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The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for March 16, 2011

Your afternoon reading: UT System reform controversy deepens; substitute execution drug chosen; Senate passes eyewitness ID bill

Texas A&M University, the University of Texas and Rice University

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Rick Perry is waging an undeclared war on higher education — in particular, on the state’s two flagship institutions, the University of Texas and his own alma mater, Texas A&M. He has delegated higher education policy to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based conservative think tank, which has produced an ideological blueprint for how the state’s universities should be governed." — Old College Try, Texas Monthly
  • "Japan's ongoing nuclear power disaster may be giving the industry a Chernobyl-sized black eye, but to those in the business not all power plant projects are the same. Advocates for the South Texas Project nuclear plant about 90 miles southwest of Houston near Bay City point to differences between it and the troubled units at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant." — Would new Texas reactors be safer than Japan's?, Houston Chronicle

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The recent hiring of Rick O’Donnell, a higher education reform advocate with a healthy doubt of the value of academic research, as a special adviser to the board of regents at the University of Texas System has some observers — worried about the implications for the University of Texas at Austin — playing connect the dots." — Six Degrees of Jeff Sandefer: Reform and Texas Higher Ed
  • "University of Texas alumnus Gordon Appleman, a prominent Fort Worth attorney who was highlighted as one of the school's '125 Extraordinary Exes' in 2010, says he doesn't feel compelled to write letters to the UT community on a regular basis. But he says concerns sparked by recent changes at the UT Board of Regents 'seemed important enough to where I ought to do something rather than sit by and watch it happen.'" — Prominent UT Alum Warns of "Degradation" at University
  • "Cleve Foster will be the first Texas inmate to receive the anesthetic drug pentobarbital — instead of sodium thiopental — in the three-drug cocktail that will be used in his execution on April 5." — Texas Decides on Substitute Execution Drug
  • "The Texas Senate unanimously approved a bill today that would revamp eyewitness identification policies used by law enforcement agencies." — Senate Approves Eyewitness ID Reform

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