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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UNDATED — Vice President Mike Pence has given an often boastful campaign-style speech to the closing session of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, winning several standing ovations even as some evangelicals criticized his appearance. Pence repeatedly made clear that the SBC — the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. — is viewed by him and President Donald Trump as a vital part of their conservative base heading into the midterm elections. He called the SBC “one of the greatest forces for good anywhere in America.” Pence devoted much of his speech to touting the Trump’s administration’s achievements since taking office. “It’s been 500 days of action ... 500 days of promises made and promises kept,” he said. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 700 words, photos.
HOUSTON — The husband of a former sheriff’s deputy was the aggressor during a deadly confrontation in which he held another man in a chokehold for as long as 15 minutes outside a Houston-area restaurant, a prosecutor has told jurors. But a defense attorney for Terry Thompson disputed the claim during opening statements in Thompson’s murder trial, saying his client was acting in self-defense and trying only to subdue a man who had attacked him after being confronted about urinating in public. By Juan A. Lozano. SENT: 500 words, photos.
TEXAS GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
WASHINGTON — Republican leaders have begun the problematic task of finding support for an immigration compromise, telling lawmakers that President Donald Trump was backing the still-evolving bill. But cracks within the party were on full display and it seemed that pushing the measure through the House next week would be a challenge. A day after top Republicans said the House would vote next week on two competing immigration measures, it was widely assumed that a hard-right measure would lose. That bill would give young “Dreamer” immigrants just limited opportunities to remain in the U.S. while imposing tough restrictions on legal immigration and bolstering border security. GOP leaders, negotiating with quarreling moderates and conservatives, were still writing the second bill. Republicans said it would contain a way for Dreamers to qualify for permanent residence and potentially become citizens, while accepting conservatives’ demands to finance Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico and restrictions on legal immigration. By Alan Fram and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 870 words, photos. Moved on national general and political news services.
A Democratic political group has launched a legal campaign to create additional majority-minority congressional districts in three Southern states, claiming the current maps discriminate against black voters. Attorneys filed separate federal lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, challenging congressional maps lawmakers in each state approved in 2011. The lawsuits filed on behalf of several black voters in each state are backed by the National Redistricting Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which is chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The foundation also is helping finance pending lawsuits in North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. By Michael Kunzelman and David A. Lieb. SENT: 770 words, photos. Moved on national general and political news services.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s latest move against “Obamacare” could jeopardize legal protections on pre-existing medical conditions for millions of people with employer coverage, particularly workers in small businesses, say law and insurance experts. At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court. That includes the law’s unpopular requirement to carry health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers. Two independent experts have said that the administration appears to be taking aim at provisions of the ACA that protect people in employer plans, not only the smaller pool of consumers who buy a policy directly from an insurer. The new Trump administration position was outlined last week in a legal brief filed by the Justice Department in a Texas case challenging the Obama health law. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 820 words, photos. Moved on political and financial news services.
WASHINGTON — In the year since House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were shot at a congressional baseball practice, mass shootings have occurred at a Texas church, a Las Vegas music festival and high schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Ohio Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a doctor who helped save Scalise’s life last June, has watched those attacks unfold with the acute sensitivity of a mass shooting survivor. Each shooting is jarring, says Wenstrup — calling the Parkland shooting in particular sickening — but his views on gun control have not changed. By Matthew Daly and Laurie Kellman. SENT: 870 words, photos.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
DALLAS — A Dallas police officer was placed on administrative leave after she was accused of participating in an illicit gambling operation at a convenience store. The Dallas Police Department said in a statement that Sgt. Latasha Moore was arrested late Tuesday night by the department’s Public Integrity Unit. She’s been charged with gambling promotion, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. SENT: 220 words.
PROPHET CARTOON CONTEST-NEW TRIAL
PHOENIX — An Arizona man convicted of plotting a 2015 attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in suburban Dallas is seeking a new trial, arguing prosecutors didn’t reveal at trial that an undercover FBI agent who witnessed the shooting had exchanged messages about the contest with an accused recruiter for the Islamic State terror group. By Jacques Billeaud. SENT: 790 words, photos.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University’s interim president criticized lawyers who represent Larry Nassar’s assault victims and suggested that the first woman to go public with her accusations was probably getting a “kickback” from her attorney, according to emails. John Engler’s remarks were made to another university official in April, a month before Michigan State agreed to a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, a campus sports doctor now serving decades in prison. Some members of the Olympic team said they were molested while training in Texas. The Chronicle of Higher Education and Detroit Free Press reported on the emails. SENT: 350 words, photos. Moved on general and sports news services.
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho officials want a Texas oil company to explain what a state agency calls “discrepancies” involving oil and gas production records for wells in Idaho following an evaluation of records dating back to 2014. The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has directed the Idaho Department of Lands to ask Houston-based Alta Mesa to account for apparent discrepancies between what was produced and what was sold at specific wells. The records examined by the Idaho Department of Lands involve nine wells operated by Alta Mesa. By Keith Ridler. SENT: 500 words. Moved on general and financial news services.
— TRACTOR-TRAILER-PEOPLE TRANSPORTED — A South Texas man has been charged with human smuggling after 54 immigrants, including some children, were found in a semitrailer in San Antonio. SENT: 130 words, video.
— INMATE SLAIN-EXECUTION — Prosecutors say two white supremacists serving time at a federal prison in Southeast Texas have been condemned for the 2014 slaying of a fellow gang member behind bars. SENT: 120 words.
— EXXON MOBIL-PERMIAN BASIN — Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. and Plains All American Pipeline have agreed to build a pipeline to transport crude from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast. SENT: 110 words.
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