Hady Karl Mawajdeh

Image via YouTube/Sharon Garcia

From Texas Standard:

With the presidential election just over the horizon, many politicians are looking for ways to connect with their constituents.

For some it's talking about the economy or healthcare, for others it's the war on terrorism. But when interacting with a demographic that that may not resemble their base, some politicians turn toward pandering.

We've all seen it. You may recall President Obama adding a bit more twang in his speeches when he visits the South. But what about pandering to largest minority group in the U.S. – Spanish-speakers in America?

 


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.

 


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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.

Image via Flickr/IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Over the past several months, Texas has become home to hundreds of Syrian refugees. These people fled their homes because of terrible war conditions that made life dangerous, unstable and completely unpredictable – a far cry from the ideals of freedom that both Texas and France uphold today.

After Friday’s attacks, and a report that at least one of the Paris attackers slipped through Europe’s refugee screening system from Syria, many are beginning to wonder if Western countries will continue to be as welcoming.

 


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.

 


Image via Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Yik Yak is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. A few days ago a student at Texas A&M yakked: "Don't go to campus... this will be my only warning." Officials filed an emergency subpoena to track down the poster, who was arrested for making terrorist threats.


Image via Tumblr/Chulita Vinyl Club

From Texas Standard:

Music is undergoing a transformation – chances are you've not only heard of Spotify and Pandora, you're a subscriber too. The vinyl of old is long gone.

At clubs and bars, the DJs – most of them are men – typically work fake turntables controlling mp3 files. That's just the way its done today.

Image via Katie Russell

From Texas Standard:

If you haven't noticed, the state of Texas has caught a fever. It has nothing to do with mirrored balls or flare-legged pants, despite our fondest hopes. It's even better. Suffice to say that as two Texas teams – the Rangers and the Astros — get this close to advancing in the playoffs, we're excited.


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From Texas Standard

It may be one of the most innovative merit scholarship programs anywhere in America.

Audio Pending...

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From Texas Standard:

Today, the Houston hip-hop sound is known around the world: hypnotic, narcotic slow-motion beats, pioneered by DJ Screw, which have found their way from the bayous of Syrup City to the Billboard Top 10.


Image courtesy Dr. Edward Wozniak/DSHS

You know how some bugs – like mosquitos – can transmit illnesses, like the West Nile virus or malaria, through a bite?


Image via Flickr/Andrew Scott (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard

Only 32 percent of federal district court judges and 35 percent of federal appeals judges are female, according to the National Women's Law Center.


Courtesy of Abdulrahman Zetoun

From Texas Standard:  

Of the millions displaced by the Syrian civil war and the atrocities committed by ISIS terrorists, hundreds of those trying to escape the violence have ended up here, in Texas.

One of those individuals, Abdulrahman Zetoun, arrived in America back in January. In Syria, life was riddled with violence.

"We used to wake up and sleep with the sounds of bombs and explosions and machine guns," Zetoun says. "To see every day dead bodies and injured peoples on the sides of the roads."


As reported earlier this month, the Austin City Council got a look at the final version of a plan to redevelop the land along Waller Creek into a chain of parks.

They liked what they saw: Today, the council unanimously voted to approve the design plan developed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with little argument.

Sinclair Black & Andrew Vernooy

Update (June 20): This morning Austin City Council members decided to go ahead and approve a resolution supporting a I-35 National Environmental Policy Act study for a plan to reconnect East & West Austin by submerging it from approximately River Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Council also directed the City Manager to develop an economic impact study and look at associated financing options.

KUT News

Austin Energy is turning to the wind to power the city’s future.

Austin City Council members will look at a contract today that increases the amount of renewable energy purchased by Austin Energy to 35 percent from 25 percent.   

facebook.com/TexasAttorneyGeneral

Today is the deadline for people in West to apply for federal assistance.

It’s been nearly eight weeks since the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people and destroyed around 150 homes. So far, FEMA has registered 789 survivors and allocated $7.6 million to assist in the recovery.

Texas A&M Athletics

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award, a 13.5-inch tall bronze trophy weighing 25 pounds, has been awarded to the most outstanding player in college football since 1935.

The Heisman, probably the most recognized individual award in all of sports, has had many suitors this college football season – but few as electrifying as the finalists: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein.

Of the three finalists Manziel – a.k.a. Johnny Football – is the favorite to win college football's most prestigious award on Saturday night in Manhattan. If Manziel does win he would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school's only Heisman in 1957.

The University of Texas’ graduation rate is under scrutiny as the school attempts different ways to increase the number of students graduating in four years.

In February a task force assembled by UT President Bill Powers offered 60 suggestions to encourage students to earn their degree more quickly.

In late August and early September, UT began a sort of branding campaign. The number 2016 (signifying the graduation date for incoming freshmen) began to appear all around campus: on shirts, on tote bags, and even on Twitter (as #2016 became a popular hashtag).

flickr.com/peachy92

Update: The proposal addressing sex education standards has been withdrawn from the Round Rock school board agenda, according to the Austin American-Statesman. It writes that the health advisory committee that recommended the change was improperly assembled. It's uncertain at this time when (or if) the proposal will return for consideration.

Original post (11:57 a.m.): The Round Rock Independent School District’s Board of Education will be meeting tonight and sex education is on the agenda.

The board will discuss an implementation plan to teach students about contraceptives, a break from current "abstinence only" standards.

The discussion started back in August when the board received the School Health Advisory Committee’s annual report that recommended contraceptives be introduced at the eighth-grade level.

The board met again in October. Health professionals provided the board with data that indicated the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases is increasing in Round Rock, compared with surrounding communities.

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