International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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A clerk prices cigarettes at Discount Smoke Shop in Ballwin, Mo. The Food and Drug Administration, which must approve all new tobacco products or any changes to existing brands, has not cleared any products since assuming that responsibility in 2009. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

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Maria Lola Melisio, 18, entered the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was 7. Now she's an undocumented resident living in Alabama, which has one of the country's toughest immigration laws. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Alabama's Constitution still includes language referring to poll taxes and segregated schools. Voters are poised to decide on an amendment to excise the outdated lines, but some African-American leaders in the state are opposing the change. Dave Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Martin/AP

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," makes an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Mobile. The Republican is running for chief justice again despite being removed from the office nearly 10 years ago for defying a federal court order to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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James Meredith at the University of Mississippi in 2006, as the school dedicated a bronze statue in his likeness on campus. Robert Jordan/AP hide caption

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James Meredith was the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi. The school had originally rejected his application, and a legal battle ensued. In 1962, segregationists protesting his admittance to Ole Miss led to bloody riots on campus. Bettmann/Corbis/AP hide caption

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Albert N. Gore Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 2. Gore is running against incumbent Republican Roger Wicker. He says there should have been younger people interested in taking on Wicker — "but they didn't want to fight." Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

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Franky Hatton and Cletis pose in front of the gravestones of Hatton's champion coon hounds at Coon Dog Cemetery near Cherokee, Ala. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Water gets churned up at the end of a dredging pipeline connected to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. The river has seen water levels from Illinois to Louisiana plummet because of drought conditions in the past three months. When there's less flow coming downstream, saltwater from the Gulf wedges its way in. Adrian Sainz/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Adrian Sainz/AP

Justice Bernette Johnson is at the center of a legal battle over whether she will be the next chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Louisiana Supreme Court/AP hide caption

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Sgt. Miro Brekalo talks with residents in New Orleans' Gentilly neighborhood, as other officers walk their beat. Their goal isn't only to stop crime; it's also to connect with citizens who are often reluctant to report crimes. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

Candy Chang, co-founder of the website Neighborland, writes on an art installation in New Orleans in April. As part of a public street art project that later became Neighborland, Chang put nametag-like stickers on empty New Orleans storefronts for residents to write ideas for improving the city. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Abortion opponents demonstrate outside Mississippi's only abortion clinic in Jackson. Rogelio V. Solis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rogelio V. Solis/AP