AP-TX--Texas News Digest 1 pm, TX
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: email@example.com
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WASHINGTON — Army leaders say the creation of a new Texas-based Army command focused on the future will help the service adapt to the emerging threats from powers such as China and Russia, after years of counterinsurgency warfare. The Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, tells reporters that the military recognized that China and Russia have improved their capabilities while the U.S. has been fighting insurgents for the past 16 years. The Army is launching Futures Command in Austin, Texas, to insure the service is ready for future wars. By Lolilta C. Baldor. SENT: 120 words. Will be updated.
HOUSTON HOTEL FIRE-LIENS
HOUSTON — An attorney for the families of a group of firefighters who died after battling a 2013 Houston hotel fire on Friday called efforts by the city to recoup medical costs and other expenses from the families by filing liens against them “heartless.” After news of the liens became public this week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city won’t be pursuing the liens. By Juan A. Lozano. UPCOMING: 500 to 600 words.
DALLAS — Federal prosecutors say eight MS-13 members in the U.S. illegally have been indicted in Texas on charges tied to alleged gang activities including racketeering conspiracy, attempted murder and assault. U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced the charges at a news conference Friday in Dallas. Authorities say seven suspects were in custody. A news release says some of the defendants are tied to attacks in Texas last year using a variety of weapons, including machetes. By Ryan Tarinelli. SENT: 100 words, with photo. UPCOMING: 300 words.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
OKLAHOMA CITY — Pot advocates celebrated the culmination of a yearslong effort to ease restrictions on the use of cannabis last month when nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana. After seeing years of waiting for cannabis to roll out elsewhere, Oklahoma’s proponents built in a two-month deadline for implementation. Even in conservative states such as Oklahoma, public attitudes are shifting in favor of making pot accessible. But heavy resistance remains from policymakers, especially when Republicans are in control. By Sean Murphy and Andrew DeMillo. SENT: 730 words, with photos.
JEFFERSON DAVIS PARISH, La. — In a southwest Louisiana crawfish pond, two endangered whooping crane chicks peck about for crawfish, insects, plants and other food. They’re only 2 months old, but they dwarf the full-grown great egrets nearby. The chicks — both those in the wild and captivity — are part of generations of work to bring back the birds, which barely escaped extinction in the 1940s. This year, Louisiana scientists are celebrating a milestone — five chicks born in the wild. The only truly wild flock migrates between Texas and Alberta, Canada, and makes up about two-thirds of all birds in the wild. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 760 words, with photos, video.
SAO PAULO — Brazilian prosecutors have filed corruption and money laundering charges against Paul Bragg, the former chief executive officer of Houston-based offshore drilling contractor Vantage Drilling Federal prosecutors said in a Thursday night statement that Bragg was involved in the payment of $31 million in bribes to a former executive of state-owned oil company Petrobras. SENT: 200 words.
The U.S. has nosed ahead of Saudi Arabia and is on pace to surpass Russia to become the world’s biggest oil producer for the first time in more than four decades. The latest forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that U.S. output will grow next year to 11.8 million barrels a day. By David Koenig. SENT: 630 words, with photo.
HANOI, Vietnam — A court in southern Vietnam is scheduled to put on trial next week an American citizen of Vietnamese descent accused of disturbing public order after he took part in rare protests, state media reported Friday. William Nguyen, from Houston, was arrested on June 10 after participating in protests in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City against a proposed law on special economic zones that some fear would be dominated by Chinese investors. SENT: 390 words.
— POLICE SHOOTING-DALLAS — Dallas police say a man driving a stolen vehicle was fatally shot by officers after raising his weapon at them after driving into a creek.
— GIRLFRIEND SLAIN-SHOELACE — A West Texas man convicted of using a shoelace to strangle his girlfriend has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.
— DEPUTY SHOOTING-FLORIDA — Authorities say Florida sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a 60-year-old man, whose record included arrests for robbery and white-collar crimes in Texas, when he showed up at his estranged wife’s home and would not leave.
— MAIL CARRIER SHOT — A man convicted of shooting a South Texas mail carrier, stealing her delivery vehicle and firing at officers pursuing him must serve 20 years in federal prison.
— BLACK NEIGHBORS-THREATS — Prosecutors say a 64-year-old white man has pleaded guilty to harassing his black neighbors at a Dallas-area apartment complex.
— TEXAS TROOPER-BRIBERY — The owner of a Dallas trucking company must serve six months in federal prison for bribing a Texas trooper in exchange for favorable inspections on rigs.
— OIL LEASE SALE — The federal government’s Aug. 15 oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico will offer slightly more acreage than officials originally announced.
— FRIDAY THE 13TH — There’s nothing superstitious about Friday the 13th as Ghostrider’s Tattoo Studio in Lubbock is offering piercings and tattoos for $13 for the fifth year in a row.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
AMARILLO, Texas — His first byline in the Amarillo Daily News appeared on June 6, 1981. The Amarillo Globe-News reports it was on a story below the fold on the Sports cover. Ex-West Texas State University bowler Bud Loveall, who had just led the Buffaloes to a second-place national finish, was training to qualify for the U.S. national team. After 37 years, his last byline as a full-time staffer of the Amarillo Globe-News will be Sunday. By Jeff Farris, Amarillo Globe-News. SENT: 1,300 words, pursuing photos.
BALTIMORE — The Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles open a three-game series matching a pair of last-place teams staggering toward the All-Star break. By Todd Karpovich. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 6:05 p.m. CDT.
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