Texas Standard For May 19, 2021

A new executive order from the governor on mask mandates is getting pushback from some local officials. And: In some of Texas’ biggest cities, protests over continued violence between Israelis and Palestinians – foreign policy specialist Jeremy Suri on what’s behind this latest round of deadly clashes, and efforts aimed at a cease fire. Also: Righting a past wrong: Texas lawmakers push for two Texas tribes to offer gaming on their land denied by earlier legislation. Plus: As American and Chinese rovers leave their marks on Mars, whose planet is it, anyway? Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 19, 2021 9:38 am

Abbott’s Executive Order And Mask Update

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is prohibiting local and county governments from requiring people to wear masks in public and state-owned spaces. His decision comes after the federal announcement last week that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer have to wear masks in most indoor and outdoor situations. Cayla Harris, state politics and education reporter for the Houston Chronicle, joins us today with the details.

The Latest On The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Armed conflict between Israel and the Hamas-governed Palestinian territory of Gaza is well into its second week. Hundreds of Palestinians are dead, including many children and women. At least ten Israelis have been killed in the violence. As talks of a cease fire remain uncertain, how much more can the region endure without international intervention? Jeremi Suri, the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, joins us with his perspective today.

Teaching Asian American History

Recent acts of violence against people of Asian descent have sparked conversations about the representation of Asian Americans in the media, in politics and beyond. As Sriya Reddy of KERA reports, some educators and experts are calling for schools to focus on teaching Asian American history.

The Tigua & Alabama-Coushatta Gaming Bill

A bill working its way through Congress would allow two Texas tribes – the Alabama-Coushatta in East Texas and the Ysleta del sur Pueblo, or Tigua, in the El Paso area – to participate in a major economic opportunity: legalized gambling. The tribes were left out of a 1988 bill that allowed federally recognized tribes to offer gaming on their land.  Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, a sponsor of the new legislation, joins us today.

Is Mars Ours?

Three months after the United States’ Perseverance rover landed on Mars, it has company. China’s Mars rover arrived on the red planet this week. The two countries are conducting separate exploration missions. But could their missions interfere with each other? It raises the question: Who owns Mars? Or as New Yorker contributor and space writer Adam Mann asks, “Is Mars Ours?” We’ll talk it out with him today.

Houston Innovation District

Grape growers in Texas are now starting to see their vineyards bloom and come to life. The growing grape and wine industry has had to become more resilient to the ups and downs of the state’s changing weather patterns. Texas Tech Public Media’s Jayme Lozano reports on how some in West Texas are doing so far.

W.F. Strong: ‘C.H. Guenther’

Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Dell: Texas is home to more than a few companies that are household names. Commentator W.F. Strong says one of the oldest business stories in Texas is still going strong – although its brand may be less well known.

PolitiFact On Ted Cruz’s Comments About Senate Voting Bill

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz claims that a voting rights bill known as the “For The People Act” is intended to “register millions of illegal aliens to vote.” Is that a fact? Brandon Mulder investigated this claim for Politifact Texas based at the Austin American-Statesman, and joins us with the results.

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

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