Sep 4, 2017

Capturing Houston's humanity

New Yorker cover for Sept. 11 issue

New Yorker cartoonist Chris Ware "singled out moments of grace as inspiration for this week's cover. Ware, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, reflected on his experience in the Lone Star State":

I lived in San Antonio in high school, in the mid-nineteen-eighties, and attended college in Austin ... I liked Houston for its big buildings, its diversity, and its slack zoning laws, which made neighborhoods unpredictable and surprising.

One night, my cartoonist friend John Keen and I stopped at a restaurant-bar that was about halfway to Houston, in the very Texas-sounding town of Winchester. The parking lot was locked and loaded with about two dozen pickup trucks, and, as scrawny liberal Austinites, we braced ourselves and pushed open the saloon doors, only to find black and white farmers talking and laughing, playing poker, and shooting pool together. In a corner, an interracial couple quietly ate barbecue. This Winchester bar, we realized, was more integrated than the University of Texas we'd just left.

Houston Chronicle banner, "Houston 'open for business' ... CITY OF CONTRASTS: As many residents return to life as normal, crisis continues for those displaced by Harvey." (Read the digital paper free.)

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.