Five stories that have North Texas talking: A jet makeover, gun buybacks, Bible classes, social media laws and more.
As American Airlines aims to escape bankruptcy, possibly through a merger with U.S. Airways, it's debuting a new, um, airy design for its logo and planes. The new Boeing 777-300ER joins the AA fleets in a few weeks along with about 60 new planes.
Photos of the planes' new clothes leaked on Twitter before officials announced the change. The Star-Telegram's Sky Blog rounds up some reactions.
- Do gun buybacks actually help keep people safe? NPR's Scott Neuman explains such programs in the U.S. date back to the 1960s, and their ability to reduce gun violence is questionable. But Dallas Common's buybacks certainly yield something: art made of disabled guns. KERA's BJ Austin has that story.
- Many Texas public schools have "academic" Bible classes, with schools accountable to the State Board Of Education's rules. But courses at a number of districts, including Duncanville and Prosper in North Texas, are offroading a bit, according to a study by SMU religious studies prof Mark Chancey and the Texas Freedom Network. Throughout the state, Chancey and the TFN found students being taught they may be living in the end times, shown Venn diagrams of an impending rapture and given tracts featuring the ABCs of salvation. [TFN Study, HT Unfair Park]
- Texas lawmakers are dabbling with social media rules that could change, for instance, what personal account information employers are allowed to ask for. Democratic state Rep. Helen Giddings is among those pushing for more privacy in the eve-changing, somewhat uncharted territory of Tweets and status updates. [Texas Tribune]
- Did you catch that NY Times Travel section's stunning slideshow/guide presentation of 46 Places To Go In 2013? Houston landed at number 7 for its ambitious restaurants and renewed focus on culture. The relatively new Museum of African American Culture, the Asia Society Texas Center, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science got the paper's attention.