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President Donald Trump has signed a declaration of disaster for the state of Texas, allowing federal money to flow to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

NPR

President Trump is addressing the nation Monday night on U.S. engagement and "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia. 

Senior U.S. officials tell NPR that the president is expected to order about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

The decision follows months of deliberation within the Trump Administration, involving top military commanders, political advisers and even enlisted veterans of the nearly 16-year war.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A lot of Austinites were out taking in the eclipse this afternoon. And whether you were one of them or not, it was just a warmup for a couple more eclipses not too many years from now. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

On Saturday, members of the media received a press release titled: “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.” The message came from a group organizing a White Lives Matter rally featuring white nationalist Richard Spencer, scheduled to take place on September 11th at the Texas university. There's plenty of outrage on social media, and a counter-protest has already been planned.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Police Department is taking its fleet of more than 400 Ford Explorers out of service amid concerns of carbon monoxide leaking into the cabins.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Fifteen immigrant rights activists were arrested Wednesday after blocking traffic at the intersection of 15th Street and Congress Avenue during a sit-in to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Law enforcement officials from across the state spoke out today at the Texas Capitol against proposed legislation that would restrict bathroom access to transgender people. Senate Bill 3, known as the “bathroom bill,” would restrict access to restrooms in government buildings to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

Chiefs and other high-ranking law enforcement officers were uniform in their condemnation of the bill, which is a priority item during the special legislative session.

 

President Trump is holding a news conference with Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon, immediately following a vote in the Senate to move ahead with debate on a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

He praised the Senate, calling the procedural vote a "big step."

Watch live below:

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Today, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee will hear testimony on two bills that would restrict bathroom access based on the gender given to someone at birth.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Texas Legislature has gaveled in for a 30-day session focusing on 20 items, but the battle to pass as little of that legislation as possible has already begun.

Leslie Abbott Photography

Author Jeff Abbott’s latest novel, Blame, is a mystery-thriller that takes place in an Austin suburb and is centered on Jane Norton, a high school student who gets in a serious car crash with her friend David.

The crash kills David and causes Jane to forget the past few years of her life. A suicide note written by Jane and found at the scene has many blaming her for David’s death.

Filipa Rodrigues / KUT

KUT host/producer Stephen Rice died suddenly over the weekend from complications after an accident he suffered while on vacation in Colorado. He was 46.

Stephen’s earnest on-air delivery was kind, calming and uniquely Austin – a presence he carried with him off-air and into the lives of those who knew him. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature was one of the most contentious in recent memory. It had plenty of protests, some infighting, a few filibusters and even a death threat. Now, after all that drama, lawmakers are headed back for more.

Greg Abbott / Facebook Live Screenshot

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Friday that he's running for a second term, four years to the day after he announced his initial run for governor.

Screenshot/White House YouTube channel

President Trump is in Paris for talks with President Emmanuel Macron. He was invited to take part in Bastille Day celebrations and to mark the 100th anniversary of American troops coming to aid France during World War I. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

With the start of the special legislation session less than a week away, Morning Edition is looking at issues on the agenda. Today, we answer a listener question about a proposed $1,000 pay increase for teachers: Who is pushing for the increase and where is it coming from?

Chris Hunkeler via Flickr

The group that manages almost all of the Texas electric grid has decided it's a good idea to build out more transmission lines in West Texas. That in itself might not sound like a big deal, but the reason behind it is. KUT's Mose Buchele joins Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton to explain.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

Voters in the Austin Independent School District will decide this November on a $1 billion-plus bond package to partially fund a comprehensive building maintenance and upgrade plan. 

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

A federal judge in San Antonio is hearing arguments today in a lawsuit filed by several cities, including Austin, seeking to block enforcement of the state's new anti-sanctuary cities law, Senate Bill 4. 

The City of Austin filed a motion in federal court Monday, seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of Senate Bill 4, the state's new law barring so-called sanctuary cities.

It’s not over yet.

Despite a long and contentious regular session, Gov. Greg Abbott says lawmakers aren’t quite done in 2017. In a far-reaching decree, the governor called lawmakers back to Austin for a special session starting on July 18.

Abbott’s priority is for the House and Senate to address “sunset” provisions to keep the lights on at certain state agencies, like the Texas Medical Board. Aside from that, the rest of the governor’s special session agenda covers everything from tree removal to texting while driving to bathroom regulation.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The city celebrated the end of slavery in Texas with its annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on Saturday.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A dog in Travis County has tested positive for canine flu. The case here is one of five cases statewide being monitored by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The other cases are in Harris County and Hood County.

Youtube via PBS News Hour

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Screenshot/PBS News Hour

President Trump held a press conference Friday with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

The remarks were Trump's first live, on-camera statements since the damning testimony James Comey gave Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

Screenshot via PBS NewsHour

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier today. Comey's testimony addressed his firing at the hands of President Trump and shed light on their relationship in his last days as the chief of the FBI.

Comey accused the White House of "lies, plain and simple" and expressed concern about Trump's attempts to sway the FBI's investigations into the administration's potential Russian ties. 

Now, Trump's personal attorney is responding to the testimony. Watch a livestream of his comments above. 

Screenshot via PBS NewsHour

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning. Comey was fired on May 9, after leading the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties between Russian intelligence and associates of President Donald Trump. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Alamo Drafthouse held two women-only screenings Tuesday of the superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman at its Sixth Street location.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin July 18.

"Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today," he said. "A special session was entirely avoidable, and there was plenty of time for the Legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session."

The City of Austin was selected to receive two grants totaling $300,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help clean up brownfields, unused land that may be contaminated with hazardous chemicals.

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