Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who is seeking his seventh term, is in a heated primary race with a Tea Party-backed challenger. Supporters of his opponent are accused of conspiring to photograph Cochran's bedridden wife. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Eddie Ramirez, 15, outside his mobile home in Snow Hill, N.C. He's been working in tobacco fields during the summer for several years. Will Michaels for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Will Michaels for NPR

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel speaks to supporters in Jackson on Thursday. He is challenging Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in Cochran's bid for a seventh term. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Jackson Women's Health Organization, located in an art deco section of Jackson, Miss., minutes from the state Capitol building, has long been a flashpoint in the abortion debate. Debbie Elliot/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliot/NPR

Man-made canals built for the oil and gas industry cut through wetland. The industry argues those canals aren't to blame for coastal erosion. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Scott Pegau, a scientist at the Prince William Sound Science Center, studies the effects of spilled oil on the environment in Cordova, Alaska. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry. Marisa Peñaloza/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Marisa Peñaloza/NPR

Nick Van Sickels (right) with his husband, Andrew Bond, and their daughter, Jules. The couple was legally married in Washington, D.C., but because same-sex marriage is banned in Louisiana, Bond has no parental rights. Janet McConnaughey/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Janet McConnaughey/AP

Alynda Lee Segarra is the lead singer and songwriter of the New Orleans folk ensemble Hurray for the Riff Raff. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Pitmaster Rodney Scott seasons a roasting hog behind a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Ala. Scott has been touring the South with a makeshift barbecue pit to raise money to rebuild his family's cookhouse after it burned down in November. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR