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Texas House Democrats host a news conference on voting rights outside the Capitol in D.C. on July 13. Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A group of Texas Democrats who fled the state to block a GOP-led voting reform bill are not planning on returning anytime soon, and will instead hold a weeklong virtual conference as they up their fight against the Republican bill, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will kick off the conference on Monday, which will feature influential activists and lawmakers through out the week, per the Post.

  • "In continuing to agitate, Texas Democrats will serve as a major test of the power of others seeking to protest legislation in states like Michigan and Georgia" where GOP-led state legislatures are seeking to pass their own voting restrictions, the Post writes.

State of play: Dozens of Texas House Democrats fled Austin last week to break quorum and prevent Republicans from passing the new voting restrictions. They are now staying in D.C. under threat of arrest from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).

  • A coronavirus outbreak has complicated the group's activities in D.C. and forced them to host their conference virtually, per the Post.

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

HHS issues new protections for Texas abortion providers, patients

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

The Biden administration's latest move to bolster support for abortion providers and patients in Texas include funding for clinics, protections for health care workers and reinforcement of legal statutes specific to pregnant people, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Friday.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has vowed to fight Texas' new abortion law, the U.S.'s most restrictive since 1973, on multiple fronts.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.