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

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From Texas Standard:

Officials lifted the three-and-a-half day ban on the use of tap water in Corpus Christi on Sunday. Residents can now use the water for drinking, showering and washing clothes and dishes.

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From Texas Standard

Federal law doesn't allow states to drug test food stamp recipients, but there is no such law for another program that gives federal grant funds to states to provide families with financial assistance and other support services. Nine states currently require either screening or drug testing for adults seeking to receive the federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Now Texas wants to join them.

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From Texas Standard:

Miguel Navarro is 5’ 3’’ and small-framed. When reporters Alain Stephens and Hannah McBride speak to him, he’s in handcuffs and ankle restraints. He’s nervous and sweaty. His brown eyes well up with tears when they ask him about that night.

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From Texas Standard:

Capitol Hill is quiet this time of year. Congress is out of session. All the senators and representatives have scattered to their respective districts, except the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. The committee’s leader, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady from Texas (R-Woodlands), called lawmakers back to Washington to map out the imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

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From Texas Standard:

Leah Aguilera is a 24-year-old transgender woman. She’s been in the U.S. for about half her life. She came from Honduras in 2004 and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I came to the United States for a better life,” she says. “And to become someone.”

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From Texas Standard:

President-elect Donald Trump knocked the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during his first U.S. presidential debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton back in September.

“NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere,” he said.

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From Texas Standard:

After the July shooting which killed five Dallas Police officers and wounded nine others, applications to join the force poured in. But that’s not happening anymore. The Dallas Police Department is losing offers faster than they can replace them, and the shortages are so severe task forces are being closed and officers are scrambling just to make sure 911 calls get answered.

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From Texas Standard:

It's been 10 years since the start of Mexico's drug war when former Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered 6,500 Mexican troops to the state of Michoacan to curb a surge in drug violence there.

Drug gang violence has gotten worse; 150,000 people have died since the war's beginning and 30,000 remain missing.

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From Texas Standard:

The strip mall parking lot’s yellow lights are the first greeting on the way to Imagine Books and Records. Tucked between a San Antonio city councilman’s office and an intimate goods store, the small shop can be difficult to spot.

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From Texas Standard:

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died while on vacation in Safter, out in west Texas, it shook the court as few events have since his rise to the bench in 1986. His vacancy has left the nation’s highest court ideologically divided, and politicians at odds over a replacement.

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From Texas Standard:

Open enrollment in Obamacare continues through the end of the year. The number of insured Texans has increased since the Affordable Care Act was put in place – but the percentage of uninsured people in Texas remains the highest in the country.

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From Texas Standard:

Monday morning, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told CBS there is "no doubt" of Russian intelligence services hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s servers earlier this year.

"It's another form of warfare,” McCain said. “It's a threat to our national security."

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From Texas Standard:

Susan Combs, former Texas Comptroller, is unsatisfied with the treatment and position of women. She was the state’s top money manager for close to a decade, serving as Comptroller until last year. Before that, she was Texas Agriculture Commissioner and a state representative.

Courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum

From Texas Standard:

Adolf Hitler said "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it."

Many historians agree that one of Hitler's most dangerous weapons was his words. With the help of Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's words mobilized anger, anti-Semitism, homophobia and white supremacy, fueling a political machine that began one of the world's largest wars.

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From Texas Standard

Three of nine Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners officials resigned Thursday after Texas' review board of state agencies issued a scathing report detailing problems with the board.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

From the Texas Tribune: The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Cameron County health department announced Friday they've identified four more locally-transmitted cases of Zika in Cameron County.

In late November, the first such case in Texas, contracted by mosquito bite, was reported out of Cameron County.

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From Texas Standard:

Outside of election year politics, few issues generate as much intense outrage – on both sides – as that of mandatory childhood vaccination.

According to the National Institute of Health, public concern about the adverse effects of vaccines has been part of our conversation since the first smallpox inoculation by Dr. Edward Jenner in 1796.

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From Texas Standard:

Texas is currently under a federal court order to fix its foster care system after allegations of child deaths in the system, high caseworker turnover, system mismanagement and a host of other problems. Foster care in Texas has been declared so dangerous it’s unconstitutional.

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From Texas Standard:

State lawmakers filed resolutions on Tuesday calling for a convention of states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

COLLEGE STATION — When white nationalist Richard Spencer took the stage at Texas A&M University on Tuesday, about two dozen of the 400 people in the room stood and applauded. Many others hissed.

“That means you love me,” he said to the hecklers. “Hisssss back to all of y’all.”