Kurds Stand Their Ground, Austin Eyes a Car-less Congress Avenue, More Homeless Problems in Downtown

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Kurds Stand Their Ground, Austin Eyes a Car-less Congress Avenue, More Homeless Problems in Downtown

The Top Five Things You Need to Know at 7:05

1. TURKISH FORCES PRESS ADVANCE AGAINST KURDS

Turkey says its military launched airstrikes and unleashed artillery shelling against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Kurds and Syrian activists say that despite the barrage, Turkish troops had not made much progress on several fronts.

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2. WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS PULL DISAPPEARING ACT

As the impeachment inquiry swirls around Trump, they've skipped the high-profile Sunday TV shows and avoided driveway gaggles with reporters.

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3. APPLE GIVES IN AFTER APP CRITICISM

The tech giant removed a smartphone app that allows Hong Kong activists to report police movements after a Chinese newspaper accused the company of facilitating illegal behavior.

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4. OVERHAULING CONGRESS AVENUE

The push continues to transform Congress Avenue through Downtown Austin into a pedestrian-focused area that minimizes the use of cars.  Adam Greenfield with the Pedestrian Advisory Council says Austin must reclaim that space for foot traffic.

"One of the reasons why more people don't come to Congress is, right now, the vast majority of space has not been allocated to people, it's allocated to cars," Greenfield says.

To make room for more people, the recommendation includes the removal of at least two lanes of traffic, which would then allow for sidewalks to be widened.  The remaining space would then be used for things like kiosks, artist exhibits, and more.

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5. HOMELESSNESS AGAIN CATCHES THE EYE OF GOVERNOR ABBOTT

Governor Greg Abbott tweets, "Is Austin’s policy of allowing the homeless to do whatever they want really helping the homeless?" ...after watching a video of two men fighting in Downtown Austin.   The man thought to be homeless is seen after the fight, throwing a dockless scooter through the other man's car window. The Driver, Lawrence Black tells FOX 7, he doesn't want this to vilify the homeless.

"I'm sad for people like me, or anybody working here who has to go through this, and I'm sad that a lot of them blame it on homeless people," he says.

Black hopes the attention on the video will lead to society addressing the issue. 

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