A long-standing battle between activists and the City of Chicago over school closures in minority neighborhoods has intensified with a dozen protesters entering their twelfth day of a hunger strike on Friday over a shuttered high school. Camped out on the lawn in front of Dyett High School in South Chicago, the strikers vow to consume only liquids - such as juice and chicken broth - until the city agrees to reopen the school. The protest comes as the Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school system in the country, cuts 1,400 jobs, seeks a $480 million bailout from the state of Illinois and struggles to beef up underfunded pensions.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tropical Storm Erika has the potential to rake Florida's west coast with heavy rains starting late Sunday or early Monday. Although the storm's path and intensity are a bit uncertain, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Friday for the entire state. Officials say residents should prepare by filling vehicles' gas tanks, stockpiling a few days' of food and water, and determining whether they live in an evacuation zone.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a judge's ruling that would have blocked the National Security Agency from collecting phone metadata under a controversial program that has raised privacy concerns. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said there were not sufficient grounds for the preliminary injunction imposed by the lower court. The ruling was a setback for privacy advocates but did not reach the bigger question of whether the NSA's actions were lawful.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says it is going forward with a new federal rule to protect small streams, tributaries and wetlands, despite a court ruling that blocked the measure in 13 central and Western states.
HOUSTON (AP) — Bunk beds dominate the narrow living room of Chevelle Washington's modest three-bedroom brick townhouse apartment. A large box in the corner is piled high with kids' shoes. The 51-year-old is raising six of her grandchildren. Her home is a refuge, a haven.
NEW YORK (AP) — An Army chaplain has won a national prize for an original sermon that he will deliver on Sept. 11 at a chapel near ground zero that became a sanctuary of consolation after the terrorist attacks.