Texas Standard For August 26, 2021

With quorum restored and the special session back in action, Texas lawmakers take steps on border security, including funding for a wall. Though Donald Trump’s border wall plans may have fizzled, Gov. Abbott is pressing forward with his own call for a Texas version. Bob Garrett of The Dallas Morning News with more. And: As classes return online, students encountering some system errors – we’ll hear about the challenges. Also: A podcast about racial tensions in a Texas suburb as a microcosm of America – the story behind the series “Southlake,” and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 26, 2021 9:51 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.

Lege Looks To Triple Border Security Spending

On Gov. Greg Abbott’s list this special session: more funding for border security. A Texas House committee has advanced a measure to spend almost $2 billion on Gov. Abbott’s efforts to stem immigration at the border, nearly tripling the state’s border security funding. Bob Garrett has been following this story for The Dallas Morning News and joins us today with the details.

New Laws Governing Churches, Religious Outlets and COVID

September 1, over 650 new Texas laws take effect. As part of our series looking at new state laws, we’re tackling one that’s been on the books a few months already. House Bill 1239 says the government can’t tell religious outlets to close for any reason, even during a pandemic. As COVID-19 cases in Texas rise, Jack Morgan of Texas Public Radio gives the new law a second look.

Virtual Schools Get Underway

Schools across Texas have been trying to help parents concerned about sending their kids back to school. Students in the virtual learning program in Austin started earlier this week – but so far, it’s not what many families were expecting. Claire McInerny of KUT Austin has more.

Dishing The Dirt On OnlyFans

You may have recently heard a lot about the online platform called OnlyFans, including the news it was dropping its main attraction: sexually explicit content. But after a backlash, that doesn’t appear to be the case. If you haven’t heard of OnlyFans, don’t worry – our tech expert Omar Gallaga is here with the story and its implications.

What’s Next In Afghanistan Withdraw

The Biden administration is days away from the August 31 deadline to have all Americans out of Afghanistan. The withdrawal process started under President Trump has become chaotic in recent weeks as the Taliban quickly retook control of the country. For more on how we got here, and what happens next we turn to Aaron O’Connell, professor in the Department of History at UT-Austin and colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

‘Southlake’ Podcast Examines Race And Racism In Suburban Texas

Images of manicured lawns and stately homes are associated with Southlake. The Tarrant County city is among the state’s most affluent areas.  But there’s another image, spread online in a 2018 video that went viral, where a group of local white students are chanting the N-word.  Hoping to confront the issues raised by the video, the local school district announced a diversity plan. What happened next consumed the town, and is at the heart of a six episode podcast series called “Southlake.” Antonia Hylton and Mike Hixenbaugh, two of the NBC News journalists reporting for the podcast, join us today.

Report: Feds Undercount Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Deaths

The 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and prompted creation of a new safety agency. Now 11 years later, a new joint investigation from Drilled News, Southerly and WWNO Public Radio for New Orleans have found that the federal government continues to undercount offshore oil worker deaths. For more on that we’re joined by Sara Sneath, a freelance environmental reporter based in New Orleans.

All this plus the Texas News Roundup, and Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.

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