Is the UN plotting to take over Texas?

Our weekly round-up of global stories from local sources

By Nicholas Nehamas

Ted Cruz, Texas GOP candidate for Senate, believes the UN wants to abolish “golf courses, grazing pastures and paved roads” in America. (Courtesy

Happy Labor Day! Here at Latitude News we’re still on the job, looking at all the ways in which events overseas reverberate back in the U.S. – and vice versa. In today’s interconnected world, news simply doesn’t stop at the border. Below is our weekly round-up of global stories from around the nation:


  • Is the UN trying to restrict Texan sovereignty? No, but some Texans sure think that’s what’s going on. In 1992, the UN passed a non-binding resolution on environment-friendly building practices called Agenda 21. “It has to do with the way our cities are managed,” explains a professor of urban design at UT Austin. “They’re basically saying things like, ‘It’s good to build more compactly. It’s more sustainable. It’s better ecologically. You use fewer cars, burn less fossil fuels.'” Others see it as a far more insidious measure: “It’s about putting the tentacles of the United Nations into the very foundations of our government throughout this nation,” argues Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate who’s expected to win in November. Conservative activists in Texas are using the spectre of Agenda 21 to defeat measures promoting energy-efficiency and sustainable urban planning. (Texas Tribune)


  • A burst pipe in Tijuana, Mexico spilled 5 million gallons of raw sewage into the Pacific Ocean last week. Officials in San Diego shut down beaches on their side of the border for three full days over health and safety concerns. It’s not the first time San Diego’s swimmers have found themselves up a certain kind of creek – and it probably won’t be the last, according to environmental groups. Spills on both sides of the border have become common thanks to outdated infrastructure. One American environmentalist says of the current mess:”The spill should never have happened and it took way too long to fix. The issue of upgrading sewage infrastucture in Playas should be a top priority for officials in Mexico and the U.S.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)


  • How can you cast an informed vote if you can’t even read the ballot? In California, they have the answer: translate it! The state assembly recently passed a bill mandating that ballot initiative petitions be translated into up to nine different languages when being circulated for signatures. “Democracy should be for everyone,” said Michelle Romero, program director for a non-profit that supported the bill. “California speaks 200 languages, but our initiative petitions speak only one. We can bring millions of voters fully into our democratic process, and it will only cost about a penny per person.” The languages include Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. (Asian Journal)


  • Ethnic media outlets from around the country were disappointed that Republican leaders ignored immigration reform at their national convention in Tampa last week. The staff at New American media has compiled a round-up of their reactions. “It is unfortunate,” argues an editor from the Louisiana Data News Weekly, “that this [presidential] race has devolved into something equivalent to turning back the hands of time; a sort of collective nostalgia for, and selective amnesia of, “The Good Old Days”; a time when minorities and women were on the margins, or non-existent, in the mainstream of American society.” (New American Media)