More virus testing in Texas prisons, Houston furloughs 3,000
HOUSTON (AP) — Texas is starting widespread coronavirus testing in state prisons where at least 30 people have died. The announcement Tuesday came one day after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott also ordered widespread testing in Texas nursing homes. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says more than 1,700 prisoners have tested positive. Also on Tuesday, Houston's mayor announced the city will furlough about 3,000 workers as the economic shut down and unsteady oil prices takes a financial toll on the nation’s fourth-largest city.
SUPREME COURT-ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Justices hear election year cases over 'faithless electors'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices are invoking fears of bribery and chaos to suggest they think states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College. The court is taking up an unusual voting issue that could have important consequences for the 2020 presidential election in an era of intense political polarization. Wednesday is the court’s final day of arguments by telephone in May, with livestreamed audio. So-called faithless electors have not been critical to the outcome of a presidential election, but that could change in a contest with a razor-thin margin.
SUPREME COURT-AP COURTSIDE
AP Courtside: Kavanaugh cites 'chaos' in electors case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh says he would apply the “avoid chaos principle of judging.” Kavanaugh is asking questions during the Supreme Court’s final day of telephone argument. One of Wednesday’s cases involves Colorado elector Micheal Baca. In 2016, Baca voted for John Kasich rather than Hillary Clinton, who won the state’s popular vote. Baca was removed as an elector as a result. He and two other electors sued. Lawrence Lessig represented Washington electors. Lessig argued that there have been only a handful of faithless electors in American history, with no bearing on the outcome of an election. Kavanaugh said “judges are going to worry about chaos.”
Trump ramps up expulsions of migrant youth, citing virus
HOUSTON (AP) — U.S. border agencies quickly expelled 600 child migrants in April after federal agencies began prohibiting asylum claims at the southern border, citing the coronavirus pandemic. Many are from Central America and traveling alone, with some as young as 10 years old. Border agencies say the deportations are necessary to contain the contagion. Migrants’ advocates call that a pretext to dispense with federal protections for kids. The expulsions are the latest Trump administration measure aimed at preventing the entry of migrant children, following other programs such as the since-rescinded “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in thousands of family separations.
Texas high courts hit by ransomware attack, refuse to pay
DALLAS (AP) — Texas courts have been hit with a ransomware attack that took down the website and case management systems for the state’s appellate and high courts. The Office of Court Administration says the attack on the courts’ network and servers began overnight and was discovered by staff Friday morning. It says staff limited the damage by disabling part of their network and the courts will not will not pay any ransom. The administrative office says local trial courts appear to have been unaffected and there is no current evidence that sensitive or personnel information was compromised.
Family of Guatemalan woman shot dead by border agent sues
LAREDO, Texas (AP) — The family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman killed in 2018 by a U.S. Border Patrol agent has filed a civil rights suit against 21 agents and the U.S. government. The family of Claudia Gómez González is suing in federal court in Laredo, Texas for unspecified actual and punitive damages. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed the lawsuit Tuesday, one year after filing a $100 million federal claim on the family's behalf. Gómez González crossed the Texas-Mexico border with several other migrants when border agents confronted them in a vacant lot. One agent shot Gómez González in the head.
Police video shows chaos in Texas park as gunshots erupt
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Newly released police video shows a chaotic scene in a crowded North Texas park as gunfire erupts, wounding five people. A police statement Tuesday says about 400 people were riding all-terrain vehicles and drinking alcohol in a Fort Worth park, in violation of local ordinances. Police officers used patrol car loudspeakers to ask the crowd to disperse. As the requests grew more urgent and demanding with each repetition, numerous gunshots erupted and the crowd scattered and fled and officers rushed to aid the wounded. No arrests have been reported. City officials had discouraged such gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.
2 arrested after Texas police find 6-year-old locked in shed
DALLAS (AP) — Police have arrested two people after finding a 6-year-old boy locked in a shed in Dallas. Booked into Dallas County jail on child endangerment charges are 53-year-old Esmeralda Lira and 66-year-old Jose Balderas. Both are held on bonds of $100,000 each. Officers found the boy Sunday night during a welfare check at a home in a suburban neighborhood on the city’s southeast side. A police spokeswoman says medics evaluated the boy but didn't take him to a hospital. She declined to say their relationship to the boy.
MAN HIT ON RUNWAY
Officials probe why man killed on Texas runway was there
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine how a man got onto a runway at an airport in Texas where he was killed by a landing commercial jet. Police say Junin Ko died Thursday when a Southwest Airlines plane struck him at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Pilots had reported seeing a person while landing. Airport spokesman Bryce Dubee tells the Austin-American Statesman that the 22-year-old Ko didn't have a security badge clearing him to enter the airport’s secure side. Dubee says the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, Austin police and the airport are investigating how he ended up there.
Texas artists will be in Rangers lot for drive-in concerts