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PNS Daily Newscast - January 27, 2021 


Biden executive orders address pollution and environmental justice; health professionals note a link between climate change and human health.


2021Talks - January 27 , 2021 


The Senate moves forward with Trump's impeachment trial; scholars question the legality of impeachment after an official is out of office.

Public News Service - TX: Criminal Justice

The Austin State Hospital was opened in 1857 as the Texas State Lunatic Asylum. It will be replaced with a new $235 million facility in 2019. (THHSC)

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AUSTIN, Texas – After decades of neglect, Texas has begun a two-year, $300 million project to rebuild and renovate the state's antiquated psychiatric hospital system. In 2017, the Texas Legislature appropriated the funding to begin bringing the state's network of 10 facilities up to current

The ACLU of Texas wants details from some county sheriffs about their agreements to allow local deputies to act as federal immigration officers. (Kaybe70/GettyImages)

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HOUSTON – The American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a number of Texas counties that have entered into law-enforcement agreements with federal immigration officials. The ACLU of Texas has filed Public Information Act requests with seven county sheriffs' offices, asking for details of

Advocates say DNA testing of evidence in rape kits is the key to identifying suspects in sexual assault cases. (GettyImages)

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AUSTIN, Texas — With the passage of a bill establishing a tracking system for evidence in sexual-assault cases, Texas has become the first state to implement comprehensive rape-kit reforms. There are an estimated 20,000 or more untested rape kits sitting in evidence lockers around the state,

The sponsor of a new sentencing guidelines bill says its purpose is to keep Texas jails from acting as ”debtor’s prisons.” (Wikimedia Commons)

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AUSTIN, Texas – A measure passed by the Texas Legislature is designed to prevent people convicted of low-level crimes from being sent to jail when they can't afford a fine or fees. Senate Bill 1913 was approved by just five votes in the waning hours of the legislative session and awaits the

Opponents object that the Texas “show me your papers” law would allow police to question anyone they stop for traffic violations about their immigration status. (fstop123/GettyImages)

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AUSTIN, Texas - The ink was barely dry on Gov. Greg Abbott's signature on Senate Bill 4, the Texas Sanctuary Cities bill, when the battle over it moved from the state Capitol to the courts. Opponents such as the ACLU and MALDEF are preparing to file lawsuits against the so-called "show me your pape

People on death row in Texas spend up to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. A new report calls that torture and a violation of human rights. (Solitary Watch)

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The Texas prison system's policy of housing all people on death row in solitary confinement is a form of torture and a violation of human rights, according to a new study. The report from the University of Texas School of Law, finds that the state houses a person awaiting execut

A bill pending before the Texas Legislature would send 17-year-old offenders through the juvenile-justice system rather the adult criminal-justice system. (Popov/iStockphoto)

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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is one of only a handful of states that still prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults in its criminal justice system, but state lawmakers could soon change that. A coalition of advocacy groups is backing House Bill 122, to change the age of criminal responsibility to 18, movi

Texas is debating

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AUSTIN, Texas - The fight over sanctuary cities in Texas has become a high-profile political battle between a county sheriff in Austin and Gov. Greg Abbott. The governor has vowed to withhold millions in state funds under a proposed "Sanctuary Cities" bill if Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez k

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