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

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law on Monday a bill that restricts how teachers can discuss racism in both current events and throughout U.S. history, the Texas Tribune reports.

The big picture: Florida, Tennessee and Republicans in several other states have moved to ban "critical race theory," the belief that systemic racism has been baked into legal and other U.S. institutions to conserve white supremacy.

  • The Texas law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, also bans educators from teaching "The 1619 Project" — following the lead of GOP lawmakers in Iowa, Arkansas and Mississippi.
  • The Texas law does include additional learning requirements on white supremacy, slavery, eugenics and the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Educators and other advocates have opposed the bill, saying it would hinder necessary conversations on current events and lead "to whitewashing history," per the Tribune.

What to watch: 21 states have either considered bans on critical race theory or will be considering them, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Go deeper

Southern Baptists reject push from right to elect Ed Litton as president

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) rejected a push from the right in a divisive vote on Tuesday, electing a president who has prioritized racial reconciliation and approving a measure that rejects any view of racism as "anything other than sin," AP reports.

Why it matters: Ed Litton, as the new SBC president, will have the power to determine committee appointments, which can set the tone for the country's largest Protestant denomination. The SBC is comprised of 14 million members.

Grid operator asks Texans to conserve power amid outages in searing heat

Power lines stretch along along a highway near Alpine, Texas. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Texas' power grid operator has asked people to "reduce electric use as much as possible" until Friday following days of searing heat and a "significant number of forced generation outages."

Why it matters: The request by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) comes months after a deadly winter storm blew out the state's power infrastructure and left millions of Texans without power for days.

Updated 13 mins ago - Sports

In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 6 highlights

An underwater view of swimmers including Team USA's Caeleb Dressel (R) in the final of the Olympic Tokyo Games men's 100m freestyle on July 29. Photo: François-Xavier Marit/AFP via Getty Images

There's been plenty of Olympics drama on day six of the Tokyo Games Thursday — notably China's women's swimming team beating the U.S. and Australia in the record-setting 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

The big picture: Katie Ledecky helped the U.S. win silver, which also beat the previous world record smashed by China's team. Team USA grabbed two more swimming gold medals, when Caeleb Dressel won the men's 100m freestyle and Bobby Finke triumphed in the first men's Olympic 800m freestyle.

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