• 58 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Since September, 58 residents have died because of flu-related complications, 43 of whom were 65 or older, the state Health Department reported Thursday. This time last year, 25 Oklahomans had died from the flu, including two children, and in 2013 during the same time, 17 Oklahomans had died of the flu.

  • Obama calls for spending surge, buoyed by rising economy

    Updated: 30 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring an end to "mindless austerity," President Barack Obama called for a surge in government spending Thursday, and asked Congress to throw out the sweeping budget cuts both parties agreed to four years ago when deficits were spiraling out of control. Obama's proposed $74 billion in added spending — about 7 percent — would be split about evenly between defense programs and the domestic side of the budget. Although he's sought before to reverse the "sequester" ''spending cuts, Obama's pitch in this year's budget comes with the added oomph of an improving economy and big recent declines in federal deficits.

  • Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL oil pipeline

    Updated: 34 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment. The 62-36 vote advanced a top priority of the newly empowered GOP, and marked the first time the Senate passed a bill authorizing the pipeline, despite numerous attempts to force President Barack Obama's hand on the issue. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure. This bill "is an important accomplishment for the country," said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

  • Gas blast wrecks Mexico children's hospital, at least 2 dead

    Updated: 52 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Injured and bleeding, mothers carrying infants fled from a maternity hospital shattered by a powerful gas explosion Thursday, and rescuers swung sledgehammers to break through fallen concrete hunting for others who might be trapped. At least two people were killed and more than 60 injured, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said at a news conference. The known dead were a woman and a child. Officials earlier said at least four people had been killed. Mancera said 70 percent of the hospital had collapsed and the priority was to continue digging in search of any trapped survivors.

  • Developer seeks $62 million assistance for downtown towers

    By Steve Lackmeyer, Business Writer | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Clayco, the Chicago developer proposing to build four towers downtown, formally submitted an application Thursday to the City of Oklahoma City asking for $62 million in tax increment financing.

  • MLK children work to settle dispute over Bible, Nobel prize

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — The children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. are trying to settle a lawsuit over their father's traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize without going to trial, according to a judge's order. King's estate, controlled by his sons, last year asked a judge to order King's daughter to surrender the items. In a board of directors meeting last January, Martin Luther King III and Dexter had voted 2-1 against the Rev. Bernice King to sell the artifacts. The case, considered by many to be the ugliest in a string of legal disputes that have divided the slain civil rights icon's children in recent years, was set to go to trial next month.

  • Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The father of a Jordanian fighter pilot and the wife of a Japanese journalist held by the Islamic State group pleaded for their loved ones' lives after a possible prisoner swap wasn't carried out by a deadline of sunset Thursday. The extremists had demanded that Jordan release a female al-Qaida prisoner from death row, and they purportedly threatened in an audio message to kill the airman if she was not freed by the deadline. After sundown in the Middle East, there was no word on the fate of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh and journalist Kenji Goto, and the families' agonizing wait dragged on. "We received no assurances from anyone that he is alive," Jawdat al-Kaseasbeh, a brother of the pilot, told The As

  • Authorities investigating officer-involved shooting in Stillwater

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Authorities were investigating an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon in Stillwater.

  • NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Each year around this time, NASA honors fallen astronauts, including the 17 men and women killed in three separate wintertime accidents in the sky and on the earth. For Robert "Hoot" Gibson, it's a time to remember lost friends and some of their stunts, like playing a saxophone in orbit. Gibson, who flew on five space shuttle missions, knew each of the 14 astronauts who died in the Challenger explosion on Jan. 28, 1986, and in the Columbia disaster on Feb. 1, 2003. On Thursday, he lit a candle of remembrance during a ceremony at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Behind him hung a photo of astronauts including Ron McNair. Gibson and McNair were crewmates aboard Challenger during a missi

  • Angry youths stone Nigerian leader's convoy; police fire gas

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JALINGO, Nigeria (AP) — Youths angry at the Nigerian government's failure to fight Islamic extremists threw stones Thursday at President Goodluck Jonathan's electioneering convoy in the eastern town of Jalingo, breaking windshields and windows on several vehicles. An Associated Press reporter was unable to see if anyone was hurt. Police used tear gas and whips to disperse the mob. From Jalingo, Jonathan flew to Yola, capital of Adamawa state, where officials had declared the route of his motorcade a no-go area. The presidential cavalcade already had been stoned in northern Katsina city and northeast Bauchi last week. Youths in Bauchi flung shoes and plastic bottles at Jonathan's podium at a rally.

  • Attorney General nominee picks up GOP support

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch picked up her first Republican endorsement Thursday en route to likely confirmation as the first black woman in the nation's top law enforcement job. "I believe she's not only qualified but exceptionally well-qualified and a very good person, to boot," Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared from the dais on the second day of Lynch's confirmation hearing to replace Eric Holder. Two other committee Republicans, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, also said they were likely to support her.

  • Oklahoma official: Executions could resume with other drugs

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — While the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of a sedative Oklahoma uses in lethal injections, Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he’ll push to resume executions. Pruitt said Thursday that if the state can obtain doses of barbiturates Oklahoma has used to execute inmates in the past, he’ll ask the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set new execution dates. That may be difficult, though. Oklahoma switched to the current method it uses when supplies of some drugs dried up. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday delayed three executions, including one that had been scheduled for this week.

  • Russia to cut budget for 2018 World Cup amid economic woes

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will cut the budget for hosting the 2018 World Cup as part of plans to slash state expenditure while recession looms, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday. The Russian government is cutting its spending by 10 percent across the board after the central bank predicted last month that the economy could contract 4.5 to 4.7 percent this year, under pressure from low oil prices and international sanctions. Mutko, also a FIFA executive committee member, said in comments reported by the Tass news agency that World Cup stadiums and associated infrastructure would be exempt from the cuts. However, "various organizational issues" and "subsidies to the organizing committee" would be cut, he said, along wit

  • Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The chances of a driver dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Improved vehicle designs and safety technology have a lot to do with the reduced risk, but a weak economy that led to reductions in driving may also have played a role, the institute said. The study, which examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looked at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as a rate per million registered vehicle years.

  • 'The Thorn Birds' author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — Best-selling Australian author Colleen McCullough, whose novel "The Thorn Birds" sold 30 million copies worldwide, has died at age 77 after a long illness. McCullough died Thursday in a hospital on remote Norfolk Island, HarperCollins Australia publishing director Shona Martyn said in a statement. McCullough had continued producing books despite a string of health and eyesight problems by using dictation, Martyn said. "Ever quick-witted and direct, we looked forward to her visits from Norfolk Island and the arrival of each new manuscript delivered in hard copy in custom-made maroon manuscript boxes inscribed with her name," Martyn said. McCullough wrote 25 novels throughout her career. Her final bo

  • Two dead in separate Oklahoma crashes

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 4 hr ago

    Two people are dead in Oklahoma wrecks. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the crashes.

  • Islamic State standoff involves prisoner, pilot, journalist

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A young Jordanian fighter pilot, a female al-Qaida recruit who tried to blow up a hotel ballroom in Amman and a veteran Japanese war correspondent are at the center of a life-and-death standoff with the Islamic State group. The militants, who hold the pilot and the journalist, have purportedly threatened to kill the airman at sundown Thursday, Iraq time, if the would-be suicide bomber is not released from death row in Jordan. The deadline passed without word on the two hostages. This is a look at the three people whose fate hangs in the balance. THE PRISONER Sajida al-Rishawi has close family ties to the Iraqi branch of the al-Qaida terror network that was the forerunner of the Islamic State group

  • McCain to protesters: ‘Get out of here, you low-life scum’

    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain has kicked protesters out of a budget hearing, calling them “low-life scum.” The upheaval came Thursday on Capitol Hill after members of an anti-war group calling itself Code Pink approached a witness table where former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and George P. Shultz were testifying. The protesters carried signs calling the 91-year-old Kissinger a war criminal. McCain blurted out, “Get out of here, you low-life scum.” Capitol Police removed the protesters from the room. The hearing was the third in a series in which the Arizona Republican has called luminaries from the foreign policy world to share

  • Bronze vases marking graves of children, veterans stolen from Norman cemetery

    By Jane Glenn Cannon, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    About 30 bronze vases marking graves in the Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Norman have been stolen. Cleveland County sheriff’s detectives say they believe the vases were taken for their metal value.

  • Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian investigators announced Thursday the co-pilot of the crashed AirAsia jet was in control when he struggled to recover the aircraft as stall warnings sounded. The Airbus A320-200 crashed into the Java Sea Dec. 28, halfway from Indonesia's city of Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed. Chief investigator of the National Transportation Safety Committee Marjono Siswosuwarno said that the cockpit voice recording indicated that the co-pilot, French national Remi Emmanuel Plesel, was flying the plane while Indonesian Capt. Iriyanto was monitoring. Iryanto, who like many Indonesians uses a single name, was a former fighter pilot with more than 20,500 flying hours, while