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City of Austin Settles Case Over Firing of Officer Who Killed David Joseph

The City of Austin has reached a legal settlement with a police officer who was fired for killing unarmed black teenager David Joseph in February.
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The annual turkey pardon is a silly tradition, and President Obama knows it. On Wednesday, before pardoning turkeys named Tater and Tot, Obama summed up his feelings about this particular duty.

"It is my great privilege — well, it's my privilege — actually, let's just say it's my job to grant them clemency this afternoon," Obama said.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked billionaire Betsy DeVos, a Michigan Republican activist and philanthropist who is a strong supporter of school choice but has limited experience with public education, as his secretary of education.

DeVos, 58, is a former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and helped push a failed 2000 ballot proposal to amend the Michigan state Constitution to create a voucher system for students to attend nonpublic schools.

Shelby Knowles/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Facing outrage on social media and among students, faculty and alumni, Texas A&M University officials said Wednesday that they didn't invite a white nationalist leader who is scheduled to speak on campus next month. 

Patrick Connelly/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Campsites are full across Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday – at time to share food with friends and family. But it’s safe to say the average tourist visiting Big Bend Park this season doesn’t want to share their tent and food with a true local of the west Texas wilderness: the black bear.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday hears a case that questions intellectual disabilities and the death penalty — specifically, what standards states may use in determining whether a defendant convicted of murder is mentally deficient.

Did Texas Host the First Thanksgiving?

Nov 23, 2016
Courtesy of the University of Texas at El Paso Library, via Jose Cisneros

It's common knowledge that in 1621 the first Thanksgiving was celebrated at Plymouth. 

But some say the “real” first Thanksgiving took place over 20 years before near present day El Paso, when at least 400 Spaniards, in an exploration led by Juan de Oñate, feasted with the Mansos tribe.

Like any good Thanksgiving discussion, there’s a thread of discord sown through that narrative. While everyone recognizes its importance in the history of North America, some argue that, unlike the feast at Plymouth, it’s not a harvest festival.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been selected as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in President-elect Donald Trump's administration, according to Trump's transition team.

Haley has accepted the position, which requires Senate confirmation.

NPR State Department correspondent Michele Kelemen reports the position was elevated to Cabinet rank by President George W. Bush and that President Barack Obama kept the designation. But Kelemen says the job of U.N. ambassador was not traditionally Cabinet-rank and it's unclear whether Trump will maintain that status.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Textbook publisher Cynthia Dunbar was defending her company’s Mexican-American Heritage book in front of the State Board of Education last week when she made an interesting argument. Historians raised issues with some of the book's content, but Dunbar said that didn’t matter because the school board didn't specify what type of content it wanted.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. concludes his conversation with Ben Tankard, the godfather of Gospel/Jazz music, and author of ‘The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny.’

A true Renaissance man, he also serves as a motivational speaker for the NBA, designs a line of men's clothing, and pilots his own plane. Together with his wife Jewel, he pastors a growing church outside of Nashville, TN.

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