Texas special session kicks off amid thousands of protesters

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Why round two of the Texas abortion fight won’t end like round one

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

Abortion debate picks back up in Texas: Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Austin, Tex., as the state legislature kicked off its special session during which Republicans aim to pass a measure to tighten abortion laws. Most of the protesters opposed the measure, which state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) fought with a marathon filibuster last week. The legislature went into recess for a week only an hour after it restarted, though committees will be in session. The House State Affairs Committee chair said he anticipates that the bill will go before the full House next week.

Obama defends record of fighting HIV/AIDS: Speaking in Tanzania, President Obama defended his administration's record on AIDS relief, disputing a Washington Post report about a funding decline for programs to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Bush says Snowden "damaged the country": George W. Bush — who will join Obama at a wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday  — defended surveillance programs he instituted as president in an an interview with CNN. “I know he damaged the country,” Bush said of Edward Snowden.

Record support for same-sex marriage after high court ruling: A record majority of Americans (55 percent) say same-sex marriages should be legally recognized as valid, according to a new USA Today poll conducted Thursday through Sunday, beginning a day after the Supreme Court announce rulings in a pair of cases involving gay marriage. Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center poll shows 45 percent of Americans say they approve of the court's decisions on gay marriage, while 40 percent say they disapprove.

Heck gets a challenger: Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn will challenge Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.).

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Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Chris Cillizza · July 1, 2013