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Aug 26, 2015

Life Flight pioneer and celebrated Texas surgeon Duke dies at 86

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – James “Red” Duke, a celebrated Texas surgeon who helped develop the Life Flight helicopter emergency service and played a medical role during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, died on Tuesday at the age of 86, officials said.

Duke, known for his Texas twang and thick mustache, was one of the best-known surgeons in the state who brought changes to emergency medicine that influenced the field globally, said the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where Duke had worked.

Aug 25, 2015

Texas court halts execution of Nicaraguan man planned for this week

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the planned Wednesday execution of Bernardo Tercero, a Nicaraguan man convicted of murder who human rights groups said had his rights to fair trial violated.

The court said on Tuesday lawyers for Tercero, 39, asserted that he was denied due legal process because the state presented false testimony at his trial. It stayed his execution to allow “a trial court to review the merits of the claim.”

Aug 25, 2015

U.S., Mexico to open first new rail link in over a century

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 25 (Reuters) – The United States and
Mexico, which have nearly $600 billion in annual trade, will
launch on Tuesday the first new rail link between the two
countries in more than a century, in the Texas border city of
Brownsville, officials said.

The West Rail Bypass International Bridge will connect
Brownsville with Matamoros, its neighboring city across the
border, and will carry freight between the two countries, the
U.S. Commerce Department said.

Aug 22, 2015

Novelist Ishiguro’s notes and works head to Texas library

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The sweeping archives of award-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro will be heading to a University of Texas research library, including a discarded opening chapter for his best-known book, “The Remains of the Day,” the university said.

The novelist, who was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and has lived in Britain since he was a child, has kept extensive notes of his novels and multiple drafts of his works that include “Never Let Me Go” and “The Buried Giant.”

Aug 18, 2015

Texas launches jail safety study weeks after woman’s death in custody

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas will conduct a study on jail safety with the goal of preventing suicide in custody, officials said on Tuesday, weeks after the death of a black woman in a county jail renewed questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.

The announcement by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick comes a day after five special prosecutors were appointed to look into the death of Sandra Bland, 28. She was found hanged in her cell on July 13, three days after her arrest for a minor traffic offense in Waller County, about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

Aug 18, 2015

Texas launches jail safety study weeks after woman’s death in custody

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas will conduct a study on jail safety with the goal of preventing suicide in custody, officials said on Tuesday, weeks after the death of a black woman in a county jail renewed questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.

The announcement by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick comes a day after five special prosecutors were appointed to look into the death of Sandra Bland, 28. She was found hanged in her cell on July 13, three days after her arrest for a minor traffic offense in Waller County, about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

Aug 14, 2015

Battle over same-sex status on birth certificates in Texas and Arkansas

By Jon Herskovitz and Steve Barnes

AUSTIN, Texas/LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) – Two states that
had blocked gay marriage are in legal battles over granting
parenthood status to same-sex couples: Arkansas is trying to
throw out a suit from couples seeking the status and Texas is
saying it does not have forms ready.

The cases come as states that had barred same-sex marriage
grapple with changes brought by the landmark U.S. Supreme Court
decision in June that made gay marriage legal in the United
States.

Aug 13, 2015

University taking statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis indoors

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The University of Texas said on Thursday it would move a statute of Confederate president Jefferson Davis from the campus to an educational exhibit in response to protests over the public display of symbols of the Confederacy.

The university said it would not remove statues of other figures of the Confederacy but said it was considering adding plaques explaining their significance in respect to the U.S. Civil War and the state of Texas.

Aug 13, 2015

Texas tortoise theft leads to arrest of suspected sex offender

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Police investigating a Texas man for holding a tortoise for ransom ended up arresting him on a charge of sexually assaulting a child, officials said on Thursday.

When police went to the home of Joseph Urbino, 34, in the search for tortoise, they learned in a background check that he had outstanding warrants in a child sexual assault case and arrested him.

Aug 12, 2015

Texas to execute man convicted of killing veteran police officer

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas plans on Wednesday to execute Daniel Lopez, 27, who was convicted of killing a veteran police officer in 2009 and has waived his rights to appeal his death sentence.

The execution by lethal injection is set for 6 p.m. local time at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, it would be the 528th in Texas, the most of any state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.