Six years ago Monday, Hurricane Katrina blew up the U.S. Gulf Coast, killed more than 1,800 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The story of the coast's recovery varies from place to place.
For some, life is back to normal. Along the Mississippi coast, thousands affected by Katrina still live in battered houses. They've been trapped by a technicality. Their homes were damaged by wind gusts rather than Katrina's storm surge.
In Biloxi, railroad tracks separate some of the neighborhoods that got the most help from those who got little or no aid.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram brings a bit of curious news this morning: A Tarrant County juror was sentenced to two days of community service after he pleaded guilty to four counts of contempt of court.
Note: Wilhelm Furtwangler's last name is typically spelled with an umlaut over the 'a' character. The npr website does not support characters with umlauts over characters. A variation of Furtwangler's name without the umlaut is spelled Furtwaengler.
Wilhelm Furtwaengler's name may be hard for Americans to pronounce, but the reason this great conductor isn't so well-remembered here is that he chose to remain in Germany during WWII, though he was never a member of the Nazi Party, and was exonerated by a postwar tribunal.
Algeria's state news agency is reporting that the government there says members of Moammar Gadhafi's family are now in that country, The Associated Press and other news outlets say.
It's thought that they include the ousted Libyan leader's wife, two sons and a daughter. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is in Tripoli, says it's also being reported that some of Gadhafi's grandchildren may also be in the group.
Alan Krueger, who President Obama today nominated to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, favors "the idea of having a new jobs tax credit" as one way to get the labor market moving again, he told Bloomberg radio last month.
"If companies increase their payroll by an employee, they could get a $5,000 tax cut to offset their additional hiring costs," Krueger said.
The search for Yvonne, the six-year-old cow that dashed to freedom just before she was to be transported to a slaughterhouse in southern Germany, has been called off. The cow has become a star, drawing international attention to Zangberg, the Bavarian commune where she made her escape.
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 11:46 am
The International Space Station may have to fly solo this fall. All of the astronauts, NASA said today, might have to leave the station in late November if Russian spacecrafts can't make trips to the station.
The AP reports:
If Russian Soyuz rockets remain grounded beyond mid-November, there will be no way to launch new crews before the current residents are supposed to leave.
A Russian supply ship was destroyed during liftoff last week. The rocket is similar to what's used to launch astronauts.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said before Hurricane Irene rolled over the mid-Atlantic and up through New England that the Federal Emergency Management Agency does more harm than good because "all they do is come in and tell you what to do and [what you] can't do" and add billions of dollars to the federal deficit.
Plus, he added, the agency did not perform well after Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans' levees six years ago — devastating that city.
Wisconsin politics — which hasn't been pretty of late — has made its way into a local Labor Day parade. The organizers of the Wausau Labor Day parade announced they would not let Republican lawmakers take part in the Sept. 5 display. The parade is organized by 30 local unions.
Whatever you think about the merits of boxing as a sport for adults, pediatricians say children have no place in the ring.
Citing the risk of injuries, including concussions, the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Paedeatric Society, have come out in opposition to boxing as a sport for children and adolescents.
Pediatricians should strongly discourage parents from letting their kids box and suggest sports "that do not encourage intentional head injuries," says a new policy statement from the two national groups for pediatricians.
Among the many photos and videos taken by people up and down the East during and after Hurricane Irene passed through are three clips taken Sunday in Mount Holly, Vt., as local firefighters rescued a couple from their vehicle.
WPTZ-TV of Plattsburgh, N.Y., has them posted here. It says they were taken by "u local contributor Melody Bothers Katrobos."
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 9:49 am
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I spent all day Saturday watching The Weather Channel. It started very early in the morning when I woke up nervous and headed out to the living room. The hurricane hadn't even made landfall yet, but they already had a guy on the beach who had been assigned to watch over a wooden pier to see if it would collapse. "I appreciate The Weather Channel's nonstop coverage of America's Pier," I said to practically nobody, since practically nobody was awake.
Spending had dipped 0.1 percent in June from May. That had raised concerns about whether consumers — who buy about 70 percent of all goods and services — might pull an already weak economy down further.
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 7:26 am
Our pal Linda Holmes over at Monkey See knows much more about these types of things than we do, but we do want to take a quick break from natural disasters and other heavy news to note that megastar Beyonce Knowles apparently stole the show at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards by cleverly revealing to the world that she and Jay-Z are expecting a child.
Originally published on Mon August 29, 2011 6:55 am
Colin Powell isn't a fan of Dick Cheney's new memoir.
On CBS News' Face the Nation this weekend, former Bush administration secretary of state Powell said that Bush-era vice president Cheney takes some "cheap shots" and "overshot the runway" in the book that goes on sale this week.
The remnants of Hurricane Irene moved north Monday into Canada, leaving behind a path of destruction after raking the mid-Atlantic and northeast, where residents faced damaging floods triggered by hours of torrential rains.
While Irene's maximum wind speed might not compare with other legendary hurricanes, the storm had tremendous reach. A couple of days after it beat up on North Carolina, it still had enough strength to pummel Vermont and other parts of New England.
On a recent morning, John Pierce walked across the sprawling hospital campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. On the lawn, he spotted people who have come to define the place in recent years.
"[They were] having physical fitness-type tests," Pierce says. "There were people with notebooks and things, like they record when you do your sit-ups and pushups — but these were a number of double amputees."
Pierce is the historian for the Walter Reed Society, which makes him an expert on the historic American hospital in Washington, D.C.
Cities have been tearing down crumbling, vacant houses for decades. The money for municipal demolition bills usually comes out of city budgets, but in Cleveland the housing crisis has started to change that equation.
Bill Beavers has lived on Cleveland's Dove Street since 1967. But on a frecent sunny morning, Beavers is sitting on a neighbor's front porch, watching something he has never seen on his block before.
We've all heard the theory that some students are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. And still other kids learn best when lessons involve movement.
But should teachers target instruction based on perceptions of students' strengths? Several psychologists say education could use some "evidence-based" teaching techniques, not unlike the way doctors try to use "evidence-based medicine."
In the Horn of Africa, 12 million people are in need of food aid because of the drought. The people of Somalia, facing both famine and war, are some of the hardest hit.
Many of those fleeing Somalia seek refuge in the southwest, at Kenya's giant Dadaab refugee camp. The settlement is about 50 miles from Kenya's border with Somalia. There are almost half a million Somalis in the camp – with more arriving every day.
Within 48 hours, Hurricane Irene was downgraded from a Category 2 to a Category 1 to a Tropical Storm by the time it passed through New York City. City officials along the East Coast called for historic evaluations, and grocery and home improvement stores were stripped bare in some areas. People prepared for the worst, but the worst never came. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan and NPR's Joe Palca talk about why Irene didn't live up to it's billing of a storm that could have caused cataclysmic damage.
On Friday night, Kevin Boyer was at Venter City Beach near Atlantic City with some buddies. They'd just bought a bunch of beer — Yuengling and Miller Lite. But when it looked like Hurricane Irene was going to be pretty serious, he decided to ride the storm out at home, with his parents, who live a block from the beach. They drank his dad's scotch, instead.