Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Advocates Press for Anti-Trafficking Legislation at Capitol Rally 

Chanting “stop trafficking now” and holding signs, dozens of people gathered inside the state Capitol on Jan. 24 for an anti-human trafficking advocacy day.

As rain poured outside the Capitol, many of the attendees said they want legislators to prioritize several bills, including House Bill 350, by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), which targets the use of so-called white-label ATMs that can be used to hide financial transaction associated with human trafficking; House Bill 444, also by Thompson, which would allow local governments to collect fees in court actions brought against illicit massage parlors; and House Bill 279, by Rep. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond), which would allow prosecutors to try traffickers who have victimized “disabled individuals.”

Texas only trails California in the number of people trafficked, according to a 2021 report from the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

UT Bans TikTok Due to Security Concerns, But Some Professors Wary

Some UT professors said they understand the concern over TikTok but voiced anxiety about the ban affecting their ability to study and teach.

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‘I Can’t Let You Down’: How Mexican Truckers Are Easing U.S. Driver Shortage While Helping Their Families Back Home

For Juan Martinez and his truck, a trip usually lasts from Monday to Saturday, starting in Mexico and going north into the United States before returning home. He is one of thousands of truck drivers from Mexico, taking jobs to haul freight across the border under a 1991 commercial trucking agreement between the United States and Mexico.
The opportunity of a higher salary is driving more Mexicans with a B1 visitor visa to a profession that is constantly struggling with a worker shortage.
But the industry still needs 78,000 drivers, “The price of everything we buy is going to go up,” said a manager for trucking company, “because it’s going to cost more to move it, because we have less drivers that want to move it.”

Alex Jones in Her Courtroom Is the Least Interesting Thing About Judge Maya Guerra Gamble

The world came to know Maya Guerra Gamble last summer as the no-nonsense judge presiding over the Texas defamation trial of Austin-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars media company.
“It seems absurd to instruct you, again, that you must tell the truth while you testify,” the Travis County district court judge lectured Jones at one point. “But here I am. You must tell the truth while you testify. This is not your show. You need to slow down and not take what you see as opportunities to further the message you’re wanting to further.”
Speaking directly is a trademark of Gamble’s personality. “I’ve always been a pretty direct person. … And in both directions. I have never enjoyed false praise. I would rather hear the truth. Whatever it is,” Gamble said.

From the Military to the Kitchen, These Veterans Are Choosing a Career That Brings Out Their Passion for Food

Into the Tunnels: Austin’s Electronic Dance Underground

Award-Winning Chef Edgar Rico’s Taqueria Is Giving Back, One Free Meal at a Time

Diversity in Tattooing Opens Up Art Form to People with Different Identities