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Texas lawmaker defends 19 inmate deaths: Texans ‘don’t want air-conditioned prisons’

Lawmakers in Texas on Tuesday defended the lack of air-conditioning in state prisons after a report linked 19 inmate deaths to extreme heat. A study released by the University of Texas Law School’s Human Rights Clinic warned that the state was violating the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment,…

Texas executes man convicted in 2001 triple murder while on drug binge

Texas executed by lethal injection on Wednesday a man who was convicted of stabbing his girlfriend, her child, and her mother to death after a cocaine binge in 2001. Jose Luis Villegas Jr., 39, was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. CDT (8.04 p.m. ET) after receiving a lethal dose of…

Texas prepares to execute Mexican national despite appeal bid

The US state of Texas is set to execute a Mexican national on Wednesday as appeals are rushed forward on possible trial irregularities or mental disability. Ramiro Hernandez, 45, was sentenced to die in 2000 for allegedly murdering a 49-year-old man who employed him on his ranch in San Antonio.…

Texas restrictions on Tesla sales could keep out company’s lithium-ion ‘gigafactory’

Sales restrictions placed on Tesla Motors by Texas could put the brakes on the state’s hopes of landing the company’s planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant. The automaker cannot sell its electric cars directly to consumers in Texas due to state laws – among the nation’s strictest – that protect…

Border Patrol agent suspected of raping undocumented immigrants found dead

By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. Border Patrol agent was found dead on Thursday in his Texas home just north of the Mexico border by authorities alerted to allegations he had kidnapped and sexually assaulted three female undocumented immigrants, federal agents said. Authorities did not release…

Christian lawmakers fall for ‘Ponzi schemer’ who said he’d found Noah’s Ark

It might have been a warning sign when he said he’d found Noah’s Ark. Ponzi schemes are notoriously attractive at the onset, then look awfully stupid in the rear-view mirror. The latest, in Texas, involves conservative Christian lawmakers and a man who promised outsized profits on energy trading software, milking…

Tesla plans to flood U.S. with 500,000 electric cars using solar-powered ‘gigafactory’

Tesla plans to build a $5 billion “gigafactory” to produce more lithium-ion batteries by 2020 than were made worldwide last year – which should be enough, the company said, to power 500,000 electric vehicles annually. The automaker hasn’t chosen a site for the factory, expected to occupy by about 10…

Texas GOP county chair candidate arrested for attacking man who called him a ‘RINO’

A Texas man running for the GOP chairmanship in Orange County, Texas, was arrested Tuesday after he was charged with assaulting a man at an early voting location. According to KFDM, Jerry Wilson, 70, attacked another man who was removing Wilson’s signs replacing them with other signs calling Wilson a…

Texas couples go to court to overturn same-sex marriage ban

By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) – Two gay couples in Texas will ask a federal court this week to overturn an amendment to the state’s constitution barring same-sex marriage that has been staunchly supported by prominent Republican party leaders. Even though 17 states and the District of Columbia…

Report: Fracking is depleting water in America’s driest areas

From Texas to California, drilling for oil and gas is using billions of gallons of water in the country’s most drought-prone areas America’s oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found. Of…

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