Thursday, September 01, 2005

BREAKING NEWS FOR THE DAY WILL GO HERE

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From the AP: Heavily armed state policemen stood watch Thursday as tense, exhausted and angry crowds struggled onto buses that would deliver them from the miserable conditions of the Superdome.

As buses were being loaded for the trip to the Houston Astrodome, a crowd broke through a line of National Guardsmen and rushed the glass doors into the Hyatt Regency complex that adjoins the Superdome.

They were stopped by 19 heavily armed state policemen -- one had an AR15 rifle and another a 12-gauge shotgun -- all in Kevlar vests.

State police officer K.W. Miller told a reporter, ''You better move to the back. This is ready to break. We've been here since 6 a.m. and this is getting worse and worse.''

From Reuters:
But not everyone prospered. In the devastated streets and atop the rubble piles where their homes stood before Katrina blew through, a bitter refrain is increasingly heard. Poor and low-income residents complain that they have borne the brunt of the hurricane's wrath.

"Many people didn't have the financial means to get out," said Alan LeBreton, 41, an apartment superintendent who lived on Biloxi's seaside road, now in ruins. "That's a crime and people are angry about it."

Many of the town's well-off heeded authorities' warnings to flee north, joining thousands of others who traveled from the Gulf Coast into northern Mississippi and Alabama, Georgia and other nearby states.

Hotels along the interstates and other main roads were packed with these temporary refugees. Gas stations and convenience stores -- at least those that were open -- sold out of water, ice and other supplies within hours.

But others could not afford to join them, either because they didn't own a car or couldn't raise funds for even the cheapest motel.

"No way we could do that," said Willie Rhetta, a bus driver, who remained in his home to await Katrina.

Resentment at being left behind in the path of one of the fiercest hurricanes on record may have contributed to some of the looting that occurred in Biloxi and other coastal communities.

A number of private residences, including some in upscale neighborhoods, were targeted, residents said.

Class divisions, which often fall along racial lines in this once-segregated southern state, are not new to Mississippi. It traditionally is one of the poorest states in the United States.
Marie Antoinette, take a bow.

From Reuters:
Gas prices should then return to levels seen earlier this year, Bernanke said. Gas prices were already high before the storm because of soaring global demand for oil, he said.

Meanwhile, oil prices have moved relatively little in the past week as a result of the hurricane, because the global supply and demand for oil was not much affected, Bernanke said.

"The amount of speculative activity is not that great and I'm fairly convinced that what's happening to prices is not much to do, or anything to do, with speculation. What it has to do with primarily is just the fundamental facts of supply and demand," he said in response to a viewer question.

Bernanke said there is not that much the United States can do about escalating global demand for energy except develop alternative sources of fuel.
Too bad the energy bill does anything but that.

From the French press (remember, we are supposed to hate them!)
Stretched relief services flailed away at a vast refugee crisis developing, unbelievably, within US borders, following a mass human exodus from Hurricane Katrina.

Scenes emerged of desperation, deprivation and human agony, which Americans are used to seeing only on their television screens from the world's hotspots.

A huge operation was underway to pull out people still marooned in the swamped city of New Orleans, but the evacuation was badly hampered by poor communications and rising anarchy as a National Guardsman was shot and wounded and a helicopter came under fire.

As the strain on already underfunded and inadequate infrastructure along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, became critical, wild rumors flew of a building crime wave, allegedly blamed on desperate evacuees.
Disorder always follows in the wake of government collapses! The cops are syphooning gas from cars so they can keep going and everyone is now breaking into stores seeking water and food. Of course.
People who fled the hurricane in a mass evacuation on Sunday were stuffed, sometimes many to a room in hotels, roadside motels and homes of relatives in southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

But thousands of people appeared to still be trapped by floodwaters, according to officials, with reports circulating of rotting bodies being left for days in steaming hot summer weather.

Not a room was to be found within a 250-mile (400-kilometre) radius of New Orleans, and many of those already in hastily booked accommodation found money fast running out.

"The majority of hotels have been cooperative," said Angele Davis, secretary of the Louisiana department of culture tourism and recreation.

"We strongly urge them to continue to accept them," she said at an emergency operations center set up in Baton Rouge.

But there were reports that some local hoteliers were asking evacuees to leave by Friday, and as afar afield as Houston, Texas, a five hour drive to the west, there were isolated incidents of hotels raising prices.

"We are working to try to get hotels to keep their doors open so these people can stay there as long as possible," said Louisiana Lieutentant Governor Mitch Landrieu.
Easy for FEMA to fix if anyone is running it but Bush handed it over to a GOP cronie who knows nothing about disasters or service. So instead of ordering hotels to house people and giving them CHITS, we watch them sit there, dumbfounded.

2:30--Good chance Fats Domino and maybe his family are lost in this flood. He's one fine musician. My heart continues to break. He isn't the only missing great musician.

2:40---Biloxi Miss.--remember, this paper endorsed Bush!---From Editor and Publisher via a poster at Atrios (I love all of you!)
The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., in an editorial today, criticized the relief effort in its ravaged area so far, and told officials and the nation-at-large: "South Mississippi needs your help."

It angrily revealed: "While the flow of information is frustratingly difficult, our reporters have yet to find evidence of a coordinated approach to relieve pain and hunger or to secure property and maintain order. People are hurting and people are being vandalized.

"Yet where is the National Guard, why hasn't every able-bodied member of the armed forces in South Mississippi been pressed into service?"

Pointedly, it declared that earlier today, "reporters listening to horrific stories of death and survival at the Biloxi Junior High School shelter looked north across Irish Hill Road and saw Air Force personnel playing basketball and performing calisthenics."
Marie Antoinette, take a bow again. Wow. Just fucking wow. Just like 9/11. Goof off.

3:20--From Reuters:
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued an urgent plea for relief on Thursday, saying the flooded city lacked food for thousands of Hurricane Katrina's refugees and buses to evacuate them, CNN reported.

"This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the Convention Center and don't anticipate enough buses. Currently the Convention Center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people," he said in the statement read by CNN.
This reminds me of the Titanic. As the captain frantically called for help, shooting off flares, ships from far away thought he was CELEBRATING. Nearly every third class passenger died that night.

5:25--f
People on roofs dwindling in numbers because of hot sun. No water means they try swimming to somewhere, anywhere. I hope these people were picked up.

From the Atrios forums:
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did appreciate a serious storm but these levees got breached and as a result much of New Orleans is flooded and now we're having to deal with it and will," [Bush] said.

WTF? If no one anticipated the breach of the levees, then why were they asking for money to upgrade the levees to withstand a Cat-5 Hurricane? Smarter preznit, please!
Yes, insensitive twit himself did say that. This moron claimed he read the book about the Galveston Hurricane just two years ago. Obviously, he learned nothing from it.

From the New Orlean's newspaper online:
Thursday, September 01, 2005


City not safe for anyone
Thursday, 3:45 p.m.

Across the city Thursday, the haunting fear of flooding was
replaced by a raw fear for life and public safety.

Navigating the St. Thomas area of the Lower Garden District in an SUV,
Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell, accompanied by a photographer from The New York Times, described a landscape of lawlessness where he feared for his life and felt his safety was threatened at nearly every turn.

At the Superdome and Marc N. Morial Convention Center, Russell said
throngs of hungry and desperate people displaced by the flood overwhelmed the few law enforcement or miliatary personnel present.

"There was no crowd control," Russell said. "People were swarming.
It was a near riot situation. The authorities have got to get some
military down here to get control of the situation."

Russell witnessed a shootout between police and citizens near the
Convention Center that left one man dead in a pool of blood. Police, perhaps caught off guard by their sudden arrival on the scene, slammed Russell and the photographer against a wall and threw their gear on the ground as they exited their SUV to record the event.

The journalists retreated to Russell's home Uptown where they hid in
fear. They planned to flee the city later today.

Almost everywhere Russell went Uptown, one of the few relatively dry
areas in Orleans Parish, he said he felt the threat of violence.

"There is a totally different feeling here than there was yesterday
(Wednesday)," said Russell, who has reported on the aftermatch of Hurricane Katrina since the storm devastated the city on Monday. "I'm scared. I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm getting out of here."
As night approaches, things deteriorate rapidly.

God save those poor people.

5:45---FEMA is directing people to donate money to "Assassin" Pat Robertson!

SPLOID EXCLUSIVE: FEMA is directing Katrina donations to none other than the Rev. Pat Robertson …

Millions of Americans and people around the world have rushed to donate money to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which is shaping up to be one of the worst U.S. disasters in history, if not the worst.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the lead federal agency in the rescue & recovery operation at work in New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf coast.

FEMA has released to the media and on its Web site a list of suggested charities to help the storm’s hundreds of thousands of victims. The Red Cross is first on the list.

The Rev. Pat Robertson’s “Operation Blessing” is next on the list.
Amazing. He is a criminal. And besides, he can advertise on his own TV for donations. This should be illegal. Seperation of Church and State.
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