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NEW YORK — Sen. Ted Cruz’s book, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Miracle of America, is coming out this summer.

HarperCollins Publishers told The Associated Press on Thursday that it has set a June 30 release date for the book, for which Cruz reached a reported seven-figure deal last year. Cruz, a first-term Texas Republican considering a presidential run in 2016, said in a recent telephone interview that in a time of “extraordinary challenges,” he wants to tell his story and share his message of free markets and constitutional liberties.

AUSTIN — A new report calls truancy policies in Texas a “flawed and inequitable patchwork” that led to the criminal prosecution of 115,000 children for not going to school in 2013.

The analysis by Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, was released Thursday. It says Texas lawmakers should decriminalize truancy, which is an unexcused absence from school. It also calls for lightening laws that send students aged 12 and older to adult criminal courts.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — An attorney representing the widow of American Sniper author Chris Kyle claims both a judge and jury made mistakes that led to a $1.8 million defamation verdict in favor of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

In a brief filed Wednesday, Taya Kyle’s lawyer says the verdict contradicted evidence, violated the First Amendment and should be overturned by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Star Tribune ( reports that attorney John Borger argued the account didn’t meet the legal threshold for defamation.

Ventura’s lawsuit alleged Chris Kyle fabricated claims in his autobiography about punching Ventura after he made offensive comments about Navy SEALS in a California bar. Ventura says it never happened.

Ryan E. Poppe

Hundreds of people were on hand Wednesday at the State Capitol to witness the swearing in of San Antonio’s newest Senator, Democrat José Menéndez.

A crowd gathered in the chamber of the Texas Senate quickly became a who’s who of San Antonio officials, past and present, all in Austin to be part of Menendez’s move from the House to the Senate. He spent  14 years serving San Antonio in the Texas House.

Joan Marcus


The touring company of another Broadway hit has landed at the Majestic Theater, and I was able to speak with its star. The show is the musical Once, and its star is Alex Nee.

Once is the story of an Irish singer/songwriter who’s about to give up all his hopes and dreams, and he meets this Czech immigrant girl who sparks something within him and turns his life around and forces him to face his dreams and follow them,” Nee explains.