Two parents with children in a New Orleans voucher program and two pro-voucher groups are asking to join the state in fighting a lawsuit that seeks to block a statewide program using tax dollars to send children to private schools.
The intervention petition was filed in Baton Rouge district court Monday for the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Alliance for School Choice and the New Orleans parents.
We turn now to another story that's making headlines for all the wrong reasons. It's been a bloody year in the Windy City. More than 250 people have reportedly been murdered so far this year in Chicago. That number is up about 38 percent from the same time last year, and now people are asking just what Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing about it.
He faced reporters yesterday and said some of the old plans to stop violence weren't working now.
I'm Maria Hinojosa, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we look at a growing trend: moms starting their own businesses. It can come with more flexibility, but there are also emotional and financial risks. We talk to a group of mom-preneurs, and that's just ahead.
We turn now to Nancy Northup. She's the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the Jackson Women's Health Organization in court. This is the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, and it might have to close its doors if a new law there is upheld. If it closes, Mississippi would be the only state with no working abortion clinic. She joins me from her office in New York City. Nancy, welcome to TELL ME MORE.
Several black Louisiana elected officials are asking the Justice Department's civil rights division to intervene in a dispute over whether state Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson is legally entitled to become the court's next chief justice.
A letter sent Monday to the head of the division's voting section accuses Johnson's colleagues of trying to dilute the rights of black voters by unilaterally creating a new process for deciding which justice has the most seniority.
I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, violence continues to erupt across Syria. We'll talk to a human rights activist who has seen it firsthand. That's in a few minutes.
But first, a year ago today on July 9, 2011, the world's newest nation was born in Africa.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We hereby declare Southern Sudan to be an independent and sovereign state.
"I will be outspent." This simple phrase headed an email President Obama recently sent to supporters.
"We can be outspent and still win," the message read. "But we can't be outspent 10 to 1 and still win." Obama asked for donations of as little as $3 to compete against the deep pockets of Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the super political action committees that back him.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter is highlighting his role as Louisiana's lone member on the congressional committee that drew up a final version of the federal highway bill. But he's omitting the detail that the bill blows an $859 million hole in Louisiana's Medicaid funding.
As President Barack Obama was set to sign the measure into law Friday, Louisiana's Democrats were questioning Vitter's role in slashing the Medicaid dollars and asking if he fought against the cuts.