Alain Stephens

John Burnett/NPR & Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic depictions of a crime.

The federal government is trying to disrupt the Texas operations of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. It began in California in the 1960s and spread to Texas in the 1980s. Chapters formed across the country, but the federal government decided that those in Texas were among the most brutal and violent. In 2008, the federal government launched an aggressive six-year operation that landed 75 members of the Aryan Brotherhood in prison.

This highly exclusive, all-white criminal organization rarely talks to outsiders, least of to all members of the press. But NPR’s John Burnett spoke with James “Chance” Jones, a senior major in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT).

 


Pie4all88/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Attorney General’s office and the Harris County Attorney’s Office are going after shops selling the synthetic cannabinoid Kush. Instead of prosecuting users, the offices have jointly filed 10 lawsuits against Houston-area novelty stores, where up to 40 percent of sales come from the drug. One novelty store has agreed to a nearly $1.2 million settlement after an undercover sting operation.


U.S. Army/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In Rosa Brooks’ new book, “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon,” she writes about how a post-9/11 U.S. military is embroiled in three, not two wars:

"If I were a member of Congress right now, I would be hopping mad."

 


D. Jude/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas is being invaded by an aquatic menace. No, I’m not talking about Alligators or Barracudas, I’m talking about Zebra mussels. At the very least you’ve probably heard that name in passing, as scientists and state officials alike have labeled them the scourge of Texas lakes and waterways.

 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

From Texas Standard:

A few weeks ago the U.S. Department of Justice announced they will end federal use of privately run prisons. Now their attention has turned to the country’s use of private immigration detention facilities.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday that he has ordered the homeland security advisory council to review processes and costs related to these facilities.

 


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

From Texas Standard:

Concerns are growing over something that's being called the "kill pill" – drugs laced with fentanyl, one of the most powerful prescription painkillers in the world.

Pills laced with fentanyl were linked to Prince's death earlier this year. According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidents of law-enforcement officers finding drugs containing fentanyl have jumped 426 percent from 2013-2014, the latest figures available.

 


Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The federal government announced that it's phasing out its use of privately run prisons and now, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is warning that it too could close prisons, lay off 1,200 employees and stop providing certain inmate services – but not because of privatization.

Mike Ward, Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, says, like other states, Texas has fewer inmates now than in recent years.

 


Mengwen Cao/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Americans use social media for a variety of reasons – to stay connected to family and friends, to share something funny, and increasingly, to get news and express political opinions.

Now, a new study from the Pew Research Center suggests that the way that Americans use and consume social media is closely tied to race. It found that there's a significant difference between the way that black and white adults use social media when it comes to race-based content. Black social media users were about twice as likely as their white counterparts to say that the content they see on social networks is race-related. A similar gap appeared when asked about their own posting habits.

 


Courtesy Justin Bohannon

From Texas Standard:

Two shootings in July: one in Dallas, the other in Baton Rouge. First, a sniper shot down five police officers at a protest. A few weeks later a man ambushed and killed three police officers.

It’s been over a month since the two shootings, and there are still a lot more questions than answers. You can’t talk about one without mentioning the other – both incidents were eerily similar. There were two different shooters, both of them black, both upset about recent police violence. There is also another similarity, one that hasn’t been mentioned a lot – they were both black veterans.

The facts immediately bring up a lot of questions, ones about post-traumatic stress disorder, collective trauma and race. But there's one question we haven't found the answer for yet: What would push someone to commit such an act?

Justin Bohannon is a combat vet from the Army. At the time of his deployment he was also one of the few black soldiers in his unit. Bohannon said he experienced racist jokes, tougher punishments and a general sense of isolation. I asked him how he overcame racism on the front lines – he said he didn’t.

 


Mark Heard/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Justice Department has handed out over 900 years of prison time to members of white supremacist group the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

Nearly 75 of the group's members have been convicted after a six-year federal probe aimed to dismantle the organization. A federal prosecutor says the convictions have backed the group into a corner, and the organization is now in "absolute chaos."

 


Courtesy Alex Horton

From Texas Standard:

The parents of Army Captain Humayun Khan have spent the last few days in the national spotlight, clashing with Donald Trump. The Khans are just one couple among the millions of parents whose children have gone to war. But the spotlight has illuminated the agonies and anxiety that military parents struggle with but seldom talk about openly.

Alex Horton, a Texan who served 15 months in Iraq as an army infantryman, is now a national reporter for Stars and Stripes. He recently wrote about his parents' experience while he was gone.

 


Pixabay/Brett Hondow (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Anyone who does regular grocery shopping knows that in many cases, you pay for the name. From bologna to fabric softener, it’s usually cheaper to go with the generic over the name-brand.

That adage is definitely true with prescription medicine.

Flickr/Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Police across the country are reeling after the shooting of police officers in Dallas and now most recently in Baton Rouge. Now officers say that they are stepping up security measures - more patrols, a heightened sense of awareness, and now - possibly a new law.

Raymond Wambsgans/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

While police, media, and citizens piece together the details of the shooting of police officers in Dallas last week, we still are left with many questions. One of which surrounds the use of police tactics. In a never-before-seen measure, Dallas Police Negotiators used a robot armed with a bomb to end a prolonged standoff with the shooter. That tactic has now called into question the legality of such weapons and their deployment.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

As the population of Texas grows, so changes the demographics. According to the most recent data from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the state's population of those age 60 and older is expected to triple by 2050.

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

From Texas Standard:

Texans awoke this morning to news that the UK voted to exit the European Union. We caught up with one British-born Texan who's trying to figure out what the vote means for him.

Sarah Montgomery/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Supreme Court's 4-4 voting deadlock yesterday over President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration means the appeals court ruling stays – that is, the hold continues on the administration's order to shield millions of immigrants without U.S. documentation from deportation. It's as if, South Texas College of Law professor Charles "Rocky" Rhodes says, the Supreme Court never took up the issue at all.

Allyson Michele/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

This Thursday citizens of the United Kingdom will be deciding in a referendum whether the nation stay as a member of European Union. Many say that opinions have shifted since the UK first joined the EU back in 1973.

Those who want the change cite a need to distance itself from an organization that is now seen as an ineffective central bureaucracy – one that’s costing a pretty penny.

 


Flickr/WOCinTech (CC BY 2.0)

Something appalling is in happening in Texas schools, and no one seems to know how to stop it.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A political analyst outlines three aspects of LBJ's campaign in 1964 against Republican nominee Barry Goldwater that could easily apply to Clinton's coming campaign against Trump.

 


Pages