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KRLD 1080 - Texas
Rep. Allred Supports Deal On USMCA
DALLAS (KRLD) - Dallas-area Congressman Colin Allred joined Democratic leaders from the House of Representatives Tuesday to announce a deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. That proposed trade agreement would replace NAFTA, which took effect in 1994.
President Trump had announced the USMCA last year, but Congressional Democrats had significant concerns about some of the provisions. "We wanted to make sure we had some accountability and we had some ability to enforce the prescriptions that were in this bill...to make sure that if Mexico did violate any parts of the agreement that we were able to actually enforce that," said Rep. Collin Allred, D-Dallas.
Rep. Allred says trade with Canada and Mexico supports 36,000 jobs in his district, so reaching a deal on the USMCA was important.
"This is a huge deal for Texas. We're the number one trade state with Mexico, we're number two with Canada. Anything affecting trade with those two countries is going to affect us more than any other state," he said. I was proud to try and help lead this effort and push our caucus to make sure we got this across the line, and I'm glad we did."
Experts say the agreement could help several sectors of the Texas economy, including farmers and ranchers.
"This is relatively good news for farmers, who have taken a hit in terms of our U.S.-China relations, that things may be a little bit more stable now in terms of exports to Mexico and Canada," said Economist John Harvey at Texas Christian University.
Despite the partisan tensions in Washington surrounding the impeachment inquiry, Rep. Allred is optimistic about the prospects for approval of the revised USMCA. "I think we're going to pass it in the House. I think the Senate will pass it," he said. "Of course, we've been negotiating this entire time with the White House and with the Trade Representative, so I'm confident the President will sign it."
The House of Representatives could take up the revised agreement this year, but any consideration by the U.S. Senate would likely not happen until 2020.
Mexican Ex-Security Chief Charged In Dallas In Drug Conspiracy
NEW YORK (AP) — Mexico's former top security chief made an initial court appearance in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon on charges he accepted a fortune in drug-money bribes to let the Sinaloa cartel operate with impunity in Mexico.
Genaro Garcia Luna, 51, waived his rights to an identity hearing. He spoke through a translator. His detention hearing was set for Dec. 17.
U.S. marshals escorted Garcia Luna into court along with six other men but seated him separately in a corner, where he talked briefly with an attorney in Spanish.
His hands and feet were manacled, and he was dressed in blue sneakers, jeans and a zippered sweater.
During the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes, a group of plainclothes federal agents formed a line in front the small courtroom's only public door.
Garcia Luna’s lawyer declined to comment or confirm her full name after the hearing.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP's earlier story follows below.
Mexico's former top security chief has been indicted in New York City on charges alleging he accepted a fortune in drug-money bribes from kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's notorious Sinaloa cartel to let it operate with impunity in Mexico.
Genaro Garcia Luna, 51, a resident of Florida, was charged in Brooklyn federal court with three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and a false statements charge, authorities said in a release.
Garcia Luna was arrested Monday by federal agents in Dallas, where he was expected to make an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon. Prosecutors in Brooklyn, where a U.S. investigation into the cartel is based, said they will seek his removal to New York. The arrest and charges were announced Tuesday.
The defendant took bribes from Guzman “while he controlled Mexico’s federal police force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement.
In 2018, former cartel member Jesus Zambada testified at El Chapo's New York trial that he personally made at least $6 million in hidden payments to Garcia Luna, on behalf of his older brother, cartel boss Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
The cash was delivered during two meetings at a restaurant in Mexico between the start of 2005 and the end of 2007, he said.
Prosecutors said other cooperating witnesses have confirmed that the cartel paid Garcia Luna tens of millions of dollars to clear the way for the Sinaloa cartel to safely ship multi-ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.
The cartel “obtained, among other things, safe passage for its drug shipments, sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the cartel and information about rival drug cartels,” according to court papers.
The papers add: “By the time the defendant relocated to the United States in 2012, he had amassed a personal fortune of millions of dollars that was inconsistent with a civil servant’s salary in Mexico."
From 2001 to 2005, Garcia Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency, and from 2006 to 2012 served as Mexico’s secretary of public security, controlling the nation's federal police force, authorities said.
Garcia Luna was viewed as the point man in then-President Felipe Calderon’s 2006-2012 war on drugs. As public safety secretary, he was one of the most feared members of Calderon’s government, but for years was dogged by allegations about his ties to drug traffickers.
Calderon’s government was criticized for not going after the Sinaloa cartel with the same energy as the cartel’s rivals. Calderon always rebuffed that criticism.
The former president said Tuesday that he was unaware of the details of the charges against Garcia Luna.
“My position will always be on the side of justice and the law,” Calderon wrote in his Twitter account.
Guzman was convicted on charges he was the driving force behind a massive drug conspiracy that spread murder and mayhem for more than two decades. He was sentenced this year to life in prison.
Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.
There's A New Bush Running For Public Office In Texas
AUSTIN (KRLD) - Pierce Bush, the grandson of President George HW Bush and the son of Neil Bush has decided to run for the Republican nomination for the Texas District 22 Congressional seat being vacated by Republican Representative Pete Olson.
University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus describes Pierce Bush as a moderate conservative with experience doing community organizing and raising money for good causes. Bush is currently the CEO of the Lone Star Chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Rottinghaus believes two big advantages that Pierce Bush brings is a strong family name and a rolodex.
“This is going to be a crowded field. You’ve got sixteen, seventeen people running and as a result, it’s going to be a challenge to distinguish yourself, especially if your fundraising doesn’t match the ability to go blanket the airwaves, so he’s going to have definite instant credibility and name recognition which is going to be a big factor in getting to the next level.”
Rice University Political Scientist Mark Jones says with the crowded field vying for the west Houston area Congressional seat, Bush is not a shoo-in to win the nomination.
“Pierce Bush doesn’t live in Congressional District 22…Now that’s not a legal requirement, but it’s going to charges of carpet-bagging, particularly by the leading candidate Troy Nehls, who is until recently the Fort Bend County Sheriff.”
Bush will also face Republican activist Kathaleen Wall, who spent more than $5 million of her own money in an unsuccessful bid for the 2018 GOP nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.
Texas Police Officer Charged With Civil Rights Violation
A South Texas police sergeant is scheduled to appear in federal court today.
40-year-old Juan P Galindo with the San Juan police department is in custody on allegations he violated the civil rights of a man he arrested in December of 2015.
Bodycam video shows Sergeant Galindo kneed the suspect in the groin. Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal police association says "it's disturbing to watch something like that when someone's standing there in handcuffs. It's critical to us that officers be held accountable."
He says it's unusual the indictment is coming out four years after the fact.
If convicted, Galindo faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.
Houston Police Sergeant Shot And Killed; Suspect In Custody
HOUSTON (AP) — A suspect has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a Houston police officer who was responding to a domestic violence report, officials said Sunday.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Sgt. Christopher Brewster's death at a news conference late Saturday. Police officials said in a tweet that the 32-year-old officer was shot just before 6 p.m.
The suspected gunman, Arturo Solis, was arrested without incident following a search after the shooting, police said in a news release Sunday.
Court records do not list an attorney who could speak on Solis' behalf, but list a Monday court date for him on the charge and show that he is being held without bond.
Solis' father, Roberto Solis, told the Houston Chronicle his son is “going to have to pay for what he did,” adding that his son showed signs of mental illness as a teenager and had armed himself after someone broke into his home recently.
“He wasn’t a bad person,” Roberto Solis said. “A bunch of people didn’t treat him right.”
Efforts by The Associated Press to contact Roberto Solis on Sunday were unsuccessful.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said at the news conference that police received a call from a female victim who said her boyfriend was assaulting her and that he was armed with two firearms. Police didn't find the couple at the provided address, but Brewster spotted them three streets away on Houston's east side.
Brewster had got out of his patrol vehicle and was walking toward the woman when she pointed in the direction of the suspect, Solis, the release said. As Brewster turned toward him, Solis opened fire and shot him multiple times
Acevedo said the sergeant managed to relay a description of the shooter.
“Although he was mortally wounded, he had the presence of mind to draw his pistol out of his holster to protect himself in case the suspect came up and he also had the presence of mind and courage to put out and broadcast suspect information that was critical for the responding units,” Acevedo said.
Brewster died about half an hour after the shooting, which Acevedo said was captured on body cameras. Acevedo initially said Brewster wasn't wearing his vest, but later confirmed that the officer was.
“What people will see is a coward who took the life of a hero,” Acevedo said.
Solis fled on foot, and responding officers saw him jumping fences, the police chief said. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol when he was captured at a school, according to Acevedo, who later tweeted that police recovered both firearms and other evidence discarded by the suspect.
He is charged with capital murder of a police officer.
The woman who called police was not hurt and is cooperating with the investigation, Acevedo said.
Turner said Gov. Greg Abbott had called and expressed condolences for Brewster's family. The governor also tweeted about the shooting, saying “Tonight & Every Night we Back The Blue in Houston & across Texas.”
Just hours after Brewster's death, a police officer in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was shot and killed outside the police department there. The suspect in that shooting was fatally shot by responding officers.
The Houston police chief said Brewster graduated from the police academy in 2010 and was promoted to sergeant in February. He's survived by his wife, parents and sisters.
“We're the Houston Police Department,” Acevedo said before invoking the loss of Sgt. Steve Perez, who drowned in the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. “We pause, we pray and we drive forward.”
Texas Senator Cornyn Takes On House Speaker Pelosi Over Impeachment
AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Texas Senior Senator John Cornyn calls out Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the House proceeding with articles of impeachment against President Trump.
On a Conference call with reporters on Thursday Cornyn challenged Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership of House Democrats. “She knows that a partisan impeachment process will never be successful in removing President Trump. But I think she’s lost control of her own radical base.”
Cornyn calls the Speaker’s latest announcement unfortunate. “I don’t believe she thinks this is a prudent action from a political standpoint. Some have predicted this goes a long way to ensuring President Trump’s re-election because of the perception this is a partisan exercise.”
Cornyn also said the impeachment process is blocking Congress from focusing on important legislation like approving the US Mexico Canada Trade Agreement.
Texas Woman Fights To Keep Name Out Of Lawsuit Alleging Rape
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas woman is fighting for anonymity in a lawsuit alleging she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker, but a federal judge who plans to dismiss the case has ordered that her name be made public first.
While an appeals court put the order on hold, legal experts say such actions are not unprecedented as judges have wide discretion in deciding whether to reveal a plaintiff's identity. However, advocates for sexual assault survivors say such rulings can have a chilling effect on whether victims come forward.
Lawyers for the woman say they were shocked when U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes on Nov. 15 ordered her to identify herself. If she refused, Hughes’ order then called on her employer to identify her — even though the company said it had no plans to make such a request.
“This is a lawsuit that’s based on sexual assault, and therefore that’s a very personal, sensitive issue,” said David George, one of the woman’s attorneys.
George said courts and many media organizations — including The Associated Press — generally don't name people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The woman’s federal petition, filed on Oct. 21, stems from an arbitration dispute she has with her employer, Macquarie Investment Management Advisers, a financial firm that’s a subsidiary of Australia-based investment bank Macquarie Group Limited. In court filings, the company has said it “vigorously disputes” the woman’s claims.
The woman's lawsuit doesn't give details about the sexual assault allegation but describes an attempted sexual assault by a different co-worker. She says it happened after a supervisor took workers to a strip club during a business trip to New Orleans.
She alleges Macquarie promoted the co-worker who tried to assault her and that she was punished with a lack of promotion and a threat of being fired.
The woman said her experience with Macquarie “reveals a company no more concerned with gender quality than the men depicted in the Wolf of Wall Street.” The film depicts a misogynistic and wild work culture at a brokerage firm.
Hughes' order called the petition “unprincipled and unnecessary — a low smear of Macquarie.” He said the lawsuit would be dismissed once the woman's name is revealed for the public record.
Hughes’ office said he can’t comment on a pending case.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 delayed Hughes’ ruling. A final ruling was expected in the coming months.
Hughes has been criticized in the past for making remarks some have seen as sexist. Last year, the 5th Circuit criticized Hughes for allegedly attributing errors made by a female prosecutor to her sex, saying, “We didn’t let girls do it in the old days.”
Hughes told the Houston Chronicle last year the remark “was about the exclusion of women historically.”
Minna Kotkin, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School, said while Hughes’ order “seems a little heavy handed,” his decision had to balance the interests of the woman’s privacy with the public’s right to know.
Kotkin said the nature of this case being more about an arbitration dispute and not mainly about sexual assault might have also played a role in the judge’s decision.
Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, said fear of public disclosure is one of the top barriers sexual assault survivors face in coming forward and judges should “respect the wishes of victims who prefer that their identity not be made public.”
Rose Luna, CEO of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, said that “shielding survivors from invasive public scrutiny encourages them to come forward so that perpetrators might be held accountable by our legal system.”
In 2016, a Los Angeles judge ruled a woman who accused NBA star Derrick Rose of rape couldn’t remain anonymous at her civil trial. In 2017, a Connecticut judge rejected the use of pseudonyms by two college students in a civil court case over an alleged rape.
“Judges make these types of decisions and that is the power we give them,” said Michael Benza, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
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Texas Examining Link Between Video Games & Mass Violence
DALLAS (KRLD) - The State Senate Mass Violence Prevention Committee called on a representative of the video game industry to explain whether there’s a connection between violent video games and mass violence.
State Senator Jane Nelson laid out the issues that lawmakers are debating about video games.
“There are an awful lot of young people who are playing games that are designated for mature audiences. What we’re trying to figure out is if there is any connection to the violence that we are seeing.”
Tom Foulkes, the Vice President of State Government Affairs for the Entertainment Software Association was the invited guest of the Committee representing the video game industry. Foulkes defended the industry citing data from the most recent Federal Commission on School Safety and a University of Indiana study.
“There’s nothing in the data to support a restriction on violent gameplay either by parents or by government out of concern that is purported effect on violence ... There is none.”
State Senator John Whitmire disagreed with lawmakers who believe there is a connection between violent video games and recent mass violence.
Addressing Foulkes, Whitmire said, “But there is some in the building (State Capitol) that would like to make you and your industry the villain for the serious problem that we’re facing, instead of facing what I believe are real solutions such are better background checks (on gun sales), consideration of red flag measures ... so I want to thank you for being here and putting a face on the industry.”
Willie Nelson Has Given Up Smoking, But He's Still Using Pot
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Willie Nelson may have given up smoking, but he hasn't stopped using marijuana.
While in San Antonio last week for two performances, the 86-year-old country music legend told KSAT TV that in an effort to take better care of himself, he no longer smokes.
Nelson, a longtime marijuana advocate, said he “started smoking cedar bark, went from that to cigarettes to whatever.”
Nelson, who owns a company that sells marijuana products, says: “I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful.”
His spokeswoman, Elaine Shock, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday that Nelson hasn't given up cannabis, and she points out there are different ways to consume it.
“That said," she said “Willie does what he wants, when he wants, when it comes to smoking."
One thing though Nelson won't be giving up is touring.
“I love the bus," he said. “This is my home."
Family Showcases Christmas Lights Inspired By Disney's Fireworks Show
Attention Disney lovers, here is your chance to experience some magic in a Texas neighborhood. While many families are putting up their best holiday lights, others are really looking to impress this season.
“I’m thankful that everybody seems to be really enjoying it,” Carrillo said.
Carrillo, a nurse from the neighborhood, showcased the show on his front yard to around 50 neighbors on December 1. The lights display is inspired by the "Happily Ever After" fireworks show at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
“As a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, and my dad was able to take us to Disneyland any chance he could, so we have a lot of memories with Disney shows … you just get this feeling that anything is possible, your dreams can come true,” Carrillo said.
This is Carrillo’s second year of creating this show. The nurse started last year to celebrate his daughter’s first holiday. Carrillo spent several months putting up and wiring lights. He spent more than 70 hours on is computer, while he edited the music, sequenced the lights and made the video.
“It takes time to build something like this, and I think the results speak for themselves,” Carrillo said.