AP-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 — The judge who allowed AT&T’s mega-merger with Time Warner was clearly wrong in concluding the marriage won’t harm consumers, the Trump Justice Department argued in challenging the decision. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon misunderstood the complexities of the booming pay-TV market and the nature of AT&T’s competitors, the department’s antitrust regulators asserted in their filing. But AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said that there’s nothing in the government’s new filing that should lead to Leon’s ruling being overturned. “Appeals aren’t ‘do-overs’,” McAtee said in a statement. By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 600 words, photos. Moved on general, financial and technology news services.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
DEATH PENALTY-US POLITICS
MINNEAPOLIS — Pope Francis’ decree that the death penalty is “inadmissible” in all cases could pose a dilemma for Roman Catholic politicians and judges in the U.S. faced with whether to strictly follow the tenets of their faith or the rule of law. The decree is unlikely to slow the nation’s busiest death chamber in Texas, where Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — a devout Catholic — has previously said there was no conflict between his faith and support for the death penalty. His spokeswoman did not return messages about whether the pope’s statement might shift Abbott’s view. The next execution in Texas is set for Sept. 12. By Amy Forliti. SENT: 930 words, photos.
SAN DIEGO — The Trump administration’s plans to erect hundreds of miles of border barriers with Mexico fails to adequately consider costs, a congressional watchdog agency has said, potentially raising the price and creating delays. The administration has estimated it will cost $18 billion for 722 miles (1162 kilometers) of barriers but that was based on an average cost per mile. The Government Accountability Office said costs can vary considerably based on the slope and topography, land acquisition costs and other factors. Without more information, the Department of Homeland Security “faces an increased risk that the Border Wall System Program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned, or not fully perform as expected,” the GAO wrote. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 300 words.
BETO O’ROURKE-PAC-FACT CHECK
AUSTIN, Texas — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has accused Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke of taking money from a political action committee, in violation of O’Rourke’s pledge not to take such donations. O’Rourke has consistently outraised Cruz, including announcing a quarterly $10.4 million fundraising haul last month, despite the attention-grabbing vow to ban PAC money from his campaign coffers. Cruz, who lost the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to Donald Trump, is seeking his second U.S. Senate term this November. O’Rourke is giving the conservative Cruz a high profile challenge even in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994. Here is a look at Cruz’s claim that O’Rourke is “violating a pledge to reject PAC support,” made this week in a campaign statement and on Twitter. By Amanda Seitz and Will Weissert. SENT: 650 words. Moved on general and political news services.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
MISSING GIRL-BODY FOUND
DALLAS — A woman who lives at a Texas home where the body of a young child was found buried in a flower garden had a 4-year-old son who more than a decade ago was fatally beaten. Thirty-five-year-old Virginia Ann Adams was being held at the Brazos County jail on a charge of interfering with the custody of a child. Authorities say she was uncooperative when questioned on the whereabouts of her 3-year-old daughter, Rayven Shields, who was last seen in June. Investigators found a decomposed body buried at Adams’ Bryan home Friday, but haven’t yet identified the remains. By David Warren. SENT: 500 words. Pursuing photos.
NEW YORK — Major tech companies have begun to ban Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media. Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “Infowars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by the Austin, Texas-based right-wing conspiracy theorist. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls. By Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 930 words, photos. Moved on general, financial and technology news services.
OIL PIPELINE-ETP LAWSUIT
BISMARCK, N.D. — The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline has amended a $1 billion racketeering lawsuit it filed last August against three environmental entities after a federal judge criticized the original filing as vague and threatened to throw it out of court. The latest blow to the lawsuit came Friday, when U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson said Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners hadn’t proven its case against the Earth First environmental movement, though he said it could sue individual members if it had enough evidence. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 500 words.
A Republican co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee said there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass a tax break bill designed to keep open a pair of Kimberly-Clark Corp. plants in northeast Wisconsin, saving more than 600 jobs. The Irving, Texas-based paper products giant Kimberly-Clark said earlier this year it planned to shutter the plants, but hopes of saving them were rekindled last month after the union representing workers there agreed to concessions. Kimberly-Clark said it was open to saving the plants and 610 jobs if the Wisconsin Legislature passes an incentive bill. By Scott Bauer. SENT: 400 words. Moved on general, financial and political news services.
— CAR THEFT-PURSUER SLAIN — A 31-year-old man who witnessed a car theft at a San Antonio gas station was shot and killed while pursuing the suspect. SENT: 130 words.
— MEXICO-VIOLENCE — Police in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez have arrested eight people suspected in connection with the recent killing of 11 people at a home in the northern border city across from El Paso, Texas. SENT: 100 words.
— CHILDREN SLAIN-HOUSTON — Court documents allege that a Houston man fatally cut his children’s throats after his estranged wife dropped them off for a visit. SENT: 130 words.
— CHURCH SHOOTING-TEXAS-MEMORIAL GALLERY — Framed obituaries and stuffed animals are part of a museum exhibit to remember the more than two dozen people slain last fall during gunfire at a South Texas church. SENT: 130 words, photos.
— VICTORIA-TEEN KILLED — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy has been arrested after a 16-year-old boy who had been shot was found dead in Victoria. SENT: 140 words.
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