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Houston police’s AI surveillance facial technology worth $178K approved, but privacy, racial discrimination concerns raised

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abc13.com – Jessica Willey – 2024-06-12 22:23:52

SUMMARY: Houston City Council approved a $178,000 one-year agreement with Airship AI Holdings, Inc. to expand the Houston Police Department's AI surveillance, installing 64 cameras throughout the city. The decision has sparked mixed reactions; some support its potential crime reduction benefits, while concerns over privacy and racial discrimination have been raised. Texas Southern University professor Carroll Robinson predicts misidentifications and calls for protective legislation. The deal restricts tech support to the vendor only, further fueling debates on the transparency and effectiveness of AI in law enforcement. The issue reflects broader national questions about facial recognition technology's reliability and oversight.

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CenterPoint Energy faces lawsuit from Houston restaurants over prolonged power outages

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abc13.com – Tom Abrahams – 2024-07-15 22:18:37

SUMMARY: Restaurant owners in Houston have filed a class action lawsuit against CenterPoint Energy, alleging that the company’s negligence led to power outages that significantly hurt their businesses. Executive chef Ryan Lachaine of Riel Restaurant emphasized the devastating impact of the week-long outage on his business and employees. Lawyer Tony Buzbee, representing the plaintiffs, aims to address infrastructure issues and advocate for change. Another restaurateur, Robin Wong, highlighted the repeated losses due to power outages. The lawsuit seeks accountability and improvements to prevent future disruptions. The group stresses they don’t want a handout but demand reliable service.

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Multiple charged in alleged assault, kidnapping of teen in Williamson County

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www.kxan.com – Kelsey Thompson – 2024-07-15 21:19:30

SUMMARY: The Williamson County Sheriff's Office arrested multiple people in connection to an aggravated kidnapping and assault on July 3, where a 17-year-old male was shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The victim was lured to a residence in the Summerlyn subdivision, attacked by multiple adults, and then shot. The alleged shooter, 19-year-old Matthew Sabedra, was arrested by the US Marshals on July 11 and charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault. Tobias Rogers and Logan Humphries, both 19, face similar charges and are jailed with a $500,000 bond each. Danyelle Marsh, 36, and Nathaniel Walker, 17, were also arrested, with charges pending bond amounts.

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Hurricane Beryl sets off derecho-time issue nested outages again across Houston as thousands remain dark for 1 week

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abc13.com – Daniela Hurtado – 2024-07-15 20:56:23

SUMMARY: CenterPoint Energy in Houston had about 135,000 customers still without power by Monday evening after Hurricane Beryl caused 240,000 outages. They forecast full restoration by Friday, July 19, 11 days post-storm. By Monday night, 92% of customers had power back, with 98% expected by Wednesday. They cautioned customers about potential weatherhead damage preventing quick restoration. CenterPoint noted “nested outages” and varying circuit damage as ongoing issues. With 14,000 crew members working 16-hour shifts, the company has extensively repaired infrastructure but some outages may persist until Friday. Governor Abbott has requested an investigation into the response.

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