Texas

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

A new study of immigration to the United States shows that more Mexicans have returned home than have arrived here since 2009.

The report from the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center also finds that the overall flow of Mexicans between the two countries is the smallest since the 1990s.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Mstyslav Chernov (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the aftermath of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, two terrorist suspects were killed – including one woman who activated a suicide belt – and seven more suspects are being held by French officials as a result of a raid this morning in a suburb north of Paris.


Image via Flickr/Ricardo S. Nava (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last August, the reputation and trust afforded to police officers nationwide has been questioned. Smartphone videos and body cameras have changed everything.

Despite the perception of an increase in complaints about the use of police force, the Dallas Police Department claims a dramatic drop in the number of complaints.

 


Image via Hannah McBride/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In times like these, the arc of history is often invoked to make sense of the present. So the narrative goes, the so-called Islamic State arose in the vacuum left after America’s misadventures post-9/11.

Recently, Jon Meacham’s book has been in the news for revelations that George Herbert Walker Bush – Bush 41 – thought his son, W. – Bush 43 – was badly served by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. That’s news, especially since the narrative used to be that 43 was just doing his father’s bidding, retribution for an unfinished war.

 


Nathan Bernier/KUT

In a rare move, thehe State Board of Education preliminarily voted Wednesday against an amendment from the State Board of Educator Certification to change superintendent job requirements. Last month, the SBEC voted to loosen requirements so school boards can hire candidates who have no classroom experience. 

Image via Flickr/LBJ Foundation, Photo by Lauren Gerson (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

France is in its second day of bombing ISIS targets after last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. The country is targeting the group’s stronghold in Raqqua. Tuesday, Russia declared a downed passenger jet in Egypt the work of ISIS, due to what Vladimir Putin said was a homegrown bomb. The Russian government issued a $50 million reward for more information on who's behind the attack, and launched cruise missile strikes on the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.

Image via Texas Tribune/Michael Stravato

From Texas Standard:

Jasmine Johnson, a 20-year-old expectant mother, gave birth in January. She didn't just bring home a baby girl after her visit to the hospital – she also brought home a $1,500 medical bill she couldn’t afford.


KUT News

Faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin have approved a measure calling for banning guns in classrooms, labs, dorms and university offices under the state’s campus carry law.

The law, SB 11, goes into effect in August of next year. People with concealed handgun licenses will be able to carry a gun on a campus, as they already can, but schools can set some limits to where exactly they can bring them in. The UT Faculty Council says it doesn’t want them in classrooms. UT Professor Carolyn Brown at the College of Pharmacy is a member of the Council and says she and her colleagues voted unanimously to oppose guns in education spaces.

Image via Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The morning routine of Kai Alterman includes a stop at a café and a cab ride. When it comes time for her to pay,  the server slides her credit card, then hands her a screen similar to an iPad to sign – complete with choices of how much to tip. Alterman hits the middle option, leaving a 20 percent tip.

"I think this makes people tip more often, because you feel more guilty not to tip with those," Alterman says.

 


Image courtesy John Savage

From Texas Standard:

According to the latest statistics, about 12 of every 10,000 Texans are living homeless, many of whom have an intellectual or developmental disability. While state programs and aid are available, the wait times are daunting. Some services have lists with applicants waiting for well over a decade.

Some reports rank Texas near last place with regard to well-being of those with intellectual disabilities.  John Savage has been following the story for the Texas Observer.

 


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.

 


KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case next year that challenges a Texas abortion measure signed into law in 2013. Justices will use what’s called the undue burden test to decide whether the law’s requirements are constitutional or not.


Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees, after the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead. He's directing the state's Health and Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in any resettlement of Syrians in Texas.

At least 13 other governors have taken similar steps since the terror attacks in Paris, including the governors of AlabamaLouisiana, Indiana and Michigan

Image courtesy ROAR for Good

From Texas Standard:

If you ask a woman what her self-defense techniques are when she walks alone at night, you’re likely to hear a variety of answers. “I carry pepper spray,” “I hold a set of keys gripped between my fingers,” or “I pretend to talk on the phone” are just a few responses.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been under fire for opening three detention centers to hold Central American immigrant families who fled to this country seeking asylum.

Under the pressure of a federal court order, ICE is now exploring ways to release the mothers and children with alternatives to detention — but human rights activists are unhappy that the same for-profit prison company that locked up the families now manages their cases after release.

Image via Flickr/ARTS_fox1fire (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A group made up of professors, and a few others, rallied behind their common goal of a gun-free UT on Monday at the University of Texas at Austin. This pushback against a state campus carry law passed last session has been building for months. The new law is set to take effect next year.

The protesters' message was loud and clear: ban guns or we could sue. Law professor Ken Williams from South Texas College of Law in Houston says their main claim will center around how universities will ensure a safe environment for both students and faculty.

 


Image via Flickr/Kent Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the face of fierce opposition calling it a "bathroom bill," the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was rejected by voters last week.

Houston's ordinance sought to extend civil rights protections to transgender individuals and several other groups of citizens, but quickly came under fire for its proposed extension of equal rights to public restroom use.

 


Jason Farrar via flickr

From Texas Standard:

Dallas-based Securus Technologies is one of the leading providers of phone services inside prisons across the nation. And now they could be responsible for what's being reported as possibly "the most massive breach of the attorney-client privilege in modern U.S. history."

Investigative website The Intercept is reporting the breach involves records from prisoner phone calls in 37 states, including Texas. The records were leaked by an anonymous hacker on the Intercept's secure and anonymous contact site SecureDrop.

 


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From Texas Standard:

A story about a protest on a campus a few states away could have implications for one of the biggest industries in Texas – college football. At the University of Missouri, there were protests going back to September against racism on campus, a social media campaign called Concerned Student 1950, and a hunger strike by a graduate student. But most folks outside of Missouri did not know about any of this until last weekend.

Hundreds of veterans and their supporters marched up Congress Avenue Wednesday to the state capitol, where a commemoration ceremony took place for Veterans Day. Among those attending were Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

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