Michael Marks

Lorne Matalon

From Texas Standard:

As the U.S., Mexico and Canada begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA — an agreement that President Donald Trump famously promised to end — American businesses have doubled down on the argument that NAFTA has been good, on balance, for everyone.  

Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

In a much-anticipated ruling, a panel of three federal judges in San Antonio has invalidated two of the state's 36 congressional districts. The ruling represents the sixth time this decade that Texas electoral districts have been invalidated by federal courts, based on findings of intentional discrimination.

Michael Vadon/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump staged one of the most memorable press conferences in U.S. history Tuesday afternoon: a combative exchange about last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va. It was an opportunity to reinforce his heavily scripted message from Monday, condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Instead, he went off script, reiterating talking points of the self-described “alt-right.”

Pravdaverita/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas is making its mark on swine dining.

Acornseekers, a farm just west of Flatonia, is home to nearly 700 pure ibérico pigs – a black-hooved breed from a Spanish bloodline that can be traced back to before Roman times. Famous for their acorn-centric diet, the purebred ibérico pigs are responsible for the pork delicacy jamón ibérico.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Members of the House and Senate are scrambling to plug a $212 million hole in the teacher retirement system, which provides health benefit for retired educators. Changes made to the TRS-Care system during the regular legislative session could cause some retirees' health care costs to increase tenfold.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

From Texas Standard:

The state's controversial "campus carry" law took effect one year ago. The law allows students with concealed handgun licenses, and who are 21 years old, to carry a firearm in certain places on public university campuses.

 

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is on a mission to uncover what he calls "Russia's propaganda war against fossil fuels." The Republican congressman whose district includes parts of San Antonio, the Hill Country and Austin, said as much in a recent letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Photo courtesy Palmer Fireworks

From Texas Standard:

If you're a Texan trying to make it in the fireworks business, take some cues from the products themselves: You've got to get off the ground and blow up in short order.

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

From Texas Standard:

It has been more than seven years since U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot and killed Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year-old Mexican boy. Hernandez and his friends were standing on the Mexican side of a culvert that separates Ciudad Juárez from El Paso, throwing rocks at Mesa.

Barclay Fernandez/The Victoria Advocate

From Texas Standard:

It’s been five months since the Victoria Islamic Center was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 28. The fire was later determined to be arson. Yesterday, there was another development in the case, which is far from over.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Making a list of the best and worst lawmakers after each Texas legislative session isn't quite as old as the Legislature itself, but it's still a time-honored tradition. Texas Monthly has put out such a list since 1973, and each one is an occasion awaited with bated breath by political observers, legislative aides and of course, the lawmakers themselves.

bryansjs/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There are deals, and then there are big deals. Amazon buying Austin-based grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion certainly falls into the latter category. But what makes this deal so big isn’t even the money – there have been bigger deals before – it’s the ripple effects on workers, wages, other companies and everyday people.

Ashley Rodgers/Texas Tech University

From Texas Standard:

The headline in both the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle today read the same thing – “We’re Getting Out.” These words were taken directly from the speech President Donald Trump gave yesterday when he announced the U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Georgia National Guard/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

If a soldier commits a crime, is that different than if anyone else commits a crime? There’s an argument that decisions made in the heat of battle by those sacrificing for their country should be judged differently than others.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

By now, most Texans are familiar with Sid Miller. Famous for his ever-present cowboy hat, the state agriculture commissioner – who's also a rancher and a Republican – has generated his share of controversy in recent months. But this week he's making news on his own terms with a commentary written for TribTalk, the editorial wing of the Texas Tribune.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

Image courtesy SeniorLiving.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

"Dead on arrival" is how Texas senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, characterized the formal budget plan unveiled by President Trump. It puts 66 programs on the chopping block, and includes a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 30 percent cut for the State Department and 20 percent from the Department of Agriculture.

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

From Texas Standard:

On its current path, the Dallas police and fire pension fund would run out of money in 10 years, leaving thousands of public safety pensioners in the lurch.

Matthew Peoples/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The cooler in your local gas station or grocery store is now a much more colorful place than it once was. Texans who like to bend the occasional elbow are still riding the wave of the craft beer boom.

Kim Daram/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 1985, Pedro Solis Sosa was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing a sheriff's deputy in Wilson County. Prosecutors alleged that Sosa killed Ollie Childress Jr. with the officer's own pistol after robbing a bank.

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