Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Chemical plants and oil refineries spewed millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and on the ground after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas a year ago. Some parts of the state did a better job than others in controlling those emissions and spills, according to a new report that tries to take lessons from Harvey to better prepare for the next storm.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is demanding an explanation of President Trump's decision this week to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan

In a letter to White House chief of staff John Kelly, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., asked for a detailed briefing on the decision and suggested Trump may have failed to follow proper procedures.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET, Aug. 17

The U.S. government says the operators of a pirate radio station that has been known for airing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' program must pay a $15,000 FCC penalty for broadcasting without a license. The station's operators have rejected the demand and accuse the Federal Communications Commission of "trying to run a bluff."

The agency says a civil suit filed by the Justice Department has nothing to do with the station's airing of Jones' broadcasts, and is only about the license issue.

Lotus Carroll

The San Antonio City Council passed a new paid sick leave ordinance Thursday — but the local rule may well die either in the courts or on the floor of the state Legislature before it goes into effect next year.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET

More than 300 news publications across the country are joining together to defend the role of a free press and denounce President Trump's ongoing attacks on the news media in coordinated editorials publishing Thursday, according to a tally by The Boston Globe.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Jan Morgan used to think smartphones were for young people.

"I didn't want a phone smarter than me," she joked.  

She refused to get one. Instead the 66-year-old bought flip phones and pre-paid phone cards. Thirty-three phones later, a store clerk pointed out that she didn't have to buy a new phone to get more minutes.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has temporarily lost some Twitter privileges over breaking the site's rules against abusive behavior. Last week, the company was a notable exception after a wave of other major tech companies banned Jones and his main channels.

The penalties to Alex Jones' personal account, @RealAlexJones, are for one week. The Twitter page for his website Infowars posted screenshots of the notice that Twitter apparently sent Jones.

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