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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

A federal judge Monday temporarily blocked a provision of Texas' coronavirus response that prohibited most abortions, the Statesman reports.

The big picture: Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order on March 22 banning elective procedures in the state as a means to save medical supplies like masks and gowns for coronavirus cases. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said one day later that the order applied to abortions unless the woman's life was at risk.

  • U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel argued that the prohibitions amounted to a ban on abortion and violated women's rights.
  • "Regarding a woman’s right to a pre-fetal-viability abortion, the Supreme Court has spoken clearly. There can be no outright ban on such a procedure," Yeakel wrote.
  • The temporary order will remain in place until April 13, when Yeakel will host a hearing to determine the legality of the provision. 

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New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

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Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.