Alexandra Hart

Intern for Texas Standard.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Late Thursday night, those watching C-SPAN were rewarded with a preview of what's roiling Washington on this Friday – brinksmanship over a budget. Senate Democrats blocked Republican attempts to hold a quick vote on a short-term spending plan that would keep the federal government open past Saturday. Democrats said the stopgap spending measure was no good because of Republican attachments – so-called 'poison pills.'

 

Tony Hisgett/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

Despite a Texas law that provides penalties for hate crimes, very few people have been prosecuted for committing them.

Texas A&M University

From Texas Standard:

Conflicts among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Transportation researchers want to solve the problem by redesigning intersections so that all kinds of traffic have their place, and can keep an eye on one another.

From Texas Standard:

Here in Texas, if you’re headed to a Buc-ee’s, there’s little confusion about what that means -- Beaver Nuggets, an expansive jerky selection and clean bathrooms. Those are images closely tied to the convenience store chain and it is suing to keep it that way.

Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

If President Donald Trump has his way, the U.S. air traffic control system will be privatized. The idea is the first bullet point in the transportation section of the White House budget blueprint. Some major airlines including Texas-based American and Southwest support privatization of air traffic control.

 

From Texas Standard:

When the Texas Legislature passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act, abortion rights advocates decried what they saw as a paternalistic attitude on the part of majority-male sponsors of the law. The law requires patients seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before the procedure and to be informed of potential medical risks. It also tightly regulates where abortions can be performed. 

This session, at least one legislator has decided to fight fire with ... irony?

WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fake news is all over the place – you've probably got at least a few people in your Facebook feed that share it. Even some of our elected officials Tweet it out.

But across the nation, educators are ramping up efforts to teach students how to discern real the information from what’s fake. Librarians are at the forefront of that fight for media literacy in schools, colleges and beyond.

klndonnelly/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Big 12 Conference announced it will be withholding a quarter of its revenue from Baylor University, pending a third party review of the school's Title IX changes. If the review is verified, the conference will not withhold the money. This is the first announcement of any "punishment" from the Big 12 or the NCAA against the school since members of the football team were accused of sexual assault.

Air Force One (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We’re only a few weeks into the Trump administration and the president has come out swinging when it comes to both illegal and legal immigration. He’s signed executive orders – one that paves the way for a wall along the United States-Mexico border and another that placed a travel ban on immigrants from certain countries.

In line with Trump’s restrictive policies on immigration into the country, two U.S. senators filed a bill Tuesday that seeks to reduce immigration further.

Clay Gilliland/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M University has a new partner – in North Korea. The nation’s only private university has reached out to ask for help teaching students how to grow food in a nation of persistent shortages and high food insecurity.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which was founded and is mainly funded by American evangelical Christians, will receive donated teaching materials from the Aggies.

Mayor Jess Herbst of New Hope, Texas recently publicly announced she is transgender.

From Texas Standard:

Jess Herbst became mayor of New Hope – a small north Texas town in Collin County – last May when the previous mayor died of a heart attack. As the longest serving alderman on the town council, she was next in line. Herbst just came out publicly as a transgender woman, the first sitting mayor to do so. She publicly announced her transition with an open letter to her constituents on the conservative town's website.

Screenshot via ESPN Outside the Lines

From Texas Standard:

A new Title IX lawsuit was filed late last week against Baylor University – the latest of six federal lawsuits against the school, and the second in a week. It alleges staff encouraged football players to commit sexual assault and that staff used female students to have sex with football recruits to make sure they had a “good time.”

The attorney who filed the case claims their investigation found at least 52 acts of rape committed by no fewer than 31 football players between 2011 and 2014 – including five gang rapes.

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

From Texas Standard:

Activists gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning to pressure lawmakers to keep fighting human trafficking during the 85th Legislative Session.

Advocates say there’s lots of work left to be done to curb trafficking. Now there are hard numbers to show by how much.

From Texas Standard:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repealing the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is a day-one priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans have already taken the first step towards repealing it.

Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas StandardA federal judge is ordering Pasadena, Texas to submit its voting system for federal approval – marking the first such order since the Supreme Court decision in 2013 striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

After Donald Trump is sworn in as president, the center of his operation is expected to move from Trump Tower in Manhattan to the White House. But not all of Trump’s team will be making the transition.

@whitehouse/Instagram

From Texas Standard:

As President Barack Obama leaves office, one of the legacies he’ll leave behind is his social media presence. He was one of the first presidents to use social media in such an extensive way, across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo from Lydia Ann Channel Moorings via an open records request submitted to the Texas General Land Office.

From Texas Standard:

In 2014, a man calling himself Mike Edwards proposed a project to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office. He wanted to build a barge mooring facility in an ecologically sensitive part of the Texas coast near Port Aransas. The Army Corps gave it a quick green light.

Courtesy UNC Press

From Texas Standard:

Much has been made over the past few years about the potential shifting of political tides in Texas – from the "sleeping giant" of the Latino vote to Donald Trump's slimmer-than-usual margin of victory in the presidential race.

Texas remains largely Red, and at times it feels like it's always been that way. But progressive undercurrents in a state known for "cowboy conservatism" are not a new phenomenon.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr (U.S Government Work)

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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