Omicron demonstrates Covid-19 'not done with us' says WHO
The emergence of the new Omicron variant shows that Covid-19 "is not done with us" says WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the opening of a special session of the World Health Assembly. Nations are meeting in Geneva from Monday to Wednesday to discuss an international agreement setting out how to handle the next pandemic -- which experts fear is only a matter of time.news.yahoo.com
Trump allies work to place supporters in key election posts across the country, spurring fears about future vote challenges
If they succeed, the former president and his backers could pull down some of the guardrails that prevented him from overturning President Biden’s victory, critics say.washingtonpost.com
Bordering on a crisis: Israel closes its doors to tourists in hopes of avoiding Omicron spread
Passengers arrive at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, as Israel shuts its borders to non-residents in a bid to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, said at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting that the measure is to protect Israel and to avoid a lockdown within the country.news.yahoo.com
Citing GOP ‘gerrymandering,’ Rep. Gonzalez announces bid for Lower Valley congressional seat
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, officially announced his intent to run in the newly drawn 34th congressional district Tuesday, attributing the switch to “GOP gerrymandering” placing his home inside that district instead of District 15. Gonzalez will now run for the seat being vacated by incumbent U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville. Rochelle Garza, a civil rights lawyer and a Democrat from Brownsville, had already announced her intentions to run for Vela’s seat in July. “It’s been my honor to serve South Texas and I am proud of what Vicente and I have accomplished together over the years. “There’s no one I trust more to stand up for the Rio Grande Valley and our values in Congress than Vicente.”myrgv.com
A Nevada man said a ballot cast in his dead wife's name 'lent some credence' to voter fraud claims. Now officials say he's the one who did it.
His dead wife's ballot was sent in with a signature that matched county records. Hartle had claimed the ballot was never delivered to their house.news.yahoo.com
Texas bill restricting transgender students’ participation in school sports headed to governor’s desk
A bill that marks the Texas GOP’s fourth attempt to pass legislation targeting the participation of transgender student athletes is headed to Gov. The bill, which would bar transgender youths from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, cleared a final hurdle as the Texas House voted 76-61 on Sunday to accept Senate amendments, the Texas Tribune reports. LGBTQ+ advocates have blasted the bill and its predecessors for creating more stigma for transgender youth, who already face bullying. Under current rules, the UIL accepts birth certificates that have been modified to match a student’s gender identity. In a statement, LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Texas said the bill sends a message that transgender people aren’t safe or welcome in the state.outinsa.com
DOJ will ask Supreme Court to halt Texas abortion law
AUSTIN (AP) — The Biden administration said Friday it will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court in another attempt to halt a Texas law that has banned most abortions since September.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Texas House finally makes quorum, but Democrats say Republicans cheated to get there
There were 99 members registered as present Thursday evening, the exact number needed to end the 38-day Democratic quorum break over the GOP’s priority elections bill. But not all of those members were physically on the floor.
Low-profile Trump backers struggle to raise cash
High-profile Trump backers in Congress who tried to block President Biden's election win have raked in cash this year. Many of their lesser-known rank-and-file colleagues have not.Why it matters: New campaign finance data underscore a disparity among election objectors. Some have used the infamy to catapult themselves into MAGA stardom. Those who haven't — including some facing competitive 2022 reelection fights — are stuck with all the baggage and little financial benefit.Stay on top of the latnews.yahoo.com
Funding for Texas state legislature has been extended after Abbott's veto
Texas GOP leaders said Friday they've extended "an additional month of funding" for the state legislature after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) vetoed at least $12.6 million that would have gone to 2,100 state workers, the Texas Tribune reports.Why it matters: Following Texas Democrats' departure from the state, which broke quorum in the regular session, Abbott vetoed a section of the state budget that funds the legislature, its staff and legislative agencies. Texas Democrats have sued Abbott over the actinews.yahoo.com
LETTERS: Republicans: Explain selves
Rio Grande Valley GOP, we the majority of Valley citizens demand that you explain how your voting restriction bill does anything to ensure legitimate votes are cast. How does cutting back early voting hours, banning drive-thru voting, further clamping down on voting-by-mail rules and enhancing access for partisan poll watchers improve the accuracy of the vote?myrgv.com
Bipartisan group reaches agreement on $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill
After weeks of long nights and endless Zoom calls, a bipartisan group of senators finally reached a deal on "the major issues" in their $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure package, GOP senators involved in the talks announced Wednesday.Why it matters: It could be days before the group finishes writing the bill, but the Senate can begin debating the legislation in earnest now that they have resolved the outstanding issues. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate.Get market news worthy ofnews.yahoo.com
Point of Order: George P. Bush supports Donald Trump in 2024, teases primary challenge to Ken Paxton
In the latest episode of our podcast about the Texas Legislature, Evan Smith talks to Land Commissioner George P. Bush about the state of the state and the issues in play as the 2021 session winds down — and about his rumored plans to challenge Ken Paxton in the GOP primary for Texas attorney general.
Three Texas Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medals to police who protected Capitol during insurrection
|| Credit: REUTERS/Shannon StapletonThree Texas Congressman voted on Wednesday against a resolution honoring the U.S. Capitol Police for its efforts to protect members of both chambers amid a violent insurrection on Jan. 6. A Politico report from earlier Wednesday stated that Congressional Trump allies tried to "to scrub references to the insurrection" from the resolution. Republican U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington of Lubbock and Kevin Brady of the Woodlands did not vote, but 30 other Texas House members, including Democrats and Republicans, backed the resolution. AdSeveral Texas members braced themselves that day for hand-to-hand street combat but were able to escape to safety thanks to the police and successful barricades. “We heard them trying to break down the door and then we heard the Capitol police show up.
What’s next for the Republican Party?
So now that a group of his supporters have “defiled the seat of American democracy,” as said by President Trump himself, what happens to the political party he has led? In any case, Austin said he does not believe the scene at the Capitol will cost the local party any members. As for any Republicans in Bexar County who didn’t vote for Trump, Austin said there are still local issues that are important to people. “And that’s kind of where we’re going to focus our, you know, our strength on, is the local issues,” Austin said. RELATED: President Trump calls for ‘healing and reconciliation’ in new video, concedes to Biden
Trump rewards ally Devin Nunes with Medal of Freedom
President Donald Trump is set to present one of the nation's highest civilian honors to Nunes. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to one of his most outspoken congressional allies, California Rep. Devin Nunes, as he looks to reward loyalists with just over two weeks left in his term. Nunes, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has been an ardent backer of Trump's during probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the president's 2019 impeachment by the Democratic-led House. In a statement, the White House credited Nunes with uncovering “the greatest scandal in American history," referencing Nunes' efforts to discredit the Russia investigation. U.S. intelligence agencies and multiple congressional committees concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the aim of boosting Trump’s candidacy.
Texas politicians fueled criticism of “Cuties." Now, Netflix is facing criminal charges in a small East Texas county.
Cuties on Netflix. A grand jury in a small East Texas county has indicted media giant Netflix for promoting "Cuties," a French film about an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant who joins a dance group. Babin publicly decried the French film as child pornography, and Cruz sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General asking him to prosecute Netflix. The indictment, handed down late last month, came out of Tyler County — though the film has no apparent ties to Texas. “After hearing about the movie Cuties and watching it, I knew there was probable cause to believe it was criminal," Lucas Babin said in the release.
Donald Trump Jr. event in Texas postponed after president tests positive for coronavirus
President Donald Trump waves to reporters as he departs with first lady Melania Trump for his first presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 29, 2020. Donald Trump Jr. had been scheduled to appear in McAllen for a "get out the vote" lunch event Friday, alongside Trump adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle. "As many of you know, President Trump has tested for COVID19 and both Kimberly and Donald Trump Jr have been in close proximity to President Trump, our First Lady, Ivanka Trump, and Hope Hicks," the Hidalgo County GOP wrote on Facebook on Friday. "Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. will be in quarantine for the next couple of days until they test negative for COVID." We will see Donald Trump Jr. in Hidalgo County before Election Day," the party said.
Trump signs temporary government funding bill
Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has signed a bill to fund the government through Dec. 11, averting the possibility of a government shutdown when the new fiscal year starts Thursday. Trump signed the bill, which was approved by sweeping bipartisan agreement Wednesday, into law early Thursday morning shortly after returning from campaigning in Minnesota. The measure would keep the government running through Dec. 11 and passed by a 84-10 vote. The House passed the bill last week. The legislation — called a continuing resolution, or CR, in Washington-speak — would keep every federal agency running at current funding levels through Dec. 11, which will keep the government afloat past an election that could reshuffle Washington’s balance of power.
Former congressman Ron Paul hospitalized, says he’s OK
AUSTIN, Texas – Former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul posted a picture of himself in a hospital Friday but said he was OK after video circulated online of him struggling to speak during an interview. The 85-year-old former Texas congressman, who ran for president three times, posted a picture on Facebook showing him smiling in a hospital gown and giving a thumbs-up. The post came after a video took off on social media showing Paul having trouble speaking during an appearance on his livestreamed show “Ron Paul Liberty Report.” The video cuts away to the interviewer as Paul struggles. Paul is the father of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., whose office did not immediately return a message Friday. He faced an electorate frustrated by a weak economy and two wars, and saw his once outsider views become more mainstream.
GOP Bexar County Precinct 3 candidate shares why she believes her skills are needed on the commissioners court
GOP Bexar County Precinct 3 candidate shares why she believes her skills are needed on the commissioners courtPublished: September 21, 2020, 6:20 pmGOP Bexar County Precinct 3 candidate shares why she believes her skills are needed on the commissioners court
GOPs future, Trump legacy at stake in November, UTSA political expert says
SAN ANTONIO The Republican National Convention has spent this week reinforcing why President Donald Trumps core supporters in 2016 should re-elect him, said Jon Taylor, Ph.D., a longtime political expert. Same reasons they should vote for him now, said Taylor, chair of the University of Texas at San Antonios political science and geography department. He said at stake in November are the Republican Partys future and the presidents legacy. Itll be interesting to see how many back away from President Trump to save their own election chances, Taylor said. With the presidential election just over two months away, Taylor said Trump will use the power of his incumbency in his favor.
White House, Senate GOP try again on $1 trillion virus aid
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters at the Capitol, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. Republican senators and the White House are at odds over various items, including how to cutback the jobless benefit without fully doing away with it. Its our goal to make sure that its not antiquated computers that keep people from getting their benefits, Meadows said. The White House and Senate Republicans were racing to regroup after plans to introduce a $1 trillion virus rescue bill collapsed Thursday during GOP infighting over its size, scope and details. Apart from jobless benefits, Mnuchin said Saturday that new $1,200 direct payments would be based on the same formula from the earlier aid bill.
Trump calls off Florida segment of GOP National Convention
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has canceled segments of the Republican National Convention scheduled for Florida next month, citing a flare-up of the coronavirus. To have a big convention is not the right time," Trump said of Jacksonville. Trump moved parts of the GOP convention to Florida last month amid a dispute with North Carolinas Democratic leaders over holding an event indoors with maskless supporters. But those plans were steadily scaled back as virus cases spiked in Florida and much of the country over the last month. A small subset of GOP delegates will still gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, to formally renominate Trump on Aug. 24.
GOP splits as virus aid package could swell past $1 trillion
Supporters of the package should be ashamed of themselves," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said as he emerged. It is the Trump virus, she said on CNN. The Republicans are poised to roll out a $1 trillion package, what McConnell called a starting point in talks. The tax is already being deferred for employers under the previous virus relief package. The proposed virus aid package would be the fifth, following the $2.2 trillion bill passed in March, the largest U.S. intervention of its kind.
WATCH LIVE: President Trump COVID-19 briefing
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has canceled segments of the Republican National Convention scheduled for Florida next month, citing a flare-up of the coronavirus. To have a big convention is not the right time, Trump said of Jacksonville. Trump moved parts of the GOP convention to Florida last month amid a dispute with North Carolinas Democratic leaders over holding an event indoors with maskless supporters. But those plans were steadily scaled back as virus cases spiked in Florida and much of the country over the last month. A small subset of GOP delegates will still gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, to formally renominate Trump on Aug. 24.
Texas GOP postpones convention a day due to technical problems
Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey speaks at the GOP state convention in San Antonio on June 14, 2018. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneThe Texas Republican Party has postponed its state convention by a day to give itself more time to figure out technical issues that plagued the virtual gathering Thursday. After a nearly four-hour meeting that ended after midnight on Friday, the State Republican Executive Committee voted 51-5 to resume convention business Saturday instead of later Friday. Dickey abruptly announced Thursday evening that the convention would reconvene at noon Friday, citing "extenuating circumstances and technical issues." Now, with the SREC vote, convention business will not begin again until Saturday morning, likely about 8 a.m., Dickey said.
Trump shakes up campaign after mishaps, replacing Parscale
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump shook up his campaign staff Wednesday, replacing campaign manager Brad Parscale with veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien. Trump and Parscales relationship had been strained since a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally that drew a dismal crowd, infuriating the president. Parscale, a political novice, ran Trumps digital advertising in 2016 and was credited with helping bring about his surprise victory. Stepien has been in politics for years, working for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and serving as Trumps national field director in 2016.
Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Panhandle congressional race
Ronny Jackson was endorsed by President Donald Trump in his bid for Texas' 13th Congressional District. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsRonny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995. With just under half of polling locations reporting, Sessions held an eight percentage point lead. Sessions previously represented the Dallas-based 32nd Congressional District since 1996, but lost reelection in 2018 to current U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat.
Texas runoff election results: U.S. Representative, District 23, Republican; Tony Gonzales and Raul Reyes
SAN ANTONIO Editors note: Election results will begin to populate on this page when early voting results are released at 7 p.m. (CST) on July 14. Background:Two Republicans backed by different politicians are battling for the nomination in Texas CD-23 to face off against Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones. Raul Reyes, who came away with 23% of the vote, was recently endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. You can find additional election results by scrolling to the bottom of this page. For more election coverage, go to our Vote 2020 page or sign up for our free election newsletter.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner directs city to explore legal options for canceling in-person GOP convention
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday directed city staff to find a legal way to cancel the Republican Party of Texas' in-person convention in the city next week. Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneAs the Republican Party of Texas moves forward with plans for an in-person convention during a surge of coronavirus cases, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he has directed his administration to explore ways to cancel the event. During a virtual City Council meeting Wednesday, Turner said he has asked the city's legal department to work with the Houston First Corporation, which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center, to review the contract with the state party. "Where there are provisions that would allow us to cancel this convention we will exercise those provisions," Turner said. "And the plan is to exercise those provisions to cancel this agreement, this contract, today to not go forward with this convention."
Houston scraps Texas GOPs in-person convention due to virus
HOUSTON Houston officials on Wednesday canceled the Texas Republican Partys in-person convention, saying the spread of the coronavirus made it impossible to hold the event as scheduled. Greg Abbott, the states top Republican, had publicly deferred to state party leaders who last week voted by a 2-to-1 margin to go forward with an in-person event. But even Patrick, who is chairman of Trumps reelection campaign in Texas, expressed misgivings about his party pressing forward with the convention. The Texas Medical Center, a consortium of Houston hospitals, has moved into surge capacity for its intensive-care beds. Texas Democrats held an online convention in June, and national Democrats plan to hold an almost entirely virtual convention in August.
Texas GOP convention will happen in person — but Republican leaders will speak via video
The Republican Party of Texas is moving forward with its controversial in-person convention during the coronavirus pandemic — but elected officials including Gov. “All the elected officials are switching from a live, in-person speech to videos,” Kyle Whatley, the party’s executive director, said during a town hall live streamed Tuesday night. As the state has seen a surge in coronavirus cases, calls have been growing over the past week for the party to cancel its event. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Monday asked the State Republican Executive Committee to cancel the gathering and warning that health inspectors would have the authority to shut down the event if certain guidelines are not followed. Shortly before Whatley made the announcement, Abbott was noncommittal in a TV interview when asked if he'd attend the convention in person.
In GOP runoffs for the Texas House, viability in November is a leading concern
Last week, the Republican State Leadership Committee, a national group focused on state legislative races, endorsed Jetton and Berry and announced it would help them as part of a $200,000 investment across five Texas House runoffs. In another Austin-area House seat, Berry and Austin attorney Jennifer Fleck are facing off for their partys nomination to take on Goodwin. Abbott endorsed Jetton in the run-up to the March primary and Miller got behind Morgan, a Richmond insurance agent, four days later. Despite Abbotts involvement, Morgan almost won outright in the three-way primary, getting 49.7% of the vote to 40.7% for Jetton. Should I win this runoff, Im obviously a different person than Rick Miller, Morgan said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner urges Texas GOP to cancel its convention
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Monday encouraged the Republican Party of Texas to cancel its in-person convention in Houston next week and warned that should the event continue, health inspectors would have the authority to shut down the gathering if certain guidelines are not followed. “I am asking them to have a virtual event.”A spokesperson for the state party did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, the SREC voted 40-20 to proceed with the in-person convention July 16 to 18 at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center. According to the Houston Chronicle, Turner recently removed language from an executive order and effectively took away his own authority to cancel the convention. Last week, the Texas Girls Coaches Association also canceled its in-person convention scheduled for this Monday through Thursday in Arlington.
Texas GOP will proceed with in-person state convention in Houston this month
The trade show floor at the 2018 Texas Republican Convention in San Antonio. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneThe Texas GOP's executive committee voted Thursday night to proceed with plans to hold the partys in-person convention in Houston later this month. The State Republican Executive Committee, a 64-member body that serves as the governing board of the state party, voted 40-20 to approve the resolution supporting the in-person gathering. The convention, scheduled for July 16-18, will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where roughly 6,000 people are expected to attend. Over the past week, demands have mounted for the party to cancel plans for an in-person convention, with some Republicans stating they would not attend such an event due to safety concerns.
Doctors reverse course, say Texas GOP should cancel in-person convention
The Republican Party of Texas hosted its 2018 convention in San Antonio. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneThe Texas Medical Association on Tuesday called on the Republican Party of Texas to cancel its in-person July convention scheduled to take place in Houston, one of the countrys coronavirus hot spots. On Monday, TMA told the Tribune that it would not rescind its sponsorship and had not called on the Republican Party to cancel its convention. TMA said it made $5,000 contributions to both the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas Democratic Party in exchange for a brief video advertising TMA's mission at each convention. Disclosure: The Texas Medical Association has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors.
Republican operatives launch new group supporting Biden
(CNN) -- A group of Republican operatives has launched a new super PAC to help turn out disaffected GOP voters for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Matt Borges, a founder of the group, confirmed to CNN. The group will focus on data, targeting and turnout, and does not have plans to run television or radio ads. Borges said the group will work to turn out "that group of Republicans who feels that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the country and this party." In May, a group called Republican Voters Against Trump launched a $10 million ad campaign targeting GOP-leaning voters in top swing states to encourage them to support Biden. And a group of Never Trump Republicans formed the Lincoln Project in late 2019 and have run negative ads that have drawn the ire of Trump.