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BC-TX--Texas News Digest 12 am, TX

January 25, 2019

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: aptexas@ap.org. Jamie Stengle is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

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TOP STORIES:

UNITED STATES-MEXICO-ASYLUM

SAN DIEGO _ The Trump administration on Friday will start forcing some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. courts, an official said, launching what could become one of the more significant changes to the immigration system in years. The changes will be introduced at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing, according to a U.S. official familiar with the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s not yet final. San Ysidro is the nation’s busiest crossing and the choice of asylum seekers who arrived to Tijuana, Mexico, in November in a caravan of more than 6,000 mostly Central American migrants. The policy, which is expected to face a legal challenge, may be expanded to other crossings. It does not apply to children traveling alone or to asylum seekers from Mexico. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 800 words, photos. Moved on general and political news services.

TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-AVIATION

The strain of a 34-day partial government shutdown is weighing on the nation’s air-travel system, both the federal workers who make it go and the airlines that depend on them. Air traffic controllers and airport security agents continue to work without pay _ they will miss a second biweekly paycheck on Friday _ but high absentee rates raise the threat of long airport lines, or worse. Unions that represent air traffic controllers, flight attendants and pilots are growing concerned about safety with the shutdown well into its fifth week. Airline executives say they are worried that long airport lines could scare off passengers. The economic damage, while small, is starting to show up in their financial reports. Federal workers say going without pay is grinding them down, and they’re not sure how much longer they can take it. By David Koenig. SENT: 760 words, photos. Moved on general, financial and travel news services.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-SENATE SPAT

WASHINGTON _ Signs of strain from the 34-day partial government shutdown are emerging on the Senate floor. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado tore into Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas after Cruz backed a GOP bill to pay Coast Guard members but not reopen the government. The normally mild-mannered Bennet erupted in a fiery speech, saying, “These crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take.” Bennet noted that Cruz single-handedly shut down the government in 2013, at a time when Colorado was flooded. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 300 words, photos.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

TWEETING FAKERY

WASHINGTON _ A tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more, a new study finds. Scientists examined more than 16,000 U.S. Twitter accounts and found that 16 of them _ less than one-tenth of 1 percent _ tweeted out nearly 80 percent of the misinformation masquerading as news, according to a study reported in the journal Science. This study shows “most of us aren’t too bad at circulating information, but some of us are determined propagandists who are trying to manipulate the public sphere,” said Texas A&M University’s Jennifer Mercieca, a historian of political rhetoric who wasn’t part of the study. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on national science and technology news services.

EARNS-RAILROADS

OMAHA, Neb. _ The economy appears strong to the major freight railroads that haul the products and raw materials companies rely on, but the lingering trade disputes could derail business if they continue. Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads all sounded optimistic about the economy when they reported hauling 3 percent more carloads of freight in the fourth quarter. By Josh Funk. SENT: 320 words, photos.

EXCHANGE-MOSQUE FIRE-RECOVERY

AUSTIN, Texas _ Two years after its mosque burned down, the Islamic Center of Lake Travis has opened its doors, hosted its first Ramadan celebration and is about to bring in a new spiritual leader. The Austin American-Statesman reports in January 2017, the center was destroyed by fire while under construction. Investigators were not able to determine the cause of the blaze, but after the community rallied behind the group, its leadership began rebuilding in the same location. The center, at 4701 Doss Road, had a soft opening in May, just in time for Ramadan. Before then, people in the area were traveling about 12 to 15 miles away for service. By Luz Moreno-Lozano, Austin American-Statesman. SENT: 650 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH _ Authorities say a 69-year-old Texas man died in a helicopter crash in southwestern Oregon. SENT: 130 words.

_ MULTI-CAR CRASH _ A multi-car crash on Interstate 10 in Louisiana has left two Texans dead. SENT: 130 words.

_ MILITARY VEHICLES CRASH-IDS _ Authorities have released the names of two soldiers from Texas’ Fort Bliss who died when two military training vehicles crashed in southern New Mexico. SENT: 130 words.

_ BALMORHEA POOL-DAMAGE _ An oil and gas company operating in West Texas has donated $1 million to reach the fundraising goal for repairs to what’s touted as the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. SENT: 130 words, photos.

_ KENYA ATTACK-FUNERAL _ Family and friends gathered at a Houston cemetery to remember Jason Spindler, one of the 21 people killed in an extremist attack last week in Nairobi at a luxury hotel and shopping complex. SENT: 130 words, photos.

_ BEEF PROCESSOR-BANKRUPTCY _ A cash-strapped South Texas beef processor has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while it sells off its assets. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general, financial and food news services.

_ HOUSE SELLING PLOT _ A Dallas man accused of killing his landlord, entombing him in a concrete slab in the backyard and then posing as the victim to sell the house has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 25 years in prison. SENT: 120 words.

_ US DEPUTY MARSHAL-FUNERAL _ A North Dakotan who was a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service will be laid to rest in his hometown. Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Norman Merkel died in the line of duty due to a medical condition in the fitness room of the federal courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Jan. 16. He was 45. SENT: 130 words.

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