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Sunday News Roundup

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi was in Austin yesterday for a human rights event. She was the reporter imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage. KUT’s Erika Aguilar managed to score an interview with Saberi. You can hear it here.

Early voting continues for another week as we count down to Election Day on November 2. A new Rasmussen poll released Saturday gives Governor Rick Perry an eight percentage point lead over Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White.

Whoever wins has a tough job ahead of him. The Dallas Morning News reports today on the painful cuts that could be necessary to rein in the state’s $25 billion budget gap.

The bottom line: Public schools, college students and government employees, not just poor and needy Texans, might very well lose money, grants, benefits and even livelihoods during and after next year's legislative session. "They'll have to cut," said former Rep. Talmadge Heflin, R-Houston, the House's budget chief during the last budget meltdown, in 2003. "When you look at the big numbers, I just don't think there's any way that you make it match without making some reduction in education, both higher [education] and public education," or grades K-12.

For some national perspective, the New York Times leads its Sunday edition with a story examining how the rolling tide of GOP support could allow Republicans to seize control of both the US House and Senate

The final nine days of the midterm election are unfolding across a wide landscape, with several dozen House races close enough to break either way, determining whether the election produces a Republican wave that reaches deep into the Democratic ranks. In the Senate, Democrats were bracing to lose seats, but the crucial contests remained highly fluid as Republicans struggled to pull away in several Democratic-leaning states.

The Austin American-Statesman’s Sunday edition includes a front-page story on former US House Majority leader Tom DeLay’s fall from power. Jury selection starts Tuesday in DeLay’s trial on conspiracy charges. The Statesman's Laylan Copelin reports:

An apocryphal story, repeated in court documents, sums up one dimension of his personality: When a restaurant manager warned DeLay that it was against federal law to light up a cigar in the D.C. establishment, DeLay reportedly said, "I am the federal government."

Local sports fans are still lamenting the Longhorn’s 28-21 loss to Iowa State yesterday. It should have been an easy victory for Texas, and head coach Mack Brown told reporters it was not “talent” but “attitude” that lead to UT’s loss.

Texas coach Mack Brown was visibly angry at his team one week after the Longhorns pulled out what seemed like a season-saving upset of Nebraska."About the time you think something can't happen it does. We stood around and got beat," Brown said. "I don't think it's talent. I think it's attitude."

But Texans can at least feel proud the Rangers have made it to the World Series. Last night, we learned they’ll be facing the San Francisco after the Giants’ thrilling 3-2 win over Philly. MLB released the World Series game schedule this morning.

  • Game 1:Rangers at Giants, Wednesday, October 27th
  • Game 2: Rangers at Giants, Thursday, October 28th
  • Game 3: Giants at Rangers, Saturday, October 30th
  • Game 4: Giants at Rangers, Sunday, October 31st
  • Game 5: Giants at Rangers, Monday, November 1st
  • Game 6: Rangers at Giants, Wednesday, November 3rd
  • Game 7: Rangers at Giants, Thursday, November 4th
Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.