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Top Morning Stories September 30, 2011

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Photo by KUT News.
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A federal court has ordered the state of Texas to put a hold on implementing its redistricting maps.

Texas’ New Elections Maps Still in Limbo

A federal court in San Antonio has orderedTexas to halt redistricting plans for congressional and state legislative seats until the court has ruled on its legality.

Some Democratic politicians and minority groups sued the state, claiming the new district boundary lines, drawn by a Republican majority, would negatively impact minority voters. The new maps were supposed to go into effect tomorrow.

Al-Awlaki, U.S. Born Cleric Linked to Al-Qaida, is Dead

The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed. AP reports that Yemen's Defense Ministry made the announcement today:

The Yemeni ministry provided no details in the statement, which appeared on one of its websites. Yemeni security and tribal officials said an airstrike thought to have been carried out by U.S. aircraft on Friday targeted a convoy of cars traveling in the eastern province of Marib but could not say whether al-Awlaki was in the convoy. The 40-year-old al-Awlaki is believed to have inspired and even plotted or helped coordinate some of the recent attacks on the U.S., including the failed Christmas Day 2009 bombing of an airliner heading for Detroit, Mich., and the also unsuccessful plot to send mail bombs on planes from Yemen to the United States in October. 

The accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, was reported to have had contact with al-Awlaki.

Imagine Austin Party

The City of Austin is holding a party Saturday to celebrate the release of its draft plan for Imagine Austin. This comprehensive plan will act as a road map for future growth in Austin. The plan is being released after years of Imagine Austin sessions, meetings and public outreach. You can read more about the plan here.

The party takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, with food vendors music and dance. 

High Fire Threat Today

A red flag warning is in effect for Central Texas until eight tonight.  Windy and dry conditions with low humidity mean any fires outside can quickly spread out of control. Burn bans remain in effect in Central Texas.