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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, caught a sharp admonition from President Donald Trump to “knock it off” after his ethics problems dominated cable television. Welcome to the Trump Cabinet, where broad opportunities to reshape the government and advance a conservative agenda come with everyday doses of presidential adulation, humiliation, perks and pestering. Every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m., up to a dozen Cabinet members have Bible study. Energy Secretary Rick Perry usually attends. Perry has told allies that he wants to stay in his lane and build relationships on Capitol Hill while frequently turning up in the West Wing. By Jonathan Lemire, Catherine Lucey and Zeke Miller. SENT: 2,670 words, with photos.
— TRUMP-THE CABINET-ABRIDGED version, 880 words
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is closing in on his next Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Trump’s top contenders at this time are federal appeals judges Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Raymond Kethledge, said a person familiar with Trump’s thinking but not authorized to speak publicly. The president also spoke with Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, advocated for Lee in a Fox News op-ed, warning Trump not to repeat “mistakes” of past Republican presidents by picking a Supreme Court nominee who’s insufficiently conservative. Trump plans to announce his selection Monday. By Catherine Lucey, Ken Thomas and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 750 words, with photos, video.
— TRUMP-SUPREME COURT-THE LATEST
HOUSTON — State and federal officials are failing to enforce a primary tenet of the taxpayer-subsidized National Flood Insurance Program that requires that severely damaged properties are elevated or removed from flood plains. Thousands of homes get rebuilt and then flood again, often for more than they are worth, costing taxpayers more than $1 billion in repeat losses, the Houston Chronicle reports. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.
AROUND THE STATE & NATION:
WWII VET-MONEY STOLEN
AUSTIN, Texas — Bank of America has credited the account of a Texas resident who is believed to be the oldest man in the U.S. after his family reported that thieves had stolen his identity and drained the account. Richard Overton’s family says Social Security and bank account numbers for the 112-year-old Austin man were used to make seven withdrawals over the past several months. The family filed a police report Friday. SENT: 220 words, with photos.
BEIJING — Chinese telecoms giant ZTE Corp.’s brush with death after Washington barred it from buying U.S. components was a stark reminder that China’s industries still depend on American technology. The Trump administration accuses China of using theft to fill some of those technology needs and is poised to hike tariffs Friday on its goods in a spiraling conflict that could chill global trade. But at the same time, ZTE and other Chinese tech companies pay billions of dollars annually for high-tech U.S. parts and patent rights. According to BMI, China accounts for almost 40 percent of sales by U.S. chip makers such as Micron Technology Inc., Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc., Intel Corp. and Qualcomm. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 940 words, with photos.
— HARVEY-GAS STATIONS-GOUGING — Four dozen Texas gasoline stations accused of Hurricane Harvey-related price gouging have agreed to issue refunds to purchasers.
— GAS PRICES — Texas retail gasoline prices held steady this week at an average $2.65 per gallon.
— HOUSTON FLOODING — The National Weather Service says the Fourth of July in Houston was the wettest on record as heavy rain inundated streets, parks and other places. With photos, video.
— AUSTIN POLICE-ARREST VIDEO — Austin police are reviewing an encounter captured on video that shows an officer punching a shirtless man who police say was armed with a knife.
— CARJACKING SUSPECT SHOT — Dallas police say a woman shot a man in the head who was trying to steal her sport utility vehicle with her two children inside.
— WOMAN RUN OVER — Police in Houston are searching for a man suspected in the death of a 33-year-old woman who was intentionally run over by a vehicle.
— CAR STRIKES POLICE MOTORCYCLES — A Texas teenager is in custody after authorities say his car careened out of control while racing another vehicle and struck three police motorcycles as officers stood nearby.
SPOT MEMBER EXCHANGE:
HOUSTON — The biggest public works project in Harris County history is stuck in the mud — and that’s a good thing. The Houston Chronicle reports crews are tying steel and drilling deep into the mud along the Houston Ship Channel — among the first steps of significant work to replace the bridge carrying the Sam Houston Tollway across the ship channel. When finished in the middle of the next decade, the bridge project will give drivers twice as many lanes, four in each direction, along with shoulders and a more gradual climb than the steep grade that anyone driving behind a heavy truck knows can be slow-going. By Dug Begley, Houston Chronicle. SENT: 2,040 words, with photos.
DETROIT — Matthew Boyd takes the mound for Detroit against Yovani Gallardo of the Rangers on Thursday night. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6:10 p.m. CDT.
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