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Governor’s domestic terrorism task force meets at Capitol

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott last week convened the quarterly meeting of his Domestic Terrorism Task Force at the state Capitol. "We must work together to develop meaningful solutions to fully eradicate domestic terrorism in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in explaining the purpose of the meeting. "Just as domestic terrorism takes many forms, this task force is committed to developing comprehensive and evolving defense strategies to ensure a safe and secure future for every Texan," Abbott added. Abbott’s office said the task force analyzed prevention strategies against domestic terrorism in the form of cyber attacks and discussed the importance of good “cyber hygiene.” Task force members include Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other high-ranking state, county and federal officials. DPS releases reports On Jan. 7, the Texas Department of Public Safety released two reports: the 58-page "Assessing the Mass Attacks Threat to Texas" and the 49-page "Texas Domestic Terrorism Threat Assessment." In releasing the documents, DPS Director Steven McCraw said it is critical to evaluate public safety vulnerabilities. To further its mission in preventing acts of violence and terrorism, the DPS is urging Texans to report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement or through the iWatchTexas program, a system that captures and connects potential criminal, terroristic or school safety-related threats. Both reports are available online at dps.texas.gov/news.htm. Disaster is declared Drought conditions have caused a state of disaster in 17 Texas counties, Gov. Greg Abbott declared on Jan. 3. The declaration applies to the counties of Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Karnes, Kendall, Kinney, Llano, Maverick, McCulloch, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Williamson, Zapata, and Zavala. Significantly low rainfall and prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire and pose an imminent threat to public health, property, and the economy. In the declaration, the governor authorizes the use of all necessary available resources of state government and its political subdivisions. Injury statistics posted The Texas Department of Insurance on Jan. 3 referred to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing there are more workers in shopping malls and retail outlets that get sick and injured than in any other private industry sector in Texas. An estimated 33,200 retail workers in Texas suffered a job-related illness or injury in 2018, as compared to 12,300 in construction, 17,700 in transportation and 20,400 in manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 25% of these injuries required Texas retail workers to lose a ...

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