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AM NewsBrief: June 14, 2024

This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Friday, June 14, 2024.

Gov. Kevin Stitt Issues Executive Order to Prepare Oklahoma for Possible Indo-Pacific Conflict

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is preparing the state for possible conflict between the United States, its Indo-Pacific allies and The People’s Republic of China.

The governor’s latest executive order directs the agency managing state assets to take preemptive and protective action… against potential cyberattacks coming from China.

Stitt’s Executive Order mandates the Office of Enterprise and Management Services, or OMES, to annually audit the state for vulnerabilities to attacks from the Chinese Communist Party, and to implement solutions to combat such attacks preemptively.

Those attacks could be cybersecurity breaches of state agency networks and systems, threats to state or national economic security and public health, or the disabling of electric and water infrastructure, Stitt writes.

In the justification for the executive action, Stitt points to federal cybersecurity and intelligence officials' claims that China is at the top of a list of aggressive “foreign adversaries” engaging in the cyber espionage of Americans.

An assessment of the state’s vulnerabilities is to be delivered to the governor and legislative leadership within 90 days of Thursday’s order to be followed by the state’s divestment from at-risk assets.

Oklahoma Group Reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Decision Preserving Abortion Pill Access

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a case in a unanimous ruling Thursday that would have restricted access to the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone.

The court ruled the case’s plaintiffs lack the right to sue the FDA based on its approval of the drug and decisions to ease access to it.

Tamya Cox-Touré, a co-chair for the Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice, says she’s happy the drug is still available to everyone. But she says future cases could be made against the drug.

Cox-Touré also says she’s concerned by how Oklahoma considered policies this session that would have restricted abortion-inducing drugs.

“Even with our very extreme ban, legislators and policymakers are still trying to find ways to make it more difficult for people to make decisions about when to become pregnant," said Cox-Touré.

Medication abortions accounted for over 60% of all abortions in the U.S. in 2023.

Noodling Festival to Draw Crowds to Pauls Valley

Noodling — in which people catch catfish using their hands as both the bait and the hook — is only legal in 17 states across the U.S. That’s why people from all over gather in south-central Oklahoma to celebrate the sport every year.

This weekend, Pauls Valley will welcome noodlers and their prize catfish for the 24th Okie Noodling Festival. Competitors can catch their quarry anywhere in the state, but they’ll have to haul them to the tournament alive for weighing.

Jennifer Samford is with Pauls Valley Parks and Rec and has been involved in the tournament for more than a decade. She says they have more than 40 noodlers registered this year, and they’ll come from other states and countries.

"I've met a couple that drove all the way from California because they wanted to be here and see it and, and then all around the world. We have a noodler registered from Japan, and they're bringing a film crew," said Samford.

The excitement isn’t just for competitive noodlers. There will be live music and food trucks tonight. On Saturday, people can watch the catfish weigh-ins and even practice noodling themselves in a demo tank.

"Iké Boys," Oklahoma-Inspired Film, Premieres in Japan This Weekend

A film set and shot in Oklahoma is making its Japanese theatrical debut this weekend.

The film "Iké Boys" is inspired by the childhood of writer-director Eric McEver, who grew up in Oklahoma in the late 1990s, watching anime and monster movies.

Two high school teens, Shawn and Vik, welcome Japanese study abroad student Miki to Oklahoma. But when they spend a night watching a bootleg anime, they are magically transformed into its super-powered characters.

The film features some familiar Oklahoma sights and people, like former TV meteorologist Gary England. But instead of tornadoes, expect a chance for monster battles, karate fights, and even actor Billy Zane.

If you don't think you can make it to Japan this weekend, you can still catch "Iké Boys" on streaming now.

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