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Here is the latest Texas news from The Associated Press

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Posted: Jan 31, 2014 6:00 AM

Updated: Jan 31, 2014 6:01 AM

(Information in the following story is from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com )

HOUSTON (AP) Federal health officials are investigating after more than 170 passengers and crew members became sick aboard a cruise ship, prompting a premature end to the voyage. The Caribbean Princess returned to port in Houston late Thursday. As with another cruise ship that returned early to New Jersey earlier this week, the suspected culprit is the highly contagious norovirus.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) A West Texas jury will decide whether a man convicted in the 2011 slayings of a woman and her adult daughter should face execution. The punishment phase begins Friday in El Paso for 24-year-old Christian Martinez. Investigators say 58-year-old Amalia Flores and 20-year-old Jovana Flores were found slain at their residence, each stabbed dozens of times.

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) More than 30 people have been indicted in a Houston-based wrongful employment and human smuggling ring with ties to Louisiana and Arkansas. Prosecutors say two employment referral businesses recruited immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Central America, for the Chinese restaurant industry. The workers received substandard pay in cash, weren't allowed to keep tips, had no benefits and lived in crowded conditions.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Several candidates for Texas statewide office will meet with veterans of foreign wars at their winter meeting in Austin. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, both Republicans who are seeking re-election are among those scheduled to speak Friday to the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, also is scheduled to speak. Gov. Rick Perry, who is not seeking a fourth full term but has yet to announce if he'll run again for president, also will appear.

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