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State Headlines

Justice Department urges Texas to halt new migrant order

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:52 pm

AUSTIN (AP) – A new immigration measure by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is drawing swift backlash from the Justice Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday urged Abbott to immediately walk back the directive that allows state troopers to pull over vehicles suspected of carrying migrants on the basis that they could increase the spread of COVID-19 in Texas. The letter from Garland is among the most forceful pushback yet from the Biden administration over the actions taken by Abbott along the U.S.-Mexico border, which have also included jailing migrants on state crimes and building new fencing.


Are evictions in Texas about to increase?

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:50 pm

DALLAS (AP) — A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year is scheduled to expire Saturday. The moratorium, put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, has been the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes. Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent. Federal funds have flowed into Texas to help tenants who qualify pay their rent. The National Low Income Housing Coalition says Texas is one of the states doing the best at distributing its funds quickly. But renters’ advocates expect evictions and homelessness to increase once the moratorium ends.


Names of 2 killed in Texas chemical plant leak released

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:52 pm

HOUSTON (AP) – Authorities have released the names of two workers who died in a chemical leak at a Houston-area plant that also injured dozens of others. Thirty-six-year-old Dustin Day and 32-year-old Shawn Kuhleman died after about 100,000 pounds of a mixture that primarily included acetic acid was released in the leak that started Tuesday evening at LyondellBasell’s La Porte complex. Officials say the cause of their deaths is still pending. LyondellBasell says two of the 30 workers who were treated for injuries were still hospitalized on Thursday. The cause of the leak is under investigation. In an initial report to the state, LyondellBasell said preliminary information indicated “during preparation for a maintenance activity, valve isolation measures may have led to the release.”


Flight attendants report high frequency of unruly passengers

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:51 pm

DALLAS (AP) – About one-fifth of flight attendants say they’ve witnessed a physical incident with a passenger this year. That’s according to a survey by their union. The Association of Flight Attendants says it wants people who act up during flights to face criminal prosecution – not just fines. Airlines have reported more than 3,600 cases of unruly passengers this year. Disputes over face masks are the most common trigger. Federal rules require face masks on planes until mid-September. The flight attendants’ union says alcohol is another big factor for confrontations. The union represents flight attendants at United, Alaska, Spirit and several smaller carriers.


Forgotten oil and gas wells linger, leaking toxic chemicals

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:51 pm

CRANE (AP) – There are about 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells nationwide that haven’t been properly plugged with cement. Many of the wells are releasing methane, which is a greenhouse gas containing about 86 times the climate-warming power of carbon dioxide over two decades. Some are leaking chemicals such as benzene, which is a known carcinogen, into fields and groundwater. Regulators don’t know where hundreds of thousands of the abandoned wells are. That’s because many were drilled before modern regulations and record-keeping systems were established. In recent years, abandoned wells have been found under brush deep in forests and beneath driveways in suburbia.


Exxon posts $4.7B in profit as demand for fuel rebounds

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:51 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil reported profits of $4.69 billion in the second quarter, when demand for fuel recovered from lows reached earlier in the pandemic. The oil giant brought in $67.74 billion in revenue, more than double the amount at the same time last year. CEO Darren Woods says a global economic recovery increased demand for Exxon’s products. The Irving, Texas company produced the equivalent of 3.6 million barrels of oil per day in the first quarter.

 


UT board votes to accept invitation to SEC

Posted/updated on: July 30, 2021 at 3:50 pm

AUSTIN (AP/Staff) – The board of regents for the University of Texas has voted unanimously to accept an invitation for the Longhorns to join the Southeastern Conference. The move is scheduled for July 1, 2025. Texas and Oklahoma are bound to the Big 12 and its other eight members by a media rights agreement through the 2024-25 school year. UT President Jay Hartzell and athletic director Chris Del Conte met by teleconference with the board and they quickly signed off. According to the University of Oklahoma website, OU’s board of regents has done likewise.




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