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The Evening Brief: Aug. 20, 2012

Your evening reading: Cornyn suggests Missouri Senate candidate should withdraw from race; Perry says "deferred action" doesn't alter state policies; Planned Parenthood to expand breast health screenings

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks to a TribLive audience on April 18, 2011.


•   Republicans Seek Distance From Candidate After Abortion Comment (The New York Times): "Republicans moved quickly on Monday to distance themselves from Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri, after his comments that women’s bodies can prevent them from getting pregnant from 'legitimate' rape, obviating the need for an abortion. The groundswell of opposition became so intense that Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, implied in a statement that Mr. Akin should consider ending his Senate campaign. 'Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive and indefensible,' Mr. Cornyn said. 'I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.'"

•   In Mexico’s murder city, the war appears over (The Washington Post): "Mexico has not made much sense of one of the most sensational killing sprees in recent history, which has left 10,500 dead in the streets of Juarez as two powerful drug and crime mafias went to war. In 2010, the peak, there were at least 3,115 aggravated homicides, with many months posting more than 300 deaths, according to the newspaper El Diario. But the fever seems to have broken. In July, there were just 48 homicides — 33 by gun, seven by beatings, six by strangulation and two by knife. Of these, 40 are considered by authorities to be related to the drug trade or criminal rivalries."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   After Komen Drama, Planned Parenthood Expanding Breast Screenings: "Planned Parenthood will expand breast health services to more than 40,000 women across five Texas cities, the result of increased donations following Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure's short-lived decision to halt funding to the organization."

•   Perry: "Deferred Action" Doesn't Change Policies: "Gov. Rick Perry has advised state agencies that the recent 'deferred action' policy to allow illegal immigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit does not change state policies."

•   "Pocket Prairies" Preserve Houston's Native Plants: "'Pocket prairies' have been popping up all over Houston, helping beautify the city while preserving the native plants that are now harder to find in Harris County."

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