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The Brief: July 10, 2015

New textbooks in Texas are facing criticism over its portrayal of the Civil War and race issues, part of a larger national debate on the Civil War and Confederate icons.

The statue of Jefferson Davis, once president of the Confederate States, stands just south of the Main Building on UT's campus on June 22, 2015.

The Big Conversation

Texas' new textbooks are under a national spotlight for what historians say is a flawed portrayal of the Civil War and civil rights issues.

An editorial this week from The Washington Post, for example, said the state is "whitewashing Civil War history."

It's not the first time the textbooks have come under debate, with Texans seeing a heated debate in 2010 over the new standards for textbooks. But that debate is back on after a renewed national focus on the Civil War and Confederate icons, as the Houston Chronicle's Benjamin Wermund reports.

And in South Carolina, one debate came to a close yesterday when Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina signed a bill into law that removes the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol there, following the recent shooting of nine people at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

But meanwhile, members of Congress clashed in a debate over a provision of a funding bill that related to Confederate flags at cemeteries owned by the federal government. The Tribune's Abby Livingston explains what happened in Congress yesterday — and what Texas' congressional members thought of the debate.

Trib Must-Reads

Holdouts on Gay Marriage Could Face Lawsuits, by Alexa Ura — With most Texas counties now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, legal experts and gay rights activists say it may take individual lawsuits to compel the handful of county clerks still refusing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

Mexican Official: Border Security "A Shared Responsibility," by Julián Aguilar — José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, talks about the relationship between Mexico and Texas, border security, and whether Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's security plan is working.

Texas Wants Another Win Against Obama's Immigration Plan, by Julián Aguilar — Attorneys for the Obama administration will try again on Friday to convince a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to let a controversial immigration policy to take effect. 

University Research Turning More to Private Funds, by Edgar Walters — The University of Texas System announced a deal on Thursday accepting up to $2.4 million a year from pharmaceutical company Sanofi to fund biomedical research. As government research money dwindles, private funds are playing a larger role, and that comes with worries.

El Paso Democrat Márquez Bows Out, by Julián Aguilar — El Paso Democratic state Rep. Marisa Márquez will not seek reelection after four terms in the Texas House. She announced her retirement in a statement on her official website, saying she would remain an active figure in the state politics.

UT, Mexico Sign Deal to Collaborate on Research, by Matthew Watkins — The Mexican government signed a deal with the University of Texas at Austin on Thursday that will bring some of that country's top science and technology researchers to work temporarily in Austin. 

Former Morning News Editor to Lead UNT-Dallas, by Matthew Watkins — Bob Mong, the recently retired longtime editor of The Dallas Morning News, has been tapped as the next president of the University of North Texas at Dallas.

Perry: Let's Pull Federal Funds From "Sanctuary Cities," by Ally Mutnick — Days after an undocumented laborer was charged with the murder of a San Francisco woman, former Gov. Rick Perry called for federal funding to be pulled from so-called sanctuary cities. 

New OSHA Penalties for DuPont After Deadly Leak, by Neena Satija and Jim Malewitz — Just weeks after blasting DuPont for safety violations following a deadly chemical plant incident last November, federal regulators slapped the manufacturing giant with a new fine for safety violations at its plant in La Porte.


White House blasts Cruz for defending Trump, who’s in full-blown feud with Perry, The Dallas Morning News

Texas Supreme Court hits milestone: All opinions issued, Austin American-Statesman

Collin County grand jurors' names mistakenly released in advance of Paxton case, The Dallas Morning News

Abbott meets with Mexican officials, gets invite, Houston Chronicle

Tea party activists mobilize for another shot at Pete Sessions, The Dallas Morning News

Media will not be allowed to witness Jade Helm, Houston Chronicle

Waco cop to head grand jury likely to hear biker cases, The Associated Press

Fort Hood to lose 3,350 troops, Austin American-Statesman

Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton take turns telling jokes while discussing leadership and politics, The Dallas Morning News

Bush under fire for charging vets group $100K speaking fee, Houston Chronicle

Texas’ ‘Operation Bottoms Up’ turns up places serving cheap booze at high-end prices, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

"In the case of this book, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence was that sales were limited to strategic bulk purchases."

The New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy tells Politico why the paper didn't list Ted Cruz's book on its bestseller list.

Today in TribTalk

Looking beyond marriage licenses in Texas, by Kevin Nix — We’ve heard it before: Despite the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, we’re not done fighting for LGBT equality in America. But what will that fight look like in Texas?

News From Home

•    The latest episode of The Ticket, a co-production of the Tribune and KUT is out. Jay Root and Ben Philpott break down the campaign announcement speech of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and learn what kind of campaign he could run from WNYC's Matt Katz, creator of The Christie Tracker.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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