Alexandra Hart | KUOW News and Information

Alexandra Hart

Intern for Texas Standard.

From Texas Standard:

Two Texas teams are heading to California to compete in this weekend’s SpaceX hyperloop competition.

Four years ago, SpaceX founder Elon Musk published a white paper outlining a new concept in mass transit. The idea is to shuttle people around in pods, traveling at high speeds. Since Musk made his proposal, engineers have been working to perfect that technology, hoping to make the hyperloop a reality.

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M–Corpus Christi is going from the Gulf Stream to the TV screen.

The coastal university will be featured on the  "Shark Week" television series Wednesday, displaying artificial reefs for the Gulf Coast that are designed to attract wildlife in areas where the ocean floor is largely made up of mud or sand.

From Texas Standard:

Walking outside lately, you've probably noticed Texas' triple-digit temperatures. For those living or working in some of the state's prisons, going outside isn't even required to feel the heat, because some units do not have air-conditioning. Inmates have sued to get some relief, and this week they were handed a victory of sorts.

From Texas Standard:

The 2016 election campaign featured much concern for the fate of coal miners and auto workers, whose jobs have been swept away by automation and globalization. Today, there may be another group at risk for large-scale cuts – retail workers.

From Texas Standard:

By now you’ve likely heard of fentanyl, one of the narcotics at the center of the nation’s opioid crisis. But now, authorities in Houston are issuing an urgent warning that goes beyond the narrative of addiction. Officials have found a powerful analogue of fentanyl, carfentanil, a drug so powerful that mere skin contact can lead to lethal exposure.

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement "the worst trade deal in the history of the world." But a group of Texas business leaders begs to differ. In a step toward preserving what works about NAFTA, the Texas Association of Business and Texas Business Leadership Council have formed the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition.

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Bullion Depository is the state's plan to build something like its own version of Fort Knox – it would be the first state-administered gold bullion depository in the nation. It's now one step closer to becoming a reality. State Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Wednesday that a private company, Lone Star Tangible Assets, has been tapped to run the depository.

From Texas Standard:

People in Texas and around the nation are waiting to hear from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is expected to ask him about his meetings with Russian officials. Sessions asked that the hearing be open to the public.

From Texas Standard:

IBM is calling its employees into the office. After decades of allowing a large part of its workforce to telecommute, Big Blue is requiring many of those remote workers to start showing up to a physical office building, like the company's location in north Austin.

From Texas Standard:

in 46 states, texting while driving is illegal. But not in Texas. It appears that could change on Tuesday. Though many cities in Texas ban using smartphones while driving, a bill is en route to the governor's desk that specifically outlaws texting while driving. But your apps and GPS might still be within legal reach.

From Texas Standard:

The end may be near for straight-ticket voting in Texas. House Bill 25, which would ban the practice, passed out of the Senate on Thursday. It's got one more stop in the lower chamber before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Prominent Democrats are decrying the bill – saying it would dilute Democratic votes.

From Texas Standard:

No sanctuary in Texas – that seems to be the top story across the Lone Star State, as a controversial bill essentially banning governments from implementing “sanctuary city” policies for undocumented immigrants, heads to the governor's office. The Texas Senate voted 20-11 to approve the version of Senate Bill 4 that the House passed last week. Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted "I'm getting my signing pen warmed up."

From Texas Standard:

Despite a Texas law that provides penalties for hate crimes, very few people have been prosecuted for committing them.

From Texas Standard:

Conflicts among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Transportation researchers want to solve the problem by redesigning intersections so that all kinds of traffic have their place, and can keep an eye on one another.


From Texas Standard:

Here in Texas, if you’re headed to a Buc-ee’s, there’s little confusion about what that means -- Beaver Nuggets, an expansive jerky selection and clean bathrooms. Those are images closely tied to the convenience store chain and it is suing to keep it that way.

From Texas Standard:

If President Donald Trump has his way, the U.S. air traffic control system will be privatized. The idea is the first bullet point in the transportation section of the White House budget blueprint. Some major airlines including Texas-based American and Southwest support privatization of air traffic control.

From Texas Standard:

Fake news is all over the place – you've probably got at least a few people in your Facebook feed that share it. Even some of our elected officials Tweet it out.

But across the nation, educators are ramping up efforts to teach students how to discern real the information from what’s fake. Librarians are at the forefront of that fight for media literacy in schools, colleges and beyond.

From Texas Standard:

The Big 12 Conference announced it will be withholding a quarter of its revenue from Baylor University, pending a third party review of the school's Title IX changes. If the review is verified, the conference will not withhold the money. This is the first announcement of any "punishment" from the Big 12 or the NCAA against the school since members of the football team were accused of sexual assault.

From Texas Standard:

We’re only a few weeks into the Trump administration and the president has come out swinging when it comes to both illegal and legal immigration. He’s signed executive orders – one that paves the way for a wall along the United States-Mexico border and another that placed a travel ban on immigrants from certain countries.

In line with Trump’s restrictive policies on immigration into the country, two U.S. senators filed a bill Tuesday that seeks to reduce immigration further.

From Texas Standard:

Texas A&M University has a new partner – in North Korea. The nation’s only private university has reached out to ask for help teaching students how to grow food in a nation of persistent shortages and high food insecurity.

Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, which was founded and is mainly funded by American evangelical Christians, will receive donated teaching materials from the Aggies.

From Texas Standard:

Jess Herbst became mayor of New Hope – a small north Texas town in Collin County – last May when the previous mayor died of a heart attack. As the longest serving alderman on the town council, she was next in line. Herbst just came out publicly as a transgender woman, the first sitting mayor to do so. She publicly announced her transition with an open letter to her constituents on the conservative town's website.

From Texas Standard:

A new Title IX lawsuit was filed late last week against Baylor University – the latest of six federal lawsuits against the school, and the second in a week. It alleges staff encouraged football players to commit sexual assault and that staff used female students to have sex with football recruits to make sure they had a “good time.”

The attorney who filed the case claims their investigation found at least 52 acts of rape committed by no fewer than 31 football players between 2011 and 2014 – including five gang rapes.

From Texas Standard:

Activists gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning to pressure lawmakers to keep fighting human trafficking during the 85th Legislative Session.

Advocates say there’s lots of work left to be done to curb trafficking. Now there are hard numbers to show by how much.

From Texas Standard:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has said repealing the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is a day-one priority for President Donald Trump and Republicans have already taken the first step towards repealing it.

From Texas Standard:

In 2014, a man calling himself Mike Edwards proposed a project to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas General Land Office. He wanted to build a barge mooring facility in an ecologically sensitive part of the Texas coast near Port Aransas. The Army Corps gave it a quick green light.

From Texas Standard:

Much has been made over the past few years about the potential shifting of political tides in Texas – from the "sleeping giant" of the Latino vote to Donald Trump's slimmer-than-usual margin of victory in the presidential race.

From Texas Standard:

It's been 10 years since the start of Mexico's drug war when former Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered 6,500 Mexican troops to the state of Michoacan to curb a surge in drug violence there.

Drug gang violence has gotten worse; 150,000 people have died since the war's beginning and 30,000 remain missing.

Why The Words We Use After a Tragedy Matter

Jun 14, 2016

From Texas Standard:

After yesterday's broadcast, which concluded with a roundup of reaction to the Orlando shooting from Texans on social media, Texas Standard received a comment from a listener who noted what he considered to be a conspicuous absence of something in the conversation – the mention of words like "ISIS" and "terrorism."

This comment plays into something bigger: how we choose what words to use when speaking about an unspeakable tragedy. What's the significance of the rhetoric surrounding events like the Orlando massacre?


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