Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, January 17, 2022.
Several Republican-led states, Texas prominent among them, have passed election measures opponents say discriminate against voters, particularly voters of color. President Joe Biden and Democrats are trying to push legislation through Congress that would counter some of those laws – burt the effort appears destined to fail.. Abby Livingston, Washington bureau chief for The Texas Tribune, joins us with an update
One of Texas’ new restrictive voting measures is already being felt. Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies reports that county election officials say their efforts are being suppressed, and they’re prevented from promoting mail-in voting.
The man who held four people hostage at a northern Texas synagogue in Colleyville, Texas was fatally shot by an FBI team. None of the hostages were injured. The FBI says they’re still investigating why he targeted the synagogue. While the attacker’s motive remains unclear, some in the Jewish community say they feel vulnerable. The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks anti-Semitic incidents nationwide, says such incidents are at historic highs. KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports.
About 10,000 people are deployed for Operation Lone Star, Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to stem illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Some are members of the state highway patrol, while others are part of the Texas National Guard. Being a guard member is not a full-time job, however. Most have responsibilities back home, and if something requires immediate attention, members can file a hardship request to tend to things back home. Military.com reporter Steve Beynon recently wrote about how few of these requests are being approved. He joins us today.
Sundance is the first major film festival of the calendar year. It used to be the only way to experience Sundance was to travel to Utah, but the pandemic has opened up a virtual option. Now folks from Amarillo to Arlington can also participate. The Standard’s Laura Rice keeps tabs on the film festival scene and shares a preview of this year’s festival with us.
Eight Dallas ISD students competed Friday in the final round of Dallas’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. oratory competition. Fourth & fifth graders answered the question: “How would Dr. King assess our progress in achieving his vision for America?” Tristan Whitfield, fifth grader at the Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, earned first place. Jaliyah Rogers, fifth grader at J. P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard, earned second place. KERA’s Galilee Abdullah produced this montage of their remarks.
Medical centers run by the Department of Veterans Affairs are getting squeezed by staff shortages because of the COVID-19 surge. More than 70 have taken special measures to try to cover essential jobs. Jay Price of the American Homefront Project visited the Durham, North Carolina VA, where dozens of its staff members are out on sick leave.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine seem to be reaching a new high over the past several weeks. The latest attempts by the U.S. and its allies from deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troop buildup and threats of military action against Ukraine are proving unsuccessful. But how legitimate is this latest saber-rattling by the Kremlin towards its neighbor, which gained independence following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991? Mark Pomar with the University of Texas at Austin’s Clement’s Center for National Security joins with more.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.