MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Foggy Future

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has some controversial moves in his plan to reorganize the State Department. Among the offices on Tillerson’s chopping block are the one charged with fighting war crimes and the one that handles coordinating cyber issues with other countries. The former Exxon CEO and Wichita Falls native hasn’t made any final decisions yet, but critics are pouncing on the potential shake-up. Human rights advocates are particularly concerned about the potential closing of the Office of Global Criminal Justice. “This is a very harsh signal to the rest of the world that the United States is essentially downgrading the importance of accountability for the commission of atrocity crimes,” David Scheffer, a professor at Northwestern University who served as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, told Foreign Policy. “This sends a strong signal to perpetrators of mass atrocities that the United States is not watching you anymore.” Meanwhile, Tillerson’s plan to fold the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues into the much broader Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs has worried cyber security advocates that the State Department isn’t taking seriously international hacking threats, according to Bloomberg.

Summer Spotlight

The Big 12 conference held its football media days on Monday and Tuesday in Frisco, and fresh blood leading two Texas teams took the main spotlight. The belle of the ball was probably University of Texas-Austin coach Tom Herman, the new guy charged with turning around the struggling Longhorns program. “Losing has to be awful, and you can never get used to losing,” Herman told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “That is one of the biggest downfalls of a lot of teams, is you get used to losing.” Herman also called to revive UT’s gridiron rivalry with Texas A&M. “I don’t know why we can’t play A&M as our marquee non-conference opponent,” Herman said, according to the Houston Chronicle. New Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, meanwhile, emphasized that his regime is working hard to fix the broken culture at Baylor that led to a massive sexual assault scandal. “That which we don’t acknowledge we’re doomed to repeat,” Rhule said, according to the Waco Tribune. “At the end of the day, I don’t know everything that happened, but I just know something that happened that was wrong. If we don’t talk about it, if we don’t learn from it, then what was the point of it? I want to move forward, but I want to move forward always acknowledging the past.”

Dog Days

The Houston Astros were dealt a big blow to their World Series hopes on Tuesday, when star shortstop Carlos Correa was placed on the disabled list to undergo surgery after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. He’ll miss six-to-eight weeks, so he won’t return until mid-September at the earliest, though baseball players are notoriously slow to recover from serious hand injuries. Correa, an All-Star this season who’s batting .320 to go along with twenty home runs, injured the thumb on July 4, and while he’d been able to play through the pain since then, he tweaked his thumb again during Monday’sgame. “Yesterday it snapped on that swing,” Correa told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. “On that swing I felt a shock in my finger. It was hurting a lot.” An MRI later revealed a torn ligament. It’s a tough loss for the Astros, who are in the midst of their best season in franchise history, despite suffering myriad injuries, mostly to their starting pitching rotation. The Astros have a commanding 16.5-game lead in the AL West, but they’ll be pretty thin moving forward without Correa. Hopefully he’ll return just in time for the playoffs.