Texas Standard For November 30, 2020

The timetable for COVID-19 vaccines in Texas? The first doses could be here within days, says the governor. We’ll have more on the state’s plans for a rollout of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in Texas, who gets it and when. Bob Garret of the Dallas Morning News with details. And: More on the incoming Biden administrations plans for fighting the pandemic. Also: Contraband crossing the border: not drugs coming into the U.S., but arms going south to Mexico. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardNovember 30, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, November 30, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution in Texas

How is the state preparing to distribute an COVID-19 vaccine once it is available? Bob Garrett, Austin bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News talks to the Standard about the federal and state effort.

Army Missing Soldier Response

For years, Army families have complained the service is too quick to treat soldiers as deserters when they go missing. Now the Army is retooling its approach following the April disappearance and murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillen at the hands of another Fort Hood soldier.

Biden COVID Task Force 

Now that the transition from the Trump administration has begun, President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board can prepare to hit the ground running on Inauguration Day. Texas Public Radio’s Bonnie Petrie talked to one of the board members about how they plan to fight the pandemic.

Bringing Back Earmarks

Inside the Washington, D.C. beltway, funding for pet lawmaker projects is known as an earmark. Their supporters say they’re a tool to grease the wheels of governments. Their detractors argue earmarks are the very definition of corruption and crony capitalism. In 2011, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives banned earmarks. But after nearly nine years, they appear poised to make a return. Diana Evans, an earmarks expert and professor of political science at Trinity College talks to the Standard.

Arms Trafficking to Mexico

More than 2.5 million American guns have been smuggled into Mexico, according to a study from the Mexican government. This, despite U.S. and Mexican efforts to put a stop to arms trafficking. It’s a problem that Washington Post reporter Kevin Seiff digs into in a series called Losing Control: How Criminal Groups are Transforming Mexico. Seiff talks to the Standard.

Texas Titans

When protesting students were massacred in Tiananmen Square a few months after George H. W. Bush became president, he and Secretary of State James Baker crafted the U.S. response to the Chinese crackdown. When Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, it was Baker and Bush who decided America should go to war to defend an ally. But these two Texans were more than a pair of leaders. They were also close friends for fifty years. A new book chronicles the personal and political  relationship of Bush and Baker, which lasted until Bush’s death in 2018. Author Charles Denyer talks to Standard about his book: “Texas Titans: George H. W. Bush and James A. Baker, III: A Friendship Forged in Power.”

Transgender Prisoners in Texas

A recent survey of about 150 Texas inmates who identify as transgender offers detail on how their human rights are being violated. The report comes from the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Texas School of Law, the Austin Community Law Center, and Trans Pride Initiative. Ariel Dulitzky, director of the Human Rights Clinic, talks to the Standard.

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

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