Tx. officials: Elevated benzene found, stay inside

Harris County officials said high benzene levels have been detected near the Houston-area petrochemicals storage facility that caught fire this week. The National Guard has been called in and residents of Deer Park told to stay inside. (March 21)

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Man charged with murder in death of Texas girl

(7 Jan 2019) Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Sunday that prosecutors had arrested and charged 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. with capital murder in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes on Dec. 30. Gonzalez says a second suspect has been identified. (Jan. 7)

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17 black female judges sworn in on Houston courts

(2 Jan 2019) Harris County, Texas made history on Tuesday after 17 black female judges were sworn in among other newly elected officials for the new year. (Jan. 2)

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Houston Elected 19 Black Women And At Least One Socialist Judge (HBO)

HOUSTON, Texas — The Democrats’ blue wave didn’t quite capture the great state of Texas. Beto O’Rourke lost a close race to Ted Cruz. Greg Abbott easily defeated a challenger for a second term as governor.

But further down the ballot, especially in the big cities, blue was the only color.

Nowhere was that more true than in Houston, where a combination of Beto-fever and Texas’s straight-ticket-voting option, meant that every single Republican judge on the Harris County bench lost their seats to Democrats — 59 new judges, all told, including more than a dozen black women, and at least one democratic socialist.​.

The wipeout could mean a wholesale transformation of the judiciary in Houston, a city with one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation, a crisis over bail reform for indigent defendants, and a historic penchant for the death penalty.

“For 19 black women and a socialist to be elected judge in Houston, which is the epicenter of mass incarceration, is not a small deal,” said Jay Jenkins, an attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. “The possibility that we could fix some of the issues that the sitting judges have just proved unwilling or unable to fix is on the horizon.”

But a clean slate election also meant some tough losses. Marc Carter has been a criminal court judge in Houston for 15 years, and one of the court’s most highly regarded jurists — from attorneys on both sides of the aisle. In 2009, he helped set up Texas’s first veterans court, which funnels veterans into treatment programs rather than jail for certain infractions.

He lost to a candidate who never set up a campaign website.

“I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t know what the rules are,” Carter told VICE News “The way you become a judge in Texas isn’t based on merit. It’s simply based on what party you’re affiliated with. And that’s it.”

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Flat Earthers Unite & Trump Deports Haitians: VICE News Tonight Full Episode (HBO)

This is November 21, 2017 FULL EPISODE of VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Hundreds of people gathered for the first ever International Flat Earth Conference. Sold out for months, the conference allowed attendees who previously only interacted online to swap conspiracy theories in person and meet heroes of the movement.

The streets of Harare erupted in euphoria this evening with the announcement that the 37-year reign of President Robert Mugabe is officially over.

Hurricane Harvey brought the court system in Harris County, TX – one of the busiest in the nation – to a screeching halt. Hundreds of people are now waiting in jail for indefinitely suspended hearings and trials.

Following last week’s UN climate conference where 23 countries and states signed a $50 million initiative to phase out coal by 2030, VICE News explores how the coal industry is being dumped by insurers.

Plus, VICE News examines Trump’s decision not to renew deportation protection for Haitians in the U.S. and Thundercat reviews new music on Music Corner.

WATCH Next: “What you need to know about the GOP tax bill” http://bit.ly/2BiIo9J

READ Next: “Your digital privacy rights will be redefined by this Supreme Court case” http://bit.ly/2zOdbit

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How Court Delays Affect Incarcerated People’s Lives (HBO)

Hurricane Harvey brought the court system in Harris County, TX – one of the busiest in the nation – to a screeching halt. Hundreds of people are now waiting in jail for indefinitely suspended hearings and trials.

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Defendants Are Left Waiting After Harvey Flooded A Houston Courthouse (HBO)

Hurricane Harvey brought the court system in Harris County, TX – one of the busiest in the nation – to a screeching halt. Hundreds of people are now waiting in jail for indefinitely suspended hearings and trials.

To watch the full piece, click here:

https://news.vice.com/story/defendants-are-still-waiting-for-trials-after-harvey-flooded-a-houston-courthouse

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Ultra-Potent Synthetic Heroin Is Spreading Across America (HBO)

Overdoses from heroin and other opioids now kill an average of 78 Americans every day. VICE News correspondent Dexter Thomas looked at the growing risks of synthetic opioids by visiting an Ohio county that’s been experiencing an average of 20 to 25 overdoses a day.

The Harris County coroner told him the recent overdose spike is likely attributable to carfentanil, a veterinary drug used in elephant tranquilizers. And a DEA chemist said the synthetic opioid is so potent that 2 milligrams could kill 100 people.

But a Cincinnati heroin addict said he’s willing to risk exposure to carfentanil, which dealers are using to cut heroin. “It worries me a lot, you know, knowing that it’s out there,” Brandon Harris said. “[But] as an addict, it’s worth the risk.”

The DEA confirms carfentanil use is spreading and has been found in six states so far.

Watch “Fentanyl: America’s Deadliest New Drug” – http://bit.ly/2fv6qIw

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