The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
Two challengers may be eyeing Ted Cruz’s senate seat – the Texas Tribune reports that U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke and former George Bush strategist Matthew Dowd are considering bids. Cruz told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday that he felt his campaign was in a strong position.
“At this point, I don’t see anyone that is likely to run, but I’m going to assume the threat is serious and prepare accordingly, and if someone does run, we’re going to do what it takes to beat them – and beat them resoundingly,” Cruz said.
O’Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso, said he was quote “very likely” to run. Dowd says he’s considering running as an Independent.
Houston’s M.D Anderson Cancer Center has announced it’ll be laying off between 800 and 900 employees. Dan Fontaine, the center’s chief financial officer, told Houston Public Media that none of those cuts would include doctors:
“We’ve primary focused on those areas where we could make some staff reductions, re-engineer some of the administrative support for the institution and obviously not affect the quality of the patient care and certainly the frontline providers,” Fontaine said.
The cuts come as the company tries to stem operating losses that reached $50 million in both September and October last year. The layoffs are expected to save the hospital about $120 million.
Be careful what you say around Alexa, Amazon’s AI assistant – it might mistake your wishes for an actual order. That’s what happened to one Dallas family.
Megan Neitzel was taken aback when she received an email confirming an Amazon order for a $170 dollhouse, and four pounds of gourmet butter cookies. Apparently, Neitzel’s six-year-old daughter had asked the Alexa-powered Echo device about the items, which it then mistook for an order.
The upside? Some local kids will benefit from the goof; the family has donated the dollhouse to the Medical City Children’s Hospital.