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PNS Daily News - August 22, 2017 


We're featuring a variety of stories in today’s news including: a new strategy for Afghanistan; an increase in hate groups is not just an issue in the South; and high blood pressure becoming a more common problem among children and teens.

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Public News Service - TX: Consumer Issues

An observation platform sits above the tree canopy in the 2,088-acre Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Advocates say building a border wall through this area would destroy the habitat of endangered species and migrating birds. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

MCALLEN, Texas – A coalition of immigration and conservation groups is planning a major protest over plans to build a portion of the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley. The Trump administration already has begun site preparations for a 74-mile stretch of the wall in Hidalgo and Starr count

Construction workers put the finishing touches on new townhouses in Dallas. The high cost of housing is making it difficult for low-income Texans to find an affordable home. (ScottOlson/Getty Images)

DALLAS – Despite a boom in home building in the state's largest cities, advocates say affordable housing for low and middle income Texans is getting harder to find. Studies show more than 2 million Texas households, mostly those who rent, spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing,

A controversial bill on the agenda of an upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature would restrict where transgender Texans can use the bathroom. (Davis/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas – A coalition of rights groups is blasting Texas leaders for making anti-LGBTQ bills a priority when lawmakers convene this week in a special session. In a conference call with the media, the groups urged the Legislature to work on funding the state's public schools or repairin

People over 50 could see significant premium increases or benefit cuts in the latest version of the U.S. Senate’s plan to overhaul health insurance. (Hero/GettyImages)<br /><br />

AUSTIN, Texas – Advocates for Texas seniors warn that if the U.S. Senate passes the new health-care plan revealed on Thursday, it could be both a financial and health disaster for older Texans. AARP predicts the bill, which could be voted on as early as next week, would raise annual health p

If Medicaid funds are cut, 3 million low-income Texas children could lose their health-care coverage. (Boyle/GettyImages)

HOUSTON - More than 3 million low-income Texas children could lose their health care if the U.S. Senate's repeal-and-replace bill, known as the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," becomes law, according to a new analysis. The Center for Public Policy Priorities analysis determined that the plan's $80

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs one of dozens of bills passed by the Texas Legislature this session. Opponents already have begun filing legal challenges to many of them. (TexasGovermentOnline)

AUSTIN, Texas – The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature passed some of the nation's most conservative laws during the current session, but political analysts say the real battle may just be getting started. The session is scheduled to end this weekend, but when the gavel comes down, oppo

Texas lawmakers are considering tougher penalties for nursing homes that violate state health and safety regulations. (TerryVine/GettyImages)

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature could soon approve a bill to correct dangerous conditions in many of the state's 1,200 nursing homes. Senate Bill 932, designed to close loopholes in regulations and strengthen penalties for bad actors, is awaiting a House vote after being approved by th

A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council says Texas has the most Safe Drinking Water Act violations of any state in the U.S. (caristo/GettyImages)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Water systems in Texas have the nation's worst record for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act, a new report says. Researchers for the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at Environmental Protection Agency data from 2015 and found almost 14,000 violations in more than 5,

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