Alexandra Hart

Intern for Texas Standard.

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Patrick Finnegan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

IBM is calling its employees into the office. After decades of allowing a large part of its workforce to telecommute, Big Blue is requiring many of those remote workers to start showing up to a physical office building, like the company's location in north Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. /KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

in 46 states, texting while driving is illegal. But not in Texas. It appears that could change on Tuesday. Though many cities in Texas ban using smartphones while driving, a bill is en route to the governor's desk that specifically outlaws texting while driving. But your apps and GPS might still be within legal reach.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The end may be near for straight-ticket voting in Texas. House Bill 25, which would ban the practice, passed out of the Senate Thursday. It's got one more stop in the lower chamber before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Prominent Democrats are decrying the bill – saying it would dilute Democratic votes.

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From Texas Standard:

Mosquito season is looming large in Texas, and with it, renewed fears of mosquito-borne illnesses. Several Zika cases have already been reported this year in the Rio Grande Valley.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

With the legislative session set to end on May 29, time is running out to pass a state budget, and resolve the avalanche of other bills that are still moving between chambers of the Legislature. And then there are the governor's priority items, some of which are still stuck, because lawmakers can't agree how to pay for them.

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From Texas Standard:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) – a Republican response to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare – was hastily passed by the U.S. House Thursday, when votes reached a critical tipping point. To become law, the AHCA must still get enough votes in the Senate.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

No sanctuary in Texas – that seems to be the top story across the Lone Star State, as a controversial bill essentially banning governments from implementing “sanctuary city” policies for undocumented immigrants, heads to the governor's office. The Texas Senate voted 20-11 to approve the version of Senate Bill 4 that the House passed last week. Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted "I'm getting my signing pen warmed up."

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From Texas Standard:

The Texas House of Representatives is set to consider a bill Wednesday that would make it mandatory for public high school students to pass the civics test that immigrants must take to become U.S. citizens. If House Bill 1776 passes, end-of-course assessments for U.S. history classes in public high schools would also be eliminated.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Monday afternoon, Kendrex J. White, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Texas, allegedly stabbed and killed Harrison Brown and wounded three others. So far there is no known motive.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Late Thursday night, those watching C-SPAN were rewarded with a preview of what's roiling Washington on this Friday – brinksmanship over a budget. Senate Democrats blocked Republican attempts to hold a quick vote on a short-term spending plan that would keep the federal government open past Saturday. Democrats said the stopgap spending measure was no good because of Republican attachments – so-called 'poison pills.'

 

Tony Hisgett/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

Despite a Texas law that provides penalties for hate crimes, very few people have been prosecuted for committing them.

Texas A&M University

From Texas Standard:

Conflicts among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Transportation researchers want to solve the problem by redesigning intersections so that all kinds of traffic have their place, and can keep an eye on one another.

From Texas Standard:

Here in Texas, if you’re headed to a Buc-ee’s, there’s little confusion about what that means -- Beaver Nuggets, an expansive jerky selection and clean bathrooms. Those are images closely tied to the convenience store chain and it is suing to keep it that way.

Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

If President Donald Trump has his way, the U.S. air traffic control system will be privatized. The idea is the first bullet point in the transportation section of the White House budget blueprint. Some major airlines including Texas-based American and Southwest support privatization of air traffic control.

 

From Texas Standard:

When the Texas Legislature passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act, abortion rights advocates decried what they saw as a paternalistic attitude on the part of majority-male sponsors of the law. The law requires patients seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before the procedure and to be informed of potential medical risks. It also tightly regulates where abortions can be performed. 

This session, at least one legislator has decided to fight fire with ... irony?

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From Texas Standard:

Fake news is all over the place – you've probably got at least a few people in your Facebook feed that share it. Even some of our elected officials Tweet it out.

But across the nation, educators are ramping up efforts to teach students how to discern real the information from what’s fake. Librarians are at the forefront of that fight for media literacy in schools, colleges and beyond.

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From Texas Standard:

The Big 12 Conference announced it will be withholding a quarter of its revenue from Baylor University, pending a third party review of the school's Title IX changes. If the review is verified, the conference will not withhold the money. This is the first announcement of any "punishment" from the Big 12 or the NCAA against the school since members of the football team were accused of sexual assault.

Air Force One (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We’re only a few weeks into the Trump administration and the president has come out swinging when it comes to both illegal and legal immigration. He’s signed executive orders – one that paves the way for a wall along the United States-Mexico border and another that placed a travel ban on immigrants from certain countries.

In line with Trump’s restrictive policies on immigration into the country, two U.S. senators filed a bill Tuesday that seeks to reduce immigration further.

Clay Gilliland/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M University has a new partner – in North Korea. The nation’s only private university has reached out to ask for help teaching students how to grow food in a nation of persistent shortages and high food insecurity.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which was founded and is mainly funded by American evangelical Christians, will receive donated teaching materials from the Aggies.

Mayor Jess Herbst of New Hope, Texas recently publicly announced she is transgender.

From Texas Standard:

Jess Herbst became mayor of New Hope – a small north Texas town in Collin County – last May when the previous mayor died of a heart attack. As the longest serving alderman on the town council, she was next in line. Herbst just came out publicly as a transgender woman, the first sitting mayor to do so. She publicly announced her transition with an open letter to her constituents on the conservative town's website.

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