Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas Faces Another Federal Lawsuit Over Law Banning Contractors From Boycotting Israel

Days after a federal lawsuit was filed in Pflugerville, Texas faces another suit over its 2017 law requiring contractors to pledge they won't boycott Israel – this time from the American Civil Liberties Union.

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A bipartisan bill aimed at overhauling federal prisons and reducing recidivism crossed a major hurdle on Tuesday when it was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.

With the Senate's approval and the backing of President Trump, the legislation is now on the verge of becoming law.

The House, which passed a more modest version of the legislation earlier this year, is expected to take up the bill in the coming days.

Updated at 4:59 pm ET

The Department of Health and Human Services is changing the ways it conducts background checks on sponsors of migrant children, a surprise move that will mean the release of hundreds of such children from controversial government-contracted shelters across the country.

Pierson Hill

From Texas Standard:

You may think that the time of mythic beasts has passed – that perhaps the information age has snuffed out tales of mysterious creatures. But there are still some animals out there that have yet to be discovered. At least one of these, a rather big one, has been found.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Penny Marshall, who became a household name as Laverne in the TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley and went on to direct several popular movies, has died at the age of 75.

Marshall died Monday night at her Los Angeles home from complications of diabetes, family publicist Michelle Bega tells NPR.

Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The federal prison inmate population is about 183,000. That could be cut by almost a third in the course of one year, if lawmakers on Capitol Hill succeed in passing a new law. Monday, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn acting as majority whip – the number two leader in the Senate – delivered an impassioned speech calling for passage of the First Step Act. It's a first step toward major criminal justice reform.

The Trump administration is banning bump stocks, the firearm attachment that allows a semiautomatic weapon to shoot almost as fast as a machine gun.

The devices, also known as slide fires, came under intense scrutiny after they were used by the gunman who opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas last year, killing 58 people.

The massacre touched off a public outcry, including from some lawmakers, for the accessories to be banned.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has announced that the Trump Foundation will dissolve. The foundation was established by Donald Trump well before he ran for president.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday to rename Fulmore Middle School after a longtime social studies teacher, Sarah Beth Lively.

The move comes after more than a yearlong discussion about changing the names of district buildings honoring Confederate figures. The school's original namesake, Zachary Taylor Fulmore, was a private in the Confederate Army.

A Capital Metro bus in a dedicated bus lane in Austin.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT

In a 6-0 vote, Austin's transit agency advanced its vision for getting a rapidly growing population around town as fast and easy as possible. But there are several more hoops for the Project Connect plan to jump through before you'll actually see it go into effect.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT

Gustavo "Gus" Garcia, a former Austin school board trustee, City Council member and the first elected Hispanic mayor of Austin, died early Monday surrounded by his family. He was 84.

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