Controversy over whether New Orleans Mayor failed to follow hurricane plan

Sunday, September 4, 2005

New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin is facing criticism over the evacuation of citizens before Hurricane Katrina struck.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of buses were sitting in bus yards, some less than a mile from the Superdome. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco commented, “The buses could have saved an estimated 20,000 people if they had been used for emergency evacuations which President Bush had declared two days before Katrina hit.”, however the evacuation was ordered by Mayor Nagin, President Bush having no direct authority to order evacuations. Thursday, after the storm, Blanco by executive order used school buses for evacuation.

The 2000 edition of the southeast Louisiana evacuation plan on page 13, paragraph 5 states:

5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.

There were however alternative emergency plans, including ones held by state Homeland Security offices, and it is unclear which one was being operated to.

The Superdome had been opened shortly before the storm as a shelter of last resort for those who had not evacuated. As FEMA observed at that time: “Most residents have evacuated the city and those left behind do not have transportation or have special needs.” Roughly 150,000 people were not evacuated from the city. During the Hurricane Ivan evacuation 600,000 people failed to evacute the city.

According to WWLTV, during a news conference on Sunday before the hurricane struck, Mayor Nagin claimed he “could and would commandeer any property or vehicle it deemed necessary to provide safe shelter or transport for those in need”. However photos circulated appear to show unused school and privately owned busses left stranded in flood waters.

It is unclear whether Mayor Nagin knew these particular buses existed, since the Orleans Parish School Board is not under his jurisdiction and his office would not normally know the location of OPSB bus yards or be able to contact the drivers of those buses to place them into service. Normally it is the job of FEMA to coordinate between the various local jurisdictions such as the OPSB and the City of New Orleans in this case. That is, under the rules of prior hurricane responses, FEMA would ask all local jurisdictions for a list of resources under their control. Then FEMA would have taken a request from Nagin for buses, relayed it to the Orleans Parish School Board or other local jurisdictions which had buses, and at that point the OPSB would have provided the buses to Nagin. That coordination did not happen here, but it is unclear whether Nagin ever made such a request prior to the hurricane and after the hurricane they were underwater and useless.

However, if he had known about them, the declaration of a state of emergency on August 26 gave him the right under Louisiana law to commandeer them for the duration of the emergency. The failure to issue a timely evacuation order in effect made it physically impossible to evacuate the nursing homes, hospitals, and those without automobiles.

In a radio interview on WWL-AM shortly after the hurricane, Mayor Nagin said, ” I need 500 buses, man. We ain’t talking about — you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here. I’m like, “You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans.” “

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Demand For Nursing Jobs Tips The Scale Above All Other Professions On Health Career Web.Com, a division of Dominion Enterprises, has profiled the top profession-based search engine queries that health care job seekers used to find the Web site in the past three months. The most popular requests were queries for nursing jobs at 22.43% – a refreshing response to the widespread nursing shortage nationwide.

The next most popular queries were for pharmacy technician jobs at 17.40%, followed closely by medical assistant jobs at 16.76% and home health care jobs at 15.45%. Trailing behind, in consecutive order, were dental assistant jobs at 6.09%, health care management jobs at 4.32%, medical billing jobs at 2.17%, nuclear medicine jobs at 1.83%, art therapy jobs at 1.74% and phlebotomy jobs at 1.65%.

This popularity of nursing job searches supports an observation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09 ed., enrollments in nursing programs at all levels have increased more rapidly in the past few years as students seek jobs with stable employment. Another statement from the from the same source continues, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 23 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations.

According to Denise Tanner, business development manager at, We often see requests for nursing jobs by region. For example, nursing jobs in Michigan and even requests by discipline, such as pediatric nursing jobs. We do our best to offer online nursing-job seekers a variety of employer ads from across the nation. is a leading healthcare job board and social network for nurses, surgeons, physicians, and others in the medical field. The Web site provides a space for medical professionals to search for careers in the health care field, as well as gather information and exchange ideas with others in the medical industry through its MedCom community. All search query data for is compiled from Omniture SiteCatalyst.

About Dominion Enterprises

Dominion Enterprises, a division of Landmark Communications, is a leading marketing services company serving the automotive, real estate, apartment, recruitment and marine markets. The company operates a variety of businesses that offer Internet marketing, Web site design and hosting, lead generation, CRM, and data capture and distribution services. The company has more than 40 market-leading Web sites reaching more than 12.5 million unique monthly visitors, and more than 500 magazines with a weekly circulation of over 5 million. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the company has nearly 6,000 employees nationwide and annualized revenue of more than $946 million. For more information, visit .

Former head of Royal Bank of Scotland Fred Goodwin to reduce pension

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin, the former head of Royal Bank of Scotland has said he will reduce his pension by up to £200,000 a year, leaving him with approximately £350,000 a year.

He has been heavily criticised for receiving a large pension, while being blamed for contributing to RBS’ recent issues, which is now owned mainly by the UK government, after a £20 billion bailout last autumn. RBS has previously threatened legal action to recoup some of the money.

In October 2008, Goodwin agreed to a deal with the bank that allowed him to take his whole pension of £703,000 a year. There was no penalty for claiming it early, at the age of 50. Both the board of RBS and the UK government were criticised for failing to do more to prevent Goodwin gaining such a large pension.

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Accident at Russian hydroelectric plant kills ten

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Sayano–Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station, located on the Yenisei River in Russia, experienced a problem after a pressure surge caused water pipes to burst, flooding the engine room. The water triggered an explosion in a transformer.

Ten workers were confirmed dead and as many as 68 more injured. Some are still missing.

The power station was shut down, and backup sources were enabled. The dam across the Yenisei was not damaged and there is reportedly no possibility of territory flooding. Two of ten turbines were destroyed, with a third seriously damaged.

The hydroelectric plant is the most powerful in Russia, supplying several major aluminum plants, including Rusal. It was opened in 1978 and generates more than 23.5 terawatt hours annually.

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U.S. anti-war mom calls it quits

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

War protestor Cindy Sheehan, the mother of fallen soldier Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq 3 years ago, wrote on what has been published by the Daily Kos as a personal web journal on Monday morning, a day in observance of Memorial Day in the United States, that “This is my resignation letter as the ‘face’ of the American anti-war movement.”

Her son Casey would have been 28 years old Tuesday. In what she writes are meditations upon developments in Sheehan’s life after she began a war protest that led her and a following of people to Camp Casey, beside the Texas ranch of President Bush in August 2005, included the notion that, “The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think.”

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

In the text of Sheehan’s diary she is unable to reconcile herself with the Democratic Party that on Thursday, May 24, succumbed to the Bush administration on language for a troop funding bill that at one time tied funding to a time limit for U.S. involvement in Iraq. The presidential veto of that legislation to set a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq resulted in the U.S. Congress caving to executive branch over the issue of war funding, and may have been the final straw for Sheehan.

“I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike,” wrote Sheehan.

Sheehan said that she has spent every bit of money that she has received as compensation for the loss of her son from the U.S. government, and as a person who garnished speaking fees from the national attention on her campaign against the Iraq war, on trying to bring peace.

“I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost,” wrote Sheehan.

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Take Care Of Your Health By Visiting A York Dentist


There are many people who avoid getting regular dental care. This occurs for various reasons. Some people struggle with a fear of the dentist that can be rather overwhelming. While many people have health insurance, there is a great number who do not have dental insurance. Some will say that by the time they pay for their regular bills, they do not have any money left over to visit the dentist.

What we must understand is that having routine dental visits will not only keep your teeth healthy, it will also prevent you from having many other health problems. When someone has gum disease they are much more likely to suffer from heart disease. There is also research that shows that by not having good dental health, you are at a greater risk for dementia. If someone has diabetes, they are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease. One reason for this may be because they are more likely to get infections. Having gum disease can increase your chances of getting COPD by causing inflammation in your airways. While neglecting your dental health doesn’t guarantee that your health will be in jeopardy, it greatly increases your risk. By visiting York Dentist now, you can take necessary steps to prevent them from occurring.

When choosing a dentist, you should look for one with whom you are comfortable with. You should be able to discuss all of your dental concerns with them. The practice should be able to complete all routine exams and cleanings. If you need a restoration, crown, or caps they should be able to provide those services for you.

If you don’t have dental insurance and the cost is the reason you are not going to the dentist, call around to various practices. Some dentist understand that not everyone can pay for all of their services at one time and will allow you to set up payment plans. While you may not want a payment plan, it is better to get dental services now to prevent problems. If you wait until the problem occurs, you could end up paying triple or even more to correct dental problems that could have been prevented. Click here for more details.

Wikinews Shorts: June 4, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, June 4, 2007.

MediaCorp Radio in Singapore has been fined 15,000 Singaporean dollars (US$9,800) over an on-air stunt in March in which female guests on a radio show were asked to remove their brassieres, and pose for video that was to be posted on the station’s website and on YouTube.

The Media Development Authority said the radio show’s hosts made improper and sexually suggestive remarks about “how fast the bras were removed, as well as the color, design and cup size of the bras, and the size of the girls’ breasts.”


  • AP. “Fine for Singapore radio bra stunt” — CNN, June 4, 2007
  • Sapa-AFP. “Station fined for bra contest” — Independent Online (South Africa), June 4, 2007

Researchers at University of Malaya say they have developed an erectile dysfunction cure from walnut extract.

“It takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours,” said Professor Dr. Kim Kah Hwi of the Faculty of Medicine Physiology.

So far, 40 volunteers have tried the Viagra alternative, called “N-Hanz”, with positive results, Kim said. To make one pill, it takes about 3.3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) of walnuts.


  • Royce Cheah. “Researchers produce Viagra alternative from walnuts” — The Star (Malaysia), June 3, 2007
  • “Walnut pills rival Viagra” — Herald Sun, June 4, 2007

An 8-year-old Indonesian boy died after being attacked on Saturday by a Komodo Dragon at Komodo National Park on Komodo.

The boy was attacked while making a toilet stop in a bush, a park official said. “The dragon bit his waist, tossed him and dragged him. His right leg was badly scratched,” park spokesman Heru Rudiharto said. The boy then bled to death.

Attacks by Dragons on humans are rare, though the reptiles, which can grow to a length of 3 meters (9 feet), regularly kill such prey as pigs and small deer. Komodo Dragons are an endangered and protected species, and about 2,000 of them live in the wild, mainly on Komodo and nearby Rinca island.


  • AP. “Indonesian boy killed in Komodo dragon attack” — CNN, June 4, 2007
  • Fred Attewill. “Boy killed in dragon attack” — Guardian Unlimited, June 4, 2007

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Actor Robert Blake acquitted

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Visibly relieved and sobbing as the verdict was read, Robert Blake was acquitted on all counts and walked out of the courtroom yesterday a free man.

Charged with murdering his wife, the jury acquitted Blake due to lack of evidence. He was also charged with two counts of soliciting to have his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley killed. The jury acquitted him on one count, and the judge dismissed the second after the jury became deadlocked in an 11-1 vote.

He was greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters outside the courthouse. The star of the television series Baretta crushed out one of his trademark cigarettes and spoke to the gathering, thanking his lawyers and private investigators who he described as, “This small band of dedicated warriors that saved my life.”

In a speech that lasted 30 minutes, he talked of having to spend $10 million for his defense and said that he was now a poor man who needed a job. The 71 year-old actor also said he was ready to “cowboy it…Get in a motor home or van, feel the wind in my hair and find a little bar in Arizona or someplace.”

The prosecution, which did not seek the death penalty, painted Blake as caught in a loveless marriage with Bakley. Tricked into marrying her by his love of their daughter Rosie, now 4, they claimed that he had felt trapped by a woman who had a history of being a low-life grifter. They alleged that Blake, frustrated after trying to find someone to kill his wife for him, killed her himself. They also claimed that he was the trigger man who, after dining with his wife in their favorite restaurant, put two bullets in her head as the two of them sat in their car outside.

The jury foreman in the trial, Thomas Nicholson, described the prosecution case against Blake as “flimsy.” He said “they could never connect all the links in the chain. We couldn’t put the gun in his hand.” Blake’s defense team was also able to successfully discredit witnesses who testified on the solicitation charges.

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New Zealand government denies financial assistance for Overlander

Monday, September 25, 2006

The New Zealand government today has announced that they will not provide financial assistance to the Overlander train service between Auckland and Wellington, which is set to stop service on September 30, if no assistance is forthcoming. ONTRACK will retain the North Island main trunk line, while looking for tourism operators to start a tourist rail service.

Trevor Mallard, acting Finance Minister, said: “In making this decision… Cabinet recognised that there was no prospect of the current Overlander service becoming commercially viable. It was not a fuel-efficient operation and at an average passenger rate of 50 passengers each way per day, it was used by relatively few people.”

It is cheaper and faster to travel either by bus or plane rather than the 12-hour train journey. “The fares already overlap with airfares, and the reality is that the service is just not well-used. It can not compete with low-priced air travel and coaches. Cabinet considered the regional implications of ceasing the Overlander service and accepted that the current bus services run by the InterCity Group met the needs of those communities,” Mallard said.

There has been numerous petitions from the public and from the Green Party of New Zealand to continue the Overlander train service, including one petition signed by 16,000 people presented at the Parliament Buildings on September 14, 2006. “While there have been a number of propositions about retaining the Overlander service, all of the propositions would require government funding in one form or another,” said Mallard.

Mallard said that the government will only support rail services if it significantly benefitted the community.

The Government estimates that financial assistance to the Overlander train service would cost NZ$1.75 million a year.

“Finally, the government does recognise and value the importance of a viable and efficient rail network in New Zealand’s transport infrastructure. This was a critical factor in the government’s decision to buy the rail network back from Tranz Rail. The government has also committed $200 million to upgrade the national rail network between 2004/05 and 2007/08. A further $600 million has been provided to upgrade the Auckland rail network between 2005/06 and 2009/10.”

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Business Mortgage Broker And Commercial Financial Broker

By Pritpal Singh

When you refer to mortgage, this is usually related to money terms. If you want to buy a home but you do not have enough savings, you can just take out a mortgage. This is also applicable to businessmen who want to start their own business. By applying for a mortgage, you are allowed to acquire money through a loan. The amount is given to you, provided that you settle your accounts through monthly payments. When it comes to the market of finances and investments, mortgage is very important. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of entrepreneurs that rely on borrowed money as capital for their businesses. If you are planning to open a business venture, you can apply for mortgage with the help of a business mortgage broker.

With the assistance of a business mortgage broker, you will be able to find the perfect mortgage term that is appropriate for your needs. Your broker is capable of negotiating with lenders to provide you with the money that you need. If you are looking for financial assistance, you have to be prepared to set collateral against the money that will be provided to you. There are several mortgage firms offering their help. There are also numerous brokers, guiding businessmen through a wise decision. If you want to make sure that you are taking out mortgage that you will be able to pay for easily, let a business mortgage broker assist you.

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When you are thinking of taking out a loan and you are not sure of the entire process, let a commercial finance broker guide you through. While you can find finance brokers from within your state, you can also seek the assistance of brokers from online organizations. One online company is First Business Mortgages, which specializes in the arrangement of commercial loans and mortgages. You can use the loan to buy a business, raise additional funds for your trade, or for refinancing your previous mortgage term. Other than business loans, First Business Mortgages also arranges other types of loans. These include non status, self certification, and adverse credit.

When you let a business mortgage broker aid you in your search for loan terms, you will not find it hard to locate the most manageable term for you. If you avail of the products of First Business Mortgages, you will get to take advantage of the company s high quality services. The process of obtaining a loan from First Business Mortgages is hassle-free and simple. You will not require business plans, bank interviews, or an existing financial account. There are some big banks that set out complicated criteria, when it comes to mortgage applications.

The people at First Business Mortgages understand that there are some business owners that cannot comply with such high standards. This is the reason why they arrange financial assistance by certifying income facility. This service is also provided to mortgage applicants with a history of bad credit. If you have this credit problem, you know that you need the guidance of a commercial finance broker.

So if you are positive you want your business to fail, start it on a whim with no plan for how to spend the money, do not advertise it and only change your clothes when the family will not speak to you.

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