News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associ - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. CDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The state's governor will appoint Mississippi's first-ever female member of Congress to fill the Senate vacancy that will soon be created when veteran Sen. Thad Cochran retires. The Associated Press obtained the information Tuesday from three state Republicans who spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment is not yet official. The woman is 58-year-old agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has heard arguments from attorneys seeking and opposing an order that would temporarily block a new Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks' gestation. The measure is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Monday, and it became law immediately. The state's only abortion clinic quickly sued.

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Daybreak revealed widespread damage after a night of violent weather in the Deep South. An Alabama college campus was shattered by an apparent tornado and thousands of buildings and vehicles battered by hail as large as baseballs. The area around Jacksonville State University was among the hardest-hit as storms swept across the South, part of a large system that prompted tornado warnings Monday in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Forecasters say a storm system that battered Alabama and Georgia will threaten a large part of the Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas. The national Storm Prediction Center says much of north Florida and the entire Georgia and South Carolina coasts will be at an "enhanced" risk for severe storms, which could include damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The area most at risk is heavily populated, with more than 10 million people.

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