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This Hour: Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment

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Cruz ends hold on nominees over FAA flight ban

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is no longer blocking confirmation of a series of ambassadorial and other diplomatic nominees over the Federal Aviation Administration's 36-hour ban on U.S. airline flights to Israel.

Cruz said in a statement Monday that he received a briefing from FAA officials, who responded to his questions about the prohibition.

The FAA banned flights after a rocket landed about a mile from the Tel Aviv airport. Cruz accused President Barack Obama of imposing an economic boycott of Israel while it is fighting the militant group Hamas in Gaza.

The State Department had described Cruz' comments as offensive and ridiculous.

Cruz said he hoped the administration would not repeat its actions.


Obama considers large-scale move on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) - White House officials are making plans to act before November's midterm elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants in this country illegally.

The move could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama.

Advocates and lawmakers who've been in touch with the administration say officials are weighing a range of options including changes in the deportation system and ways to grant relief from deportation to targeted populations in the country.

That might include parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizen children - which could be around 3.8 million people - or parents of immigrants brought here illegally as kids who've already received executive relief from Obama. That could be an additional 500,000 to 1 million people.


California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

MEXICO CITY (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has taken a not-so-subtle dig at Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border.

Brown said Monday in Mexico City that he expects it to be a short-lived measure and that "wiser minds will prevail."

Brown is in Mexico for three days of meetings, focusing on migration, trade, investment and environmental cooperation.

At a news conference Monday with Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Jose Antonio Meade, Brown said the immigration overload of thousands of Central American youths at the border should be seen as a humanitarian issue. The United States is coping with a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border, coming mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Meade said he and Brown agree that the use of law-enforcement or military agencies "is never justified in cases where children are concerned" unless they are providing medical or logistical aid.


Former CPS supervisor arrested on tampering charge

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - West Texas police say a former supervisor for state Child Protective Services has been arrested for tampering with evidence as police investigated the 2012 starvation death of a 22-month-old girl.

Abilene police Chief Stan Standridge said Monday that 58-year-old Martha Kiel Whitaker turned herself in Saturday on the felony charge. She posted $1,000 bond and was released. Online jail and court records do not indicate an attorney for her.

Standridge says detectives had "grave concerns" about a lack of cooperation by CPS supervisors as police investigated the death of Tamryn Klapheke. The child was found dead in her crib inside a squalid home while her father was on an Air Force deployment.

Tamryn's mother, Tiffany Klapheke, was convicted of her death and sentenced in February to 30 years in prison.


West Texas teenager arrested in fatal stabbing

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - West Texas police say an 18-year-old man has been arrested in a stabbing death near Abilene Christian University.

D'Angelo Bell is charged with capital murder in the death of 19-year-old Kaleb Cory on Sunday at a housing complex near the university. He's also been charged with assault of a public servant.

Bell was arrested and placed in a patrol car, where police say he kicked out a window and injured an officer.

Bell is being held in jail on bonds totaling $290,000. The Taylor County jail says records don't show an attorney for him.

Police say Bell fought with Cory after the victim confronted him about stealing several items from the apartment's owner.

Authorities say Cory was stabbed several times and was taken to a hospital where he later died.


Woman dead at Houston warehouse was assaulted

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston police say a 35-year-old woman whose body was found at an abandoned warehouse was assaulted and died of her injuries.

Police on Monday identified the victim as Lakeisha Perkins. Nobody has been arrested.

The woman's body was discovered last Tuesday after police received a tip. Investigators did not immediately say how Perkins was assaulted.

Police are asking anyone with information on the slaying to contact authorities.


Odessa getting $400K horseman, cattle sculpture

ODESSA, Texas (AP) - A West Texas city's tribute to the ranching way of life will feature a $400,000 sculpture of a cowboy on horseback and five steers.

Crews on Monday began installing the piece called "The Stragglers" in a project by the Odessa Council for the Arts & Humanities.

The work by artist Terrell (TEHR'-ehl) O'Brien is 70 feet long and about 13 feet tall.

Council executive director Randy Ham says the sculpture should be set up by Thursday at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin campus. Ham says the official unveiling will come in early August.

The Odessa American ( ) reports the arts council was eligible to receive some funds from Odessa's hotel/motel tax.

The Odessa City Council provided $262,000. Private donations made up the rest.


Texas agencies to crack down on illegal water use

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Increased enforcement efforts will soon begin to prevent people from illegally drawing water from Central Texas lakes and the lower Colorado River.

Law enforcement officers for the Lower Colorado River Authority and other agencies will increase patrols beginning Friday. They'll look for property owners along the chain of lakes that include Buchanan and Travis who are illegally drawing water for domestic uses such as watering lawns.

LCRA spokeswoman Clara Tuma said Monday the authority has spent the last few years reminding lakeside property owners that they must have a contract to pump lake water for their use. There were fewer than 60 contracts with the authority in 2009 and now there's more than 3,700.

Increased patrols also will be conducted along the Colorado River between Lake Travis and Matagorda Bay.


2 women found dead in San Antonio home

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - San Antonio police say two women have been found shot to death at a house in an apparent murder-suicide.

Police spokeswoman Romana Lopez on Monday did not immediately release names of the women, ages 37 and 61, or further details on them. Autopsies were ordered.

Police were called Sunday by a man who had not heard from or seen the women for several days, noticed their vehicles in the driveway and became concerned.

Officials discovered the front door was boarded shut from the inside. A window air conditioner was removed so a firefighter could crawl into the residence.

Investigators believe the older woman fatally shot the younger woman, then killed herself. Both bodies were in a bedroom. A pistol was nearby.

Police are investigating a possible motive for the shootings.


Proposed West Texas shelter would be largest in US

CLINT, Texas (AP) - Authorities are considering a bid to build a shelter in West Texas that would be the largest in the U.S. to hold unaccompanied children who enter the country illegally.

A number of sites in Texas and elsewhere are being considered as detention facilities for many of the more than 57,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the U.S. since October.

But with 3,500 beds, the proposed Abraham Lincoln Transitional Lodge southeast of El Paso would be far larger than other centers. A temporary processing facility in McAllen holds about 1,000 children.

The lodge's marketing director, Charles McGuire, tells the Houston Chronicle ( ) that the principal backers of the bid previously have invested in housing for oil workers in Texas.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is reviewing the proposal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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