Here’s what you need to know to stay informed this Wednesday:
Nearly 40,000 Verizon employees left their jobs and went on strike Wednesday morning after the company failed to make any progress in overdue contract negotiations, the Associated Press reports. The strikers are members of two unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — who say the company, by postponing contract negotiations, is looking to begin relying more heavily on contractual workers and make layoffs easier. The company is also attempting to abolish a rule that would protect workers from having to work away from home for long periods of time.
UT freshman and dance major Haruka Weiser was sexually assaulted and died after being strangled, the American-Statesman’s Tony Plohetski reports. The cause of death was revealed by several officials familiar with the case. Police are awaiting the results of DNA lab tests before officially filing charged against suspect 17-year-old Meechaiel Criner, who was found burning items reportedly belonging to Weiser after her death last week. The conclusions from an autopsy aren’t expected for several weeks.
In a recent Associated Press survey, only 1 in 5 Americans say they have been following the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination Merrick Garland, but two thirds support the Democratic party’s demands that the Republican-run Senate seriously consider Garland for the opening. Only about a quarter of Republicans and Democrats expressed extreme interest in the issue, supporting the theory that the argument will only appeal to committed partisans, while Americans in the middle find the issue “irritating.”
Hispanic students are seven times more likely, and black student five times more likely, to enroll in schools with high rates of poverty, the American-Statesman’s Melissa B. Taboada reports. According to the State of Texas Children annual report, there is a lack of Hispanic and black students in advanced courses, and despite improved graduation rates, black and Hispanic students continue to trail after their white peers. High-poverty schools are more likely to employ rookie teachers, and teacher tenure has been identified as one of the indicators of a school’s quality of education.
What a soggy morning in Austin, Texas. 3 inches of rain fell during storms moving through Central Texas Tuesday night, the American-Statesman’s Roberto Villalpando reports. While the threat of rain is expected to dissipate by early Wednesday morning, “possible severe storms” are expected for the coming weekend.