AP-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX
Good morning! 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: email@example.com. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.
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WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has defended the use of active duty troops on the U.S.-Mexican border, saying that in some ways it provides good training for war. Mattis spoke on his way to visit U.S. troops along the border in South Texas. The Pentagon chief said that within a week to 10 days the 5,800 troops currently deployed for the border mission will have accomplished all the tasks requested by Customs and Border Protection. He added that additional tasks are likely to be added, and he did not say how soon the whole mission might end. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. SENT: 730 words, photos.
TIJUANA, Mexico — Migrants in a caravan of Central Americans have scrambled to reach the U.S. border, arriving by the hundreds in Tijuana, while U.S. authorities across the border were readying razor wire security barriers. Mexican officials in Tijuana were struggling to deal with a group of 357 migrants who arrived aboard nine buses Tuesday and another group of 398 that arrived Wednesday. By Elliot Spagat and Maria Verza. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.
HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Mexican citizen on death row in Texas has been executed for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children more than 26 years ago. Roberto Moreno Ramos was condemned for the 1992 deaths of his 42-year-old wife Leticia, 7-year-old daughter Abigail, and 3-year-old son Jonathan at their home in Progreso, located along the Mexico border. By Juan A. Lozano and Michael Graczyk. SENT: 820 words, photos.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy is performing well but he’s eyeing potential risks ahead. Those include a slowdown in global growth, the fading impact from tax cuts and the cumulative weight of the Fed’s own interest rate hikes. Speaking to an audience at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Powell said the Fed is managing interest rates in an effort to prolong the current economic recovery. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 520 words, photos. Moved on general and financial news service.
DENVER — Dozens of people who live near oil and gas wells have pleaded with the Trump administration not to roll back rules for methane pollution, while industry representatives said the changes should go further. The Environmental Protection Agency held a hearing in Denver on the administration’s plans to loosen regulations imposed by the Obama administration in 2016. The rules require energy companies to step up the detection and elimination of methane leaks at well sites and other oil and gas facilities. The EPA wants to reduce the frequency of inspections for methane leaks and give energy companies more time to repair leaks after they are detected. The changes would also allow an energy company’s in-house engineers to certify some aspects of methane control instead of requiring an outside professional engineer to do so. The EPA also wants to let energy companies opt to follow state rules instead of the federal rules in California, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. By Dan Elliott. SENT: 500 words, photos. Moved on national general, financial and political news services.
— UNITED STATES-SYRIA-MISSING JOURNALIST — A senior State Department official says American journalist Austin Tice is believed to be still alive more than six years after he was abducted while covering the war in Syria. U.S. envoy to Syria James Jeffrey has told reporters that the Houston native is being held hostage there. He didn’t say why officials believe this or who might be holding him. SENT: 130 words.
APNEWSBREAK: IMMIGRANT WAGES-LAWSUIT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The operator of one of the largest private prison systems in the United States paid detained immigrants at a New Mexico prison as little as $1 per day as part of “volunteer” work programs, and refused to pay them minimum wages even though they were not convicted of any crimes, a new federal class-action lawsuit alleges. Three detained men from the Central African country of Cameroon who came to the U.S. seeking asylum were paid the low wages for janitorial and kitchen work at the CoreCivic-run prison at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. For about six months, Desmond Ndambi, Mbah Emmanuel Abi, and Nkemtoh Moses Awombang were held at the detention center after surrendering to U.S. officials at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas in June 2017, said Joseph Sellers, the attorney for the men and a partner at New York law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. The men were sometimes paid around $0.50 an hour or $15 a week regardless of the number of hours they worked in violation of state and federal wage laws, the lawsuit said. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 540 words. Moved on national general and financial news services.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
Sometimes losing is winning. Or at least that’s what some of the 18 North American cities passed up by Amazon for its new headquarters are telling themselves. After 14 agonizing months of wooing and then waiting for the online retail giant to make up its mind, the finalists learned that instead of Amazon picking one location for its new offices, it would split them between Long Island City in Queens, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, in suburban Washington, sending an estimated 25,000 jobs to each. “We competed hard, we competed well, but we did not succeed,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, whose city was a contender. “It calls upon us, as leaders in this city, to look hard at ourselves and say, ’Why can we not beat New York City and Washington, D.C.?” By Mike Catalini. SENT: 580 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
WASHINGTON — Humans helped make recent devastating U.S. hurricanes wetter but in different ways, two new studies find. Hurricane Harvey snagged on the skyscrapers of Houston, causing it to slow and dump more rain than it normally would, one study found. The city’s massive amounts of paving had an even bigger impact by reducing drainage. Both studies are in the latest issue of the journal Nature. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 650 words, photos.
BALTIMORE — U.S. Catholic bishops have made clear their frustrations as a national assembly focused on clergy sex-abuse neared its conclusion without strong new steps to combat the multifaceted crisis. Avoiding any direct confrontation with the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ended the public sessions of its three-day meeting without any vote on two major anti-abuse proposals that had been drafted weeks ago. On the eve of this week’s meeting, the Vatican issued a surprise order for such action to be delayed until after a global meeting on sex abuse scheduled for February. The head of the bishops’ conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, said a newly formed sex-abuse task force would work on fine-tuning those and other proposals ahead of the global meeting in Rome in February. One proposed step will be a national mechanism for publishing the names of clergy who face substantiated claims of abuse. By David McFadden and David Crary. SENT: 1000 words, photos.
HOUSTON — A Texas National Guard member serving at the U.S.-Mexico border is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a motel, authorities said. Police in Alpine, Texas, arrested Luis Carlos Ontiveros, 30, on Monday. The Texas National Guard confirmed that Ontiveros was serving in a mission launched in April following President Donald Trump’s call for the National Guard to go to the border. SENT: 330 words.
HOUSTON — A Houston company has recalled nearly 3½ tons of ready-to-eat chicken salad that regulators say may be contaminated with listeria. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the recall by Ron’s Home Style Foods. SENT: 200 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
MADISON, Wis. — Supporters of a $100 million incentive bill designed to keep open a Kimberly-Clark Corp. plant in northeastern Wisconsin have argued that taking no action would be devastating for the Appleton area and the entire state, though they remain short of the votes they need. The paper products giant, which was founded nearly 150 years ago in Wisconsin and is now based in Dallas, is urging lawmakers to act to save nearly 400 jobs as it weighs closing either that Wisconsin plant or one in Arkansas. By Scott Bauer. SENT: 720 words. Moved on financial and political news services.
— CHILD SHOT-ERRANT BULLET — A security guard is charged in a Houston shooting that left a teenage theft suspect wounded and also injured a nearby 6-year-old girl who was struck by an errant bullet. SENT: 130 words.
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