Mississippi: Court stays “religious freedom” law. The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week refused to grant Gov. Phil Bryant’s (R) request to either overturn or stay a lower court’s ruling against the Magnolia State’s law allowing vendors to refuse service to same-sex couples if it violated their religious beliefs, reports The Commercial Appeal ……. Oklahoma: Lankford hits payment to Iran. Expressing concern over Iran’s “continued pursuit of nuclear capabilities and terrorism financing,” US Sen. James Lankford (R), in an op/ed published by NewsOK.com, urged that the US government require the Iranian government to be “transparent” about its nuclear program and about the US payment of $400 million, plus $1.3 billion in interest, transferred to Iran on the day Iran released four US hostages ……. Texas: Abbott makes first post-hospitalization appearance. After Gov. Greg Abbot (R) was severely burned in an accident while vacationing in Wyoming, he quickly returned to Dallaswhen five police officers were murdered, but then re-entered the hospital for treatment of the burns. Last week, he made his first public appearance since the treatment, attending the groundbreaking for a new bridge in Corpus Christi, reports The Dallas News …….