Headlines: Obama Raises Record $32.5 Million

Host Farai Chideya runs through the day's headlines, including Ill. Sen. Barack Obama's record-breaking fundraising efforts.

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FARAI CHIDEYA, host:

From NPR News, this is NEWS & NOTES. I'm Farai Chideya.

On today's show, we start this month's religion series. We take the historic look at faith in black America. And actor Blair Underwood has a new erotic mystery novel, "Casanegra." He and co-writer Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due join us later.

But first, let's kick things off with headlines. Today, we start with Illinois Senator Barack Obama. He is breaking records. The senator reported yesterday he raised at least $32.5 million for his presidential campaign from April to June. That's more than any Democratic White House candidate has ever raised.

And in Mississippi, a new civil rights ruling. On Friday, a federal judge said that mostly black county violated the rights of white voters. Prosecutors say it's the first lawsuit that has used the 1965 Voting Rights Act on behalf of whites.

The Justice Department had accused NAACP Democratic party leaders of blocking whites from local elections. But the party's leader, Ike Brown, argued he was trying to keep Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. Judge Tom S. Lee has ordered attorneys on both sides to file briefs suggesting how to end the discrimination.

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