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

February 8, 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. Jill Bleed 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.




WASHINGTON _ A divided Supreme Court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortion rights. The justices said by a 5-4 vote that they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The law is very similar to a Texas measure the justices struck down three years ago. But the composition of the court has changed since then, with Brett Kavanaugh replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to strike down the Texas law. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 400 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.


AUSTIN, Texas _ Texas’ election chief has defended giving prosecutors a list of 95,000 potential noncitizens on the state’s voter rolls before vetting the information, which turned out to wrongly include scores of people who were naturalized before casting legal ballots. Secretary of State David Whitley deflected sharp questions from Texas lawmakers over whether his office made mistakes in his first public comments since his office in January called into question the citizenship of tens of thousands of voters since 1996. Nearly 58,000 of those voters were said to have cast a ballot at least once, but those numbers quickly unraveled. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 630 words, photos.


WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump appears to be taking a more positive view of Capitol Hill talks on border security, according to negotiators who struck a distinctly optimistic tone after a White House meeting with a top Republican on the broad parameters of a potential bipartisan agreement. Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama said the session in the Oval Office was “the most positive meeting I’ve had in a long time” and that the president was “very reasonable.” By Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor. SENT: 1000 words, photos. Moved on national political news services.


_ BORDER PORT SHOOTING _ The mayor of Nogales, Arizona, says a port of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border is temporarily closed after a customs officer shot and killed a southbound driver who refused to stop. SENT: 120 words. Moved on general and travel news services.



PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico _ Patience is wearing thin for some of the 1,600 Central American migrants spending their fourth day at an improvised shelter in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass, Texas. Facing a long wait and a somewhat harsh welcome in Piedras Negras, in the northern state of Coahuila, some migrants asked to return to their home countries; the largest single group of those returning were from Honduras. A large police force stood guard outside the unused factory complex where the shelter is located, about 5 miles from the border. A chain-link fence rings the perimeter of the shelter. SENT: 360 words, photos.


The United States could be violating the U.N. Convention Against Torture by force-feeding immigrant detainees on a hunger strike inside an El Paso detention facility, the United Nations human rights office said. The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned that force-feeding could constitute “ill treatment” that goes against the convention, which the United States ratified in 1994, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told The Associated Press. By Garance Burke. SENT: 570 words, photos.



WASHINGTON _ With the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, one of the largest outside Democratic groups has announced a $30 million effort to register voters, push ballot measures that expand voter rights and fight Republican-backed laws in court that restrict ballot access. “At every stage of the game, Republican and conservative state legislatures around the country, when they are given the opportunity, make it more difficult for people to vote,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, told The Associated Press. “Essentially what you have are the descendants of Jim Crow who are trying to make it difficult for people to reach the ballot box.” Now Priorities is turning its attention to Georgia and Texas, states that have both drawn recent scrutiny over claims of voter fraud. By Brian Slodysko. SENT: 550 words. Moved on national political and financial news services.


SAN DIEGO _ The Trump administration has said it would waive environmental reviews to replace up to 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) of border barrier in San Diego, shielding itself from potentially crippling delays. The Department of Homeland Security said it would issue the sixth waiver of Donald Trump’s presidency under a 2005 law that empowers the secretary to waive reviews required under environmental laws if the border barrier is deemed to be in national security interests. Those laws include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 440 words. Moved on general and political news services.


_ IMMIGRATION-ARKANSAS _ Gov. Asa Hutchinson has ordered Arkansas National Guard troops deployed along the Mexican border in New Mexico to relocate to Texas to help with border security there. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general and political news services.

_ PENCE-NASA _ Vice President Mike Pence is honoring the nation’s fallen astronauts during a NASA day of remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery. SENT: 130 words.



NORMAN, Okla. _ An attorney has alleged that an Oklahoma elementary school principal was using his cellphone last fall when he lost control of a bus on a Texas highway, injuring 27 passengers. Ty Bell, principal of Cleveland Elementary School Principal in Norman, denies the allegation. SENT: 350 words.


NEW YORK _ The NCAA is facing more than 300 lawsuits from former college football players who claim their concussions were mistreated, leading to medical problems spanning from headaches to depression and, in some cases, early onset Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. The first wave of lawsuits hit college sports’ major governing body in 2016 and more than 200 more were filed recently by Edelson PC, a Chicago-based firm that focuses on class-action cases, and Raizner Slania LLP in Houston. Most of the cases were filed in the U.S Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Jay Edelson, a lead attorney in the latest concussions effort, has been pursuing personal injury damages for former college athletes for several years. Last year, three days into a trial, the NCAA reached a settlement with Debra Hardin-Ploetz, the widow of former Texas football player Greg Ploetz, who played defense for the Longhorns in the late 1960s. The case was not related to the 300-plus concussion lawsuits, but Jay Edelson, a lead attorney in the latest concussions effort, said the result was encouraging. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 850 words, photos. Moved on national health and sports news services.


RENO, Nev. _ Nevada’s attorney general is making another bid for a court order blocking shipments of weapons-grade plutonium to a site near Las Vegas, declaring that the U.S. government’s assurances no more of the radioactive material is Nevada-bound “aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” Attorney General Aaron Ford filed notice earlier this week that the state will appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal judge in Reno refused to grant an earlier request for an order prohibiting shipments. DOE said earlier it wanted to temporarily store the material at the Nevada site and the government’s Pantex Plant in Texas, two facilities that already handle and process plutonium. The department says it would be sent by 2027 to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico or an unnamed other facility. By Scott Sonner. SENT: 650 words. Moved on general and science news services.


Crowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered his way into the Hall of Fame. His legacy, however, was cemented that day in 1975 when he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium _ the first black manager in Major League Baseball. The Texas-born and Bay Area-raised Robinson, the only player to earn the MVP award in both leagues and a Triple Crown winner, has died at 83. He had been in failing health and in hospice care at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. MLB said he was with family and friends at the time. By David Ginsburg and Ben Walker. SENT: 1780 words, photos. Moved on national general and sports news services.


INDIANAPOLIS _ Three women suing USA Gymnastics over alleged sexual abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar expressed frustration with its chief financial officer’s lack of answers during a creditors meeting in the group’s bankruptcy case, with one calling it “one big I-don’t-know.” Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics filed for Chapter 11 protection in December in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces including from some victimized while training in Texas, and to avoid its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Three Nassar accusers who are members of the creditors’ committee were among those who questioned USA Gymnastics CFO Scott Shollenbarger for more than three hours during a meeting where creditors can confront the debtor in the early stages of the bankruptcy process. By Rick Callahan. SENT: 560 words, photos. Moving on general, financial and sports news services.


_ HOUSTON OFFICERS SHOT_ A police union says an officer has been suspended over his involvement in a raid on a Houston home that ended in an exchange of gunfire, and left five police officers injured and two suspects dead. SENT: 120 words.

_ GOOGLE FIBER-LOUISVILLE _ Google says it is pulling its high-speed internet service out of Kentucky’s largest city, one of about a dozen where Google Fiber was offered. Google Fiber was first launched in Kansas City in 2012 and has moved into Nashville, Atlanta, Austin and other cities. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general, financial and technology news services.

_ SHOOTING-TWO KILLED _ A former Texas police officer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for renting a car used by a fellow lawman charged with killing two people in upstate New York. SENT: 110 words.


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