Texas Standard

Texas Standard
4:20 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

The Ethics of Fetal Tissue Donation

Scientists use fetal tissue and cell cultures to research new diseases and examine how cells regenerate.
Flickr/cellculture (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny over their alleged involvement in fetal tissue research. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, has now released three different secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue. While the videos don’t provide any concrete evidence that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from fetal tissue donation, critics say the video certainly raises questions about how fetal tissue donation is done.

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Texas Standard
2:07 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

Could Better Mental Health Care Have Saved Sandra Bland's Life?

Screenshot via Facebook video/1168639983152111

From Texas Standard:

As officials further investigate Sandra Bland’s case, the Standard continues to ask questions. Tuesday we talked about the legalities of the arrest itself. Here we look at mental health procedures for Texas inmates. This interview discusses suicide and provides some details of Bland’s death.

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Texas Standard
4:30 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

10 Things About The Sandra Bland Traffic Stop That Every Texan Should Know

Jim Harrington with the Texas Civil Rights Project sits down with Texas Standard to go through the Sandra Bland dash cam video step-by-step.
Flickr/punchup (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

On July 10, 28-year-old Sandra Bland was arrested and charged with assaulting a public servant. She was taken to the Waller County Jail; three days later, she was found in her cell dead from what officials called suicide. Both the FBI and the Texas Rangers launched investigations trying to find out what happened.

Dashboard camera footage from Bland’s traffic stop was released on Tuesday.  (Note: The video was uploaded to YouTube Tuesday evening; it has since been taken down, after people pointed out errors and inconsistencies in the video, which led many to believe it had been edited. A DPS spokesman denied editing the video, and re-uploaded the footage without errors or omissions this afternoon.)

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Texas Standard
3:12 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

These Dallas Apartments Are Evicting Tenants Without Social Security Numbers

Danny Cendejas with the Texas Organizing Project is doing what he can to help people without social security cards keep their homes.
DonkeyHotey flickr

From Texas Standard:

Immigration is often discussed in terms of government policy and official enforcement efforts – or lack thereof, depending on whom you ask. But when citizens take actions into their own hands, the dimensions of the discussion get more complicated.

In Dallas, one landlord is reportedly checking the immigration status of tenants and rejecting lease renewals of those who don’t have social security numbers. Now some people are urging Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council to step in and stop these unofficial immigration checks.

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Texas Standard
2:58 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

The Rich and Disturbing History Of American Political Demagoguery

Michael Signer speaking to MSNBC about his new book.
MSNBC via http://on.msnbc.com/1VmeW8n

From Texas Standard:

Former Texas Governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry recently confronted Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, calling it an act of "Trump-ism," which he defined as “a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”

Michael Signer wrote a book on demagoguery, “Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy From its Worst Enemies.” He’s also commented on various news sites about the topic. Signer shared his thoughts on demagoguery and its relation to the current political race for the presidency with the Texas Standard.

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Texas Standard
2:31 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Donald Trump: Political Figure or Pop Icon?

Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Gage Skidmore/flickr

From Texas Standard

Some say the crowded contest for the 2016 GOP presidential nod is more spectacle than substance. While there are plenty of candidates to cover, the lion’s share of the spotlight has fallen on someone who’s never even held elected office: Donald Trump.

Huffington Post editors say that Trump's run is more entertainment than politics, so they recently announced that there will be no more Trump in the politics section. Instead, they say, news about Trump and his campaign will go straight to the entertainment section.

Ryan Grimm, Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post, says the online publication has always been a mix of high- and low-brow news. 

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Texas Standard
2:53 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

How Does Texas Legally Handle Sexual Assault and Rape Cases?

Rape kits are one tool used to prosecute rape cases. As the case against Bill Cosby grows, Christopher Kaiser for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault explains how Texas law deals with sexual assault cases.
IAEA Imagebank/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Allegations that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted or raped multiple women have been making headlines for several months. Now, thanks to the Associated Press, his previous admission to slipping sedatives to women has come to light. The 10-year-old deposition was part of a sexual assault trial filed by a former Temple University employee against Cosby. The case was settled privately in 2006, so no final verdict was issued.

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Texas Standard
9:08 am
Thu July 9, 2015

Texas-Based Whataburger To Prohibit Open Carry Of Handguns

Whataburger's public announcement raises questions about how others in the industry might respond to Texas' forthcoming open carry law.
weaverphoto/flickr

From Texas Standard:

An iconic Texas burger chain has found itself in the crosshairs of gun politics in the months leading up to a state law change set to take effect allowing open carry of handguns.

Preston Atkinson, President and CEO of Whataburger, released a statement this week, saying that, “Whataburger supports customers’ Second Amendment rights, but we haven’t allowed the open carry of firearms in our restaurants for a long time, although we have not prohibited licensed concealed carry.”

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Texas Standard
2:49 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Lawmakers Urge Taskforce To Review Confederate Symbols

A statue of Albert Sidney Johnston on the UT Austin campus was graffitied in June.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The effort to put distance between government and symbols of the South’s Confederate past continues to gain momentum from public schools to statehouses. The South Carolina Legislature moved one step closer to removing the Confederate flag from its capital this week with a resounding 36-3 vote in the Senate – the issue now goes to a more divided House.

There’s a similar debate underway this week in Texas.

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Texas Standard
5:16 pm
Mon July 6, 2015

Texas Observer Reports Mass Graves Investigation May Have Been Botched

Grave markers next to a Brooks County burial plot marked for exhumation in May 2013 by the Baylor University forensics team.
Texas Observer

From Texas Standard:

John Carlos Frey, a reporter with the Texas Observer, joins the Texas Standard to talk about the wrong-doings he found while looking into an inquiry led by the Texas Rangers.

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Texas Standard
1:59 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

What the Decision on Same-Sex Marriage Means to One Texas Family

'I'm very excited,' says Ronald 'Ronnie' Macklin.
Texas for Marriage/facebook

From Texas Standard:

The Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage today. All 50 states are now required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Ronald “Ronnie” Macklin and his partner, Fritz Johnson-Macklin, are one of those couples. From the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, Ronnie joined Texas Standard to talk about his family’s story –  just minutes after learning about the Supreme Court decision.

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Texas Standard
4:30 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Family of Texas Kidnapping Victim Influences Shift in U.S. Hostage Policy

The Obama Administration announced Wednesday that families of hostages will no longer be prosecuted for raising ransom money.
barackobamainvirginia-august2nd/flickr

From Texas Standard:

Austin Bennett Tice has been missing since August 12, 2012.

The 33-year-old Texas veteran was working as a freelance journalist in Syria when he was kidnapped while reporting on the war. His whereabouts are still unknown.

To bring their son home, Tice’s father secured a meeting with President Obama. He had heard that the administration was going to review the U.S. hostage policy and wanted a chance to influence the President’s decision with his family’s story.

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Texas Standard
1:33 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

You'll Never Tweet as Well as This Texas Judge

Justice Don Willett via facebook

From Texas Standard:

By order of the 84th Texas Legislature, Justice Don Willett has just become our official “Tweeter Laureate.”

He may be a judge on the Supreme Court of this state, but in his spare time online, Justice Willett has posted nearly 17,000 tweets, and he has more than 18,000 followers.

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Texas Standard
12:03 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: What Will Your County Do?

flickr.com//dave77459

From Texas Standard

If the United State Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage this month, the ability of gay couples across the state to wed right away may depend on where they live.

It seems county clerks are taking different precautions in the lead-up to the high court’s decision. A sticking point between clerk offices is one of the forms in the marriage license applications that uses the language “male” and “female."

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Texas Standard
11:46 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Is Texas the Center of the Universe? Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Yes, In a Way

nasahqphoto/flickr

Neil deGrasse Tyson may be the biggest celebrity astrophysicist working today. In addition to hosting the reboot of the TV series “Cosmos,” he is also active on Twitter, where he makes science jokes, ruminates on the universe, and offers up physics-related facts. Now, Tyson is taking his ideas on the road. He'll be appearing across Texas this month, and today, he spoke with Nathan Bernier about the upcoming tour.

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Texas Standard
12:34 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Terrorism Gone Viral: House Committee Hearing on ISIS and Social Media

jacobfg/flickr

From Texas Standard

"Terrorism Gone Viral: The Attack in Garland, Texas and Beyond," was the title given to the discussion in the House Committee on Homeland Security. The committee is chaired by Texas Congressman Michael McCaul.

Federal officials wanted to use the attack on the Curtis Culwell Center to illustrate the militant group, the self proclaimed Islamic State's, use of social media to recruit westerners.

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Texas Standard
2:46 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

A Wimberley Summer Camp Rushes to Recover from Floods Before Campers Arrive

Photo via Brenda Salinas/Texas Standard

This Sunday, 150 girls ages six to 16 will say goodbye to their parents, grab their trunks and move into their summer cabins at Rocky River Ranch. The 50-year-old camp is a place preserved in time. When alumni drop off their little sisters and daughters, director Shanna Watson asks them if anything looks different.

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Texas Standard
2:45 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Weather Is 'Not Political,' Says Texas Climatologist

chiotsrun/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It seems that every major weather event is followed by a conversation about climate change, and the Memorial Day floods in Texas are no different. These historic storms have left more than 20 dead in Texas and Oklahoma, and Governor Abbott has declared around 70 counties as disaster zones.

Of course the climate change conversation is called out as insensitive by some, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz who thinks it’s wrong to “politicize a natural disaster." For others, it’s a tragic necessity.

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Texas Standard
11:14 am
Thu May 21, 2015

The Next Fight in the Waco Shootout Will Be in Court

From Texas Standard

As the dust settles on the Twin Peaks parking lot after Sunday's deadly biker shootout, the showdown in the courtroom is just beginning.

Authorities in Waco no doubt have a challenge ahead of them — sifting through the physical evidence and countless statements regarding the encounter that left 9 dead. But the district attorney’s office is now tasked with how to prosecute the roughly 170 arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime.

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Texas Standard
2:53 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Texas State Aquarium Files Suit Against Chemical Supplier

jasoncwallace/flickr

From Texas Standard:

It's been exactly one month and a day since a ghastly event down in Corpus Christi.

On that day, workers at the Texas State Aquarium applied a white powder to the tanks of two huge exhibits: the Islands of Steel and the flower garden. They were trying to treat an infestation of a potentially deadly flatworm that attaches itself to fish.

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