BC-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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken Miller is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.
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WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall, as pressure mounts to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay. Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, were to miss their first paycheck on Friday under the stoppage, and Washington was close to setting a dubious record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history. Those markers _ along with growing effects to national parks, food inspections and the economy overall _ left some Republicans on Capitol Hill increasingly uncomfortable with Trump’s demands. By Catherine Lucey, Lisa Mascaro and Zeke Miller. SENT: 900 words, photos, audio, video.
_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-THE LATEST
_ TRUMP-FACT CHECK _ With the deceptive use of a video, President Donald Trump has heartily thanked his White House predecessor for supporting his policy at the Mexican border. Barack Obama has offered no such support; only criticism. Trump also denied that he ever expected Mexico to make a direct payment for his border wall, despite a call in a campaign policy paper for a “one-time payment” from Mexico of $5 billion to $10 billion, with options for Mexico to contribute in alternative ways. Mexico is refusing to contribute at all. By Hope Yen and Jill Colvin. SENT: 910 words, photos.
_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-EMERGENCY DECLARATION _ The Trump administration is considering using billions in unspent disaster relief funds earmarked for areas including hurricane-pounded Puerto Rico and Texas and more than a dozen other states to pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall as he weighs signing a national emergency declaration to get it built without Congress. By Jill Colvin, Lisa Mascaro, Colleen Long and Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 760 words, photos.
_ BORDER WALL-EMERGENCY _ The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has said that what’s happening on the U.S. southern border is no emergency. Craig Fugate, who ran the national disaster agency for nearly eight years under President Barack Obama and was head of Florida’s disaster agency under a Republican governor, said the push of refugees seeking asylum on the border with Mexico is not a national emergency. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 350 words, photos.
_ GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-IMMIGRATION COURTS _ The partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall is playing havoc with the nation’s already backlogged immigration courts, forcing the postponement of hearings for thousands of immigrants. For some of those asking for asylum in the U.S., the impasse could mean years more of waiting _ and prolonged separation from loved ones overseas _ until they get a new court date. But for those immigrants with little chance of winning their bids to stay in this country legally, the shutdown could help them stave off deportation that much longer _ adding to the very delays the Trump administration has railed against. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 970 words, photos.
_ SHUTDOWN-END GAME Q&A _ Somehow, some day, the nasty deadlock between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats that’s shuttered federal agencies for a near-record 20 days will end. The only real questions are when, how and who will be crowned the winner in public opinion polls and ultimately by voters. By Alan Fram. SENT: 920 words, photos, video, audio. Moved on national political news services.
_ BORDER WALL-TEXAS _ Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told President Donald Trump the state will build a wall along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border if the federal government reimburses it. SENT: 130 words.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
GOP LEADER-MUSLIM OUSTER
FORT WORTH, Texas _ Republicans in one of the most populous counties in Texas has voted to keep a Muslim doctor as their party vice chairman following infighting over some members’ claims about his beliefs. The executive committee of the Tarrant County Republican Party voted 139-49 to reject the effort to purge Shahid Shafi, a surgeon and City Council member in suburban Fort Worth. SENT: 660 words, photos.
REDRAWING AMERICA-REDISTRICTING LAWSUITS
A busy year of legal battles is getting underway over allegations that hundreds of legislative districts across the country were illegally drawn to disadvantage certain voters or political parties. First up was a court hearing in Virginia, where a federal judicial panel is reviewing proposals to redraw some state House districts that it determined were racially gerrymandered. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 2000 words, photos. Moved on general and political news services.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
NEW YORK _ It was supposed to be a great holiday shopping season. Many investors had expected department stores to enjoy robust sales in light of a U.S. economy buoyed by low unemployment, higher wages, strong consumer confidence and cheap gas. So when Macy’s and Kohl’s reported lackluster numbers, they were taken aback, sending retail stocks into a tailspin and calling into question whether such mall-based chains can compete in a changing landscape where shoppers are shifting more of their spending online. Earlier this week, J.C. Penney, one of the stragglers in the department store sector, reported a drop in comparable store sales of 3.5 percent for November and December. But because Macy’s is considered a barometer of spending, particularly for the middle class and for mall spending, investors may be looking for deeper meaning in its performance. By Anne D’Innocenzio and Michelle Chapman. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ATLANTA _ A coalition of civil rights groups in Atlanta is using this year’s Super Bowl to help kick off a renewed “war on the Confederacy,” in a fight to remove Confederate monuments around the nation. The groups have announced a planned Feb. 2 rally on the eve of the championship football game being hosted in Atlanta. The Southern Poverty Law Center says there are 1,747 Confederate symbols and 722 monuments in the U.S. It says Virginia, Texas and Georgia lead the nation in having the most Confederate symbols. By Jeff Martin. SENT: 470 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.
_ MISSING CHILD-SAN ANTONIO _ San Antonio police say they believe an 8-month-old boy reported as abducted is believed to be dead, and three members of his family have been charged in the case. SENT: 130 words, photos.
_ TEXAS-GUINEAN SLAVE _ A federal jury has found a suburban North Texas couple guilty of enslaving a Guinean woman for 16 years. SENT: 120 words.
_ THREE FOUND DEAD-TEXAS _ The bodies of a woman and two teenage girls have been found in a multimillion-dollar home in an affluent gated community northwest of San Antonio. SENT: 130 words.
_ AT&T-WIRELESS TRACKING _ Dallas-based AT&T says it will stop selling all location data from mobile phones to brokers following a report that companies are still selling that information to shadowy companies without customer knowledge. SENT: 130 words, photos. Moved on national general, financial and technology news services.
_ WORKPLACE-DEADLY ATTACK _ Houston-area steel fabrication plant that left a supervisor dead and another employee wounded. SENT: 150 words, photos.
_ BORDER AGENT ARRESTED _ A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas has pleaded not guilty to capital murder and other charges in the September killings of four women who prosecutors say were sex workers. SENT: 130 words, photos.
_ HARDWARE DISTRIBUTOR-CLOSURE _ The Greenwood (Mississippi) Commonwealth reports Hardware Distribution Warehouses, based in Marshall, Texas, is going out of business. The company has already terminated about half its employees, and will close once it liquidates its inventory. SENT: 130 words.
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