AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety has placed state Rep. Tony Tinderholt under state protection after the Arlington Republican received a number of death threats over his bill to abolish abortion in Texas.

Luke Macias, Tinderholt’s political consultant, said there is an ongoing investigation into multiple death threats Tinderholt and his family have received, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune. He said the Arlington Police Department and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office have also been involved.

“All involved have done an incredible job protecting his family during this stressful time,” Macias said in a prepared statement.

Tinderholt started receiving threats after Jan. 11, when he filed a bill to criminalize abortion: the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act. If the bill were to become law, women who have abortions and abortion providers could be charged with murder.

Abortion rights advocates say the bill violates a woman’s right to have an abortion.

—The Dallas Morning News


52 paper cutouts pop up at Baylor after lawsuit alleges 52 rapes

DALLAS — A display of solidarity with Baylor University sexual assault survivors popped up on campus Monday, as students resumed classes for the first time since a new lawsuit alleged that the football program’s sexual assault problem was far worse than previously reported.

Students taped 52 paper cutouts in the shape of people to the ground on Fountain Mall, near the student center, to represent the 52 acts of rape that Friday’s lawsuit claims were committed by 31 football players between 2011 and 2014.

“How many more?” one cutout read.

The latest estimate — based on investigations by lawyers — far exceeds the figure school officials provided to The Wall Street Journal in October. After the law firm Pepper Hamilton investigated how the university responded to sexual assault, regents told the paper that 17 women had accused 19 football players of sexual or physical assault since 2011.

The lawsuit’s accusations could not be independently verified, and Baylor declined to comment Friday on whether it stands by its original numbers. Colorado attorney John Clune, who filed the suit on behalf of a survivor who says she was raped by two football players in 2013, said the regents’ estimate did not represent the total number of assaults.

—The Dallas Morning News


Samantha Bee to host ‘Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’

Sorry, President Trump. Samantha Bee will be unavailable to host the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” announced Monday that it would be hosting “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” on April 29 in Washington, D.C., the same night as this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner is scheduled to take place.

“Executives at TBS offered their full support of the gala by nodding politely and then muttering under their breath as we turned around,” Bee quipped in a statement released Monday. “The evening is sure to bring plenty of surprises, music, food, and laughter — and if you’re not careful, you just might learn something. Specifically, you’ll learn how screwed we’d be without a free press.”

The correspondents’ dinner is traditionally attended by the president and vice president and often includes a roast of the commander in chief and his administration.

Given Trump’s distrust of the media, which he’s described as “the opposition party,” “very dishonest people” and “fake news,” it’s unclear how much roasting will take place.

Or, as the statement from “Full Frontal” put it: “We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs.”

The proceeds from the Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

—Los Angeles Times


Iraqi lawmakers recommend reciprocal ban on US citizens

IRBIL, Iraq — Iraq’s parliament urged its government to bar U.S. citizens from entering the country, in response to an entry ban that President Donald Trump ordered on citizens of Iraq and six other Muslim-majority nations.

A majority of lawmakers voted on Monday to recommend a reciprocal ban, Mahmoud Al-Hassan, a member of parliament’s legal committee, said by phone from Baghdad. The non-binding measure also calls on Iraq’s government to lodge protests with the Trump administration, the U.S. Congress and international bodies including the United Nations.

The Iraqi measure, if adopted, could shut the Middle Eastern country’s doors to U.S. oil workers, diplomats and military advisers who are helping Iraq fight Islamic State militants. “The final decision is up to the government,” Al-Hassan said.

World leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have denounced the U.S. ban, which also targets citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — including those with dual citizenship. Iraq is so far the only one of the seven targeted countries to propose a reciprocal measure.

—Bloomberg News


Parliament expected to back Brexit

LONDON — Even one of most vocal and prominent supporters for keeping the U.K. in the European Union concedes there is no chance Parliament will prevent Prime Minister Theresa May from formally kick-starting Brexit.

“I have no doubt at all that the House of Commons, and following it the House of Lords, will vote to trigger Article 50, because it is essentially about whether you respect the outcome of the referendum or not,” Hilary Benn, 63, the head of the main panel of lawmakers scrutinizing the government’s Brexit policy, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

Benn’s words may help calm any concern among investors about what a Supreme Court ruling that Parliament be given a say will mean. Lawmakers in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, on Tuesday will begin two days of debates on a government bill to officially invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

While most lawmakers in both houses may have wanted the U.K. to stay in the bloc, they’re unlikely to go against the will of the people, said Benn, who is chairman of the Exiting the European Union Committee.

May is hoping to be able to stick to her timetable of starting two years of exit talks by the end of March.

Benn, a member of the opposition Labour Party, said that Parliament “doesn’t intend to be a bystander,” meaning there will be attempts to try and shape Brexit, not stop it.

—Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.