AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed House Bill 1771 by Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, a measure that would have banned prosecuting people younger than 17 years old for prostitution.
A wide range of criminal justice and child advocates supported the bill as it passed the Texas legislature, saying taking teenagers to jail for prostitution punished the victim of sex trafficking; in worst cases, they said it reinforces a cycle of crime.
In his veto statement, Gov. Abbott said he worried about “unintended consequences” because of how broad the bill was.
“The bill takes away options that law enforcement and prosecutors can use to separate victims from their traffickers, and it may provide a perverse incentive for traffickers to use underage prostitutes, knowing they cannot be arrested for engaging in prostitution,” Abbott wrote. “Efforts to reduce trafficking are to be commended, and I have signed numerous laws this session cracking down on it. I look forward to working with the author on ways to separate victims from their traffickers, both physically and economically.”
Look for more on this story on KXAN News at 6 pm. You can also follow @PhilPrazan on Twitter for updates on Texas and national politics.
Austin (KXAN) – According to the CDC, more than 600 Americans are killed by extreme heat every year.
For heart patients, the heat can be especially dangerous, so the American Heart Association provided a few tips for staying safe in the sun.
Get off on the right foot. You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses.
Drink up. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Take regular breaks. Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again.
SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A man drowned while tubing in the San Marcos River Saturday after he swam to collect a wayward tube.
Around 7:30 p.m., people reported Ryan Hyman was missing on the river near Martindale. Witnesses told the Guadalupe and Caldwell County sheriffs offices that Hyman was swimming toward a lost tube when he began to struggle.
“Due to the heavy congestion of tubers on the river, the people in his party were unable to reach him,” the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wrote in a release. “However, two bystanders who also observed the victim struggling in the water jumped in the water to attempt to reach him. The two bystanders were unable to reach him before he disappeared into the water.”
The next day, dive teams found Hyman’s body in the same area where he was last seen.
Texas Game Warden Joann Garza-Mayberry cautioned tubers to be aware of their surroundings, stay hydrated and consume alcohol in moderation.
“As tubing on the San Marcos River becomes more popular every year, so do the dangers of overcrowding on the river, in addition to natural hazards like rushing rapids, swift currents and river eddies,” Garza-Mayberry said.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s former president, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who rose to office in the country’s first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, collapsed in court during a trial and died Monday, state TV and his family said.
The 67-year-old Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during sessions and warning that he had “many secrets” he could reveal, a judicial official said. A few minutes afterward, he collapsed in the cage, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
In his final comments, he continued to insist he was Egypt’s legitimate president, demanding a special tribunal, one of his defense lawyers, Kamel Madour told the Associated Press. State TV said Morsi died before he could be taken to the hospital.
The Brotherhood accused the government of “assassinating” Morsi through years of poor prison conditions during which he was often kept in solitary and barred from visits. Egypt’s chief prosecutor said a team of forensic experts would examine Morsi’s body to determine the cause of his death.
It was a dramatic end for a figure who was central in the twists and turns taken by Egypt since its “revolution” — the pro-democracy uprising that in 2011 ousted the country’s longtime authoritarian leader, Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful Islamist group, won the elections held after Mubarak’s fall, considered the first free votes the country had seen. First, they gained a majority in parliament, then Morsi squeaked to victory in presidential elections held in 2012, becoming the first civilian to hold the office.
Critics accused the Brotherhood of seeking to monopolize power, enshrine an Islamist constitution and using violence against opponents, and soon massive protests grew against their rule. In July 2013, the military — led by then-Defense Minister, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi — ousted Morsi, dissolved parliament and eventually banned the Brotherhood as a “terrorist group.”
El-Sissi was elected president and re-elected in 2018 in votes human rights groups sharply criticized as undemocratic. He was waged a ferocious crackdown that crushed the Brotherhood but also almost all other dissent, arresting tens of thousands, banning protests and silencing most criticism in the media, while the military has come to dominate politics behind the scenes.
Since his ouster, Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders have been in prison, put on multiple and lengthy trials. Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of ordering Brotherhood members to break up a protest against him, resulting in deaths. Multiple cases are still pending. Monday’s session was part of a retrial, being held inside Cairo’s Tora Prison, on charges of espionage with the Palestinian Hamas militant group.
Morsi was held in a special wing in Tora nicknamed Scorpion Prison. Rights groups say its poor conditions fall far below Egyptian and international standards. Morsi was known to suffer from diabetes.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director with the Human Rights Watch, said in a tweet that Morsi’s death was “terrible but entirely predictable” given the government “failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits.”
Morsi’s son, Ahmed, confirmed the death of his father in a Facebook post, saying, “We will meet again with God.”
Mohammed Sudan, leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, said Morsi was banned from receiving medicine or visits and there was little information about his health condition.
“This is premeditated murder. This is slow death.”
Freedom and Justice, the Brotherhood’s political arm, said in a statement on its Facebook page that prison conditions led to Morsi’s death in what amounted to “assassination.”
“They placed him in solidarity confinement throughout his detention which exceeded 5 years, prevented medicine and provided poor food,” it said. “They prevented doctors and lawyers and even communicating with his family. They deprived him from the simplest human rights.”
The judicial official said Morsi had asked to speak to the court during Monday’s session. The judge permitted it, and Morsi gave a speech saying he had “many secrets” that, if he told them, he would be released, but he added that he wasn’t telling them because it would harm Egypt’s national security.
Madour, the defense lawyer, said Morsi spoke for around five minutes before collapsing inside the cage. “He was very calm and organized. He summarized our argument in three to five minutes. He insisted on a special tribunal as he is the president of the republic,” Madour said.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry did not answer calls seeking comment.
Morsi, an engineer who studied at the University of Southern California, was an unlikely figure to be thrust into Egypt’s central stage. He was never considered a major thinker in the Brotherhood and instead rose through its ranks as an efficient, if lackluster, loyalist. The group only put him forward as its presidential candidate in 2012 after a more prominent and powerful figure, Khairat al-Shater, was declared ineligible to run.
When elected, he made gestures toward the secular pro-democracy activists who led the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. But over the course of the year, opponents accused his Brotherhood of hijacking the revolution and using elections to entrench their own control.
Major protests erupted, particularly over the process of writing a new constitution in which critics said the Brotherhood was sidelining other factions and allowing Islamists to write a charter largely on their terms. Brotherhood supporters cracked down violently on some protests.
Still, the Brotherhood never managed to control all levers of power, facing opposition within courts and in the powerful security forces. As protests grew, the military stepped in: Army commandos took him and other Brotherhood leaders into custody.
The subsequent crackdown has all but completely dismantled the Brotherhood, with hundreds killed and thousands imprisoned, with most other active figures fleeing abroad. Throughout his trials, Morsi insisted he remained Egypt’s legitimate president. In early court sessions he gave angry speeches until judges ordered him kept in a glass cage during sessions where they could turn off his audio.
In audio leaked from a 2017 session of one of his trials, Morsi complained that he was “completely isolated” from the court, unable to see or hear his defense team, his eyes pained by lighting inside the cage.
“I don’t know where I am,” he is heard saying in the audio. “It’s steel behind steel and glass behind glass. The reflection of my image makes me dizzy.”
DALLAS (AP) — A masked 22-year-old man was killed in an exchange of gunfire with federal officers outside a federal courthouse in downtown Dallas Monday morning, an FBI official said.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said late Monday morning that Brian Isaack Clyde was pronounced dead at a hospital following the shooting outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building. A large law enforcement presence was visible downtown late Monday morning, with police closing off several blocks around the federal building.
“At this time we have no information indicating that there are other shooters, other threats to the community. We are working on one vehicle, we will have that cleared shortly,” DeSarno said.
Following the shooting, a bomb squad examined a vehicle associated with the man as a precaution and performed controlled explosions. Two loud blasts from that could be heard downtown Monday morning.
The Dallas Morning News reports that one of its photographers, Tom Fox, was outside the building and witnessed a gunman opening fire. A photograph shows authorities tending to a shirtless man lying on the ground in a parking lot outside the building.
Fox said he was outside the building when a man in a mask parked at the corner of two downtown streets. He said the man ran and began shooting at the courthouse, cracking the glass of the door.
The window panes in the courthouse’s revolving door were broken.
Chad Cline, 46, who lives in a building near the courthouse, told The Associated Press that just before 9 a.m. a message was broadcast throughout the building that there was an active shooter in the area and that residents should stay inside. Less than half an hour later, another message said there was a potential bomb threat and that residents needed to leave. He, his wife and their two dogs went to a coffee shop. When he returned to his building later in the morning, he asked an officer armed with a rifle when he would be able to get back in and the officer didn’t know.
Associated Press writers Jamie Stengle and Diana Heidgerd contributed to this report.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — About half of Texans would vote to reelect Donald Trump while the other half would not, according to a new poll from the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune.
The poll also asked 1,200 registered voters about their likelihood of voting for Democratic candidates.
The survey results show 73% of Republicans would “definitely” vote for Trump while 85% of Democrats said they would “definitely not” vote for him. About 60% of Independents said they would not vote for the president.
Here’s the breakdown of answers on the general question about whether people would vote for Donald Trump in the election:
43% Definitely not
7% Probably not
On the Democratic side, just four have double-digital support from Democratic voters: former Vice President Joe Biden (23%), former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke (15%), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (14%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (12%). Julián Castro, the other candidate from Texas besides O’Rourke, had 3% support.
Below are how Texans feel about O’Rourke and Castro:
Neutralor No Opinion
The internet survey was conducted from May 31 to June 9 with an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points, meaning the results could be a little higher or lower than reported.
The city of Pflugerville identified the body as that of Puja Thapa, 23, on Monday.
On Sunday, June 9, around 6:46 p.m. police got a call about a potential drowning as a storm rolled through the area. A family member told KXAN over the phone that a man made it back to shore safely but his wife did not.
Her body was found Wednesday after a multi-day and multi-agency search.
PORTLAND, OR (NBC News) — An LGBTQ+ group offered protection for a 10-year-old drag queen at Portland, Oregon’s Pride Parade Sunday, after online backlash had their family fearing for their safety.
Sparkle, who uses the pronouns they/them, had received a lot of support online, but after an all-ages drag show performance, Sparkle, and her mother Michelle Porter, started to receive hateful comments online.
“It said horrific, homophobic things. They accused everybody, including myself, of being pedophiles,” said Porter.
When news spread that Sparkle might miss Pride because of the backlash, Portland’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence stepped in to help.
“It broke my heart,” said Sister Ohna F. Tirade. “Sparkle has been inspiring me for more than a year, since I saw them provide in Pride last year.”
The Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence is a global charitable organization that is dedicated to the support, education, and development of the LGBTQ community. On Sunday, they dedicated that support to Sparkle, and watched as they paraded through the streets of downtown Portland, unwilling to let anyone dull their shine.
NEW YORK (AP) — Gloria Vanderbilt, the intrepid heiress, artist and romantic who began her extraordinary life as the “poor little rich girl” of the Great Depression, survived family tragedy and multiple marriages and reigned during the 1970s and ’80s as a designer jeans pioneer, died Monday at the age of 95.
Vanderbilt, the great-great-granddaughter of financier Cornelius Vanderbilt and the mother of CNN newsman Anderson Cooper, who announced her death via a first-person obituary that aired on the network Monday morning.
Cooper confirmed said Vanderbilt died at home with friends and family at her side. She had been suffering from advanced stomach cancer, he noted.
“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms,” Cooper said in a statement. “She was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you, she was the youngest person they knew, the coolest, and most modern.”
Her life was chronicled in sensational headlines from her childhood through four marriages and three divorces. She married for the first time at 17, causing her aunt to disinherit her. Her husbands included Leopold Stokowski, the celebrated conductor, and Sidney Lumet, the award-winning movie and television director. In 1988, she witnessed the suicide of one of her four sons.
Vanderbilt was a talented painter and collagist who also acted on the stage (“The Time of Your Life” on Broadway) and television (“Playhouse 90,” ”Studio One,” ”Kraft Theater,” ”U.S. Steel Hour”). She was a fabric designer who became an early enthusiast for designer denim. The dark-haired, tall and ultra-thin Vanderbilt partnered with Mohan Murjani, who introduced a $1 million advertising campaign in 1978 that turned the Gloria Vanderbilt brand with its signature white swan label into a sensation.
At its peak in 1980, it was generating over $200 million in sales. And decades later, famous-name designer jeans — dressed up or down — remain a woman’s wardrobe staple.
Vanderbilt wrote several books, including the 2004 chronicle of her love life: “It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir,” which drops such names as Errol Flynn, whom she dated as a teenager; Frank Sinatra, for whom she left Stokowski; Marlon Brando and Howard Hughes.
She claimed her only happy marriage was to author Wyatt Cooper, which ended with his death in 1978 at age 50. Son Anderson Cooper called her memoir “a terrific book; it’s like an older ‘Sex and the City.'”
“I’ve had many, many loves,” Vanderbilt told The Associated Press in a 2004 interview. “I always feel that something wonderful is going to happen. And it always does.”
Noting her father’s death when she was a toddler, she said: “If you don’t have a father, you don’t miss it, because you don’t know what it is. It was really only when I married Wyatt Cooper that I understood what it was like to have a father, because he was just an extraordinary father.”
In 2016, Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper appeared together in the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid.”
Gloria Laura Madeleine Sophie Vanderbilt was born in 1924, a century after her great-great-grandfather started the family fortune, first in steamships, later in railroads. He left around $100 million when he died in 1877 at age 82.
Her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, was 43, a gambler and boozer dying of liver disease when he married Gloria Morgan, 19, in 1923. Their daughter was 1 when Vanderbilt died in 1925, having gone through $25 million in 14 years.
Beneficiary of a $5 million trust fund, Vanderbilt became the “poor little rich girl” in 1934 at age 10 as the object of a custody fight between her globe-trotting mother and matriarchal aunt.
The aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, 59, who controlled $78 million and founded the Whitney Museum of American Art, won custody of her niece.
A shocked judge had closed the trial when a maid accused the child’s mother of a lesbian affair with a member of the British royal family. The fight was chronicled in the best-selling 1980 book “Little Gloria … Happy at Last,” made into a TV miniseries in 1982 with Angela Lansbury playing Whitney.
The “poor little rich girl” nickname “bothered me enormously,” Vanderbilt told The Associated Press in 2016. “I didn’t see any of the press — the newspapers were kept from me. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t feel poor and I didn’t feel rich. It really did influence me enormously to make something of my life when I realized what it meant.”
After spending the next seven years on her aunt’s Long Island estate, Vanderbilt went to Hollywood. She dated celebrities and declared she would marry Hughes. Instead, the 17-year-old wed Hughes’ press agent, Pasquale di Cicco, prompting her aunt to cut Gloria out of her will.
Vanderbilt came into her own $5 million trust fund in 1945 at age 21. She also divorced Di Cicco, whom she said had beaten her often, and the next day married the 63-year-old Stokowski. The marriage to the conductor lasted 10 years and produced two sons, Stanislaus and Christopher.
After her marriage broke up, Vanderbilt found herself embroiled in another custody case, this time as the mother. During the closed hearings, Stokowski accused Vanderbilt of spending too much time at parties and too little with the boys. She accused him of tyrannizing his sons and said he really was 85, and not 72 as he claimed.
Justice Edgar Nathan Jr. gave Vanderbilt full-time custody. But he commented that the court had wasted a month on “the resolution of problems which mature, intelligent parents should be able to work out for themselves.”
Vanderbilt married Lumet in 1956 and lived with him and her children in a 10-room duplex penthouse on Gracie Square. She divorced Lumet and married Cooper in 1963.
Their elder son, Carter, a Princeton graduate and editor at American Heritage, killed himself in 1988 at age 23, leaping from his mother’s 14th floor apartment as she tried to stop him. Police said he had been treated for depression and friends said he was despondent over a break-up with a girlfriend. Vanderbilt says in “Nothing Left Unsaid” that she contemplated following him, but the thought of how it would devastate Anderson stopped her.
After her success in designer jeans, Vanderbilt branched out into other areas, including shoes, scarves, table and bed linens, and china, through her company, Gloria Concepts. In 1988 Vanderbilt joined the designer fragrance market with her signature “Glorious.”
By the late 1980s, Vanderbilt sold the name and licenses for the brand name “Gloria Vanderbilt” to Gitano, who transferred it to a group of private investors in 1993. More recently, her stretch jeans have been licensed through Jones Apparel Group Inc., which acquired Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. in 2002 for $138 million.
Vanderbilt became the target of a swindle in the late 1970s and early ’80s when she made her psychiatrist and a lawyer associates in her business affairs. A court held that the two had looted millions from Vanderbilt’s bank accounts.
Vanderbilt also made headlines in 1980 when she filed, but later dropped, a discrimination complaint against the posh River House apartments, which had rejected her bid to buy a $1.1 million duplex. She claimed the board was worried that black singer Bobby Short, who appeared with her on TV commercials, might marry her.
In 2009, the 85-year-old Vanderbilt penned a new novel, “Obsession: An Erotic Tale,” a graphic tale about an architect’s widow who discovers a cache of her husband’s letters that reveal his secret sex life.
In an interview with The New York Times, she said she wasn’t embarrassed about the explicitness of her new book, saying: “I don’t think age has anything to do with what you write about. The only thing that would embarrass me is bad writing, and the only thing that really concerned me was my children. You know how children can be about their parents. But mine are very intelligent and supportive.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is collecting fans and monetary donations again Monday to provide relief from the heat to Central Texans who don’t have air conditioning this summer.
Friday’s Fans From Fans event at Shady Grove and High 5 brought in 240 fans and more than $150,000 in donations from people in the community. The amount will help buy thousands more fans. Each one represents a person or family in central Texas who will benefit from a little breeze as the summer heats up.
Monday, the KXAN crew and other volunteers will be distributing those fans. It’s also another chance to donate to the fan drive. From 3-7 p.m. at High 5 in Lakeway, donate a fan or money and receive a $5 gift card to High 5.
(Dax Dobbs / KXAN)
Donated fans at the KXAN and Family Eldercare fan drive June 14, 2019 (KXAN Photo/Tulsi Kamath)
Setting up for the KXAN and Family Eldercare fan drive June 14, 2019 (KXAN Photo/Tulsi Kamath)
KXAN teams up with Family Eldercare for the Summer Fan Drive every year. In 100-degree heat, a box fan can lower a person’s body temperature by 8-9 degrees, a potentially life-saving difference.
With the area’s growing senior population, the need continues to grow for alternative to expensive air conditioning, and volunteers are stepping up to meet it.
“That’s a very dangerous situation to put our seniors in,” said Maureen McKeon, a member of the charity committee at the High Road on Dawson, a philanthropic association that’s been part of the drive for years. “I think that this is a really important fan drive for Austin, and we really love doing it every year.”