Austin Local News
More Troops to Mideast, AISD Changes Dress Code, Trump Threatens Deportation
The U.S. is sending another 1,000 troops to the Mideast as its differences with Iran intensify. The deployment of security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering comes after Tehran announced that it won't comply any longer with the international nuclear deal that keeps it from making nuclear weapons. In recent days Washington has accused Iran of attacking two tankers near the Persian Gulf, but the Iranians deny responsibility.
President Donald Trump has tweeted a threat to remove millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally beginning next week. Trump issued the threat Monday night, saying on Twitter that "they will be removed as fast as they come in." An administration official says those being targeted for removal have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large.
Austin's skyline continues to evolve, and a huge new mixed-use development has been proposed on the land that currently houses the Austin American-Statesman. According to the newspaper, the development would be more than 3.5-million square feet and would sit on 19-acres. It would include numerous high-rise buildings, one of which that would be taller than the Frost Bank Tower. The city would still need to approve re-zoning of the land.
The Austin school district's new budget has been approved. The $1.6-billion budget is up from this year's $1.4-billion. But despite passage of House Bill 3, which includes billions more dollars for classrooms and the lowering of school district taxes, AISD taxpayers are still expected to see an average bump in the tax bill of more than $100. The district will again have to dip into its reserve funds to cover a budget deficit.
A new dress code has been approved for the Austin school district. Responding in large part to critics who claim AISD's dress code was sexist and racist, the district has changed its policy to be more gender-neutral. Instead of singling out either of the two genders individually, the new dress code will simply require students to wear a top, a bottom, and shoes. Underwear cannot be visible.
Facebook is launching a new digital currency to make e-commerce accessible to more people around the world.
The social media giant is announcing Libra, a cryptocurrency it is creating with more than two dozen partners including Uber, PayPal, Visa and Spotify.
The digital currency will be backed by a reserve of existing currencies from around the world likely including the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen.
Facebook's long rumored currency will launch to the public early next year. It is likely to spark privacy concerns with people who are wary about giving Facebook more information about themselves.
But Facebook says it will keep financial data secure and separate from its social media sites.
Libra will be governed by a nonprofit made up of the founding companies and non-governmental organizations.