Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

A Year Later, Gay Marriage Debate Shifts in Texas

5 hours ago
Tamir Kalifa

When Collin Acock became engaged to Shane Parsons in New York in August 2014, the Austin couple anticipated returning to New York to marry the next summer.

When they realized last year that the U.S. Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges, however, the "incredible possibility of us getting married at home in Texas came up," Acock said. They made plans to hold the ceremony immediately if that decision came down. On June 26, 2015, it did, and the couple promptly wed at the Travis County Courthouse.

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.

Jared Hersch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story discusses details that may not be suitable for children.

Fifteen years ago this week, Andrea Yates – a mom from a Houston suburb – methodically and systematically drowned all five of her children. The kids ranged in age from six months to seven years old.

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.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

Texas universities can deny free tuition to veterans who gained state residency only after enlisting in the military, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday — a decision that could ease some, but not all, concerns about a prominent benefit program’s spiraling costs.

James Gathany/CDC

States that are home to the aedes agypti mosquito have been keeping tabs on confirmed cases of the Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects in unborn children.

So far, states have reported primarily travel-related cases and just a few that were sexually transmitted.


Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

The court upheld an affirmative action program at the University of Texas at Austin, ending a legal battle that started in 2008.

In Fisher v. the University of Texas, Abigail Fisher, a white student, sued the university for using race as a factor in college admissions. The decision sets a national precedent, at least for the time being.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

The Supreme Court wasn't the only active place on Capitol Hill this morning. When the show aired Thursday morning, House Democrats were just over 22 hours into their sit-in on the House floor. The protest started Wednesday around 11:30 a.m. when GOP leaders refused to vote on two pieces of gun legislation.

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

From Texas Standard:

The Supreme Court tied Thursday morning in a ruling on the legality of President Barack Obama’s immigration program.

Lexey Swall via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Effectively dealing a final blow to President Obama’s controversial executive immigration order, the U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday that it had failed to produce a majority opinion on the policy — meaning that the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ November 2015 decision rejecting the policy will stand.

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action program.

"The race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of petitioner's application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause," the court held.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to kids and their well-being, Texas isn't doing a very good job. In fact, the state ranks very close to the bottom of the list – at 43.

That ranking comes from the latest "Kids Count" study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which looked at areas like education rankings and the number of children without health insurance.

 


Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Around this time last year, it appeared that Texas would play an outsized role in the 2016 race for the White House. A Texas senator was in the running, as well as a scion of a Texas political dynasty, a former business executive with Austin roots, the libertarian-leaning son of a longtime Texas congressman, and the longest-serving Texas governor in state history.

Intropin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

This morning, while most of us were sleeping, something happened in the state that might mean the difference between life and death for you or someone you love.

Much has been said and written about the opioid epidemic in the U.S. Of the 25 cities with the highest rate of opioid abuse, four are in Texas –Texarkana, Amarillo, Odessa and Longview. And over the past 15 years, opioid overdoses have risen 80 percent.

A drug called naloxone can help prevent many, if not most, deaths from overdoses in the event of an emergency, but the drug is highly regulated and available only with a doctor’s prescription.

 


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.

 


Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon, U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

In the skies over Syria, Russian bombers began striking a garrison of U.S.-supported rebels on June 16. American F/A 18s scrambled the Russians, but when the U.S. jets needed to refuel, the Russians returned and bombed again.

As the Daily Beast reports, the aerial close encounter "underscores just how chaotic Syria's skies have become." It also highlights the risk of the U.S. and Russia getting into something bigger.

 


Kgv88 /Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

In May, Mexico's Secretariat of Public Education fired 3,000 teachers. The government agency claimed the teachers had not worked for three days. The teachers say they were on strike because of recent education reforms.

In June, the government arrested the leader of a dissident teacher union splinter group, CNTE, on charges of corruption. Then yesterday, six people were killed and dozens of civilians and police were injured in clashes in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The tension between teacher unions and the government is escalating.

 


A Native Texas Tribe Now Has Legal Eagle Feathers

Jun 17, 2016
Screenshot via YouTube/The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

From Texas Standard:

They called it "Operation Powwow" — back in 2006, a federal agent went undercover to raid a tribal ceremony. It ended with threats of prison time and fines for tribe members participating in the powwow.

The crime? Using eagle feathers without a permit.

But now the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas has won a decade-long legal battle over use of the feathers, what the tribe considers to be a victory for religious liberty.

 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Via the Texas Tribune:  

Texas on Thursday lost its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, ending a months-long battle during which refugees from the war-torn country continued to arrive.

Why The Words We Use After a Tragedy Matter

Jun 14, 2016
Reno Tahoe/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

After yesterday's broadcast, which concluded with a roundup of reaction to the Orlando shooting from Texans on social media, Texas Standard received a comment from a listener who noted what he considered to be a conspicuous absence of something in the conversation – the mention of words like "ISIS" and "terrorism."

This comment plays into something bigger: how we choose what words to use when speaking about an unspeakable tragedy. What's the significance of the rhetoric surrounding events like the Orlando massacre?


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