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. Jill Bleed is at the desk after 5:30 a.m.
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AUSTIN, Texas _ A historic push in Texas to reduce penalties for small amounts of marijuana has been declared dead by the state’s Republican lieutenant governor, who called it a “step toward legalization” that he would not allow. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s opposition underscored the resistance by Texas GOP leaders to relaxing virtually any marijuana laws, even as the drug becomes increasingly legal elsewhere in the U.S. Patrick, the Senate leader, made it clear a bill wouldn’t advance after a historic vote Monday in the GOP-controlled House to make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor _ eliminating arrests but still making possession a crime. “I join with those House Republicans who oppose this step toward legalization of marijuana,” Patrick tweeted. By Clarice Silber. SENT: 610 words, photos. Moved on general and political news services.
WASHINGTON _ Asylum seekers waiting to get into the U.S. sleep in small tents set up by a bridge. Some scrape together 25 cents to pay a toll to walk across an international bridge so they can use the bathroom. “We don’t have money,” said Suanny Gomez, 24, from Honduras who waited in a tent with her 5-year-old son, William. The Trump administration wants to charge asylum seekers to process their claims, but those fleeing violence often arrive in the U.S. penniless. By Nomaan Merchant and Colleen Long. SENT: 850 words, photos.
_ MIGRANTS-NEW MEXICO _ Dormitories at a state exposition center in Albuquerque are being offered to asylum seeking immigrants in search of temporary shelter, officials have announced. Thousands of Central American migrants have been dropped off in New Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol in recent weeks as asylum seekers overwhelm shelters near ports of entry in West Texas. SENT: 340 words, photos.
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras _ Calls for a new migrant caravan have gone largely unheeded as a relatively small group departed from Honduras, a week after a raid by Mexican police resulted in hundreds of detentions and the dissolution of a previous caravan. Conversation in online chat groups used to organize the caravans has been marked by anxiety since the raid and amid other policies in Mexico that seem designed to discourage movements of migrants en masse. Fewer than 300 people gathered at a bus station in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to leave by bus and on foot in the overnight darkness. By Sonia Pérez D. SENT: 770 words, photos.
WASHINGTON _ Democrats controlling the House are trying to use a popular veterans measure to block President Donald Trump from transferring $3.6 billion from military base construction to build his long-sought wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The move faces certain opposition from Trump and a potential veto threat. Lawmakers often try to use essential spending bills to reverse presidential moves, but they are usually unsuccessful. The $108 billion measure funding veterans benefits and improvements to military bases is perhaps the most popular funding bill to annually advance through Congress. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 320 words, photos. Moving on national political news services.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
BILLINGS, Mont. _ Federal officials cancelled without explanation all upcoming meetings of an advisory panel that had been created by the Trump administration to make it easier to extract fossil fuels from publicly leased land and offshore sites. The Royalty Policy Committee was established two years ago by former Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke. Its goal was to eliminate obstacles to drilling and mining faced by oil, natural gas and coal companies while ensuring a fair return to taxpayers. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 400 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
_ TEXAS EXECUTION _ A federal judge has granted a request to delay this week’s scheduled execution of a man condemned for fatally shooting a couple during a carjacking nearly 13 years ago. SENT: 130 words.
_ SOUTH CENTRAL STORMS _ Severe thunderstorms spawned numerous tornadoes across northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, downing trees and utility lines and damaging roofs. No injuries have been reported. SENT: 120 words.
_ EX-TEXAS A&M PLAYER-SLAYING _ A former Texas A&M football player accused of hacking a Dallas jogger to death with a machete in 2015 has been convicted of murder. SENT: 130 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.
_ CHRISTMAS SALE-SLAYING _ A North Texas man has been convicted in the 2016 fatal shooting of a Dallas-area woman selling some of her jewelry to raise money to buy Christmas presents for her family. SENT: 130 words.
_ HANCOCK WHITNEY MERGER _ A Mississippi bank is buying a Louisiana bank and also expanding its Texas footprint. SENT: 130 words.
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