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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX

November 26, 2018

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at AP’s general news coverage in Texas at this hour. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the Dallas AP at 972-991-2100, or, in Texas, 800-442-7189. Email: aptexas@ap.org

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org




HONG KONG — Scientists and bioethics experts reacted with shock, anger and alarm Monday to a Chinese researcher’s claim that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies in a matter with ties to an educator in Houston. He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology of China said he altered the DNA of twin girls born earlier this month to try to help them resist possible future infection with the AIDS virus — a dubious goal, ethically and scientifically. There is no independent confirmation of what He says he did. Rice University said it will investigate the involvement of physics professor Michael Deem. This sort of gene editing is banned in the U.S., though Deem said he worked with He on the project in China. By Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 520 words, with photo.


ATLANTA — A century of rule by “Southern Democrats” followed by a generation of Republican domination is evolving into something more complex. This month’s midterms revealed a South that’s essentially splitting in two. In states like Georgia and Texas, population growth and strong minority turnout propelled liberal Democrats such as Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Rourke to come close to statewide victories once thought impossible. The Old Confederacy states in between are mostly holding to form, with white majorities giving President Donald Trump high marks and conservatives a clear advantage going forward. By Bill Barrow. SENT: 1,170 words, with photos.


TIJUANA, Mexico — Mexico looked set to shore up security near its border with the United States on Monday, as police lined up outside a shelter in the city of Tijuana and told Central American migrants they couldn’t walk toward the border area. Mexico’s National Migration Institute said that 98 migrants were being deported after they tried to breach the U.S. border, and U.S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop them. Mexico’s Interior Department said about 500 migrants were involved in the attempt to rush the border, while U.S. authorities put the number at 1,000. By Christopher Sherman. SENT: 900 words, with photos, video.




CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A NASA spacecraft’s six-month journey to Mars neared its dramatic grand finale Monday afternoon in what scientists and engineers hoped would be a soft precision landing on flat red plains. The InSight lander aimed for an afternoon touchdown, as anxiety built among those involved in the $1 billion international effort. InSight’s perilous descent through the Martian atmosphere, after a trip of 300 million miles, had stomachs churning and nerves stretched to the max. Although an old pro at this, NASA last attempted a landing at Mars six years ago. Mission Control is at Johnson Space Center in Houston. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 920 words, with photos. Will be updated.



ATHENS, Greece — A prosecutor in Greece has ordered the retrial of seven suspects on murder charges over the fatal beating of Texas tourist Bakari Henderson on an island resort last year. The six men — five Serbian nationals and a British man of Serbian origin — were jailed from five to 15 years last week after being found guilty of deadly assault. But a public prosecutor Monday ordered the retrial of the six men for murder by a more senior panel of judges. A seventh man, a Greek national cleared last week, will also stand trial for murder. Henderson, a 22-year-old from Austin died in July 2017 after being beaten in the street following an argument in a bar on Zakynthos island. SENT: 120 words, with photos. A longer version is not planned.


WASHINGTON, N.C. — The taxpayer-subsidized National Flood Insurance Program helps with rebuilding, Records at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which operates the program, show that nearly 37,000 properties from the Carolinas to California have repeatedly flooded and been rebuilt — some dozens of times — with help from a federal insurance program that is, itself, financially underwater. Last year was the 40-year-old flood program’s second-worst, with more than $10 billion in claims, following hits from Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Maria in Puerto Rico. By Emery P. Dalesio. SENT: 1,010 words, with photos.


WASHINGTON — Breast implant recipients say that for years data on ruptures and other problems was kept hidden by the U.S. government and manufacturers, making it hard to know whether the medical devices are safe. A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed breast implant manufacturers to report problems in bulk, rather than individually, effectively suppressing the actual number of complaints about injuries and malfunctions. The breast implant reporting issue is just one of the problems caused by the FDA’s current tracking system for medical device problems. By Meghan Hoyer. SENT: 3,010 words, with photos.




DETROIT — General Motors will lay off up to 14,000 factory and white-collar workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles. The reduction includes 8,100 white-collar workers, some of whom will take buyouts and others who will be laid off. Some U.S. factory workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production. Most of the affected factories build cars that won’t be sold in the U.S. after next year, including the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable gas-electric hybrid. GM operates an SUV-making plant in Arlington, Texas. By Tom Krisher and Rob Gillies. SENT: 630 words, with photo.




TOKYO — A French-American man from Texas has given up his attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean after a storm broke the mainsail of his support ship, organizers said Monday. Ben Lecomte of Austin, who had completed about 1,500 nautical miles of the 5,000-mile journey, called the premature end to the swim a deep disappointment. The announcement was made by Seeker, a San Francisco-based online science publisher that partnered with Lecomte and has been documenting his attempt. SENT: 180 words, with photo. Moving on news & sports lines.


CHARLOTTE, Mich. — The former president of Michigan State University on Monday made her first court appearance since being charged with lying to investigators about what she knew during the investigation into sexual assault allegations against disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Lou Anna Simon, 71, is accused of lying during an interview in May as investigators tried to figure how Nassar got away with his crimes for so long. She is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors. By David Eggert. SENT: 310 words, with photos. Moving on news & sports lines.





NEW ORLEANS — Chevron Corp. says it’s getting oil and natural gas via a floating platform tethered in nearly a mile of water off of New Orleans. The company says the tension-leg drilling and production platform is in the deepest water of any such facility. SENT: 190 words.


CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela will hold onto its U.S.-based Citgo refineries, settling a long-standing dispute that threw ownership of the crisis-wracked country’s prized assets into peril as its massive debt mounts. Venezuela on Friday began paying off $1.4 billion that an arbitration panel said was owed to the Canadian mining firm Crystallex, following a disputed takeover of the company nearly a decade ago by the late-President Hugo Chavez. The initial payment of $425 million enables it to hold onto the refineries. By Scott Smith. SENT: 410 words, with photo.


NEW YORK — Mick Jagger likes a buzz. A natural buzz. The Rolling Stones frontman, who will tour America next spring with his iconic band, says live shows give him a rush that can’t be matched and is the reason that at 75, he still loves touring. Jagger should feel like a football player — since he’ll be playing the same stadiums as NFL stars when the Stones’ No Filter tour launches in Miami on April 20. Tickets go on sale Friday and the 13 shows will hit Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington, D.C. By Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 1,180 words, with photos.


— FATAL PARTY SHOOTING — Police in Houston say one person was killed and several were injured in a shooting at a club that was hosting a block party for teenagers and their parents.

— ATM-MISTAKEN MONEY — An ATM in the Houston area was shut down and guarded by law officers after mistakenly dispensing $100 bills instead of $20s and word of the glitch got out on social media.

— EL DREAMER-KILLED — Authorities say the hip-hop artist known as “El Dreamer” and “Tattd Dreamz” was killed in fatal motorcycle crash in El Paso.

— BACKPAGE-DELAWARE — Delaware’s attorney general has moved to dissolve the limited liability companies behind Backpage.com, a Dallas-based classified ad website whose listings included sexual services.

— HOLIDAY EXPRESS — A festive holiday train has started its journey through Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Missouri.



GARLAND, Texas — Turns out that retailers like Amazon aren’t too interested in restocking your returned impulse buys. Instead, they’ll often wind up in warehouses like one in Garland, where returned goods (including some that have never been opened) are auctioned off for cheap. The Dallas Morning News reports as holiday sales pick up, so do returns. The end of November marks the beginning of busy season for people who work in returns management. Liquidation.com has contracts with companies like Amazon, The Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, so returns can end up bundled in “mystery” boxes and pallets, where items are grouped and sold off for much less than their normal retail prices. By Dana Branham, The Dallas Morning News. SENT: 1,010 words, pursuing photos. Not for online use in the Dallas area.



HOUSTON — The Tennessee Titans on Monday night face the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:15 p.m. CST.


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