John Burnett, NPR http://kut.org en Influx Of Children Creates New Strain On Beleaguered Immigration Courts http://kut.org/post/influx-children-creates-new-strain-beleaguered-immigration-courts President Obama said over the weekend that he is seeking to fast-track deportations of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who cross into the United States.<p>More than 52,000 have been caught in South Texas since October, and hundreds more arrive daily, overwhelming Border Patrol stations and overflowing temporary shelters.<p>But once they get here, what happens? Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:09:00 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10716 at http://kut.org Influx Of Children Creates New Strain On Beleaguered Immigration Courts Meet The Newest American Running Mate: The Rifle http://kut.org/post/meet-newest-american-running-mate-rifle <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOoXJI4vBns</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P2b8cJNdQw</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTjkgE6OTGY</p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:48:59 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10702 at http://kut.org Meet The Newest American Running Mate: The Rifle U.S. Border Patrol's Response To Violence In Question http://kut.org/post/us-border-patrols-response-violence-question Picnickers in a riverside park in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, react in horror as a man in a yellow baseball cap named Guillermo Arevalo lies on the bank of the Rio Grande, bleeding to death.<p>It's a warm Monday evening in September 2012. He has just been shot by an agent on a U.S. Border Patrol airboat on the river. The Border Patrol says the agent shot at rock throwers and that the incident is under investigation.<p>Witnesses say Arevalo was not throwing rocks. Thu, 15 May 2014 11:46:14 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10422 at http://kut.org U.S. Border Patrol's Response To Violence In Question Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes http://kut.org/post/can-television-network-be-church-irs-says-yes Flip on <a href="http://www.daystar.com">Daystar</a> television at any hour of the day and you'll likely see the elements of modern televangelism: a stylish set, an emotional spiritual message and a phone number on the screen soliciting donations.<p>Based in a studio complex between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and broadcasting to a potential audience of 2 billion people around the globe, Daystar calls itself the fastest growing Christian television network in the world.<p>The Internal Revenue Service considers Daystar something else: a church.<p>Televangelists have a choice when they deal wi Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:48:23 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10085 at http://kut.org Can A Television Network Be A Church? The IRS Says Yes Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To Launder Profits http://kut.org/post/awash-cash-drug-cartels-rely-big-banks-launder-profits The Sinaloa Cartel, headquartered on Mexico's northern Pacific Coast, is constantly exploring new ways to launder its gargantuan profits. The<a href="http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2013/vol2/204066.htm" target="_blank"> State Department</a> reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 21:55:53 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10011 at http://kut.org Awash In Cash, Drug Cartels Rely On Big Banks To Launder Profits At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South http://kut.org/post/border-drugs-go-north-and-cash-goes-south The international drug trade goes in two directions: Narcotics go north and money goes south. All the drug profits made on the streets of U.S. cities like Chicago and Atlanta and Dallas are funneled down to ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border where they're smuggled back into Mexico. In 2012, one federal agency alone, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seized $411 million in cash hidden in vehicles, mostly heading south.<p>Once the bundles of U.S. banknotes are delivered to the cartel, the money flows in many directions. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:45:47 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 10004 at http://kut.org At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes South Seeing The Psychotropic, Photographing The Phantasmagoric http://kut.org/post/look-psychotropic-photos-document-ceremonial-icons I'm sitting in my neighborhood bakery, the Upper Crust in Austin, Texas, trying to read my newspaper and enjoy an oatmeal muffin, but I can't stop staring at the photographs on the wall. A native man, his face painted weirdly, holds a great scowling iguana on his head; a boy lies on palm fronds with a colony of giant silk moth caterpillars ornamenting his neck; small brown hands hold a luminous blue morpho butterfly up to the camera. Put down your Danish rolls, people! How can anyone finish breakfast under the spell of these bizarre tropical photos? Mon, 03 Jun 2013 18:26:54 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 7971 at http://kut.org Seeing The Psychotropic, Photographing The Phantasmagoric Mexican Crime Reporters Risk Becoming the Story http://kut.org/post/mexican-crime-reporters-risk-becoming-story Mexico is reeling from another round of brutal murders of journalists. Thu, 10 May 2012 01:05:40 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 4200 at http://kut.org Mexican Crime Reporters Risk Becoming the Story Lone Star State Of Mind: Could Texas Go It Alone? http://kut.org/post/lone-star-state-mind-could-texas-go-it-alone It's a popular idea in Texas that the Lone Star State — once an independent republic — could break away and go it alone. A few years ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/16/texas-governor-says-secession-possible/" target="_blank">hinted</a> that if Washington didn't stop meddling in his state, independence might be an option. In his brief run for the White House, he insisted that nearly anything the feds do, the states — and Texas in particular — could do better.<p>So we're putting Perry's suggestions to the test — NPR is liberating Texas. Fri, 30 Mar 2012 20:51:37 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 3947 at http://kut.org Lone Star State Of Mind: Could Texas Go It Alone? Austin's Musicians Caught In Conundrum http://kut.org/post/austins-musicians-caught-conundrum Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas, is one of the city's premiere live music districts. Guitar-shaped Christmas decorations hang on light poles, and the street is alive with bands and bars. Tonight you can hear ­­­­­­­­Austin Heat at the Thirsty Nickel, Mike Milligan and the Altar Boys at Maggie Mae's, or you could catch Misbehavin' at the Dizzy Rooster.<p>Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Young people are moving there in search of its plentiful sunshine, freewheeling lifestyle, hi-tech jobs and vibrant music scene. Fri, 23 Dec 2011 15:47:35 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 3293 at http://kut.org Austin's Musicians Caught In Conundrum Migrants Say They're Unwilling Mules For Cartels http://kut.org/post/migrants-say-theyre-unwilling-mules-cartels Mexican drug cartels have found a new source of labor to backpack marijuana into the United States: illegal immigrants.<p>Federal agents, prosecutors, defense attorneys and migrants themselves say that traffickers have begun recruiting undocumented immigrants at the border, both voluntarily and forcibly. Now, U.S. courts along the border have to decide what to do with terrified immigrants who come before them and say, "The cartel made me do it."<p>Rodolfo and Jose Luis were fairly typical economic immigrants. Mon, 05 Dec 2011 22:39:25 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 3152 at http://kut.org Migrants Say They're Unwilling Mules For Cartels In Texas, Perry Has Little Say In 'Ultimate Justice' http://kut.org/post/texas-perry-has-little-say-ultimate-justice As the longest-serving governor of Texas, Rick Perry has overseen the application of the death penalty more than any other U.S. Wed, 05 Oct 2011 19:56:46 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2672 at http://kut.org In Texas, Perry Has Little Say In 'Ultimate Justice' Bastrop Fire Evacuees Return To Find Only Ashes http://kut.org/post/bastrop-fire-evacuees-return-find-only-ashes For 17 years, Linda and Roger Ward lived in their two-story dream house in a subdivision in Bastrop County, southeast of Austin, Texas. They loved to sit on their back deck and listen to the wind in the pines.<p>On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 4, everything changed.<p>"I used to sit in the living room and decide which pictures on the wall — that was my primary thing, important papers and pictures — I was gonna get out," Linda Ward says. "And it happened so fast I didn't even have a chance to go out and do it. Fri, 16 Sep 2011 14:51:44 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2531 at http://kut.org Bastrop Fire Evacuees Return To Find Only Ashes Drought, Wildfires Haven't Changed Perry's Climate-Change Views http://kut.org/post/drought-wildfires-havent-changed-perrys-climate-change-views Rick Perry heats up the atmosphere every time he talks about climate change. Wed, 07 Sep 2011 21:55:24 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2449 at http://kut.org Drought, Wildfires Haven't Changed Perry's Climate-Change Views 'Mother Nature Has The Upper Hand' In Wildfire Fight http://kut.org/post/mother-nature-has-upper-hand-wildfire-fight A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas — creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.<p>The worst fire is in Bastrop County, just southeast of Austin, where the blaze has been burning out of control for more than a day.<p>No one in Bastrop has ever seen anything like it. Mon, 05 Sep 2011 22:19:05 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2409 at http://kut.org Perry, Romney Boost Military, Bash Obama In Texas http://kut.org/post/perry-romney-boost-military-bash-obama-texas The two top leaders of the large field of Republican presidential hopefuls have gotten a warm welcome this week from the friendly crowd at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio.<p>Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Wed, 31 Aug 2011 00:41:18 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2362 at http://kut.org Texas Drought Takes Its Toll On Wildlife http://kut.org/post/texas-drought-takes-its-toll-wildlife The unfolding calamity that is the Texas drought has thrown nature out of balance. Many of the wild things that live in this state are suffering.<p>Sections of major rivers — like the Brazos, the Guadalupe, the Blanco, Llano and Pedernales — have dried up. In many places, there aren't even mud holes anymore.<p>"The drought is hammering Texas," says Cindy Loeffler, the water resources branch chief at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "Usually we don't see impacts to fish and wildlife, they're adapted to hot, dry conditions in Texas. Fri, 26 Aug 2011 12:56:23 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2324 at http://kut.org Texas Drought Takes Its Toll On Wildlife Gov. Perry Tries To Keep Focus On God, Not Politics http://kut.org/post/gov-perry-tries-keep-focus-god-not-politics It could have been a typical service at any megachurch in the South, with a tight band, a great choir, big-screen projection, and a large congregation swaying and praying. But the speaker who drew the biggest response at the prayer rally in Houston on Saturday was Texas Gov. Sun, 21 Aug 2011 03:51:50 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2277 at http://kut.org Rick Perry's Religious Revival Sparks A Holy War http://kut.org/post/rick-perrys-religious-revival-sparks-holy-war Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor of Texas, is a Methodist by tradition who, with his wife, Anita, now attends an evangelical megachurch in Austin. Fri, 05 Aug 2011 13:14:29 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 2146 at http://kut.org Rick Perry's Religious Revival Sparks A Holy War Texas Governor Wages Own Battle Along Border http://kut.org/post/texas-governor-wages-own-battle-along-border <em>Note: This is the first of a two-part series</em><p>The federal government claims the southwest border is more secure than it's ever been. There are more agents and barriers, more choppers, drones, sensors and hi-tech cameras than ever before.<p>Yet, state officials in Texas maintain the illegal flow of people and drugs is worse than ever — proof, they say, the border is out of control. To back up his rhetoric, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has declared his own war on the traffickers.<p><strong>The Border Threat: Real Or Rhetorical? Tue, 05 Jul 2011 14:25:02 +0000 John Burnett, NPR 1873 at http://kut.org Texas Governor Wages Own Battle Along Border