Cecile Richards is walking a fine line: She paints the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as one of many attacks linked to "hateful rhetoric."

She doesn't specifically say that rhetoric motivated the attack Friday in Colorado Springs.

The president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America spoke with NPR on Monday morning about the attack that left three people dead: a mother of two children, an Iraq war veteran, a police officer.

Image via Flickr/DFID (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

State officials have upped the ante against groups that provide services for Syrian Refugees. Over the Thanksgiving holiday Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor sent a letter to one such organization, a Dallas branch of the International Rescue Committee – a group that helps refugees resettle in the state.

Brian Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle reports that the letter says the Health Commission has been “unable to achieve cooperation” with the IRC, and is threatening to sue if the IRC does not comply with Gov. Greg Abbott's order to block all Syrian Refugees.


The Man Who Witnessed the Fall of the Alamo

17 hours ago
Image via Flickr/pyle313 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fransisco Antonio Ruiz was there.

He was an eyewitness, as the alcalde – or mayor – during the siege of the Alamo. While the siege was going on, Ruiz's father, José Fransisco Ruiz, was 150 miles to the east at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he represented San Antonio as a delegate to the convention that formally declared Texas' independence.


Image via Wikimedia Commons/LBJ Library (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

In Texas, the name Lady Bird Johnson demands a great amount of respect. That’s because Lady Bird was a Texan through and through. Her life began in rural Karnack – thanks to determination and hard work, she eventually became the owner of several mid-size media companies, the First Lady of the United States and a protector of the nation’s wildflowers.

But along the way, the story of Lady Bird has shifted and people have decided focus less on her strengths and more on the mercurial nature of her husband, Lyndon B. Johnson. What people often ignore is the political partnership that the two shared.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of xenophobia.

UT Austin

Engineers at UT Austin have created a new kind of gel that can repair and reconnect electronic circuits. KUT's Mose Buchele reports on possible applications, from smarter smart phones to self-healing robot armies. 

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Almost a year ago the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Austin school district to examine equity between its higher- and lower-income schools, or it would file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Now the district is finally expected to set a timeline to conduct that assessment at its Dec. 10 meeting.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Angela Meryl, former model and make-up artist, and author of ‘Stunts: The How To Handbook -The Secrets From An Award-Winning Hollywood Stunt Woman.

The Wimberley Players are currently presenting Other Desert Cities, by playwright Jon Robin Baitz. The play, which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for drama, centers around a contentious family gathering on Christmas Eve.

Curtiss Cronn/flickr

Black Friday is almost here – the day stores used to target as the start of the holiday shopping season. Now, they start holiday marketing and slashed prices as early as late October: It seems retailers have been marketing products with “Black Friday prices” or “doorbusters” since Halloween. KUT’s Jimmy Maas looks at what seems to be retail’s longest day: Black Friday.

Image via Flickr/That Other Paper (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you've ever been to a courthouse, you've likely had to step through a metal detector: no weapons allowed. But in city halls, which often host court proceedings, whether weapons are allowed is still questionable.

Screenshot from

From Texas Standard: 

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec is a small indigenous town in the mountains of Oaxaca. The 3,500 people who call it home speak Mixe. Few speak Spanish. But despite its remote location, the town is famous for two things. Everyone there seems to play a musical instrument – they even have a traveling orchestra. But primarily, the town is known for its embroideries.

Did Texas Host the First Thanksgiving?

Nov 24, 2015
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.

KUT News

If you’re thinking of volunteering this Thanksgiving holiday, you might have an image in mind of doling out piping hot spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and green beans. But up until recently, city code required all volunteers to be certified to do so.

Photo by Neal Medlyn, St. Marks roof, 2015

Author and journalist Ada Calhoun's newest book St. Marks is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street chronicles the history of a few select city blocks of Manhattan and the personalities that have made it legend.

Image via Flickr/SAM Nasim (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Each day in the United States, four to five children die due to child abuse and neglect. That number comes out to about 1,500 children each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and experts say many more cases go unreported.

Image via Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and many would-be passengers are hoping airlines will be trying to make the holiday flying experience somewhat less unpleasant. According to a new study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), however, it looks like happy customers don’t really make airlines any more profitable.

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Medicaid Removal

Nov 23, 2015
Tamir Khalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates on Monday filed a federal lawsuit to keep state health officials from booting them from the state’s Medicaid program.

Following Texas’ announcement in October that it would stop funding any care for poor women at Planned Parenthood clinics — a response to what state officials called “acts of misconduct” revealed in undercover anti-abortion videos — the women’s health organization is asking the courts for a reprieve. 


Every five years Austin Energy reevaluates the rates it charges customers. That process will begin in the spring when, for the first time, there will be an independent advocate at the table speaking for Austin Energy customers.

Michael Lee

Brently Heilbron started performing standup comedy at the tender age of 14, which means he's now been in the business for close to a quarter century. So when he says that the current scene in Austin is "an incredible time in comedy that I haven't seen in years," he's speaking with a certain level of authority.