How Newtown and 9/11 denier Alex Jones got Donald Trump’s ear

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Talk show host and activist Alex Jones screams to the crowd outside the Senate gallery on May 25, 2011, after being denied entrance during a rowdy protest of House Bill 1937 which criminalizes invasive airport pat downs.
Talk show host and activist Alex Jones screams to the crowd outside the Senate gallery on May 25, 2011, after being denied entrance during a rowdy protest of House Bill 1937 which criminalizes invasive airport pat downs.

After interviewing Trump for his Web broadcast, the conspiracy theorist extraordinaire and founder of InfoWars.com has been granted an enormous new audience.

The Brief: Mexican-American studies textbook rejected in early vote

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, speaks during a press conference at the Texas Education Agency on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 regarding a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that educators and activists are calling racist. The advocacy group, Texas Freedom Network, along with educators, and activists are asking the State Board of Education to reject the Mexican American heritage textbook.
State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, speaks during a press conference at the Texas Education Agency on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 regarding a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that educators and activists are calling racist. The advocacy group, Texas Freedom Network, along with educators, and activists are asking the State Board of Education to reject the Mexican American heritage textbook.
The preliminary vote has to be affirmed during a second meeting Friday, where it's likely the book will fall short.

Both in court and under Trump, Texas Voter ID law faces uncertain future

During the first week of early voting for the 2016 presidential elections, civil rights lawyers took issue with this sign outside of a polling place in Cuero. It did not mention options for casting a ballot without photo ID.
During the first week of early voting for the 2016 presidential elections, civil rights lawyers took issue with this sign outside of a polling place in Cuero. It did not mention options for casting a ballot without photo ID.

Whom President-elect Donald Trump appoints to a vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat and how his Justice Department will differ from President Obama's could determine whether Texas' 2011 Voter ID law survives.

State education board focuses again on teaching of evolution

State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

Language challenging evolution was removed from high school biology standards because it seemed too difficult for students to analyze and evaluate, the state education board was told Wednesday.

Texas State Board of Education rejects Mexican-American studies textbook

Carolina Hernandez, a student in the Houston ISD, spoke during a news conference at the Texas Education Agency on Nov. 15, 2016, about a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that educators and activists have criticized. As Hernandez spoke, she glanced at a box holding 15,000 petitions against the textbook.
Carolina Hernandez, a student in the Houston ISD, spoke during a news conference at the Texas Education Agency on Nov. 15, 2016, about a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that educators and activists have criticized. As Hernandez spoke, she glanced at a box holding 15,000 petitions against the textbook.

In a 14-0 vote, the Texas State Board of Education rejected the adoption of a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook.

Many border drug smugglers avoid prison in Texas

A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.
A DPS trooper spots a motorist along Highway 83 in Starr County.

In two key counties, less than a quarter of the “high-threat criminals” arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers for felony drug offenses during the state’s border surge have been sent to prison.

Analysis: Take it from Texas — an election sweep carries no guarantee

The 84th legislative session ran from Jan. 13 through Jun. 1. State lawmakers enhanced gun rights, allowed epilepsy patients to use medicinal cannabis oil and outlawed local bans on fracking.
The 84th legislative session ran from Jan. 13 through Jun. 1. State lawmakers enhanced gun rights, allowed epilepsy patients to use medicinal cannabis oil and outlawed local bans on fracking.

Winning isn't everything when it comes to party control. If it was, Texas lawmakers would have nothing to do. But they still have plenty to fight about, and Republicans in Washington, D.C., will, too.

Most border arrests by Texas troopers are not for drug smuggling

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45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.
45-year-old Nickolas Mares is described by DPS as a “high-threat criminal,” though he only faced a drug possession charge. He can hardly speak from a stroke and lives with his mother in Rio Grande City.

DPS has added more troopers to the border under the assumed objective that they're going after drug and human smugglers. But most of their arrests are for drunk driving and misdemeanor drug possession. 

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