Broad swath of Texas under tornado watch
DALLAS (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Central and North Texas.
The advisory Tuesday by the weather service could be expanded to include East Texas as a storm system moves east across the state. Severe thunderstorms are anticipated in some areas.
The NWS has issued the tornado watch until 7 Tuesday evening.
A layer of warm air over the area had limited storm development in much of North Texas over the past two days. That layer is expected to dissipate Tuesday, allowing storms and isolated tornadoes to develop.
Storms have continued to rage along the edges of the warm-air cap over the region, though. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported a Monday tornado in Blanket, a town of about 400 residents some 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
Man pleads guilty in Picasso vandalism case
HOUSTON (AP) - A man accused of vandalizing a 1929 Pablo Picasso painting in an act that was caught on cellphone video has pleaded guilty in exchange for a 2-year prison sentence.
Uriel Landeros had faced felony graffiti and criminal mischief charges accusing him of spray-painting "Woman in a Red Armchair" at the Menil Collection in Houston.
Emily Detoto, Landeros' attorney, says that at a court hearing Tuesday, her client pleaded guilty to the graffiti charge as part of a deal with prosecutors. The other charge was dropped.
The painting was damaged June 13. A bystander captured the act in a 24-second video that was posted on YouTube. The vandal left behind an image of a bullfighter, a bull and the word "conquista," the Spanish word for conquest.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
Obama opposes GOP bill on Keystone XL oil pipeline
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama opposes a House bill that would speed approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.
The White House said Tuesday that the bill "seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes" by removing a requirement for a presidential permit. The legislation also says no new environmental studies are needed.
House Republicans say the bill is needed to ensure the long-delayed pipeline is built. The project, which first was proposed in 2008, would carry oil extracted from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Opponents say the pipeline would carry "dirty oil" that could trigger global warming, while supporters say it would create jobs and bolster North American energy resources.
A House vote is expected Wednesday.
Senate approves tax break for veteran spouses
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has approved a plan to give property tax relief to the spouses of military members killed in combat.
Tuesday's Senate vote will put the idea to voters statewide in November.
The constitutional amendment would allow surviving spouses to claim a full property tax exemption if they are in the same house they lived when their spouse was killed. If they move, they could apply an exemption worth the value of their old home toward their new one.
The exemption would end if the surviving spouse remarries.
In the last four years, voters have twice amended the state constitution to grant property tax breaks for veterans who were rated 100% disabled and their surviving spouses.
Indian guest workers sue company in Miss., Texas
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Dozens of Indian guest workers are suing an Alabama-based marine and fabrication company, claiming it financially exploited them and forced them to live in squalid conditions after bringing them to work at Gulf Coast shipyards after Hurricane Katrina.
Three federal lawsuits backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center were filed Tuesday in Mississippi and Texas on behalf of 83 people who were recruited to work as welders and pipefitters for Signal International LLC after the 2005 storm.
The center filed a similar suit in New Orleans in 2008, but a judge refused to certify it as a class action. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also sued the company in 2011.
A Signal International lawyer said she hadn't seen the new lawsuits and declined to comment on their allegations.
E COLI OUTBREAK
Officials link E. coli outbreak to restaurant
BRYAN, Texas (AP) - Authorities have traced an E. coli outbreak in Central Texas to meat served to customers of a Mexican restaurant.
Health officials in Brazos County said Tuesday ground meat prepared at Coco Loco in College Station over a 3-day period in mid-April carried a virulent strain of the bacteria.
The Eagle reports that Brazos County Health Authority Dr. Eric Wilke describes the outbreak as an isolated matter and says the restaurant has taken steps to prevent any future problems.
In a show of support, Wilke took a bite from a Coco Loco taco while meeting with the media.
Officials say five people were infected and that five other cases were investigated due to similar symptoms and are classified as probable E. coli.
A restaurant manager wasn't immediately available for comment.
LESBIAN COUPLE-MORALITY CLAUSE
Divorce clause keeps lesbians from living together
MCKINNEY, Texas (AP) - A judge has ruled that a North Texas lesbian couple can't live together because of a morality clause in the divorce papers of 1 of the women.
The clause is common in divorce cases in Texas and other states. It prevents a divorced parent from having a romantic partner spend the night while children are in the home. If the couple marries, they can get out from under the legal provision, but that is not an option for gay couples in Texas.
The Dallas Morning News reports that in a divorce hearing last month for Carolyn and Joshua Compton, Collin County District Judge John Roach Jr. ordered Carolyn Compton's partner to move out of the home they shared with the Comptons' two daughters.
OKLAHOMA TORNADO-WALMART DONATION
Walmart pledges $1M for Moore tornado recovery
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Walmart says it is pledging $1 million for the recovery from the tornado that devastated Moore.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based company said Tuesday that it will make donations of cash and materials equal to $1 million.
Walmart is also sending truckloads of food, water and other basic items to serve as immediate aid.
The world's largest retailer says no customers or employees were injured in its two stores in Moore. But the company says some workers' homes were destroyed and that it is still checking on the needs of its employees.
The company is sending workers from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas to the affected areas so members of Oklahoma crews can be with their families.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.