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October 03, 2018 - 12:00 am

ELECTION 2018-SENATE-TEXAS DEBATES

Sen. Ted Cruz, challenger Beto O'Rourke to hold 2nd debate

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke will take part in another hour-long debate as their U.S. Senate race nears Election Day.

The debate will be the second between the pair and will be televised at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 from KENS-TV to San Antonio viewers. It will also air live in 10 of the state's largest markets.

The topics are expected to focus on domestic and foreign policy issues.

Cruz and O'Rourke discussed domestic policy issues during a Sept. 21 debate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. However, a scheduled debate last Saturday in Houston was canceled as Senate Republicans considered voting on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. That vote was delayed.

FACEBOOK-HUMAN TRAFFICKING-LAWSUIT

Lawsuit accuses Facebook of enabling human traffickers

HOUSTON (AP) — A human trafficking survivor from Texas has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging the social media giant provides traffickers an unrestricted way to "stalk, exploit, recruit, groom ... and extort children into the sex trade."

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Houston against Facebook, the shuttered classifieds site Backpage.com and the owners of two Houston hotels.

The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages on behalf of a woman identified as "Jane Doe," who was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted in 2012 after being allegedly targeted and recruited by a sex trafficker on Facebook.

Facebook did not immediately return an email seeking comment Tuesday.

Legal and trafficking experts say it may be difficult for the lawsuit to show that Facebook knowingly facilitated human trafficking.

TED CRUZ-OFFICE EVACUATED

Ted Cruz's office in Houston evacuated after delivery

HOUSTON (AP) — A spokeswoman for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says a package addressed to Cruz's Houston campaign headquarters caused a lockdown. Authorities later lifted an evacuation order after saying two people were apparently exposed to a "white powdery substance."

The Houston Fire Department tweeted Tuesday that tests for hazardous substances were negative after the building floor where Cruz's office is located was evacuated.

Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier says no one from the campaign staff was taken to the hospital.

Frazier said the package was opened in the lobby. She said authorities locked down the lobby and elevator for a couple hours.

It comes on the same day that authorities at the Pentagon say they found at least two packages believed to contain ricin, a deadly white powdery poison made from castor beans.

SHOOTING-AUSTIN-JUDGE

Texas man gets life imprisonment for attempt to kill judge

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 31-year-old Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for a 2015 assassination attempt on a state judge outside her home.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sentenced Chimene Onyeri in Austin on Tuesday, months after a jury found Onyeri guilty of multiple counts of fraud, racketeering and other charges.

Trial evidence showed Onyeri, as part of a racketeering enterprise, shot state District Judge Julie Kocurek as she was in a vehicle returning to her home in Austin.

Federal prosecutors say Onyeri wanted her dead to avoid going to prison on a probation violation. Onyeri testified that he only intended to damage her SUV.

Kocurek underwent more than 20 surgeries and lost a finger after the attack.

PRISON GUARD KILLED-TRIAL

Capital murder trial opens in death of Texas prison guard

ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Defense attorneys for a Texas prison inmate say he had a sexual relationship with the prison guard he's accused of killing but contend the guard died of cardiac arrest.

The capital murder trial of 24-year-old Dillion Compton began Monday and his attorneys say Compton and guard Mari Johnson had a months-long relationship that concluded with an argument before her body was found in July 2016.

Prosecutors say Compton was found with scratches on his face and his skin underneath Johnson's fingernails.

Her body was found in a storage room at the Robertson prison unit in Abilene and prosecutors say she suffered blunt force trauma and a crushed throat.

The defense claims the injuries were sustained when Compton attempted an "aggressive" form of CPR on her.

Compton had been sentenced in 2011 for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

HEROIN RING-SENTENCING

3rd brother faces up to life term for Texas-based drug ring

HOUSTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a third brother who moved to Texas to run a heroin ring could join two siblings serving life behind bars in the Houston-based drug-trafficking case.

A Mexican national, Victor Manuel Morales-Moreno, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Houston to conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin. Prosecutors say the 35-year-old Morales-Moreno conspired to distribute heroin to dealers and users for more than two years.

His two brothers, also Mexican nationals, were sentenced last year to life in prison after pleading guilty to heroin-related conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say Morales-Moreno relocated from California to Houston after Pedro Herrera-Alvarado and Jose Herrera-Alvarado were arrested.

Morales-Moreno faces sentencing next year, with a minimum 10 years behind bars and a maximum life prison term.

TEXAS ARREST-TASER DEATH

US Supreme Court allows jury to decide stun gun death case

(Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will allow a wrongful death and police brutality case in Texas to go to trial.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the case involves the death of 34-year-old Jermaine Darden, who authorities say died in 2013 after Fort Worth officers shocked him with a stun gun during a drug raid.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had previously issued two rulings that said there were issues in Darden's case that should be decided by a jury. The appeals court ruled that there's evidence suggesting that Darden wouldn't have died if officers hadn't used a stun gun on him and forced him onto his stomach.

The high court's ruling Monday agrees with the appeals court that the case should move forward to trial.

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OBIT-PEGGY SUE

Real Peggy Sue, of 1958 Buddy Holly song fame, dies in Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The Texas woman who inspired the 1958 Buddy Holly song "Peggy Sue" has died at a Lubbock hospital.

Peggy Sue Gerron Rackham of Lubbock died Monday at University Medical Center. She was 78. UMC spokesman Eric Finley said Tuesday the family gave him permission to confirm the death, but asked that no additional information be released.

Peggy Sue Gerron in 2008 released her autobiography "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?: A Memoir by Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue" to mark the 50th anniversary of the song. Gerron at the time said she and Holly were good friends. She married a member of his band, The Crickets. The couple later divorced.

Holly died in a 1959 plane crash in Iowa that also killed Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

SELLING SCHOOL SECURITY

AP: Firms sell school 'hardening' as mass shooting solution

Security companies are succeeding in their quiet campaign to elevate the fortification of schools over other approaches to prevent mass shootings of students.

Industry pushed the "hardening" of U.S. schools for years, but cost and other concerns slowed sales for products such as bullet-resistant doors and smoke cannons that spew haze to confuse a shooter.

An Associated Press investigation shows how the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, changed that.

Industry representatives saw an opportunity and used an ongoing influence campaign to persuade lawmakers to spend big on upgrades. Since February, Congress has greenlighted $350 million for equipment and other school security. States have approved another $450 million.

Educators and experts say mass school shootings remain uncommon and that mental-health counseling reduces violence more effectively.

MALL-PARKING LOT SHOOTING

Man dead, woman arrested in shooting outside Houston mall

HOUSTON (AP) — Police in Houston say a man is dead and his girlfriend is in custody following a fatal shooting in a mall parking lot.

Police say the two argued Monday night inside Willowbrook Mall in northwest Houston before going outside and getting in separate vehicles.

Police say the woman in her vehicle and the man on a motorcycle drove around the parking lot until the woman opened fire, killing the man.

No names have been released and no other injuries are reported.

Police say the woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises, but her condition was not released.

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