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Feb 20, 2015

Texas county issues historic marriage license to same-sex couple

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas county issued a marriage license to a same-sex couple on Thursday, the first legal certification for a gay couple in the state since its voters about a decade ago approved a measure defining marriage as only being between a man and a woman.

A Travis County clerk said the marriage license was given to just one couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, after a court order earlier in the day and the county, home to the state capital of Austin, is not planning to issue more licenses to same-sex couples.

Feb 17, 2015

Prosecution rests in ‘American Sniper’ murder trial in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Prosecutors finished calling witnesses on Tuesday in the murder trial of Eddie Ray Routh, who is charged with fatally shooting Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose autobiography was turned into the hit movie “American Sniper.”

Over several days of witnesses’ testimony, prosecutors reconstructed the day two years ago when they say Routh, 27, killed Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield at a gun range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth, stole Kyle’s pickup truck and was taken into custody following a high-speed car chase.

Feb 11, 2015

Hollywood meets reality in Texas for ‘American Sniper’ trial

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – The timing, location and emotions came together at a Texas movie theater where 40 people watched the late showing of “American Sniper” just down the road from where a former Marine will stand trial for murdering the man whose story unfolded on the screen.

On Tuesday night, the crowd saw some of the final scenes in the life of Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the film that has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

Feb 11, 2015

‘American Sniper’ murder trial to open in Texas

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – Lawyers for an Iraqi war veteran will argue at the start of his trial on Wednesday that he was insane when he fatally shot former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the hit movie “American Sniper.”

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is charged with murdering Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield in 2013 at a shooting range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth. A jury of 10 women and two men will hear the case.

Feb 9, 2015

‘American Sniper’ Texas murder trial nears as jurors’ screening completed

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Final jury selection began on Monday in a Texas court for the trial of the U.S. veteran accused of fatally shooting former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the hit movie “American Sniper.”

The screening of about 800 potential jurors began last week in a court in rural Erath County for the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, 27, charged with murdering Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield in 2013 at a shooting range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth.

Feb 8, 2015

‘Alice in Wonderland’ at 150, more than child’s play and tea parties

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – As the celebrated children’s book of Britain’s Victorian era turns 150, an exhibit in Texas traces its history to show how “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” adapted and transformed through now-familiar concepts of merchandising and multimedia.

The Lewis Carroll book swept children’s literature when it was published in 1865, and the popular work was soon adapted for the theater,¬†Alice-themed toys and eventually films during the early days of the industry.

Jan 29, 2015

Texas rally by Muslims seeking tolerance disrupted by protesters

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A rally at the Texas Capitol on Thursday by Muslims seeking religious tolerance was repeatedly disrupted by a small group of protesters who said the state belonged to followers of Jesus Christ and that Muslims should go back to the Middle East.

During opening remarks at the Texas Muslim Capitol Day event, a Christian activist from Michigan grabbed the microphone from the speaker and said: “I proclaim the name of the Lord Jesus Christ over the capitol of Texas. I stand against Islam.”

Jan 25, 2015

U.S. East Coast braces for ‘historic’ blizzard on Monday

By Brendan O’Brien and Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A swath of the U.S. East Coast from Philadelphia to New York City to Maine was bracing for a potentially historic blizzard on Monday that is expected to dump as much as 2 feet (60 cm) of snow and snarl transportation for tens of millions of people.

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a blizzard warning for the northern section of the East Coast from Monday afternoon until Tuesday and placed states from New Jersey to Indiana under winter storm watches and advisories.

Jan 25, 2015

TV talk show pioneer and New York mainstay Joe Franklin dies at 88

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – TV talk show pioneer Joe Franklin, who interviewed thousands of people from a dancing dentist to Academy Award winning actors in a far from glamorous New York studio has died at the age of 88, his long time producer said on Sunday.

Franklin, a New York broadcasting institution who helped bolster the careers of then emerging stars such as Al Pacino, Bill Cosby and Bette Midler, started his TV talk show in the 1950s and kept in running into the 1990s.

Jan 20, 2015

Republican Abbott becomes Texas governor, pledges border security

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Republican Greg Abbott was
sworn in as the new governor of Texas on Tuesday, pledging to
fight the Obama administration over border security and grow the
state’s $1.4 trillion a year economy.

But as he takes office in the state that is the country’s
largest oil and gas producer, the Texas comptrollers’ office has
warned of a steep drop in revenue in energy production taxes and
fees, an item Abbott did not mention in his inaugural address.