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Texas ‘bathroom’ bills stalled in special legislative session

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Texas measures to restrict access for transgender people to bathrooms in schools and public buildings appear doomed this week after hundreds of businesses stood in opposition and moderate Republican powerbrokers blocked the bills.

The so-called bathroom bills have caused rifts among Republicans who control the state’s legislature, leaving no likely path to passage before a 30-day special session wraps on Wednesday, analysts and lawmakers said.

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“The bathroom bill in this session is dead and buried with dirt over its coffin,” said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

Enactment in Texas, the most populous Republican-dominated state, could give momentum to other socially conservative states for additional action on an issue that has become a flashpoint in the U.S. culture wars.

But House Speaker Joe Straus, a pro-business Republican who controls the agenda in the body, has shown little interest in passing a bathroom bill, which he said was not a priority.

His position was buffeted by a well-financed campaign from major corporations including Texas-based energy companies Halliburton and ExxonMobil Global Services , which have said the bills were discriminatory and would make it hard for them to recruit top talent.

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Supporters of the legislation, who say it can help protect women and children from sexual assaults, have not given up.

But they acknowledge there is only a slim chance of success, with lawmakers still trying to reach deals on almost all of the 20 priority items set by Republican Governor Greg Abbott for the session.

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Senate Bill 3, which made it through the Senate and stalled in the House, requires people to use restrooms, showers and locker rooms in public schools and other state and local government facilities that match the sex on their birth certificate, as opposed to their gender identity.

A push for bathroom bills nationally sputtered after North Carolina partially repealed such a measure in March after boycotts by athletic organizations and businesses that have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

Opposition against the Texas measures includes global tech giants IBM and Apple , major Texas city police chiefs who contested claims the bills would protect public safety, left-leaning religious leaders and the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars team.

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Republican Representative Ron Simmons, who sponsored a version of the bathroom legislation in the Texas House, said the privacy issue at the heart of the bills is supported by a wide majority of Republican primary voters.

“Just because we don’t pass legislation doesn’t mean that the issue is not going to be there,” he said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China

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Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.

Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.

The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.

The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.

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