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The Evening Brief: July 12, 2013

Your evening reading: Abortion bill hits Senate floor; confiscation of items from gallery spectators creates a stir; A&M president stepping down.

View from the Senate gallery as the chamber debates abortion legislation on July 12, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Abortion Regulations Bill Nears Final Vote: "People entering the gallery are being allowed to bring feminine hygiene products into the Senate gallery Friday after Department Public of Safety officials were initially prohibiting people from being such products into the gallery. … DPS officials confiscated one jar they suspected had urine and 18 jars they suspected had feces while searching bags of people entering the gallery, the department confirmed in a press release Friday afternoon."

•    Texas A&M President Loftin Stepping Down: "Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin will step down from his position in January, he notified university leaders on Friday."

•    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Bows Out: "U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is leaving the Obama administration and will be nominated to head the University of California, she announced on Friday."

•    Perry's Gubernatorial Era Ending, but Not Just Yet: "Gov. Rick Perry's decision not to seek re-election opens some doors in Texas politics and government, including one that has been shut for a long time: What happens next to a lame duck governor?"

•    Mexican City Weighs Neglected Notion: Hope: "Three years after a municipal election was held under the specter of fear and death in this border city, voters on Sunday ushered in a new leader in Ciudad Juárez. But a new administration and a new peace can only go so far."


•    Texas Democrats, Energized by Abortion Fight, Face Hurdles Trying to Turn a Red State Blue (The New York Times): "Ask Democrats in Austin if they can win the governor’s race next fall and the answers betray that reality. Euphemisms like 'long-term process' and 'nothing happens overnight' are uttered as stand-ins for a simple affirmative reply."

•    Wendy Davis: It's the real Texans who count (CNN): "I stood up and began talking on the floor of the Texas State Senate not long ago because I hoped the Republicans in power would listen to how their latest cruel health care proposal would hurt the women of Texas. Simply put, this bill would take away access to the most fundamental form of health care women need."

•    On abortion, Dewhurst’s glass of wine — not his pause — could hurt him with GOP base (The Dallas Morning News): "The lieutenant governor’s race keeps heating up but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the froth from the caffeine. Here’s the real buzz: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s decision to slip out of the Senate last month during an abortion debate — so he could have a glass of wine with Rob Johnson, his former chief of staff and current political consultant, at a steakhouse near the Capitol – may pose political problems for him over the next eight months."

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