Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The Roundup

Article Icon 1 Texas Speaker Targeted By ‘Deepfake’ Ad 

A “deepfake” ad targeting Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan has raised questions about whether the state needs to update current legislation that already bars deepfake videos to include print ads and other material.

A recent political mailer featured doctored images of Phelan being hugged by Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the front and speaking to a group of Democrats on the back.

The mailer was paid for by the Club for Growth Action PAC, a conservative group that opposes Phelan’s position against state-funded school choice legislation.

GOP Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, chairman of a state House committee on artificial intelligence, said the ad was “deliberately made to deceive individuals — especially because AI can make things look so realistic and, obviously, neither of those two images actually happened.”

Article Icon 1Poll: Majority Favor Resort Casinos

A majority of Texans want to legalize destination casinos, and nearly half approve of online sports gambling, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, surveyed 1,600 likely voters and found that 56% favored building resort-style casinos throughout the state. Online sports betting was supported by 47% and opposed by 37%.

During the last regular legislative session, bills that would have let voters weigh in on expanding gambling in the state were defeated, but similar legislation is expected to return next session.

Article Icon 1Houston Tops List of Road Rage Incidents

Five Texas cities topped a national list for having the most incidents of road rage involving firearms, according to a new study. Here’s the data.

Houston led the nation with 215 rage incidents between 2014 and 2023, including 192 shootings. San Antonio tied with Memphis for second with 107 incidents overall. Fort Worth, Dallas, and Austin also landed in the top 15.

In a ranking of states with the most road incidents involving a firearm, Texas was again listed first, with 741. Florida and California were second and third. 

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Around Texas

Houston: Cypress-Fairbanks ISD will cut 320 teachers, 50 librarians, and nearly 300 administrators to close a projected $138 million budget deficit for the 2024-25 school year. (See Details)

Austin: Project Connect, the $7-billion initiative to expand the city’s light rail network, is at risk from a court battle over whether the Austin Transit Partnership has the authority to issue property tax bonds. (More)

Spirit Airlines will begin twice-daily flights between San Antonio and DFW starting July 10. Last month, the company announced a new daily route between San Antonio and New York. (See Schedule)

Sullivan City: U.S. Homeland Security officials issued a grand jury subpoena to City Hall Friday. Federal investigators have been looking into allegations of illegal gambling activity in several Hidalgo County cities. (See Details)

➤ Spring Branch: Transportation officials are looking into what caused the Monday crash of an “experimental amateur-build helicopter,” initially reported to be a small plane, that killed two individuals. (More)

Texas Sports

The Dallas Stars defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 Monday night, tying the first-round NHL playoffs series 2-2 after losing the first two games at home. (See Highlights)

➤ Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic appears likely to play in tonight’s Game 5 against the L.A. Clippers amid ongoing questions about his availability after spraining his right knee in Game 3. The first-round series is tied 2-2. (See Details)

➤ University of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers has been listed as a possible cover athlete for EA Sports College Football 25, the much-anticipated relaunch of the popular NCAA Football video game. This will be the first edition to feature active college players. (More)

The Business Of Texas

➤ American Airlines will temporarily suspend flights from DFW to Dublin and Rome at the end of the summer due to manufacturing delays affecting delivery of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners. (See Flights Affected)

➤ Chemical giant LyondellBasell is relocating from downtown Houston to Williams Tower in the Galleria district. The company plans to spend $61 million renovating 318,000 square feet of office space. (More)

➤ The U.S. Supreme Court won’t block a Texas law requiring porn sites operating in the state to restrict access to minors, declining Tuesday to issue an injunction pending full review of the case. (More)

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Et Cetera

➤ Three Texas universities were named among the prettiest college campuses in the nation. Architectural Digest ranked Baylor, Rice, and SMU in the top 25. (See Full List)

➤ Thousands of blue jellyfish are washing up along the Texas coast. Researchers say this “blue wave” includes Portuguese man o’ wars, wind sailors, and blue buttons. Interestingly, blue buttons won’t sting unless you put them in your eyes. (Photo)

➤ Texas is getting its own new fiery taco flavor from Dairy Queen—a Carolina Reaper taco infused with one of the world’s hottest peppers. The taco will only be available at Texas DQs. (See Review)

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The Polling Station

Were you born in Texas?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Tuesday’s Results:

Have you ever toured a Texas winery?

  1. Yes: 53.3%
  2. No: 46.7%
Texas Trivia

Where is the official state buffalo herd located? 

Show me the answer

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