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Nov 6, 2015

Texas jury finds man guilty of murdering four with car at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A man charged with killing four people by plowing his car into a crowd at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival last year was found guilty of capital murder by a Texas jury on Friday and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors said Rashad Owens, 23, acted with intent and malice when he sent bodies flying in the air and traveled at high speed for several city blocks, leaving nearly 30 victims and a trail of blood in his wake.

Nov 6, 2015

Texas jury begins deliberations of man charged with murdering four at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The man charged with murdering four people by plowing his car into a South by Southwest festival crowd last year heard the thuds of bodies hitting metal and kept on speeding down Austin streets, prosecutors said in closing statements on Friday.

A jury in the Texas capital began deliberations in the case of Rashad Owens, 23, who is facing murder charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life. His lawyers said he never intended to kill anyone and made a terrible mistake after he panicked when being pursued by police.

Nov 4, 2015

Houston voters reject civil rights measure for LGBT community

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Voters in Houston, the fourth most populous U.S. city, rejected a measure that have would banned discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, protections not guaranteed under Texas law.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was backed by outgoing Mayor Annise Parker, the first open lesbian to be elected as mayor of a major U.S. city and local business, while prominent Republicans and Christian pastors rallied against the proposal also called HERO.

Nov 2, 2015

Bodies flew in the air at deadly 2014 SXSW crash, Texas trial told

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The man accused of murdering four people when he rammed a car through a crowd at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival last year acted maliciously and with abandon, a prosecutor said in opening statements of the suspect’s trial on Monday.

“Bodies were flying in the air as the defendant continued to hit victims without stopping,” prosecutor Amy Meredith told the jury in Austin. “The only reason he stopped is because his car couldn’t go any further.”

Oct 31, 2015

Two dead as torrential rains, tornadoes lash central Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – At least two people were killed when a storm with high winds and heavy rains pelted central Texas on Friday, flooding highways, causing evacuations after rivers overflowed and spawning tornadoes that ripped through buildings outside San Antonio.

The body of one man swept away by raging waters when his vehicle was caught southeast of Austin has been recovered, a Travis County emergency official said, adding one elderly woman was still missing.

Oct 30, 2015

Torrential rains and tornadoes lash central Texas, one death reported

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct 30 (Reuters) – A storm with high winds
and heavy rains pelted central Texas on Friday, killing at least
one man, flooding highways, causing evacuations after rivers
overflowed their banks and spawning tornadoes that ripped
through buildings outside San Antonio.

The body of one man swept away by raging waters southeast of
Austin has been recovered, local TV broadcaster KXAN reported.
Emergency officials were not immediately available for comment.

Oct 30, 2015

SXSW restores talks on gaming harassment once canceled over threats

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The South by Southwest
tech meeting said on Friday it made a mistake when it canceled
sessions on video gaming culture, including one on harassment,
after facing criticism of dodging its duty by dropping talks on
an issue engulfing gaming culture.

The organizers of South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive, a
major annual meeting of the tech industry held in Austin, Texas,
said they have now added a day-long summit on the topic and
expanded the reach and participation of its originally planned
sessions.

Oct 30, 2015

Torrential rains, tornadoes lash central Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A storm packing high winds and heavy rains pelted central Texas on Friday, flooding highways, sending rivers over their banks and spawning tornadoes that ripped through buildings outside San Antonio.

There have been more than a dozen high-water rescues in the area, with about 9 inches of rain hitting parts of the region south of the state capital of Austin, officials said.

Oct 27, 2015

South by Southwest cancels gaming harassment session due to threats

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – South by Southwest has canceled two sessions about the video gaming industry culture, including one on harassment, at its 2016 annual meeting of the technology industry in Austin, Texas, after receiving threats of violent attack.

“In the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming,” Hugh Forrest, the SXSW Interactive director, said in a blog post on Monday.

Oct 26, 2015

Man accused of killing four at Texas SXSW festival heads to trial

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Jury selection started on Monday in the murder trial of a Texas man accused of plowing his car into a crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin last year, killing four people and injuring nearly two dozen.

Rashad Owens, 23, is facing 26 charges that include capital murder, which is punishable by death, for the accident at the annual SXSW celebration of music, technology and movies that draws tens of thousands to the Texas capital from around the world.