oklahoma
4:55 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Regulator Votes To Adopt New Rules For Disposal Wells In Earthquake-Prone Region

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission at the March 13, 2014 meeting.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to adopt new data monitoring and reporting rules for operators of disposal wells in central Oklahoma’s earthquake-prone Arbuckle Formation.

As StateImpact’s Joe Wertz reports, these are the first formal regulations addressing oil and gas-related earthquakes.

The rules require operators in the Arkbuckle to record daily injection pressure and volume measurements, and turn the data over to the commission if requested.

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