Louisiana

Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Though life-threatening flooding still poses a threat to Louisiana, weakening winds on Sunday marked Barry's downgrade from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The National Weather Service forecasts that the center of the storm will continue to move through northwest Louisiana toward Arkansas through Monday.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry is beginning to take a toll on the central Gulf Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rains to parts of southeastern Louisiana, where residents have been preparing to cope with flooding and power outages.

As Barry slowly approached land, an oil rig southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River reported "sustained winds of 76 mph and a wind gust of 87 mph," the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

In New Orleans, officials told residents to get off the streets and shelter in place.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and it could become a hurricane by late Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters say the storm could bring a storm surge and heavy rains to Louisiana.

Barry is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane shortly before making landfall Saturday morning. Its maximum winds are expected to reach only around 75 mph — but officials are warning of perilous flash floods and other hazards.

Louisiana officials announced a deal Wednesday with Asegua Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, that would allow the state to provide hepatitis C treatment to its Medicaid and prison populations. They also secured the necessary clearance from the federal government Wednesday for a novel approach to paying for the drugs and expect the program to start July 15.

Updated at 5:39 a.m. ET Friday

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards on Thursday made Louisiana the latest state to ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

It came a day after the Louisiana House approved the strict new abortion measure barring the procedure once a heartbeat is detectable, a point before many women may realize they are pregnant.

Updated at 2:30 p.m.

Police have arrested the son of a Louisiana sheriff's deputy as a suspect in connection with three historically black churches that were torched in recent days.

Officials identified the suspect as Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old white male from St. Landry Parish, a small community about an hour west of Baton Rouge.

In 1975, Norris Henderson went on trial for second-degree murder as a 19-year-old in New Orleans. He thought he was a free man when there were two holdouts on the jury.

"Watched Perry Mason all my life," he says. "Okay, 10-2, I'm outta here."

But he was mistaken. Louisiana has a split-jury system that only requires 10 of 12 jurors to return a guilty verdict.

After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

This story is a collaboration with Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and PRX. You can share your own experience with increased flooding here.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

President Trump, declaring "there has probably never been anything like this," praised the work done by federal officials and authorities in Texas and Louisiana to deal with the massive flooding caused by Harvey, the hurricane-turned-tropical storm.

"To the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are 100 percent with you," Trump said in his opening statement at a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

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