Brownsville, more than Miami, that highlights the ways in which Zika may take hold in the United States now, because in Brownsville, every factor that might encourage Zika already exists. The weather is semitropical and humid ... Its residents have high rates of obesity and diabetes, conditions that undermine the body’s defenses against disease. It is one of the poorest cities in the country, and the housing is frequently substandard ... the city contains an untraceable churn of people.

The Texas voter ID law was...put on hold after the Justice Department intervened. When the Supreme Court limited the scope of the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, Texas put the law into immediate effect. Texans were required to show one of seven forms of government-issued photo ID at the polls in local, statewide and federal elections. But the law...was rolled back for the November 2016 election, largely because of the DOJ’s success in arguing the law was discriminatory in intent and effect

Traditional Northern and Midwestern swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio are likely to lose electoral votes and congressional seats, while states like Texas and Arizona — which aren’t swing states now but are becoming more competitive — are likely to gain them. Florida, which is already among the swingiest swing states, will also likely gain seats. That means Trump’s strategy of appealing to Rust Belt voters could be less successful in future races.

For nearly 700 miles along the American border with Mexico, a wall already exists ... The border spans 1,900 miles across four states – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas ... About 40 miles past Ciudad Juárez, the wall of metal mesh abruptly ends, like a half-finished thought. The remaining border is marked by the Rio Grande. But hundreds of miles in rural Texas, including Big Bend National Park, are unfenced and lack any man-made barriers or walls whatsoever.

In theory, companies receiving Enterprise Fund grants were accountable for their job-creation pledges and had to make refunds when they fell short. In practice, the numbers proved hard to quantify and few companies had to make refunds...by the end of 2010, companies had created barely more than a third of the jobs promised ... $222 million had been given out to companies that hadn’t even formally applied for funds or made concrete promises for job creation.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. added insurance coverage for transgender workers this year, joining more than 500 companies taking a bigger role in advancing the rights of LGBT employees in a competitive market for labor ... some still resist LGBT-friendly policies ... About 8 percent of companies examined by the index don’t have even basic hiring and firing protection for gay employees and 18 percent don’t recognize gender identity in their policies

Since 1975, Congress has required public schools in the United States to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability. But ... the Texas Education Agency's 8.5 percent enrollment target has led to the systematic denial of services by school districts ... If Texas provided services at the same rate as the rest of the U.S., 250,000 more kids would be getting critical services such as therapy, counseling and one-on-one tutoring.

The rate of Texas women who died from complications related to pregnancy doubled from 2010 to 2014...for an estimated maternal mortality rate that is unmatched in any other state and the rest of the developed world ... the report singled out Texas for special concern, saying the doubling of mortality rates in a two-year period was hard to explain “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval"

Hispanics have a higher rate of and more aggressive chronic liver disease and worse treatment outcomes than whites, likely due to a co-existence of multiple types of liver disease, along with genetic and cultural factors ... In Texas, only Hispanics have liver disease as a top 10 cause of death. It doesn’t make the list for whites or blacks. It is equally deadly in New Mexico, where county liver disease death rates often equal those in El Paso.

The other two laws batted down last week imposed photo identification requirements on residents of Wisconsin, another swing state, and Texas, a reliably red one. Thirty four states request identification at polling places, and the rules in nine are characterised as “strict” by the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan advocacy group. But few have laws as unbending as Texas’s Senate Bill 14 (SB 14) or Wisconsin’s Act 23, both passed in 2011.