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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aguilar on the federal government’s aggressive voting rights stance, Aaronson on a headline-grabbing Medicaid overbilling case, Batheja’s profile of Sylvester Turner, Luthra on Cruz and Cornyn and the ACA, Satija and Dehn go bee watching, Grissom catches inmates farming for food banks, Murphy, Swicegood and Jordan update our government salary database, and M. Smith and Serrano report on a politically charged curriculum battle: The best of our best for the week of July 22 to 26, 2013.

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The U.S. Department of Justice will ask a federal court to require Texas to seek permission before the state can change its election laws, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech to the National Urban League on Thursday.

The Texas attorney general’s office announced Wednesday that it has obtained a $1.4 million settlement with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for overbilling the state’s Medicaid program. 

Throughout his 24 years in the Texas House, state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, has taken a pragmatic approach to politics, maintaining close ties with Republican leaders if it means a seat at the negotiating table.

With major components of the Affordable Care Act set to take effect in the coming months, Texas' U.S. senators have remained vocal in their calls to defund or dismantle the law.

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority analysts recently discovered a large beehive in a tree near Austin's airport. To protect the honeybees, whose population is declining worldwide, the mobility authority asked a local beekeeper for help.

On a four-acre garden in Smith County, inmates from the local jail tend crops that provide thousands of pounds of fresh food for the poor in 26 counties. It's one of several programs that put inmates to work for the community.

We have added and updated more than 200,000 salary records for Texas public employees — and moving forward with a new updating schedule.

An extended drama over a controversial curriculum tool used by Texas public schools took a new turn Wednesday as Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst entered the fray with a letter to the State Board of Education and Senate Education Chairman Dan Patrick pushed to add the issue to the special session agenda.

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