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

March 15, 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Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

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TOP STORIES:

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS

WASHINGTON _ The contours of the Democratic presidential primary came into clearer focus this week with Texan Beto O’Rourke’s entry into the race _ one of the final puzzle pieces in a contest that will be shaped by questions about race and gender, political ideology and generational change. The sprawling Democratic field features candidates ranging from 37 to 77 years old; liberals and moderates; senators, governors and mayors; and an unprecedented number of women and minorities. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the only major contender still on the sidelines and has suggested he could remain there for several more weeks. By Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace. UPCOMING: 1000 words, photos by 2 a.m.

TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY

WASHINGTON _ In a stunning rebuke, a dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in blocking the national emergency that President Donald Trump declared so he could build his border wall with Mexico. The rejection capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways. The 59-41 tally, following the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency. Trump had warned against both actions. Moments after the vote, the president tweeted a single word of warning: “VETO!” By Lisa Mascaro, Alan Fram and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 1170 words, photos, video, audio.

With:

_ TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY-THE LATEST

_ BORDER SECURITY-TILLIS _ Changing his vote from the public stance he took last month, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis voted to support President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to pay for his border wall. Tillis announced his change of heart on the Senate floor, minutes before the Senate voted to disapprove Trump’s declaration. By Matthew Daly and Gary D. Robertson. SENT: 950 words, photos.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY-SPORTS

AUSTIN, Texas _ Gordie Ernst’s Georgetown tennis teams didn’t win any Big East championships. At Wake Forest, Bill Ferguson’s volleyball teams struggled near the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings every year. At Stanford, John Vandemoer’s sailing teams competed at a varsity level but in a sport that isn’t sanctioned by the NCAA. But whether winning or losing, the head coaches had the keys to some of the most exclusive campuses in America and the leverage to use them to enrich themselves or their programs. By Jim Vertuno. SENT: 850 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.

AROUND THE STATE & NATION:

MEXICO-MIGRANTS

MEXICO CITY _ The Mexican government is launching a plan to give Mexicans living in the United States a voice on national policy. The Institute for Mexicans Abroad is planning to hold open-ended public consultation sessions from mid-March to mid-April in 13 U.S. cities. The forums will start on Sunday in San Francisco and end in Chicago on April 12 and New York on April 13. The head of the institute said Mexicans can participate whether they are long-time established migrants or recent arrivals without proper documents. SENT: 290 words, photos.

With:

_ MEXICO-KINAPPED MIGRANTS _ The Mexican army says it has freed 34 Central American migrants who had been kidnapped in the northern state of Tamaulipas, across from Texas. SENT: 130 words.

ALASKA PIPELINE

JUNEAU, Alaska _ An analysis on whether a major liquefied natural gas project is economically viable is expected to be complete within the next two months, a top adviser to Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said. Brett Huber said Dunleavy’s position has been that the project has to make sense for the state and be judged on the economics. Huber is with the Republican governor at an energy conference in Texas. By Becky Bohrer. SENT: 250 words. Moved on general, financial and political news services.

OIL BOOM-NEW MEXICO-VIOLATIONS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ New Mexico regulators are going after a Texas-based oil and gas company over alleged air quality violations. The environment department issued the notice of violation to Hilcorp Energy, saying the company has violated state and federal laws by improperly controlling emissions from one of its wells in the San Juan Basin. The state contends any natural gas released during drilling must be captured and not wasted. SENT: 290 words. Moving on general and financial news services.

LOYOLA JAZZ FESTIVAL

NEW ORLEANS _ Loyola University of New Orleans says Louisiana’s oldest educational jazz festival begins Friday with students from 33 middle school, high-school and college ensembles. Twenty-four of the bands are from Louisiana, with three from Alabama and two each from Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. SENT: 220 words. Moved on general and entertainment news services.

IN BRIEF:

_ DEADLY PLANE CRASH-LAKEWAY _ One man was killed and another was injured critically when their small plane crashed near an airfield in the suburban hills near Austin. SENT: 130 words.

_ WHOOPING CRANES _ The last of a flock of 75 whooping cranes has left a U.S. Geological Survey site in Maryland, marking the end of a 52-year-old breeding program that’s sent the rare birds to research institutions and zoos in Virginia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Louisiana and Canada. SENT: 130 words, photos.

_ HOME EXPLOSION-GAS WELL-LAWSUIT _ A federal judge has dismissed a shareholder lawsuit that claimed Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum sacrificed safety at its Colorado wells and pipelines to boost its profits. SENT: 130 words. Moved on general and financial news services.

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