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The Evening Brief: Aug. 2, 2013

Your evening reading: Abbott opens up about lawsuit settlement; Cruz quiet on McConnell primary endorsement; federal government approves West recovery funding

Greg Abbott at El Pato restaurant during a campaign stop in McAllen on July 15, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    For the First Time, Abbott Discusses Details of His Lawsuit Settlement: "Attorney General Greg Abbott, the front-running candidate for Texas governor, on Thursday opened up for the first time about the legal settlement that guarantees him a six-figure yearly income for the rest of his life."

•    Feds Approve Texas' Request for West Recovery: "The West community will receive additional federal funding to rebuild following the explosion of a fertilizer depot in April that killed 15 people and flattened much of the town, Gov. Rick Perry announced on Friday."

•    Facebook Says it Erred by Removing Branch Campaign Video: "A Facebook spokesperson issued a statement on Friday saying that a campaign video on attorney general candidate Dan Branch's page had been removed erroneously and has since been restored."

•    In Two Cities, Opposite Reactions to Jail Closure: "The decision by legislators this year to close two privately run jails operated by the Corrections Corporation of America is being met with very different reactions in the communities where the jails are situated."

•    Hospital Changes Policy That Kept Some Rural Doctors From Delivery Room: "A Wise County hospital system has changed its specialist-only policy that prevented some family practice doctors from delivering babies."

•    Playing "Simon Says" With Political Maps: "The state says anyone who disagrees with election law changes ought to prove there is a problem in court. The federal government and others want the state to prove there are no problems before those laws ever take effect."


•    At Fancy Farm, McConnell steps into crosshairs (NBC News): "Even some of [Mitch] McConnell's current Senate colleagues — particularly those who were themselves little-known Tea Party candidates before they won races that the national party never thought they were supposed to win — aren't necessarily backing McConnell in the May 2014 primary. 'That's a decision for the people of Kentucky to make,' Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said when asked on Thursday if he planned to support McConnell over Bevin."

•    Theory on Pain Is Driving Rules for Abortions (The New York Times): "It challenges four decades of constitutional doctrine and is based on disputed scientific theories. Yet a push to ban abortion at 20 weeks after conception, on the theory that the fetus can feel pain at that point, has emerged as a potent new tactic of the anti-abortion movement."

•    Taylor to seek Paxton’s Texas Senate seat (The Dallas Morning News): "State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, said Friday morning he will seek the GOP nomination in March to succeed Ken Paxton as the state senator for Richardson and much of Collin County."

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