Now we'd like to bring you the story of one young woman for whom going to school was literally an act of courage. Shabana Basij-Rasikh was six when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. They made it illegal for girls to go to school. As a result, for years, Shabana and her sister put their lives on the line to go to a secret school in Kabul. Her persistence and bravery eventually led her to Middlebury College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010.
All week, we are looking at demographic changes in the currently very red, very Republican Lone Star state. Democrats hope the growing size and potential voting clout of the Latin population will turn Texas blue.
Whether that happens or not, the Texas Democratic Party already bears little resemblance to what it looked like when it last dominated Texas politics decades ago.
NPR's Don Gonyea brings us the latest in our series Texas 2020.
For many watching the abortion fight in Texas, it's deja vu all over again.
Abortion-rights protesters once again gathered Monday at the state capitol building to express their outrage at the Legislature's attempt to further restrict abortions in the state. The images from Austin looked a lot like the previous week's when state Sen. Wendy Davis famously filibustered to stop the legislation from passing.
A commission established to study ways to revise the state Constitution has rejected a recommendation from Gov. Robert Bentley to expand the governor's power by making it harder for the Legislature to override his vetoes.
The commission is studying the 1901 Constitution and recommending proposed changes. Any changes would have to be approved by the Legislature and Alabama voters.
When the governor currently vetoes legislation, it takes a simple majority vote of the membership to override the veto. That's 53 votes in the House and 18 in the Senate.
Republican Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she plans to resign Aug. 1 and enter private business with 17 months left in her term.
Chapman tells The Associated Press she has an offer in government and public relations consulting that she can't pass up, and she will end her decade in public office to take the position. She has not released details of the new job, but she said it doesn't involve lobbying.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, the network of ZIP codes we use for everything from mail delivery to credit card security.
The U.S. Postal Service began using the five-digit codes on July 1, 1963, hoping they would improve the efficiency and speed of mail sorting. Since then, the codes have assumed a role in the identities of many Americans, helping to define where they live or work.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for a visit to the barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. We're here in Aspen for the Aspen Ideas Festival, and we couldn't get into the shop, so we brought the shop to us.
Attorneys for Jefferson County have filed a 101-page plan to exit the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.
The plan calls for cutting the county's $4.2 billion debt by more than $1.2 billion and raising sewer rates annually by 7.41 percent for four years. Rates would rise by 3.49 percent annually for an undetermined amount of years after that.
The plan must be approved by Thomas Bennett, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.
Alabama has several new laws taking effect Monday, including one allowing the state parole board to issue posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.
The founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum, Sheila Washington, says paperwork will be filed soon asking the board to issue pardons removing rape convictions that occurred more than 80 years ago. She says pardons would mean shame is gone from the names of the Scottsboro Boys.