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State Headlines

DOJ will ask Supreme Court to halt Texas abortion law

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

AUSTIN (AP) – The Biden administration says it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September. The announcement Friday by the Justice Department comes after an appeals court again left in place the law that bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected. That is usually around six weeks and before some women know they are pregnant. The Texas law is the nation’s biggest curb to abortion in nearly 50 years. Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the law to take effect but did so without ruling on whether it is constitutional.

Police: 1 deputy killed, 2 wounded in ambush at Houston bar

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:48 pm

HOUSTON (AP) – Three constable deputies were shot in an ambush early Saturday morning while working an extra shift at a Houston bar, leaving one deputy dead and two others wounded, authorities in Texas said. Authorities took one person into custody but were still searching for a man believed to be the shooter, Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief James Jones told reporters. Constables are licensed peace officers who perform various law enforcement functions, according to the Texas Association of Counties.

Texas Republicans set to pass new congressional maps

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republicans are set to approve redrawn U.S. House maps that would shore up their eroding dominance as voters peel away from the GOP in the state’s booming suburbs. The Texas House on Saturday is expected to send the maps to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The redrawn congressional districts map make it easier for incumbents to hold their seats. But they also may blunt Black and Hispanic communities’ political influence, even as those voters drive the state’s growth. Texas was the only state to gain two congressional seats following the 2020 census. Democrats and voting rights advocates say they are preparing to challenge the maps in court.

AP review: At least 13 auto safety rules are years overdue

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — As traffic fatalities spike during the pandemic, the federal agency in charge of auto safety is struggling with a growing backlog of safety rules ordered by Congress that are years overdue and estimated to save thousands of lives. An Associated Press review of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rule-making activities under the last three presidents found at least 13 safety rules past due, including a rear seat belt reminder requirement that was to be implemented by 2015. The agency has lacked a permanent leader for four years and auto safety groups say President Joe Biden should act on a nomination. They fear the agency’s mission of saving lives and costs from traffic injuries is getting lost.

Teachers told to offer books with “opposing” Holocaust views

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm

SOUTHLAKE (AP) – A Texas school district administrator told teachers that if they have books about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they should also have books that offer “opposing” or “other” viewpoints on the subject. Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, issued the directive last week during a training session about which books teachers can have in their classroom libraries. A staff member secretly made an audio recording of the training session and shared it with NBC News. Texas and some other Republican-controlled states passed laws this year regulating what can be taught about race-related ideas in public schools. The district later apologized.

Van Gogh artwork looted by Nazis to be auctioned in New York

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm

NEW YORK (AP) – A watercolor by Vincent van Gogh that was seized by the Nazis during World War II will be sold next month at auction in New York. The auction house Christie’s says the work is expected to sell for $20 million or more. Christie’s is auctioning the 1888 work, “Wheatstacks,” after facilitating negotiations between the Texas oilman’s heirs who own it now and the heirs of two Jewish art collectors who owned it before it was looted by the Nazis. “Wheatstacks” will be auctioned on Nov. 11 along with other artworks from the collection of Edwin L. Cox, a Texas oilman who died last year at age 99.

US plans to reinstate ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy next month

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The Biden administration says it plans to reinstate a Trump-era border policy next month to make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court, complying with a judge’s order. It hinges on approval from the Mexican government, which has raised concerns that U.S. officials say they are working to address. According to a court filing late Thursday, Mexico wants cases to generally conclude within six months and ensure that asylum-seekers have timely and accurate information about hearing dates and times. Mexico also wants better access to legal counsel and coordination on when and where asylum-seekers are returned.

Woman, child found dead after flood sweeps vehicles away

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The bodies of a woman and a young girl have been found after a flash flood from the remnants of Hurricane Pamela swept their vehicles from a low bridge in San Antonio. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the 5-year-old girl was in a vehicle with two boys being taken to school, and the 52-year-old woman was taking two other boys to the same school. Flood-swollen Martinez Creek swept both vehicles from a low bridge early Thursday on the city’s eastern fringe. The four boys and the man driving the car with the girl were rescued.

Miami commissioners vote to end police chief’s stormy tenure

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

MIAMI (AP) – Miami city commissioners have unanimously voted to fire Police Chief Art Acevedo after a short and stormy tenure in which he clashed with city officials and members of his own police force. The five commissioners took the step following a trial-like hearing Thursday in which he was criticized for offending fellow Cuban-Americans and losing the trust of his officers. Meanwhile, Acevedo’s attorney argued that the city’s politicians wanted him gone because he accused them of corruption. Acevedo took office in April after leaving his post as Houston police chief. He was selected by the Miami mayor, who hailed him as the Michael Jordan and Tom Brady of police chiefs.

Truex in tight NASCAR chase for start of round of 8 in Texas

Posted/updated on: October 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The third round of NASCAR’s playoffs are getting started in Texas. It is a tight chase with three races left to determine the four championship drivers for the season finale. Series points leader Kyle Larson won NASCAR’s All-Star race in Texas four months ago. He has a significant lead over Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. But only eight points separate second-place Hamlin and defending Cup champion Chase Elliott in sixth place, with Truex, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch in between them. Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski are the other drivers still in the playoffs.

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