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Dec 3, 2014

States sue Obama administration on immigration: Texas attorney general

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas is leading a 17-state coalition that sued the Obama administration on Wednesday over its executive order to ease the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

The case filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas said the executive order was unlawful.

Dec 3, 2014

Texas set to execute murderer afflicted with severe mental illness

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas plans to execute a convicted double murderer on Wednesday over the objections of lawyers arguing his life should be spared because he suffers from serious mental illness and putting him to death would be morally and legally wrong.

Scott Panetti, 56, is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. CST (1900 ET) by lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, Panetti would be the 519th person executed in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state.

Dec 2, 2014

Last-ditch appeals made for mentally ill Texas death row inmate

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Lawyers for Texas death row inmate Scott Panetti have launched last-minute appeals to prevent his execution set for Wednesday, arguing he suffers from schizophrenia and putting him to death would cross moral and constitutional lines.

The case has drawn global attention, with the U.N. human rights experts on Tuesday calling on Texas to halt the execution. Major Texas newspapers including the Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News have said in editorials the execution of a person with severe mental illness would be inexcusable.

Nov 28, 2014

Man dies after shooting at Mexican consulate, other sites in Texas capital

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A man apparently upset about U.S. immigration policy was fatally shot early on Friday after firing more than 100 rounds of ammunition at the Mexican consulate, a U.S. federal courthouse and police headquarters in the Texas capital, police said.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was an Austin man in his 50s who had a criminal history, police said.

Nov 28, 2014

Police kill man after suspected political attack in Texas capital

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Police in Austin shot and killed a man who opened fire on a U.S. federal courthouse, Mexican consulate and police headquarters in the Texas capital on Friday in an attack that appears to be politically motivated.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was an Austin man in his 50s who had a criminal history. The targets indicated the attack may have been over U.S. immigration policies, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Nov 24, 2014

University of Texas acquires archives of literary giant García Márquez

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 24 (Reuters) – A research library at the
University of Texas has acquired the archives of Nobel
Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, whose spellbinding
stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for
millions of readers around the world.

García Márquez, who died in April at 87, was best known for
“One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a dream-like, dynastic epic
that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Nov 21, 2014

Activists seek clemency for terminally ill Texas death row inmate

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – Activists delivered a petition to Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday with more than 100,000 signatures seeking the release of a death row inmate they say is terminally ill and only has weeks to live.

The governor’s office was not immediately available to comment on the petition launched by religious groups and activists including the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Max Soffar, convicted in the July 1980 slaying of three people at a Houston bowling alley.

Nov 21, 2014

Texas school board approves textbooks criticized for religious bent

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 21 (Reuters) – The Texas State Board of
Education, whose decisions can have national ramifications, on
Friday approved nearly 100 textbooks despite criticism the books
exaggerated the influence biblical figures had in forming the
U.S. system of government.

The Republican-controlled 15-member body voted along party
lines to approve the use of the textbooks for all ages of
students in the second-most populous U.S. state, with about 5
million children in the public school system.

Nov 21, 2014

Texas school board to vote on textbooks criticized for religious bent

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) – The Texas State Board of Education, whose decisions can have national ramifications, on Friday plans to vote on whether to approve textbooks criticized for exaggerating the influence biblical figures had in forming the U.S. system of government.

The Republican-controlled 15-member body will be voting whether to approve the use of more than 100 textbooks for all ages of students in the second-most populous U.S. state, with about 5 million children in the public school system.

Nov 20, 2014

Three charged with suspected $1.5 mln oil theft from Texas fields

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Three people have been
indicted for stealing shale oil over three years worth an
estimated $1.5 million by driving it off in trucks that were
supposed to be disposing waste water, according to court
documents obtained on Thursday.

Texas residents Victor Manuel Guerra, 37, Juan Martin
Bernal, 49, and Carlos Samuel Pena, 25, have been charged with
theft from an interstate shipment, wire fraud and money
laundering, according to an indictment unsealed this week.