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An aerial view of the Negrohead Lake in Baytown, Texas. Photo: FRANCOIS PICARD/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names on Thursday unanimously approved several requests to remove "Negro" from the names of 16 sites in Texas, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The federal board in 1991 denied a similar request after Texas lawmakers passed legislation to rename the sites after Black people who made notable contributions to the state, per the Texas Tribune.

What they're saying: "This day has been a long time coming, but I am proud to see this change finally happen," Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis said in a statement Thursday, per the Post.

  • "I hope that the [U.S. Board on Geographic Names] will build on the progress made today in Texas, and work with other groups across the country to ensure that all racially offensive names are erased from the public domain," he added.

The agency also approved the sites' replacement names, "all of which are largely Texas-related heroes," the Post notes.

The big picture: More than 1,000 towns, lakes, streams, creeks and mountain peaks across the U.S. continue to bear racist names, Axios' Russell Contreras writes.

Worth noting: The U.S. Board on Geographic Names works under the Interior Department and is in charge of maintaining "uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government." Geographic names are then added on a registry, "which companies like Apple and Google rely on for their maps services," the Post writes.

Go deeper: Hundreds of places with racist names dot the U.S.

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2021 - Health

Texas temporarily drops enforcement of ban on mask mandates

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

The Texas Education Agency said in new guidance Thursday that it will temporarily stop enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on public school districts imposing mask mandates, citing ongoing litigation.

Driving the news: The guidance came the same day that the Texas Supreme Court declined to uphold the mask ban over a technicality, sending the case down to an appeals court.

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.