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The Evening Brief: Dec. 18, 2013

Your evening reading: horrible details emerge in lawsuit filed on behalf of woman searched by customs officials; Phil Wilson moves from TxDOT to LCRA; BP sues San Antonio lawyer for fraud in class-action suit from 2010 Gulf spill

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New in The Texas Tribune

•    ACLU Lawsuit Targets Feds Over Search of Citizen: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents subjected a U.S. citizen to unwarranted searches, including vaginal probes and a CT scan, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union in a U.S. district court."

•    Phil Wilson Named New LCRA General Manager: "Phil Wilson, the Texas Department of Transportation's executive director, will become the new general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority, LCRA's board decided Wednesday. Wilson will replace Becky Motal, who is stepping down at the end of the year."

•    In North Texas, ACA Navigators Under Scrutiny: "But these organizations have come under intense scrutiny, particularly in North Texas, over allegations that navigators are breaking rules in an effort to get more people enrolled in Obamacare. State leaders have also raised concerns that the navigator program does not offer adequate consumer privacy protections."

•    Did Texas Hurt Industry by Fighting EPA Regulations?: "Texas has been fighting federal greenhouse gas regulations for years over concerns that they would cost the state jobs. But now, critics say the state's unwillingness to issue air pollution permits ended up hurting, not helping, companies in Texas."


•    BP claims fraud by S.A. lawyer (San Ant0nio Express-News): "BP on Tuesday sued high-profile San Antonio plaintiffs lawyer Mikal Watts, accusing the Democratic stalwart of fraud in the class-action litigation over the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."

•    This payday loan column is for you, Councilman Rodriguez (Houston Chronicle): "Good morning, Councilman James Rodriguez. This one is for you. I know you're not too keen on the payday loan regulations before the Houston City Council today. You skipped last week's meeting, which would allow you to 'tag' the measure, delaying Wednesday's vote until next year."

•    Disputed biology textbook clears expert review (Austin American-Statesman): "Scientists appointed by the State Board of Education to review purported errors relating to evolution in a new biology textbook have approved the book for use. A high school biology textbook written by megapublisher Pearson Education hit a last-minute snag last month as the State Board of Education was preparing to adopt new science textbooks."

•    UT regent Hall’s absence a ‘slap in the face’ to investigating committee (The Dallas Morning News): "University of Texas regent Wallace Hall’s continued absence from legislative meetings probing his possible abuse of office is a 'slap in the face' to the committee, said committee chairman Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, Wednesday morning."

•    Coup for Cornyn: NRA endorsement (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. John Cornyn won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association today, a big coup given that his chief rival in the primary, Rep. Steve Stockman, is such an outspoken gun rights advocate. The NRA’s Political Victory Fund’s decision to back Cornyn for a third term is sure to bolster his campaign."

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Health care Politics Dan Flynn John Cornyn