Alain Stephens

Flickr/eulothg (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

You can't talk Texas oil without talking about the competition. In that regard, the eyes of Texas are upon Saudi Arabia right now. Over the weekend the Saudis ended the 20-year tenure of oil minister Ali al-Naimi. Al-Naimi is credited as a pillar in the development of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Now, energy investors and analysts alike are waiting to see how this change could affect an already tumultuous oil economy.

Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData, says that timing is the most surprising aspect of al-Naimi's replacement.


WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas led the country in exonerations last year, with 54 statewide. in the state. New York placed a distant second with only 17, according to the National Registry of Exonerations’ latest report.

Keith Allison/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In February, seven U.S. Marshals showed up at Paul Aker's home in Houston and arrested him. His crime? Failing to pay a nearly three-decades-old student loan debt. The story went viral, and caught the attention of Fusion reporter Rob Wile. He and his colleagues were curious: if this was happening in Houston – where there were 25 arrest warrants for outstanding student debt in 2015 – how prevalent was it elsewhere?


Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has the largest prison population in the country, with over 172,000 people serving prison sentences. Those prisoners make up a substantial workforce in the state, contributing to the  production of everything from mattresses to bacon. It's an industry that has been valued at nearly $2 billion a year. But inmates make only pennies an hour in return.

Flickr/WOCinTech Chat (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Perhaps it's not surprising that women and minorities employed by the state of Texas make less money than white men who work similar jobs. But does the fact it's gotten worse over the last decade give you pause?

Flickr/Jayel Aheram (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The body of a Marine who died last week has finally returned home. Louis Cardin was killed after his unit was hit by an ISIS rocket attack in Iraq. Now the Pentagon says they want to place even more combat troops into Iraq – reiterating Defense Secretary Ash Carter's intention to "put boots on the ground."

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Police in Van Zandt County, Texas, are offering a reward to find the suspected shooter of a 39-year-old man who authorities believe was shot as the result of a road rage incident. This report echoes a series of stories that have been making headlines across the state: from the Marine who shot a student in Denton because she refused his advances, to the viral video of two Austin motorists swinging bats and two-by-fours at each other.

Flickr/Samuel Ramkalawan (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The state's track record for its Child Protective Services is a tumultuous one. A couple of months ago, a series of stories were circulating around a massive federal lawsuit filed against the state's Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees foster care, adoption and daycare licensing in Texas.

Flickr/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 2015 the Texas legislature passed an $800 million, two-year plan to add nearly 300 state troopers to help patrol along the Texas-Mexico border. Many cited fears that undocumented immigrants were bringing crime and cartel violence into the state.

Flickr/Jason Carpenter (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Falling gas prices is great news for us as consumers, yet some are panicking about the state's economy. But the future of Texas may not be so gloomy after all.

Courtesy Sen. Royce West

From Texas Standard:

Leaders at Texas A&M University continue to deal with the fallout over an incident last week, when a group of around 60 juniors from Uplift Hampton Preparatory School in Dallas visited the A&M campus. The students were there to learn about college. Instead, they were said to be the target of racial slurs and shouts of "go back to where you came from."

Screenshot via news.jammedup.com

From Texas Standard:

Last August, a Harris County Sheriff's deputy was filling up gas at a Chevron station just outside of downtown Houston when an individual walked up to the deputy and shot him the back of the head. The suspect went on to shoot the deputy 15 more times.

Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Texas leads the nation when it comes to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, and the state may be adding to those numbers through closer scrutiny of DNA evidence practices.

Courts are now saying that some convictions could have been based on outdated DNA evidence, and are sending notice to defendants whose trials may have been affected.


Why Texas is a Hotbed for Tropical Diseases

Jan 6, 2016
Image via Flickr/US Department of Agriculture (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Heavy rains capped by periods of hot muggy weather, spare tires holding standing water, mosquitoes and fleas carrying dangerous strains of diseases that threaten the local populace. You’re probably picturing the Philippines or maybe Haiti, but what if I told you this scene is right here in Texas?

Image via Dallas Municipal Archives

From Texas Standard:

There is no doubt about it – America is in need of infrastructure repair. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest infrastructure report card, U.S. infrastructure was given a D+ and the country’s crumbling levee and dam system was noted in particular.

That danger is more apparent than ever for the over 400,000 people living downstream from the Lewisville Lake Dam in North Texas. Engineers are saying that dam is a ticking time bomb if nothing is to prevent its breach.

 


Photo via Flickr/fabliaux (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The nation is currently in a judicial crisis – and Texas is right in the middle of it.

For many years now, Carl Tobias has been sounding an alarm over unfilled seats on the federal bench, but the University of Richmond law professor now says the epicenter of the problem is the Lone Star State. Texas has far more vacancies than any other state in the country, he notes.

 


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 courtesy John Savage

From Texas Standard:

According to the latest statistics, about 12 of every 10,000 Texans are living homeless, many of whom have an intellectual or developmental disability. While state programs and aid are available, the wait times are daunting. Some services have lists with applicants waiting for well over a decade.

Some reports rank Texas near last place with regard to well-being of those with intellectual disabilities.  John Savage has been following the story for the Texas Observer.

 


Image via Flickr/Kent Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the face of fierce opposition calling it a "bathroom bill," the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was rejected by voters last week.

Houston's ordinance sought to extend civil rights protections to transgender individuals and several other groups of citizens, but quickly came under fire for its proposed extension of equal rights to public restroom use.

 


Image via Flickr/Kathryn Decker (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On Monday President Barack Obama made the call to "ban the box" for federal job applicants with prison records so that they are given a chance to get through the door.

The box in question is the check box on job applications asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

 


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