Jon's Feed
Jun 29, 2014

Wendy Davis tries to get Texas campaign for governor back on track

DALLAS (Reuters) – For one day a year ago, Wendy Davis became the brightest star in the U.S. political universe when she donned pink tennis shoes and launched a one-woman, 10-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions that brought her international attention.

Now she is battling to revive a seemingly stalled campaign to become the first Democratic Texas governor in more than 20 years by winning over frustrated Republicans and motivating enough voters who would otherwise spend election day at home to find a few minutes to vote.

Jun 24, 2014

Man pleads guilty in Texas to rhino horn smuggling

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – An Asian art dealer based in a Dallas suburb pleaded guilty on Tuesday to being part of a ring that smuggled more than $1 million of rhino horn and elephant ivory from the United States to China, U.S. prosecutors said.

Ning Qiu, 43, admitted to buying rhino horn and ivory across the United States and sending the contraband to Hong Kong by hiding the material in porcelain vases and falsely filling out shipping documents, they said.

Jun 22, 2014

Diversity enters Republican race for U.S. Senate seat from Oklahoma

By Heide Brandes and Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – In staunchly conservative Oklahoma, three major candidates are running in Tuesday’s Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat, two have a shot at winning and one is gathering attention because he is half black and half Native American.

T.W. Shannon, 36 and the youngest speaker of the House in Oklahoma, is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and represents a bit of diversity that has captured the attention of the national Republican Party looking to expand its base of white voters.

Jun 17, 2014

Stanley Marsh 3, founder of Cadillac Ranch in Texas, dead at 76

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Stanley Marsh 3, who rose to prominence for his whimsical Cadillac Ranch art installation in the Texas Panhandle and whose latter years were tainted by accusations of sexually abusing children, has died at the age of 76, his lawyer said on Tuesday. Marsh was an oil multi-millionaire and known throughout Texas for quirky feats such as building what he said was the world’s biggest pool table in a cow pasture on the Texas plains. Marsh had been in failing health and died in hospice care, according to TV broadcaster KVII, a station Marsh owned from 1967 until 2002.

Marsh was indicted in 2013 on more than a dozen counts involving the sexual molestation of children and was to stand trial later this year.

Jun 13, 2014

Texas homeowner solves mansion cliff-hanger by burning down the house

AUSTIN, Texas June 13 (Reuters) – Demolition crews on Friday
burned down a luxury house that had been left dangling 75 feet
(23 meters) above a lake when a decaying cliff gave out
underneath the abandoned structure.

After a planned burn where crews set fuel-soaked bales of
hay at strategic points throughout the house, most of the
structure was reduced to ashes or plunged to the lake’s coast
within an hour of the fire being lit.

Jun 13, 2014

Lethal drugs leaked in botched Oklahoma execution -report

June 13 (Reuters) – Oklahoma failed to properly insert an
intravenous line to deliver lethal drugs to an inmate during a
botched execution in April, bypassing strong veins in his arms
and using a riskier entry point in the groin area, according to
a preliminary autopsy released on Friday by the inmate’s

Convicted murderer and rapist Clayton Lockett died,
apparently of a heart attack, about 30 minutes after prison
officials halted the execution, having failed to properly
administer the lethal injection. Prison officials drew a curtain
to cut off a view to witnesses about 15 minutes into the
procedure, as Lockett was squirming on a death chamber gurney.

Jun 13, 2014

Texas homeowner tries to solve mansion cliff-hanger by burning down the house

AUSTIN, Texas June 13 (Reuters) – Building crews set fire on
Friday to a luxury lake house left dangling about 75 feet (23
meters) on a decaying cliff that has been giving way underneath
the structure.

Live video showed the house being set on fire by work crews,
who earlier had placed hay bales soaked in fuel inside the
$800,000 house on Lake Whitney, about 75 miles (120 km)
southwest of Dallas, and broke windows for proper ventilation.

Jun 13, 2014

Texas to solve mansion cliff hanger by burning down the house

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Building crews were preparing to set fire on Friday to a luxury lake house left dangling about 75 feet (23 meters) on a decaying cliff that has been giving way underneath the structure.

Work crews could be seen on live video preparing hay bales soaked in fuel and breaking windows for proper ventilation of the $800,000 house on Lake Whitney, about 75 miles (120 km) southwest of Dallas.

Jun 12, 2014

Texas Republican Abbott keeps strong lead in governor’s race: poll

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – The front-runner for the Texas governor’s race, Republican Greg Abbott, has kept a solid lead over Democratic challenger Wendy Davis in their bids to run the economically and politically powerful state, a poll released on Thursday said.

State Attorney General Abbott, 56, leads state Senator Davis by 12 percentage points, widening an 11-point lead he had in a similar survey taken in February, the poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune found.

Jun 10, 2014

Private U.S. prisons for immigrants rife with abuses -report

AUSTIN, Texas, June 10 (Reuters) – Private prisons holding
more than 25,000 people who violated U.S. immigration laws are
cutting corners to generate profits and subjecting inmates to
systematic abuse, a report released on Tuesday by the American
Civil Liberties Union said.

The Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) prisons, five of which
are located in Texas and eight in other states, have drawn
little attention and oversight, while subjecting inmates to
“shocking abuse and mistreatment,” the report said.