Austin Price for KUT

A Remodel Hopes To Replenish Austin's Endangered Barton Springs Salamander

The Eliza Springs Amphitheater sits like an abandoned ruin near the Zilker Zephyr train station by Barton Springs Pool. The oval-shaped, open-air gallery was built into the ground in 1903 near Eliza Spring – one of the four springs feeding into what we know as Barton Springs. Over the last year, the city has been renovating the relic to accommodate its endangered inhabitants.

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Robert W. Hart / The Texas Tribune

Energy company Luminant says it’s shutting down three of its coal-fired power plants in Texas by early next year. The sudden closure of so many plants is unprecedented. That's not the only thing unexpected about the closures, though.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of eight hours of sleep per night for adults, but sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that too many people are falling short of the mark.

"Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," Walker says. "Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it."

Larry D. Moore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

While the Trump administration says the "war on coal" is over, market forces are having their say when it comes to the fossil fuel, closing plants in several Texas communities.

Texas' largest generator of coal-powered energy, Luminant, says it is ceasing operations at two plants in the state. The company says Texas' competitive energy market and cheap natural gas  make these older coal-fired plants unprofitable. Another Texas coal operator has already announced plans to close two facilities.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban after leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009, has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was freed in 2014 in exchange for five Taliban detainees.

Bergdahl, a native of Idaho, pleaded guilty before the military judge in the case, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, at a hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

Official portrait

Dan McQueen is an unconventional candidate for unconventional times.

Months after wrapping up a 37-day stint as Corpus Christi mayor that saw him frequently lash out at critics over social media, McQueen is trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the Republican primary.

For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Fire crews were starting to gain the upper hand on numerous blazes in Northern California that have killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes, but officials warned that the deadliest wildfires in the state's history were far from extinguished.

The death toll rose Monday after "a private water tender driver assigned to the Nuns Fire tragically died in a vehicle rollover on Oakville Grande in Napa County," according to Cal Fire. The driver has not yet been publicly identified.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union are asking a federal court in Washington, D.C., to force the Trump administration to allow a young, undocumented immigrant woman in Texas to obtain an abortion.

Back in March, after the first Republican legislative failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, during the Trump presidency, President Trump went before cameras in the Oval Office and revealed some of his thinking when it comes to the politics of health care.

"I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode," Trump said. "It is exploding right now."

Empathy. Sympathy. We probably think we know what those words really mean, but in truth they are often confused or misunderstood. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger take a closer look at both and how they relate to learning.


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