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The Brief: A 37-day mayor bets writing, ribs and real estate will put him in the U.S. Senate | The Texas Tribune

The Brief: A 37-day mayor bets writing, ribs and real estate will put him in the U.S. Senate | The Texas Tribune: Dan McQueen served as mayor of Corpus Christi for 37 days earlier this year. He’s now launching an “essay and rib” contest — all in hopes of unseating U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 GOP primary.� Source: TTLA E-Clips The Brief: A 37-day mayor bets writing, ribs and real estate will put him in the U.S. Senate | The Texas Tribune

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Lake Conroe dam’s releases cause flood of lawsuits – Houston Chronicle

Lake Conroe dam’s releases cause flood of lawsuits – Houston Chronicle: In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, officials at the Lake Conroe dam began unprecedented releases into the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, sending an amount of water rushing downstream that approached the average volume pouring over Niagara Falls. Source: TTLA E-Clips Lake Conroe dam’s releases cause flood of lawsuits – Houston Chronicle

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Australia's High Court to consider fate of 7 lawmakers

Australia’s prime minister said Monday that he was confident that government lawmakers would win a court challenge this week that threatens his administration’s slender majority. Seven High Court judges will decide whether seven lawmakers should be disqualified from Parliament because of a constitutional ban on dual citizens being elected. The three-day hearing begins Tuesday. The fate of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is most crucial to the government in an unprecedented political crisis. If the court rules that he was illegally elected in July last year due to New Zealand citizenship he unknowingly inherited from his father, the ruling conservative coalition could lose its single-seat majority in the House of Representatives, where governments are formed. Joyce could stand in a by-election, having renounced his Kiwi citizenship. But with the government unpopular in opinion polls, voters in his rural electoral division could take the opportunity to throw both the deputy prime minister and his administration out of office. Two of the six senators under a cloud are government ministers. Fiona Nash inherited British citizenship from her father and Matt Canavan became an Italian through an Australian-born mother with Italian parents. Disqualified senators can be replaced by members of the same party without need for an election. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has given no indication of what his government would do if the court rules against any of the three ministers. Source: Legal News Post Australia's High Court to consider fate of 7 lawmakers

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NC high court reviews death penalty of man who beheaded wife

North Carolina’s highest court is reviewing whether justice means the death penalty for a survivor of El Salvador’s blood-soaked civil war of the 1980s who strangled and then decapitated his estranged wife. The state’s Supreme Court hears oral arguments Monday on whether the state can execute 41-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez of Winston-Salem for the 2010 murder of his wife, Maria. The high court automatically reviews death cases. North Carolina is rare among southern states in that it hasn’t had an execution in more than a decade because of various legal challenges. While the state has continued to suffer 500 to 600 murders a year, prosecutors have sought the death penalty only a handful of times each year and juries have condemned killers in only a fraction of those cases. Rodriguez’s children told investigators their father beat and bloodied Maria Rodriguez after she told them she was leaving in November 2010. He tossed the woman’s still-breathing body over his shoulder, placed her in his vehicle, and said he was taking her to a hospital. Maria’s body and severed head were found at different locations three weeks later, after Juan was already jailed for her kidnapping. Justices are holding hearings in the case for the second time in almost exactly a year. Monday’s hearing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this spring that states needed to use current medical standards in deciding whether a killer is so mentally disabled he can’t be executed. The U.S. constitution bans “cruel and unusual punishments,” and that has been interpreted to prohibit executing people with severe mental shortcomings. Rodriguez’s IQ was estimated several times at below 70, a threshold for significantly impaired intellectual functioning. But accused killers in North Carolina also must show significant inability to adapt to daily life and that their mental handicaps were evident before adulthood. Source: Legal News Post NC high court reviews death penalty of man who beheaded wife

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