India's prime minister Narendra Modi greets Chinese President Xi Jinping, September 17, 2014
Narendra Modi / Flickr

China’s President Xi Jinping paid a three-day visit to India this week to promote trade between the two countries as part of its broader initiative to strengthen regional economic cooperation.

Over the past few years China has been building ports and making strategic investments throughout South Asia as part of its “String of Pearls” plan, says Rebecca Cruise, Assistant Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a security studies and a comparative politics expert.

The United States and its allies expanded their assault against the Islamic State on Monday, striking targets inside Syria for the first time, the Pentagon said.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. had used "a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

Kirby said that because these strikes are ongoing, he could not go into details about where in Syria the allies were attacking. But a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman that the strikes occurred near Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold.

Narconon Arrowhead

Attorneys in Oklahoma are preparing to argue that the state should release a report about a drug rehabilitation facility where three patients died.

The Tulsa World reports a Pittsburg County district judge will hear arguments Tuesday about the Narconon Arrowhead center, which is financially backed by the Church of Scientology. An attorney has requested investigative records from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority members voted unanimously Monday to seek the Oklahoma State Supreme Court’s validation of the legislation authorizing a bond issue to fund improvements to the State Capitol.

International Paper

Gov. Mary Fallin says a southeastern Oklahoma containerboard mill will create 65 jobs as it increases its capacity next summer.

Fallin says International Paper will invest $90 million at its Valliant mill to restart a machine that was idled indefinitely nearly five years ago. The machine is scheduled to be operational in the summer of 2015.

The company says restarting the machine will allow the plant to produce an additional 360,000 tons of capacity to produce high quality medium, a packaging material.

Oklahoma Policy Institute


Education is a core service of Oklahoma’s state government, is woefully underfunded, and will cost the state future jobs if not addressed soon.

That’s the message of some panelists convened by the Oklahoma Policy Institute last month, which discussed Oklahoma’s burgeoning fiscal challenges.

Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission

Oklahoma’s Alcoholic Beverage and Laws Enforcement Commission may become “more aggressive” over funds diverted from the agency by the federal government if the money is not reimbursed, according to a report from eCapitol.

Executive Director Keith Burt told members of the commission at its meeting September 19 that ABLE had not been reimbursed according to its agreement with the federal government.  Last month commissioners were told approximately $61,000 intended for the agency were diverted to satisfy another Oklahoma state agency’s debt.

Ben and Kristen Jones stand on their empty lot that Rebuilding Together OKC is building using United Way tornado donations.
Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Tornado Project

In the wake of last year’s devastating tornadoes, millions of dollars in donations went to The United Way of Central Oklahoma. The non-profit organization also agreed to administer Governor Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Strong tornado relief campaign. Together, the funds raised a total of $20 million. 

One week after the tornado hit the city of Moore in May of 2013, country singer Blake Shelton showed up to host a benefit concert called Healing in the Heartland.

OU School of Law

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to the University of Oklahoma last week to speak at the OU School of Law. One of the last questions came from a Choctaw student who greeted her in Choctaw.

"Halito, (words in Choctaw) yakoke. As Professor Tai said, my name is Kelbie Kennedy and I'm a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” said Kennedy. “I am so glad that you are preserving your native language. It’s so important for people in your generation to do that, thank you for attempting and succeeding obviously!” Sotomayor said.