Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

Jos @ FPS-Groningen/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Texas is becoming increasingly urban, but lots of folks still live in the vast rural swathes of the state, as do their animals. That’s why it’s a problem that there’s a big shortage of veterinarians, who want to practice away from the big cities. The solution seemed simple to Texas Tech University – just open a new veterinary school in the Panhandle to get more people trained.

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From Texas Standard.

Nonmedical exemptions for vaccines have been on the rise over the past few years. They allow parents to bypass vaccination requirements for their children, based on religious or philosophical beliefs. These exemptions are often referred to as NMEs. A recent report published by the Public Library of Science Journal of Medicine, or PLOS Medicine, analyzed trends in the 18 states that permitted NMEs, from 2009 to 2017. Texas is one of them.

Photo via Office of the Texas Attorney General

From Texas Standard.

Texas is facing lawsuits over some of its abortion laws, including House Bill 2, which restricts access to abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires abortion clinics to maintain the same medical facilities as hospitals. The state is also being sued over the Fetal Burial Law, which requires clinics to bury remains from abortions and miscarriages.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Women make up only about 20 percent of the worldwide oil and gas workforce, according to a 2017 study by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Petroleum Council.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of Episcopal Church leaders from around the country protested the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy outside a detention center in Taylor on Sunday.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Texas voters are split on whether the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision creating a woman’s right to an abortion in the U.S., a new survey finds.

Public Policy Polling conducted the survey on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America. It found that 47 percent of Texas voters don’t want to see the landmark ruling overturned. Fifty percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to support their senator if he voted to confirm a candidate who would overturn Roe.

From Texas Standard:

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, New York City had a problem – tens of thousands of homeless children. Widespread poverty and disease led to a city overrun with orphans and unwanted children. That is until a minister had an idea: send them west.

Why Are Social Media Bosses Meeting With GOP Leaders?

Jun 29, 2018
Brian Caldwell/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent a note to his staff saying that the company is largely left leaning and that “we all have biases.” During Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s senate hearing, Texas senator Ted Cruz made allegations of liberal bias. This week, the Washington Post published reports that these social media executives and GOP leaders have been meeting in secret.

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From Texas Standard.

Still celebrating its advance in the World Cup this week, Mexico is headed into another emotional weekend as the much anticipated presidential election gets underway.

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From Texas Standard.

In a backlash against the president’s immigration policies, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, are now echoing calls from some Democratic Socialists and other progressives that ICE should be dissolved. The Texas Observer first reported this story, picked up today by The New York Times.

KUT News

From Texas Standard.

There’s nothing new about plastic straws. They’ve been around for decades. But there has been a recent backlash against them.

Eric Hamerman, a marketing professor and expert in consumer behavior at Iona College in New York, says the change has to do with a new awareness of our impact on the environment.

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From Texas Standard.

Immigrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border could potentially be housed at military bases – including a few in Texas – according to a recent report. Questions are swirling about how exactly this will play out.

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From Texas Standard.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old political newcomer, socialist and former campaign organizer for Bernie Sanders, beat her primary opponent in a primary race in New York. Her victory over Joe Crowley, the fourth-highest ranking Democrat in the House, came as a shock to some.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The International Energy Agency announced earlier this year that U.S. oil production will rise above Russia’s, making the nation the world’s top oil producer by 2023. But last week, the CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources set a much shorter timeline – the U.S. is now poised to become the world’s top oil producer as early as this fall.

From Texas Standard.

While it appears that border agents are no longer applying a zero tolerance policy, it’s been a different scene on the other side of the state.

Shannon Najmabadi is the higher education reporter at the Texas Tribune. She has been reporting from a privately-operated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility 75 miles outside Houston where adult men are being detained.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard.

In recent days we’ve been seeing a wave of protests at detention centers in South Texas over the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy at the border, which has led to the separation of families. There are now signs that something’s changing. Case in point: the detention camp in Tornillo, outside El Paso.

From Texas Standard.

In the present moment, all eyes are on the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexican border. However, Vance Blackfox can’t help but look back and remember the separations of his people in years past.

Natalie Krebs/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard.

With its location in the far west corner of Texas in the Chihuahua Desert, El Paso often doesn’t get the same attention as other major Texas cities. But the city of El Paso is trying to change that. It’s building new developments and arenas to attract more companies, tourists and young professionals.

KUT News

From Texas Standard.

The Permian Basin is in another oil boom. Output is reaching record highs and it’s expected to grow even more. But one issue facing the area is water. Water is necessary to sustain life, but natural gas companies need it for fracking operations, as well. Now, the city of Midland will become the second city in the Permian Basin, after Odessa, to make a deal with an energy company to take over some water management.

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From Texas Standard.

Keeping a secret can be hard, especially within some corners of small-town Texas. Lou Anne Smoot of Tyler, Texas kept a secret for most of her life. But she’s now the author of a book sharing her story. The memoir, “Out: A Courageous Woman’s Journey,” is about Smoot’s experience coming out as gay as a 60-year-old Southern Baptist, and what that meant for her faith and family.

@ZachTWesterman/Twitter

From Texas Standard.

Residents living in the Rio Grande Valley have experienced several days of heavy rains this week, which have overwhelmed cities like McAllen and Weslaco.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

TORNILLO — Even as the Trump administration’s immigration policies are shifting daily, one thing has remained the same in this small desert town: Officials remain in the dark about what’s going on in the tent city constructed last week at this port of entry.

Pablo Andrés Rivero/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Many American media outlets – along with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Pope Francis, and even far-right French leader Marine Le Pen – have all criticized the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Josue Moreno is a bilingual journalist working at the Texas Standard this summer, and he’s looked into how Central American media are responding to the crisis.

H. Zell/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard.

Canadian lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Our northern neighbors are only the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. This poses a question: Are times changing? In their recently adopted party platform, Texas Republicans endorsed medical marijuana, cannabis decriminalization and industrial hemp.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The nation is grappling with disturbing news of children separated from their parents at the border as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that calls for prosecution of border crossers. In Congress, multiple bills have been filed in response. A proposal by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz calls for doubling the number of immigration judges.

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

Texas politicians have called on the Trump administration to end its policy of separating immigrant families crossing the border illegally, and are asking the state to stop assisting immigration authorities along the border until the policy ends. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced emergency legislation Monday evening to keep immigrant families together after they cross the border into the United States.

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard.

When the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired opened in 1856, there were only three students. So in order to pay the bills, students were expected to make brooms and other goods to sell. Nowadays, students are able to focus on academics, life skills and enrichment opportunities, such as learning to play classical guitar. A new app is helping people learn through Braille.

Ken Piorkowski/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Danny Bible is scheduled to die on June 27. He was sentenced to death in 2003 for murdering Houston resident Inez Deaton in 1979. Bible’s attorney, Jeremy Schepers, recently filed a lawsuit alleging that a lethal injection would almost certainly constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Schepers is a federal public defender in the Northern District of Texas.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

“Young people get arrested for two reasons: they do not know what the law is, and they do not stop to think about the consequences of their actions.”

That bit of wisdom comes from the back cover of a book called “What Every Teen Should Know About Texas Law.” Originally written in the early 1990s by the late L. Jean Wallace, an attorney in Lubbock, the book was recently updated by a new author.

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