Alexandra Hart | Texas Public Radio

Alexandra Hart

Intern for Texas Standard.

From Texas Standard:

New rules from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulating payday lenders were supposed to take effect on Aug. 19. The rules – laid out in 2017 – would have regulated lenders' ability to withdraw funds directly from a person's bank account. Those rules are on hold for now as the agency and a payday lender trade group challenge it in court.

In Texas, nearly 70 cities have their own rules regulating payday and other high-interest loans. But there's one notable holdout: Fort Worth is Texas' largest city with no laws on the books that regulate payday and auto title lenders.

From Texas Standard:

Most of the liquefied natural gas, or LNG, the U.S. exports leaves on big tanker ships. But with so much natural gas being produced right now, companies are seeking out other ways to move LNG internationally. In fact, at least one company has carved out a niche by shipping natural gas overland, tapping into a growing market south of the border.

Sergio Chapa reports on the oil and gas industry for the Houston Chronicle. He says the tankers transporting LNG are similar to the 18-wheelers that deliver gasoline or diesel, but much bigger.

From Texas Standard:

A somewhat old idea to address climate change is getting new life, now that it appears to have the backing of New York freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She and other progressives are pushing an idea called a "green new deal" – riffing on the title of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to rescue the U.S. from the Great Depression.

Writing for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman used the phrase "green new deal" as early as 2007, to advocate transitioning to an economy based on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Among the proposals from today's green new dealers is legislation calling for the country to transition to using 100 percent renewable sources of energy over the next 10 years.

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle argues this isn't a radical plan, and would be a natural one for Texas. Harold Jackson is a member of the board. He says that in addition to abundant oil and gas, Texas also has a lot of capacity to produce solar and wind energy.

From Texas Standard:

With the president demanding $5 billion for his border wall and House Democrats refusing to budge, there's no end in sight to the political impasse that has led to the partial government shutdown.

Travelers may be noticing long waits in security lines at airports in Dallas, Houston and other parts of the U.S. as large numbers TSA screeners call in sick with the so-called blue flu, as they're forced to work without pay.

But this might be a moment of opportunity for those TSA workers, so says Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed – On (Not) Getting By in America." She lays out the case in a New York Times opinion piece she co-wrote with Gary Stevenson.

From Texas Standard:

Other than, perhaps, Beto O'Rourke, few politicians have generated quite as much interest or excitement lately among Democrats as freshman House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She already generated political buzz after her stunning upset over 10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley. Now, a group that backed the unabashedly progressive Ocasio-Cortez hopes to pull off a similar upset in the Lone Star State. The political committee, which calls itself Justice Democrats, now has its sights set on toppling Democrat and veteran South Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar.

Dave Weigel, national political correspondent for The Washington Post, says Justice Democrats is very closely aligned with Ocasio-Cortez. The group began as a post-2016 supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. They worked to elect first-time Democrats on platforms that resembled those of Sanders – Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage.

From Texas Standard:

The college football season ends Monday night with the championship game between Alabama and Clemson. At stake are bragging rights and records, but also a lot of money and a coaching legacy.

From Texas Standard: 

Texas has almost a dozen medical schools, but it also has a rural healthcare worker shortage. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is set to vote tomorrow on whether to approve another medical school.

Huntsville-based Sam Houston State University thinks it can address Texas’ critical shortage of doctors in rural parts of the state. It’s seeking accreditation this week for its proposed college of osteopathic medicine.
 
Dr. Stephan McKernan is the associate dean for clinical affairs at the proposed school. He says the goal is to teach students from underserved, rural areas.

From Texas Standard.

The International Energy Agency announced earlier this year that U.S. oil production will rise above Russia’s, making the nation the world’s top oil producer by 2023. But last week, the CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources set a much shorter timeline – the U.S. is now poised to become the world’s top oil producer as early as this fall.

From Texas Standard:

Most of President Donald Trump's attention this week has been occupied by the southern border. But on Monday, he took some time to address his plans for another frontier: the great beyond. He said it’s not only important for the United States to be present in space, but to be dominant.

From Texas Standard.

Canadian lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Our northern neighbors are only the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. This poses a question: Are times changing? In their recently adopted party platform, Texas Republicans endorsed medical marijuana, cannabis decriminalization and industrial hemp.

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