Texas

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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas lawmakers intended to discriminate when they passed a strict voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge has ruled.

César Horacio Duarte, former governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
OEA-OAS/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In late March, Cesar Duarte, the former governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, fled to El Paso to escape corruption allegations. Duarte is now the subject of an international arrest warrant, which was filed by his successor, current Governor Javier Corral.

Qiling Wang for KUT

None of the Austin-area members of Congress have official in-person town halls scheduled in their districts during the two-week spring recess that began today.

Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick entered the current legislative session with a long list of priorities, and a conservative wind at his back. But despite these advantages, Patrick is unlikely to get what he wants. And that’s largely because of fellow Republican and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Illustration by Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has halted the execution of Paul Storey, which was set for Wednesday.

In a three-page order Friday afternoon, the court sent the case back to the Tarrant County trial court to review claims regarding the prosecution presenting false evidence at Storey’s trial.

In 2008, Storey, 32, was sentenced to death for the 2006 murder of Jonas Cherry during a robbery of a miniature golf course where Cherry worked in Hurst, near Fort Worth. At the trial, the prosecution said that Cherry’s parents wanted the death penalty.

Courtesy of Hyperloop One

A proposal that could help you maintain your sanity on the 195-mile trip from Austin to Dallas was unveiled in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Hyperloop Texas projects the trip would take less than 20 minutes traveling via electric propulsion in pods through low-pressure tubes. It was one of 11 teams to introduce proposals at a meeting of policymakers and transportation experts as part of the Hyperloop Global Challenge.  

A U.S. Navy cruiser releases a tomahawk cruise missile
U.S. Naval Surface Warriors/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base, Thursday raises a number of questions about President Donald Trump’s true intentions in the region. Trump announced that the strike was in retaliation for Syria’s chemical weapons attack on a town in the northern part of the country, earlier in the week. But after six years of war, 300,000 dead, 5 million refugees and now 59 cruise missiles, fired 100 years to the day after the U.S. entered the war in which chemical weapons were first used, many are asking what will happen next?

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

After 15 and a half hours of debate on hundreds of amendments to the Texas House budget, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed the two-year, $218 billion document, with 131 votes in favor and 16 votes against.

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

El Rancho Supermarkets are like New York's bodegas – but on steroids. The aisles are still pretty narrow but the produce is fresh and affordable. You can find authentic products from Latin America, so this place is a magnet for people like me – foreign-born.

A portion of the south Texas border fence and remote surveillance cameras.
Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Government Work)

From Texas Standard:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said just yesterday that it is "unlikely" that a wall along the United States' southern border will be built in full. That’s different from the Trump administration's original proposed plans to build a continuous 30-foot wall, regardless of the terrain and other potential obstacles.

 

World War I victory parade in downtown Austin.
UT Austin Briscoe Center for American History

From Texas Standard:

The United States officially entered World War I 100 years ago, Thursday. While the fighting took place overseas, the war’s impact was far flung, much of it striking right here in Texas.

Congressman Ted Poe
U.S. House of Representatives/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble) surprised observers last week when he announced he would leave the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers whose opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) put them at odds with President Donald Trump and House leadership.

U.N. Security Council chamber
Jessica Spengler/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday, Syria launched a chemical gas attack on a northern area held by rebels. Pope Francis has called the attack an “unacceptable massacre,” according to the New York Times. And an unnamed state department official has called it a war crime.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

Groups supporting President Donald Trump’s policies like ‘Great America Alliance’, ‘America First Policies’, and ‘Making America Great’ provide cover for ongoing political fights – from healthcare to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. But there are signs that these groups are willing to go so far in promoting the Trump agenda that they could end up turning their fire on fellow members of the GOP who don't cooperate with their goals.

Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The filibuster – in which a senator or group of senators can control the Senate floor as long as they continue speaking – is a tool of the underdog. And if Senate Republicans don’t get the votes they need to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the filibuster may be history.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Debates over the budget, the bathroom bils and sanctuary cities are getting national attention, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus get a lot of the headlines. But what about Governor Greg Abbott? Why has he been so quiet?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has drawn his first election challenger. Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso announced his intention to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in 2018, after which he would likely face Cruz in the general election. O’Rourke spent the weekend holding rallies around the state to announce his candidacy.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested 153 undocumented immigrants in the South and Central Texas regions during its most recent round of immigration enforcement. 

TDCJ/Abby Livingston

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear the Texas death penalty case of a Honduran national who is arguing that a federal appeals court wrongly denied him resources to investigate and provide evidence of substance abuse and mental illness.

As Donald Trump regularly spotlights violent crimes committed by immigrants who are in the country illegally, outrage is increasingly bubbling up in communities across the country.

In San Antonio last month, authorities charged 35-year-old Armando Rodrigo Garcia-Ramires, a Mexican national, with double capital murder in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl, who was nine months pregnant with his child. The fetus died, too.

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