TEXAS VOTER ID
Federal trial starts over tough Texas voter ID law
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - The Justice Department goes to federal court in South Texas to seek the dismantling of the state's voter ID law, which ranks among the most stringent in the nation.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Tuesday will hear opening statements in Corpus Christi in a lawsuit led by minority rights groups and the office of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Similar voter ID laws passed in other conservative states also have been challenged in federal court.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation in 2011 that requires more than 13 million registered voters in Texas to show a photo ID before casting a ballot. Opponents say the law is designed to suppress minority turnout and young people who typically vote Democratic.
A ruling isn't expected before the November elections.
Problems abound with health law immigration papers
MIAMI (AP) - More than 300,000 immigrants around the country who bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act could lose their coverage if they don't send in proof they are legally in the U.S.
Immigration advocates say many aren't responding to government notices about it because of language barriers and computer glitches.
Health care advocates fear many immigrants don't understand the gravity of the situation.
Florida and Texas have the largest numbers of immigrants whose immigration and citizenship information on file with the government conflicts with what they wrote on their health insurance applications.
Many consumers say they are still receiving requests for documents even though they've sent them multiple times. However, the feds are backed up in processing the papers.
Halliburton reaches $1.1B oil spill settlement
HOUSTON (AP) - Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.
Halliburton was BP PLC's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The deal will settle claims assigned to Halliburton as a result of BP's settlement in 2012 and punitive damages from the loss of property or commercial fishing activity resulting from the oil spill.
SAN ANGELO-GIRL DEATH
Girl, 5, dies after San Angelo domestic dispute
SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) - Police say a 5-year-old girl has died after being assaulted at a West Texas home and officers later arrested a man in the domestic violence investigation.
San Angelo police say the child and another female were transported to a hospital early Tuesday and the girl later died.
Police did not immediately release the name of the man taken into custody or any possible charges. The name of the child who died and further details on the surviving victim weren't immediately available.
San Angelo police initially received a call about a domestic disturbance, then minutes later were called about an assault. Investigators did not immediately say who called 911.
Police didn't immediately provide further details Tuesday.
12 students hurt as school bus overturns in Texas
WAXAHACHIE, Texas (AP) - Authorities say 12 elementary students have been slightly hurt when their school bus overturned on a North Texas highway as the driver became distracted.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says the Waxahachie (wahks-uh-HA'-chee) Independent School District bus ended up on its side Tuesday morning.
Trooper James Colunga (kuh-LUN'-guh) says 19 children and the driver were on board during the wreck midway between Waxahachie and Boyce. He says 12 children have injuries not believed to be life-threatening and were transported to hospitals to be checked. The driver wasn't hurt.
Colunga says the driver was monitoring the children, became distracted, the bus wheels left the road and the vehicle overturned during the morning route.
School district officials did not immediately identify the driver.
Waxahachie is 25 miles south of Dallas.
HOUSTON HOTEL FIRE-REPORT
Report: Confusion hampered response to fatal fire
HOUSTON (AP) - A report detailing the response to a hotel fire last year that killed four Houston firefighters says the effort was hampered by confusion over who was in charge, cluttered radio channels and other disorganization.
The report says adding to the chaos on May 31, 2013, was limited planning that included difficulty in finding space for arriving engines.
The Houston Chronicle reports one fire crew ran out of water from its engine's tank while another crew searched for a hydrant. This caused another team to back out of the hotel before re-entering again. Meanwhile, strong winds fueled the flames.
A 20-member city panel released the report Monday and offered more than 200 recommendations for improvements.
It does not indicate the cause of the blaze, which also left 12 firefighters injured.
Beer-hauling truck wrecks in Houston, spills cases
HOUSTON (AP) - A collision between a beer-hauling truck and a car in Houston has left both drivers slightly hurt and scattered dozens of cases of brew along a highway.
Houston police are trying to determine what caused the accident early Tuesday that closed part of the Katy Freeway for several hours during cleanup.
Authorities say the 18-wheeler ended up on its side and lost its load of beer in a leaky mess.
Police say both drivers were transported to hospitals for treatment of injuries not believed to be serious.
Jet with cracked windshield returns to Los Angeles
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) - An American Airlines jet bound for North Texas has safely returned to Los Angeles International Airport after the front windshield cracked.
American spokesman Paul Flaningan said Tuesday that nobody on Flight 2448 to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was hurt.
Flaningan says the Boeing 757 took off Monday afternoon but within minutes the pilot noticed a windshield crack. Flaningan says authorities are trying to determine what caused the crack and that there's no preliminary indication of a bird strike.
He says the jet carrying 184 passengers and a five-person crew returned to Los Angeles. Passengers boarded another American jet and were on their way about 90 minutes later.
Flaningan says the windshield-damaged jet was taken out of service for repairs.
SOUTH PADRE-CUBANS FOUND
6 Cuban men land in Texas after boat engine breaks
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a 14-foot wooden boat carrying six Cuban men has reached South Texas after drifting across the Gulf of Mexico when the engine failed.
Cameron County Parks Chief Horacio Zamora says a beachgoer on Monday found the men on South Padre Island to end a journey from Nueva Gerona, Cuba.
Zamora says the men, ranging in age from late 20s to their 60s, set off for Mexico about three weeks ago. The men say the engine malfunctioned two days into the trip and they tried to sail with a small shower curtain. Storms blew them off course.
Zamora says one man required medical help and the group had nothing to eat or drink in days. All were released to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Updated University of Texas license plates on sale
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Fans of the University of Texas have a new-look way to show their school spirit while on the road.
Updated UT specialty license plates went on sale Tuesday.
Officials with myplates.com say the previous UT license plates were redesigned to improve legibility. The updated versions feature a number of key characteristics such as the UT Tower, Texas Longhorns and school color burnt orange.
My Plates designs and markets specialty license plates as a vendor for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
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