first_img Share House Speaker Joe Straus keeps watch on the chamber during debate on Senate Bill 6 on municipal annexation on Aug. 11, 2017. Bob Daemmrich for the Texas TribuneHouse Speaker Joe Straus keeps watch on the chamber during debate on Senate Bill 6 on municipal annexation on Aug. 11, 2017.Joe Straus wants a committee to look at the state’s economic competitiveness and make sure the state government doesn’t spoil a high-functioning business environment.That might be a good government idea. It’s a great political idea.The House speaker’s timing is adroit. The new House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness is on a short fuse, with 60 days to “look at issues such as workforce readiness, infrastructure and state and local economic development tools,” according to the speaker’s announcement. “The committee will also study the reasons that employers give for choosing, or not choosing, to do business in a particular state.” To keep his momentum — not to mention the state representatives most likely to keep him in the speaker’s chair for two more years — Straus and the establishment Republicans need continuing support from the business leaders who opposed the bathroom bill.One faction wants the primaries to be a debate over morals. Straus wants a focus on the Texas economy, and his new committee could offer protection to candidates making that argument.One sees a shield, the other a fig leaf.center_img In case that’s too indirect, think bathrooms. Straus came out on the winning sidein the Texas Legislature’s recent rumbles over whether and how to regulate which restrooms and other facilities transgender Texans should be allowed to use. His argument — bolstered, late in the game, by a swell of support from business leaders — was that proposed state regulations would hurt the state’s image with the people making decisions about business expansions and relocations.Those business leaders argued that regulations like those considered in Texas and passed or considered in other states were inconsiderate of their employees and customers.“Our companies are competing every day to bring the best and brightest talent to Dallas,” a group of North Texas CEOs said in a letter, one of several from businesses in and outside of the state. “To that end, we strongly support diversity and inclusion. This legislation threatens our ability to attract and retain the best talent in Texas, as well as the greatest sporting and cultural attractions in the world.”Another letter, this one from San Antonio executives, was explicit: “Controversial issues, such as regulation of bathrooms, divert much needed attention from what really matters.”Bathrooms aren’t the only variable in the business development equation, but they’re the topical one, splitting incumbent Republican lawmakers and their potential challengers into factions on an issue of some interest to primary voters.Among other things, those primaries will answer a question that animated much of the regular and special legislative sessions this year: Are conservative voters in sync with conservative business leaders, or are lawmakers who sided with business in danger when those voters enter polling places next year? The March 6 primaries are less than five months away. Candidates who want to run in 2018 have to file with the state by Dec. 11.The deadline for the new committee’s report is Dec. 12.“The world is watching, from CEOs to the best and brightest workers,” Straus said in a news release. “They need to see that Texas welcomes them and is determined to stay at the front of the pack when it comes to economic development.”Straus wants the committee “to highlight the principles that the Texas House believes are critical to economic growth.” He mentioned tax breaks and incentive funds already in place, but said businesses are also looking for good public and higher education and “a high quality of life for their employees.”State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, will chair the panel. He’s the chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, and he’s also the legislator blamed by many “bathroom bill” supporters for killing their proposal in the Texas House. Cook survived a challenge in last year’s Republican primary from Thomas McNutt, getting 225 more of the 28,617 votes cast in that race.That’s tight. McNutt, part of the family that built a prosperous fruitcake company, the Collin Street Bakery, is planning to come back for another swing at Cook.That won’t be the only race where this comes up. The bathroom bill is a classic wedge issue, dividing one group of Republicans from another in a way that makes voters’ choices seem clearer.Social conservatives have had an outsized voice in recent Republican primaries. One great example was the 2014 race for lieutenant governor where then-state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston beat three statewide elected officials — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples — by running as the most conservative choice.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were killed and seven others have been injured in three separate road accidents in the district on Sunday.The first incident took place at Andal in West Burdwan at around 6.30 am when a youth was returning home on his motorcycle after doing a night shift. The victim, a private employee, was hit by a speeding truck.He sustained critical injuries in the accident. Some of the locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The truck driver fled the spot immediately. According to the local sources, the truck was at a high speed as a result of which the driver could not control the vehicle when the youth came in front of the truck. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe driver applied a sudden brake but failed to avoid the accident. The incident triggered tension in the area and it caused traffic congestion in Jadudanga area of Jamuria.Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.Another accident took place on National Highway 34 near Udaypur area of Shantipur when a truck collided head on with a bus.One passenger and the helper of the bus succumbed to their injuries in a hospital.According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the bus driver might have fallen asleep while driving on Sunday morning. Seven other passengers were also injured in the accident. Three of them are stated to be serious. They were taken to a hospital for treatment. The third incident occurred in Mejia area of Bankura when a speeding truck knocked down a cyclist from behind. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been at large.last_img read more

first_imgGender stereotyping in baby boys and girls may start as young as three months and men recognise gender of the new-born babies based on the pitch of their cries, researchers reveal. Adults often wrongly assume babies with higher-pitched cries as females and lower-pitched cries as males.The findings revealed that inspite of no actual difference in pitch between the voices of girls and boys before puberty, the study found that adults make assumptions about the gender of babies based on their cries. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“It is intriguing that gender stereotyping can start as young as three months, with adults attributing degrees of femininity and masculinity to babies solely based on the pitch of their cries,” said David Reby from the University of Sussex in Britain. The team recorded the spontaneous cries of 15 boys and 13 girls who were on average four months old and the participating adults were a mixture of parents and non-parents.They synthetically altered the pitch of the cries while leaving all other features of the cries unchanged to ensure they could isolate the impact of the pitch alone.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results also indicate that men assume that boy babies are in more discomfort than girl babies with the same pitched cry which may indicate that this sort of gender stereotyping is more ingrained in men. “The research shows that we tend to wrongly attribute what we know about adults —that men have lower pitched voices than women — to babies, when, in fact, the pitch of children’s voices does not differ between sexes until puberty,” added Nicolas Mathevon from Hunter College in the US in the paper published in the journal BMC Psychology.last_img read more