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"Critical Infrastructure" Bill Seen as Deterrent for Protests Sent to Oklahoma Senate

Oklahoma state representatives easily passed a bill criticized as a way to deter protests similar to those over the Dakota Access Pipeline. House Bill 1123 makes it a felony to trespass at what’s deemed "critical infrastructure" with the intent of vandalism or interrupting operations, punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and a year in prison. It also makes it a felony to actually cause damage, punishable by up to a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. Refineries, various utility...

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Tulsa County Declares Vision Surplus

Tulsa County leaders take action to allow spending of Vision surplus funds on infrastructure projects in unincorporated areas. Commission and Vision Authority Chairman Ron Peters says with funds now allocated to all city of Tulsa and suburbs projects, a declaration is a necessary step for county projects to go forward. With a surplus now officially declared, the first one-and-a-half million of a total of more than $19-million will go for road projects. Other projects will be chosen from a...

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Calling For 'Renewal Of The American Spirit,' Trump Outlines His Vision

President Trump pushed the reset button after a rocky first month in office, delivering an on-message joint address to Congress that outlined his vision for America. "I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said at the outset, declaring that "the torch of truth, liberty and justice ... is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world." It was a remarkably different tone than the president's usual...

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Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway?

We're all familiar with the term "hidden in plain sight." Well, there may be no better way to describe the nation's 6,900 charter schools. These publicly-funded, privately-run schools have been around since the first one opened in St. Paul, Minn., in 1992. Today, they enroll about 3.1 million students in 43 states, so you'd think Americans should know quite a bit about them by now. But you'd be wrong. "Most Americans misunderstand charter schools," was the finding of the 2014 PDK/Gallup poll...

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StudioTulsa

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Jessica Nutik Zitter, who practices the atypical combination of ICU and palliative care medicine at a hospital in Oakland, California. She's also the author of a remarkable new book, "Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life." As was noted of this memoir/critique/meditation by Kirkus Reviews: "End-stage patient suffering and distress inspire an early-career watershed moment for a sympathetic physician.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday the 21st, the State Board of Equalization met in Oklahoma City to approve revised revenue estimates for FY 2017 and FY 2018. The revised estimates for FY 2017 are for revenues to be "under" by some $296 million, or 5.7 percent, and thus a revenue failure has been declared. This is the third time since 2000 that there have been revenue failures for the state budget in two consecutive years; it also happened in 2002-03 and 2009-10. How did the State of Oklahoma (once again) get here? And does the budget outlook for next year look any better?

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing the Oscar-nominated documentary feature, "I Am Not Your Negro," which opens locally tomorrow (Friday the 24th) at the Circle Cinema. Indeed, our two guests today -- Hannibal Johnson (a Tulsa-based author and attorney) and Bob Jackson (an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa) -- will both be speaking about this film, and co-leading an audience-wide discussion about it, tomorrow night at the Circle.

On this edition of ST, our guest is psychologist and author Kenneth E. Miller, who has been working with war-affected communities since 1991 as a researcher, clinician, organizational consultant, and filmmaker. He joins us to discuss his book, "War Torn: Stories of Courage, Love, and Resilience." With 200 million people affected by armed conflict or genocide worldwide, refugees are appearing in record numbers; indeed, not since World War II have so many war-affected migrants been relocating around the globe.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Ted Piccone, a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy as well as the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies, and he spoke recently at the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations. Piccone is the author of "Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order," and his talk here in Tulsa was basically an extension of this book.

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Lawsuit Alleges That PayPal Diverted Donations To Different Charities

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday with PayPal's response. A class action lawsuit filed in Illinois on Tuesday alleges that PayPal misled tens of thousands of people about charitable donations made on the company's platform. Specifically, it says the PayPal Giving Fund would tell users they were donating to a specific organization of their choice, but PayPal would actually redirect those funds to a different charity, without telling the donor or original charity. Thousands of organizations...

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A survivor of abuse has resigned from Pope Francis' panel on clerical sex abuse, citing "shameful" resistance within the Vatican to the group's efforts to protect children.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway acted "inadvertently" when she urged shoppers to buy Ivanka Trump's products on Fox and Friends last month and won't make the same mistake again, the Trump administration says.

"It is noted that Ms. Conway made the statement in question in a light, off-hand manner while attempting to stand up for a person she believed had been unfairly treated and did so without nefarious motive or intent to benefit personally," wrote Stefan C. Passantino, deputy counsel to the president, compliance and ethics.

President Trump's address to Congress Tuesday night was either, in Vice President Pence's view, an example of Trump's "broad shoulders, big heart, reaching out" vision — or — in the eyes of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a "bait and switch" speech.

When James Harris rushed his wife, Salome Karwah, to a hospital at the edge of Monrovia on the night of February 19, he expected that she'd be treated as a priority case. Salome was a prominent Ebola survivor and ex-Doctors Without Borders employee who'd graced the cover of Time magazine in 2014 as one of the "Ebola Fighters" named persons of the year.

President Trump is receiving plaudits for his first joint address to Congress.

The White House certainly thinks it went well — so much so, it was reported that the White House is holding its revised travel ban, in part, to bask in the glow of the positive reviews.

Snap polls after the speech showed that people who watched it largely liked it.

A Canadian investigative consumer program ordered DNA analysis of several fast-food chicken sandwiches and concluded that Subway chicken was only half meat — with the other half soy.

The sandwich chain strongly rebuts the allegations, with a spokesman calling them "absolutely false" and calling for a retraction.

Oklahoma drought conditions as of February 21, 2017

U.S. Drought Monitor

Oklahoma drought conditions as of February 21, 2017

A month ago, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit the pause button on his controversial war on drugs. That war has left more than 7,500 people dead since Duterte took office last June, promising a "dirty" and "bloody" fight against drugs.

"Do your duty, and if in the process, you kill 1,000 persons, I will protect you," Duterte, nicknamed "The Punisher," told police days after his election.

And he did — standing by them fiercely in the months that followed, despite allegations of of extrajudicial killings that prompted international outrage.

In his speech last night, President Trump asked Congress to pass a broad school choice initiative.

"I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. ...

"These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them."

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

A former officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, Sabrina De Sousa, was released from custody today after Italy's president granted her partial clemency over a 2003 kidnapping that was part of the agency's extraordinary rendition program.

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