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Is the State's Budget Lower Because of Falling Oil Prices?

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project .

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To celebrate Black History Month, the Texas State Historical Association has highlighted black Texans who made political, cultural and social strides for African Americans in the state and across the country.

The Texas Legislature is in full swing. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

A month ago, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hit the pause button on his controversial war on drugs. That war has left more than 7,500 people dead since Duterte took office last June, promising a "dirty" and "bloody" fight against drugs.

"Do your duty, and if in the process, you kill 1,000 persons, I will protect you," Duterte, nicknamed "The Punisher," told police days after his election.

And he did — standing by them fiercely in the months that followed, despite allegations of of extrajudicial killings that prompted international outrage.

In his speech last night, President Trump asked Congress to pass a broad school choice initiative.

"I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. ...

"These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them."

A former officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, Sabrina De Sousa, may be released from custody today after Italy's president granted her partial clemency over a 2003 kidnapping that was part of the agency's extraordinary rendition program.

De Sousa was convicted in absentia — along with 25 other Americans — by an Italian court in the abduction of radical Egyptian cleric Abu Omar off a street in Milan. Several of those convicted have since been pardoned.

Bill and Hillary Clinton's political careers took off in Arkansas and the state capital, Little Rock, is filled with tributes to the former president, the only native of the Natural State who has made it to the Oval Office.

Now a state lawmaker wants to erase the Clintons' names from the Little Rock airport.

"The state of Arkansas would just like to forget the Clinton era," said state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican.

On a mild, sunny afternoon, hordes of tourists stroll down Barcelona's famous tree-lined pedestrian avenue, La Rambla. They love it — the weather, the tapas, the laid-back bohemian vibe. One tourist from Australia says he's visited Barcelona 12 times in 10 years.

But the city doesn't always love them back.

In January, thousands of Barcelona residents marched down La Rambla and "occupied" the entrance to a hotel there, to protest the volume of tourists and gentrification in the city.

The system that delivers fresh salad greens like clockwork to the nation's grocery stores is breaking down slightly. In about three weeks, consumers may get a reminder of two things. First, vegetables really are fragile living things, and most of them have to survive outdoors. Second, we depend to a remarkable degree on just a few places to grow them. (That's a lesson U.K. lettuce lovers also recently got.)

Just How Much Pee Is In That Pool?

3 hours ago

You know that sharp odor of chlorine from the swimming pool you can recall from earliest childhood? It turns out it's not just chlorine, but a potent brew of chemicals that form when chlorine meets sweat, body oils, and urine.

In a brief note emailed sent to Uber employees Tuesday evening, company co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick struck a contrite tone. He offered an apology with no caveats or excuses — just hours after a video surfaced showing him arguing with an Uber driver.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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