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AUSTIN — The Legislature has approved a proposal allowing thousands of Texas high school seniors to potentially graduate this year despite failing standardized tests needed to earn a diploma.

Amarillo Republican Sen. Kel Seliger’s bill offered an alternative graduation plan to an estimated 28,000 Class of 2015 seniors who failed to pass at least one statewide exam in algebra I, biology, English I and II and U.S. history.

It established individual educational committees to determine whether a student could graduate instead based on other factors, like attendance and grades.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas lawmaker is scrapping his effort to reveal the names of judges who permit teens to have abortions if they can’t get the required consent from their parents, in favor of an even stricter measure.

Carrollton Republican Rep. Ron Simmons’ legislative director Zach Flores said “ongoing conversations” led him to pull his proposal from a Wednesday committee hearing. State law for years has allowed judges to grant abortions to girls younger than 18 in extreme cases, but the law also mandates that most information on the cases remain confidential.

HOUSTON — A South Texas man working for the Department of Defense in Honduras faces up to 30 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

William Curry McGrath of San Antonio remains jailed pending sentencing this summer in federal court in Houston. The 55-year-old McGrath on Tuesday pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.

McGrath was a civilian employee with DOD, working as director of the Network Enterprise Center at Soto Cano Air Base in Comayagua, Honduras.

Texas Considers More Abortion Limits After Clinic Closures

Apr 29, 2015
David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN — Two years after Texas adopted sweeping abortion restrictions despite Wendy Davis’ star-making filibuster, Republicans are pushing a smaller encore of additional limits for new Gov. Greg Abbott to sign within the next month.

New battlegrounds over abortion access for minors and insurance don’t pack the same impact of a 2013 measure that would leave as few as eight abortion facilities in Texas if a federal appeals court upholds stringent new clinic standards. That decision is potentially still weeks out.

But while other conservative states such as Kansas and Tennessee have moved to the front line of national abortion politics, Texas Republicans are signaling they are far from finished. One bill up for discussion Wednesday would hold doctors or counselors criminally liable if they were found to have coerced a woman into ending a pregnancy. It was proposed by a first-term Republican who says she was pressured into an abortion as a teenager.

For Perry And Luttrell, A Father-Son Relationship

Apr 29, 2015
Cooper Neill / The Texas Tribune

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Before he became immortalized as the Lone Survivor, a Navy SEAL who escaped a 2005 Taliban ambush on a mountain slope in Afghanistan, Marcus Luttrell was a broken man in search of a haven. 

He found it one day in the spring of 2007 when, struggling to recover his body and mind and with the horrors of war still raw, he showed up unannounced at the Texas governor’s mansion and asked to see Rick Perry. 

Over the ensuing months, a virtual father-son relationship blossomed, the two men said. The governor and his wife, Anita, helped bring Luttrell back to health. Perry used the power of his office to find Luttrell a spine surgeon to fix his back.

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