Grand Jury Indicts Russians Linked To Interference In 2016 Election

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities in connection with the attack on the 2016 presidential election. The defendants are "accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes," according to a statement from the special counsel's office. The indictment charges them with "conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud,...

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Photos by Mike Morgan and Sandy Honig

Two New Hosts For 'Morning Edition' And 'All Things Considered'

Starting soon Ailsa Chang will host All Things Considered along with Audie Cornish, Mary Louise Kelly and Ari Shapiro; and Noel King will join David Greene, Steve Inskeep and Rachel Martin as the fourth host of Morning Edition and the Up First podcast. "Audiences already know and love Noel and Ailsa from NPR's Peabody award-winning podcast Planet Money ; now they will hear them daily hosting our morning and evening drive news magazines," says Chris Turpin, acting Senior Vice President for...

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Flickr / Wesley Fryer

The Oklahoma House approved legislation on Tuesday that reduces sentences for property crimes like larceny and forgery.

Republican Terry O’Donnell of Catoosa authored the bill. He says it will lower the state's overall incarceration rate and the number of women in prison — many of which are convicted for non-violent crimes like writing bad checks.

O'Donnell's office says prison admissions for property crimes grew by almost 30 percent recent years. The average sentence for those convictions has also increased over time.

Headlines for Wednesday, February 7, 2018:

  • Lawmakers expect to hear from bills crafted from Step Up Oklahoma. (KOSU)

  • A group opposing an increase in taxes spends big on new ads. (NewsOK)

As Oklahoma lawmakers deal with the current legislative session, they are also still holding a special session.

Legislative leaders are hoping to get bills heard in committee this week. The bills, crafted on recommendations from the business coalition Step Up Oklahoma, would raise taxes and create reforms in state government.

Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols says he’s hearing one main theme from lawmakers and constituents alike.

Zacarias Moussaoui, who was convicted in 2006 of conspiring with the Sept. 11 attackers, has filed a complaint over the conditions at the federal prison where he is serving a life sentence.

The Associated Press reports that Moussaoui has filed handwritten petitions in federal courts in Oklahoma and Colorado, saying he suffers "psychological torture" as he is kept in complete isolation. Moussaoui seeks relief from prison guidelines that "keep me in total isolation without access to a lawyer to break me psychologically," according to the AP.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

The House passed a bill Tuesday evening to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, as Senate leaders still hope to clear the way for years of budget harmony this week with a long-term spending agreement.

But as Congress worked on keeping things running, President Trump made a fresh call to shut down the government over immigration.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

The stock market finished the day sharply higher, but only after another session of wild price swings.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 24,912.77, an increase of 567 points, or 2.3 percent. But it began the day down sharply, with triple-digit losses.

Other major U.S. stock indexes also rebounded Tuesday, with the S&P 500 finishing up 46 points, or 1.7 percent, and the Nasdaq up 148 points, or 2.1 percent.

Headlines for Tuesday, February 6, 2018:

  • Governor Fallin is urging lawmakers to look to the future. (Tulsa World)

  • Democrats say Fallin’s State of the State falls short of fixing Oklahoma’s budget issues. (NewsOK)

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin urged lawmakers to find compromise and steer clear of budgetary and legislative chaos in her final State of the State address at the Oklahoma capitol on Monday. The speech laid out a number of Fallin's priorities for the legislative session.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma experienced a dramatic drop in earthquakes in 2017 — a decline likely due, in part, to regulations limiting activity at oil-field disposal wells, scientists and experts say. New research suggests those regulations might be reducing some quakes more than others.

It’s been two years since state oil and gas regulators adopted a broad regional plan that limits the amount of wastewater pumped into disposal wells in quake-prone areas. The good news: It appears to be working. After peaking in 2015, earthquakes became a lot less frequent.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

The stock market went on a wild ride again on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average closing down 1,175 points, its worst point drop in history. The Dow closed down 4.6 percent and turned negative for the year.

At one point Monday afternoon, the Dow was down 1,579 points — the largest intraday point drop in the history of the index.

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KOSU's Michael Cross talks about political news in Oklahoma with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican political consultant Neva Hill.

Education News

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers have butted heads for years over how to increase funding for education, but one recurring idea has been to give schools more flexibility in spending the money they already have.

A new bill filed by Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, is the most recent attempt to do this.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education voted to accept Superintendent Aurora Lora’s resignation Tuesday night.

OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The State Department of Education surveyed thousands of former teachers about why they left the profession, and what it would take to get them back. The survey results, released Monday, suggest most quit because of low pay.

When asked the open-ended question, “Why did you quit teaching in Oklahoma Public Schools?” 34 percent of respondents cited pay or a better opportunity.

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