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AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX

August 7, 2018

Good afternoon! 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

Reminder: This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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




PASADENA, Calif. — A federal appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday by the state of California and advocacy groups who contend the Trump administration overreached by waiving environmental reviews to speed construction of the president’s prized border wall with Mexico. California is appealing a decision by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego, who sided with the administration in February. The president had repeatedly berated Curiel during the 2016 campaign over an unrelated case involving fraud allegations and now-defunct Trump University. By Brian Melley. SENT: 460 words, with photos. Will be updated.


PHOENIX — A federal appeals court has ruled that a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a Mexican teen on the other side of the border doesn’t have immunity and can be sued by the boy’s family. The ruling on Tuesday came almost two years after the agent’s attorney argued he was immune from a civil lawsuit because the U.S. constitution didn’t extend to 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. SENT: 130 words. Could be updated.


SAN LUIS, Ariz. — The 3-year-old boy with a bowl haircut clung to his father in the back of a U.S. Border Patrol truck. Father and son had just been apprehended at a canal near a border fence in Arizona in July. Before the father, son and two older children could make it any farther, a Border Patrol agent directed them through a border gate. The father had documents that showed gang members committed crimes against his family, one of the ways immigrants who seek asylum try to prove their cases. He and his children were transported to a Border Patrol station in Yuma. The encounter witnessed by The Associated Press illustrates how families are still coming into the U.S. amid Trump administration zero-tolerance immigration policies. By Astrid Galvan. SENT: 1,090 words, with photos.




HOUSTON — Court records show a Houston man accused of fatally slitting his children’s throats told authorities his 8-year-old son pleaded for mercy before he was killed. Jean Pierre Ndossoka is charged with two counts of capital murder in connection to the deaths of the children, Marcel Ndossoka and 1-year-old Anna-Belle Faith Ndossoka. About 300 words. Pursuing photos.


DALLAS — A federal judge says a hearing on whether Texas officials can import a lethal-injection drug must remain open to the public and press. Several news organizations pushed to keep the hearing open after the Food and Drug Administration in May requested that the proceedings be closed to the public. UPCOMING: 250 words.


LAS VEGAS — Fifteen states — including Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma — are siding with Nevada as it fights drug companies battling the use of their products in an inmate’s execution. In documents filed Monday with the Nevada Supreme Court, attorneys general from the other states argue that drug company Alvogen’s effort to block the use of its drug in a stalled execution in Nevada are a part of a “guerrilla war against the death penalty.” By Ken Ritter. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 325 words, with photos.


BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota judge will not reopen a lawsuit filed against a private security firm hired by the Dakota Access oil pipeline developer during protests over the $3.8 billion project by the Dallas-based company. North Dakota’s Private Investigative and Security Board says North Carolina-based TigerSwan needed a license to operate in the state. TigerSwan says the services it provided to Energy Transfer Partners didn’t require a license. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 120 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.


MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — A year after North Texas siblings Will and Daniel Payne lost their mom, and nearly two decades since their father’s death, it was time to follow their wishes for the afterlife. Will, who recently became a certified scuba diver, checked his oxygen before jumping into the water to secure a concrete marker mixed with his parents’ ashes at a memorial reef about 3 miles off Florida. The Paynes are the first to be memorialized in the reef’s expansion, which opened this summer. By Kelli Kennedy. SENT: 770 words, with photos, video.


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The birthplace of NASA’s rockets lies in the land of cotton. From satellites and astronauts, to Apollo moon shots, to space shuttles and now NASA’s still-in-development Space Launch System, rocket history inundates Huntsville, Alabama — nicknamed Rocket City. Huntsville has long been home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Tourists come for the history. Kids and adults learn at Space Camp. Its address? One Tranquility Base, Huntsville. As in “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed,” words spoken by astronaut Neil Armstrong when he landed on the moon with Buzz Aldrin. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 1,000 words, with photos, video.


NANYANG, China — The 62-year-old Chinese shopkeeper had waited nearly his entire adult life to see his dream of building a church come true. But in March, police and local officials showed up and made the frightened congregants disperse. Guo and his neighbors in China’s Christian heartland province of Henan found themselves on the front lines of a new effort by the officially atheist ruling Communist Party to dictate — and in some cases displace — the practice of faith in the country. The wife of one pastor under house arrest left for Midland, Texas about a year ago, after authorities warned their children might have trouble getting an education in China. By Yanan Wang. SENT: 2,390 words, with photos, video.


— CHINA-XI’S ERA-CRACKING DOWN ON CHRISTIANS, abridged version, 1,030 words


— CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-TEXAS — Nearly 100 firefighters from across Texas are heading to California to help battle raging wildfires.

— HARVEY-FLOOD-CONTROL PROJECTS — Flood control officials in the Houston-area have released a list of projects to be funded by the county’s $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond proposal.

— 2003 SLAYING — Detroit police allege that a murder suspect who was released after his case was botched 15 years ago is also being investigated as a suspect in homicides in two other states — Texas and New York.

— EARNS-DEAN FOODS — Dallas-based Dean Foods Co. on Tuesday reported a second-quarter loss of $40.1 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier.

— MEXICO-SECURITY — Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is promising justice to the families of victims of violence at a “pacification and reconciliation” forum in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas.



HOUSTON — Tilly reached her wrinkly trunk through the steel cables of the Houston Zoo’s elephant enclosure on a recent morning, wiggling it side-to-side as if waving hello to the gathering crowd of visitors. The Houston Chronicle reports just a few feet and a couple of fences stood between the 6-week-old elephant and a little boy of about seven who, at the sight of her flopping trunk, waved back furiously. Tilly wasn’t actually waving, she just lacks the muscle control to hold her long snout steady. Tilly is the second Asian elephant calf born at the Houston Zoo in as many years — a major feat. By Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 1,420 words, with photos.



SAN FRANCISCO — Lefty Madison Bumgarner, who needs one victory for fourth place on the San Francisco wins list, has won his last four starts against the Astros with a 1.20 ERA but hasn’t faced Houston since a five-hitter with 12 strikeouts on Aug. 11, 2015. By Gideon Rubin. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 2:45 p.m. CDT.


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