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/ 8 November 2005

She screamed, ‘Sis is in here. Sis is in here’

Nobody knows how long Deborah ”Bodie” Fisher (85) had been trapped in her home with the corpse of her younger sister, Delia ”Sis” Holloway (82), upstairs and 60cm of flood water downstairs when help finally floated by on September 2. We’ll return for your sister’s body, the rescuers said. Two months on she was still in the house.

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/ 31 October 2005

Katrina blows voodoo out of New Orleans

The last time Don Glossop saw his customers, they were ritually burning green candles, hoping voodoo would pierce the federal bureaucracy and hasten the arrival of desperately needed relief cheques. Glossop’s shop, New Orleans Mistic, has been closed since Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans two months ago, and most of his clients have scattered across the country.

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/ 12 October 2005

Last of New Orleans open to displaced residents

The final portion of storm-savaged New Orleans was open to residents on Wednesday, with road blocks lifted at a neighbourhood nearly obliterated during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mayor Ray Nagin cleared the way for displaced residents to return to the Lower Ninth Ward for the first time since storms and flooding laid waste to the working-class neighborhood.

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/ 11 October 2005

New Orleans police charged after taped beating

Three police officers on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of battery after they were filmed repeatedly beating a 64-year-old man outside a bar in New Orleans. Footage from Associated Press showed Robert Davis being punched in the face, his head striking a wall, before being bundled to the ground by four officers and subjected to blows and kicks.

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/ 5 October 2005

New Orleans mayor announces 3 000 layoffs

Mayor Ray Nagin said the city is laying off as many as 3 000 employees — or about half its workforce — because of the financial damage inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Nagin announced with ”great sadness” that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll.

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/ 21 September 2005

Hurricane Rita grows stronger

Storm-weary residents prepared to flee devastated New Orleans on Wednesday as powerful Hurricane Rita threatened the United States Gulf Coast three weeks after Katrina’s deadly passage. US meteorologists upgraded Rita early on Wednesday to a powerful category-three category on the five-level hurricane-intensity scale.

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/ 20 September 2005

New Orleans warned over new tropical storm

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin on Monday suspended the return of the stricken city’s population as a new storm bore down on the coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, authorities in Florida ordered the evacuation of several islands in the Keys chain off the south coast because of Tropical Storm Rita.

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/ 16 September 2005

Jazz and life return to New Orleans

New Orleans’s French Quarter with its historic facades — a pulsing microcosm full of jazz bars, piano bars, hotels, restaurants, sex clubs and galleries — might be able to return to its normal day- and nightlife since it was relatively undamaged by Hurricane Katrina. But the city is not taking any risks.

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/ 15 September 2005

Bush in Louisiana as toll rises and popularity plummets

United States President George Bush was to head back to storm-wracked New Orleans on Thursday as his popularity plumbed new lows and the death toll from Hurricane Katrina rose further. Bush was to make a prime time speech to spell out long-term plans for rebuilding the three Gulf of Mexico states — Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi — that were pummelled by the hurricane.

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/ 6 September 2005

Dire Katrina death prediction as water recedes

A week after Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, engineers plugged the levee break that had swamped much of the city and flood waters began to recede, but along with the good news came the mayor’s direst prediction yet: as many as 10 000 dead. Hopeful signs of recovery were accompanied by President George Bush’s second visit to Louisiana.

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/ 5 September 2005

Empty, ruined and desperate

New Orleans was finally emptied of all but the most desperate remnants of its population on Sunday, leaving behind a ghost town under military occupation as troops fanned out through the city streets. In belated recognition of the depth of the crisis, Washington swallowed its pride and asked for blankets, food and water trucks from the EU and Nato.

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/ 2 September 2005

Bush admits relief effort falls short

Thousands of National Guardsmen with food, water and weapons streamed into hurricane-ravaged New Orleans on Friday to bring relief to the suffering multitudes and put down the looting and violence. Their arrival came amid blistering criticism from the mayor and others who said the federal government was bungling the relief effort while people lay dying in the streets.

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/ 31 August 2005

‘No choice but to abandon’ flooded New Orleans

Army engineers trying to plug New Orleans’s breached levees struggled to move giant sandbags and concrete barriers into place, and the state governor said on Wednesday the situation is growing more desperate and there is no choice but to abandon the flooded city. The Pentagon has begun mounting one of the biggest search-and-rescue operations in United States history.

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/ 30 August 2005

Hurricane leaves Gulf Coast reeling

Hurricane Katrina smashed into the United States Gulf Coast near New Orleans on Monday, trapping hundreds of people in their flooded homes and leaving a trail of devastation across the southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The hurricane killed at least 54 people in Mississippi, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

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/ 29 August 2005

Residents cower as Katrina makes landfall

Fear ripped through the largest emergency shelter in New Orleans on Monday as rain from Hurricane Katrina seeped through the roof of the Superdome sports arena. ”The Superdome management assured us this would be the safest place in New Orleans,” a clearly shaken reporter told a local radio station.

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/ 29 August 2005

Hurricane Katrina claims first victims

Hurricane Katrina claimed its first victims in Louisiana early on Monday as it dumped torrential rain on the southern state and other parts of the United States Gulf of Mexico coast, threatening death and massive destruction. Although slightly weaker, the monster storm forced tens of thousands of New Orleans residents to flee the city.

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/ 6 July 2005

Tropical storm moves over Louisiana

Tropical Storm Cindy began moving ashore on Wednesday, pelting the Louisiana coast with rain and intermittent squalls. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Dennis is brewing in the Caribbean but will likely arrive in the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend.
July 5 is the earliest date on record for four named storms.

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/ 24 February 2005

Jailhouse rap

A rapper who is in jail awaiting a murder trial has angered the sheriff by recording parts of his forthcoming music video behind bars. The rapper C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, has been jailed for more than three years, facing a second-degree murder charge in the killing of a 16-year-old inside a nightclub.

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/ 14 December 2004

Blackface judge now red-faced

A white judge who wore blackface make-up, handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit at a Halloween party will be suspended for six months, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The justices voted 5-2 to suspend Judge Timothy Ellender for a year without pay for dishonouring his position, but to defer half of that penalty.