2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in U.S. and World Competitions,

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year. We look forward to hearing from these artists not just through their words and images onscreen but also through the larger dialogue they create with audiences at our Festival and beyond.”


Updated coverage of Hurricane Isaac:

Tropical Storm Isaac to hit Louisiana coast at 7 p.m. Tuesday as Category 1 hurricane

Tropical Storm Isaac -- yes, it's still a tropical storm -- remains rooted on a northwestward path that will take it on an agonizingly slow journey across the New Orleans area on Tuesday and Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane, according to the 10 p.m. forecast of the National Hurricane Center. The center of Isaac will make landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, be over New Orleans at 7 a.m. Wednesday, and won't reach the north shore of Lake Pontchartain until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

BP seeks to drill again in the Gulf of Mexico

By Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY

In its first application since the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled nearly 800,000 cubic metres of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the British oil company BP has asked the US government for permission to begin drilling for new oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, Al JAzeera's Jesse Mesner Hage reports from Washington, DC.

Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’

By SABRINA TAVERNISE, Washington Post, September 13, 2011

WASHINGTON — Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.

Another disaster: Conservatives’ attack on FEMA

By Sally Kohn, Special to CNN August 29, 2011

Three months ago, Republicans in the House of Representatives tried to slash 2012 spending for the Federal Emergency Management Agency by 55% compared with 2011 spending levels, 70% compared with the 2010 budget. Thankfully, Senate Democrats avoided the most extreme cuts to FEMA. But since then, the United States has been pelted by several major disasters and FEMA is almost out of money.

How Congress Rewarded the Corps of Engineers for Drowning New Orleans

BY Sandy Rosenthal, 29,, August, 2011

Hurricane Katrina exposed more than 50 incidences of design and construction flaws in the Army Corps of Engineers' levee system in and around New Orleans. When Congress handed the Corps $15 billion and told the agency to build it right this time, perhaps it was believed that the levee failure and flooding was simply an avoidable act of nature.

6 years after Katrina, Lower 9th Ward still bleak

By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press, August 28, 2011

In New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, the grasses grow taller than people and street after street is scarred by empty decaying houses, the lives that once played out inside their walls hardly imaginable now.

In New Orleans, a snapshot of life after project tear-downs

Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2011

After Hurricane Katrina, many of New Orleans' public housing projects -- sources not only of deep neighborhood culture and connectedness but also notorious crime and blight -- were demolished over furious opposition from advocates for the poor.

New C.J. Peete complex is solid, shiny—but not as social, some residents say

By Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune, August21, 2011

In the days before Hurricane Katrina, Jocquelyn Marshall kept her now-teenage son indoors. He came home, did his homework, then maybe played videogames. But he had to stay inside their apartment in the old bricks of the C.J. Peete public-housing complex. Not anymore. "Now, I'm not fearful of my son stepping onto the porch," said Marshall, whose new apartment, in what's now called Harmony Oaks, is also an improvement. "I don't have a plumbing problem. I don't have a rodent problem. No drug dealers are sitting on the porch," she said.

Inmate suicide in New Orleans jail raises calls for federal oversight

BY Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune, August 13, 2011

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a highly critical report on the Orleans Parish jail that specifically found that staffers there weren't doing enough to prevent suicides. Nonetheless, federal deputy marshals last week placed at the jail a Coast Guard employee who was avowedly suicidal after he tried to wrest a gun from a security officer outside the federal courthouse in New Orleans.

Five New Orleans Cops Convicted for Their Role in Post-Katrina Shootings

by A.C. Thompson, ProPublica August 5, 2011

Nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina tore through Louisiana, a federal jury today convicted five current or former New Orleans police officers in connection with the Danziger Bridge shootings, which occurred in the tumultuous aftermath of the storm. The shootings left two citizens dead and four others injured.

Louisiana: Judge Is Asked to Provide New Oversight for BP Fund

By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times, July 25, 2011

Lawyers suing BP over last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have filed a brief asking a federal judge in New Orleans to take over the $20 billion fund that the company established to compensate victims. The lawyers argue that the fund has only paid some 16 percent of “interim” claims from people with continuing damage, calling it an “abject failure.”

Finalists for 2011 PUMA.Creative Impact Award announced at Durban International Film Festival

Channel 4 BRITDOC Press Release, July 25, 2011

Durban, South Africa, July 25, 2011 –Today PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation announced the five finalists for the first annual PUMA.Creative Impact Award, which will honour and support the documentary film that has made the most significant impact on society. The five finalists are Trouble the Water, The Age of Stupid, Burma VJ, The End of The Line, and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, Press release here:

Class-Action Suit Filed After Katrina Hospital Deaths Settled for $25 Million

by Sheri Fink, Special to ProPublica July 21, 2011

A New Orleans judge gave preliminary approval today to a settlement agreement that would end a class-action lawsuit against one of the nation's largest publicly owned health care companies. Under the terms of the deal, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and a subsidiary will pay $25 million to patients and visitors trapped at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina.

FBI agent tells of Katrina shootings police cover-up

BY Kathy Finn, Reuters, July 18, 2011

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A federal agent who investigated a post-Hurricane Katrina shooting in which police killed two people in New Orleans said one reason he doubted police claims of being shot at by civilians was that the officers never took cover.

Teenager says was beaten after family shot in post-Katrina chaos

By NEW ORLEANS, July 5, 2011

A New Orleans teenager whose family members were wounded by police in the chaos after Hurricane Katrina testified on Tuesday that officers punched and kicked him before arresting him at the scene.

The Key To Disaster Survival? Friends And Neighbors

BY by Shankar Vedantam, NPR, July 4, 2011

When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, one victim was political scientist Daniel Aldrich. He had just moved to New Orleans. Late one August night, there was a knock on the door. "It was a neighbor who knew that we had no idea of the realities of the Gulf Coast life," said Aldrich, who is now a political scientist at Purdue University in Indiana. He "knocked on our door very late at night, around midnight on Saturday night, and said, 'Look, you've got small kids — you should really leave.' " The knock on the door was to prove prophetic. It changed the course of Aldrich's research and, in turn, is changing the way many experts now think about disaster preparedness.

Trial of New Orleans Police Begins in the 2005 Killings of Unarmed Civilians

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON, New York Times, June 27, 2011

NEW ORLEANS — On the sunny morning of Sept 4, 2005, five days after Hurricane Katrina, a team of police officers rushed to Danziger Bridge in the eastern part of this city in response to a report of shots fired.

Essence Music Festival kicks off in New Orleans, 400,000 attendees expected

Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2011

The sounds of bounce music and hip-hop pouring out of every club on Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Thursday evening wasn’t necessarily an unfamiliar sight.

Nagin pressed harder on Comedy Central than network news

by: Heather Miller Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin may have sailed through his interview with gentle prodding from NBC’s Matt Lauer Monday morning, but the bizarre claims he makes defending his new Katrina memoir made Nagin the punchline Monday night when he was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Lawmakers Agree to $1B for Flood Repair

By AP / ANDREW TAYLOR, June 15, 2011

A House panel has approved $1 billion in emergency money to repair levees and other flood control projects damaged by the devastating flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

The Mississippi River Flood and the Katrina Risk

By Peter Heller, Businessweek, June 9, 2011

On May 20, a few minutes before 1 p.m. and a few miles above the Port of Baton Rouge, the towing vessel Crimson Gem was pushing 20 barges loaded with corn into a tight bend on the Mississippi called Wilkinson Point. The river was raging at eight knots, or about nine miles per hour. It creamed and ripped against pilings and tore along the wharves with a low hiss. Sheets of surface current collided and whirlpools seven yards across spun down the seams. Two days before, at this spot, the Mississippi hit 47.5 feet, the highest level ever measured here. In recorded history.

Judge rules Danziger trial will start as scheduled on June 20

By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune, June 9, 2011

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt today denied a defense request to postpone the trial of five current and former New Orleans police officers accused of an unjustified shooting on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina and a subsequent cover-up.

Racial divides among New Orleans neighborhoods expand

By Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune

A largely overlooked byproduct of the historic diaspora triggered by Hurricane Katrina, which shrank New Orleans' population by a quarter, is that parts of the city were more segregated last year than a decade earlier, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data collected last year.

Homeless population in New Orleans rises 70 percent since Hurricane Katrina

By Katy Reckdahl, The Times-Picayune, June 2, 2011

The homeless population in Orleans and Jefferson parishes stands at 9,200, 70 percent higher than before Hurricane Katrina, with the largest share of people living in abandoned buildings, according to counts and estimates released Thursday by UNITY of Greater New Orleans, a collaborative of 63 social service agencies.

Trial for fired school workers begins in Orleans

By Associate Press, May 23, 2011

A long-awaited trial has begun in a class action lawsuit that could affect thousands of former New Orleans school employees who lost their jobs after Hurricane Katrina.

Mississippi River flooding: After levee blast, threat shifts to Memphis

By Mark Guarino, Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2011

An emergency procedure intended to prevent the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers from flooding several river towns appears to be working Tuesday, as river levels have fallen more than a foot. However, water levels are rising as far south as Memphis, Tenn., where heavy rainfall could contribute to a river crest of 48 feet next Tuesday.

Ray Nagin to publish Katrina’s Secrets, the first volume of his memoirs

by Kevin Allman, The Gambit, May 3, 2011

Former mayor Ray Nagin announced today via Twitter (his new favorite form of communication) that he would be publishing his memoirs next month in a book titled Katrina's Secrets: Storms After the Storm. On the cover: a contemplative Nagin looking out a window, somewhat reminiscent of the famous photo of President George W. Bush looking down at a flooded New Orleans from Air Force One.

Vignettes from the devastation across the South

BY Associate Press, April 29, 2011

BROOKS, Ga. (AP) — A mobile home was picked up by the storms racing across Georgia and disintegrated while it was tossed almost the length of a football field. Inside was Charlie Green, a man paralyzed by a stroke five years ago, and caretaker Jamie White, a mother of three. Both were killed. White, 22, was "a T-shirt and jeans girl" who loved horseback riding, being outside and spending time with her three young sons: Andrew, 6; Austin, 5; and Anthony, 1.

Why Was New Orleans’s Charity Hospital Allowed to Die?

BY Roberta Brandes Gratz, The Nation, April 27, 2011

Before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Charity Hospital was the pride of New Orleans. A 1930s Art Deco–style icon built with WPA funds, Charity was one of the oldest continually operating public hospitals in the country and was regarded as one of the most vital and successful. “Charity was one of the best teaching hospitals in the country, where students from Tulane and LSU did their training,” says Dr. James Moises, a former Charity emergency room physician, noting that it served 100,000 patients a year before the storm.

‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill

by Kim Barker ProPublica, April 13, 2011

The oil spill that was once expected to bring economic ruin to the Gulf Coast appears to have delivered something entirely different: a gusher of money.

On the Media: Times-Picayune wounded by what photographer didn’t shoot

By James Rainey, Los Angeles Time, April 12, 2011

A former photographer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune didn't report on, or tell colleagues about, police misbehavior he witnessed after Hurricane Katrina. It only came out in court. Media critic James Rainey writes about it this week in the LA Times.

Ford Foundation gives $1.5 million to fight poverty in New Orleans

BY New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 31, 2011

The Greater New Orleans Foundation on Thursday announced a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation that will help poor people find housing, jobs and transportation.

New Orleans’ heart attack rates remain high 5 years after Hurricane Katrina

By Katie Urbaszewski, The Times-Picayune, April 4, 2011

Heart attack rates that rose at Tulane University Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina remained high in mid-2010, and no one is more surprised than the researchers themselves.

Time Runs Out for St. Bernard Parish

BY New York Times Editorial, March 29, 2011

It has taken far too long, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development has finally intervened in an outrageous case of housing discrimination by the government of St. Bernard Parish, an overwhelmingly white district adjacent to New Orleans.

The New New Orleans

BY Nicholas Lemann, New York Review of Books, March 24, 2011

The best of the Katrina documentaries thus far, to my mind, is Trouble the Water, which was released in 2008. A young New Orleans couple, Kimberly and Scott Roberts, poor sometime drug dealers living just across the Industrial Canal from the Lower Ninth Ward, began shooting home videos as Katrina approached New Orleans. They made an astonishingly vivid record of themselves and their neighbors preparing for the storm, then huddling in their attic when their narrow wooden house was flooded. They managed to evacuate to Alexandria, Louisiana, where they met and joined forces with Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, documentary filmmakers who had come to Louisiana for a different post-Katrina project that had gone awry.

Trial to Open in Lawsuit Connected to Hospital Deaths After Katrina

By SHERI FINK, The NEw York Times, March 20, 2011

A jury trial set to open on Monday will weigh whether one of America’s largest health care corporations should be held accountable for deaths and injuries at a New Orleans hospital marooned by floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina.

Justice Department Report Details Wide Range Of Abuses By New Orleans Police Department

BY Trymaine Lee, Huffington Post, March 18, 2011

Long before Hurricane Katrina laid bare New Orleans’ deep social wounds, the relationship between the city’s police force and its black citizens had been deeply troubled. The city’s African American residents have long complained of frequent abuses at the hands of police. Katrina only intensified the sense of grievance, given the prosecution of several police officers that shot unarmed civilians, sometimes fatally.

Fat Tuesday: biggest crowds since Katrina?

By Associated Press / March 8, 2011

Savoring her first taste of Carnival in New Orleans, Karimah Gottschalck broke into a shimmy as she strolled down Bourbon Street with a friend. Fat Tuesday was still days away, but at midweek the party already had started in the French Quarter. As the 25-year-old New Yorker soaked in the boozy sights, music blared from bars and people on balconies flung beads to eager recipients below.

National HIV/AIDS Awareness Rally Held in New Orleans

By Michael A. Radcliff, The Louisiana Weekly, March 7, 2011

If ever one needed their spirits lifted or simply a good laugh, one only needed a chance encounter with Londy. Londy's side-splitting antics would have most folks crying for her to stop. The family comedienne, the class clown, her reputation for turning life's lemons into lemonade was legendary. She also loved kids… her kids, your kids, everybody's kids… a PTO board member, a volunteer crossing guard - Londy's dream job was to one day own a day care center. In the Spring of 2008, at the age of 36, Londy, a mother of three, died of AIDS. "She's Left the Planet," her sister, award-winning poet, Nikki Napoleon pronounced, as she performed a heartfelt rendition of a love poem written in honor of her sister during the National HIV/AIDS Awareness rally through the Tremé neighborhood recently.

New Orleans tops list of worst cities to find a job in 2011 Continue reading on New O

BY Karen Gross, New Orleans Headlines Examiner, March 1, 2011

Forbes Magazine reveals that New Orleans, Louisiana will be the hardest city to find work in 2011 according to a study by which put New Orleans at the very top of this list.

Future of public school system uncertain, fragmented

BY Travis Andrews, Monday, February 28, 2011

The New Orleans schooling system is a jigsaw puzzle, but no one knows it if it solved yet. This emerged as the central topic at "5 Years Later: A Forum on the State of Public Education of New Orleans," a Loyola University symposium on the state of New Orleans public education following Hur­ricane Katrina, hosted by the Loyola University Sociology Student Organization and the Loyola Society for Civic Engagement.

Restoration official: BP reluctant to fix damage

Associated Press, New Orleans, February 28, 2011

NEW ORLEANS -- The vice chairman of a task force set up by President Obama to restore the Gulf Coast criticized BP PLC. for what he described as an increasing reluctance to repair damage done by last year's massive oil spill. Garret Graves, the vice chairman of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and a Louisiana coastal official, said on Monday that BP has become harder to work with.

This year’s Mardi Gras is expected to be one of the biggest ever

By Jaquetta White, The Times-Picayune, February 27, 2011

It’s sometimes called the Greatest Free Show on Earth, but Mardi Gras is poised to translate into big profits for New Orleans-area hotels this year. Largely because the season starts so late, Carnival is shaping up to be the biggest in years for the tourism industry, hotel operators say.

Katrina’s Ruins Home to Thousands of Homeless

By CAIN BURDEAU The Associated Press, February 14, 2011

NEW ORLEANS — The dark blue rescue van pulls up in front of a sad shell of a house, a few blocks from the police station and criminal court. It's turning into a cold January night. Slipping on gloves, social workers Mike Miller and Katy Quigley head in. "Homeless outreach! Anybody home?" Miller shouts as he climbs over a balcony and up a flight of stairs.

Haiti: Quake’s Toll Rises to 316,000

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD, January 13, 2011

The government has raised the death toll for the January 2010 earthquake to 316,000, a substantial increase from the more than 250,000 deaths previously reported. Officials did not explain the change and did not respond to inquiries about it on Thursday. But Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, at a news conference on Wednesday marking the first anniversary of the disaster, suggested it had increased at least in part because additional bodies had been pulled from the rubble.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear case blaming energy companies and global warming for Hurricane K

BY Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune, January 10, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a request to reopen a lawsuit that charged energy companies with contributing to the effects of Hurricane Katrina by emitting greenhouse gases.

N.O. cop who lied to FBI resigns

BY Associated Press - January 6, 2011

A New Orleans police sergeant who admitted lying to the FBI in its probe of a deadly police shooting after Hurricane Katrina has resigned.

New Orleans getting rid of last FEMA trailers

BY CAIN BURDEAU The Associated Press 12/31/2010

The era of the FEMA trailer — a symbol of the prolonged rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina — might be drawing to a close in New Orleans.

N.O. officer says he burned body after Katrina

BY The Associated Press Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Orleans police officer on trial for burning a man's body in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath denies he set the fire to cover up a police shooting.

For Katrina Victims, Relief at Last

New York TImes Editorial, November 16, 2010

It took five long years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has finally persuaded Mississippi to do right by Hurricane Katrina survivors who were unfairly shut out of a federally financed disaster aid program designed by the state. Congress needs to rewrite disaster aid regulations so that a travesty like this one never happens again.

Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Spreads Ahead of Major Storm

Democracy Now, Nov 4, 2010

A cholera outbreak is worsening in Haiti just as an approaching storm threatens to displace hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors. New figures show that 105 people have died from cholera since Saturday, bringing the death toll so far to 442.

Poverty in Black & White (and Latino and Asian)

by Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink, in the Huffington Post, September 16, 2010

How upside down have our politics gotten? Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that those making more than $250,000 were "the people who were hit hardest by this recession." The absurdity of that claim was highlighted that same day when the US Census Bureau released its new poverty numbers. While the big number everyone's talking about is that one in seven Americans is now below the poverty level, that doesn't tell the whole story. Not by a long shot.

Hurricane Katrina has created a wave of powerful art

By Jason Anderson, CBC News, August 26,. 2010

Over the last five years, the toll from Katrina has been palpable in art, literature, cinema, television and music. Works like the following are marked by the same frustration Katrina's victims felt as their pleas for help went unanswered. And they suggest the wounds have yet to heal.

After Katrina, New Orleans Cops Were Told They Could Shoot Looters

By A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, August 24, 2010

In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, an order circulated among New Orleans police authorizing officers to shoot looters, according to present and former members of the department.

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, 100,000 New Orleanians have yet to return

By Jonathan Tilove, Times Picayune, August 24, 2010

Less than three months after Hurricane Katrina chased her from her home on Deslonde Street in the Lower Ninth Ward, Oneida Banks, 93, was at a Sunday service for expatriate members of New Orleans’ Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in the borrowed sanctuary of First Baptist in Houston.

Did she hope to return home, she was asked.

“I do and I don’t, it seems like I won’t,” she replied with a shrug.

Latino influx sparks uneasy cultural shift

By Ylan Q. Mui Washington Post, Aug. 22, 2010

Five years after Hurricane Katrina, growing community of immigrants leaves some New Orleans residents anxious about jobs and status.

Why is the world not responding as Pakistan drowns?

By Nita Bhalla Nita Bhalla, Reuters, Thu Aug 19

NEW DELHI (AlertNet) – Scant international donations to flooded Pakistan are being driven by a multitude of factors ranging from the financial crisis, donor fatigue, a low death toll and scepticism that the government can translate the contributions into effective aid, say relief workers and analysts.

Justice Department aims to help overhaul New Orleans police force

By Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post, August 1, 2010

The people fanning themselves in the crimson pews of the Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church had leveled these accusations before. Stories of the police targeting and "executing" their sons, of tiny bags of crack planted by the police in a baby's diaper, of a mentally ill man cooking breakfast when he was fired on by a SWAT team's worth of guns.

There’s a Battle Outside and It Is Still Ragin’

By FRANK RICH, New York Times, July 24, 2010

THE glittering young blonde in a low-cut gown is sipping champagne in a swank Manhattan restaurant back in the day when things were still swank. She is on a first date with an advertising man as dashing as his name, Don Draper. So you don’t really expect her to break the ice by talking about bad news. “The world is so dark right now,” she says. “One of the boys killed in Mississippi, Andrew Goodman — he’s from here. A girlfriend of mine knew him from summer camp.” Her date is too busy studying her décolletage, so she fills in the dead air. “Is that what it takes to change things?” she asks. He ventures no answer.

Six More Charged in New Orleans Danziger Bridge Shootings

By A.C. Thompson, ProPublica July 13, 2010

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the indictment of six current or former New Orleans Police Department officers in connection to the Danziger Bridge shootings, which occurred during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

With Help After Storm, a Chance to Give Back

By MIREYA NAVARRO, New York Times, July 11, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — Joycelyn Heintz spent eight months in a camper after Hurricane Katrina with her two daughters, now 20 and 12, while volunteer workers made her three-bedroom house — ruined by 14 feet of water — habitable again. She bonded with the volunteers to such an extent, she said, that when she regained the house in 2008 she joined their ranks as a liaison to other victim

Gulf’s Vietnamese-American fishermen become easy prey for legal barracudas

By Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News, 07/05/2010

Before it became the single biggest environmental catastrophe in American history, BP's Deepwater Horizon was a magnet for barracudas, which endlessly circled the oil rig in the Gulf's warm waters, feeding on smaller fish. The oil plume and massive cleanup have driven away many of the underwater predators. But as a group of Vietnamese-American lawyers discovered before returning to the Bay Area from the Gulf of Mexico last week, the barracudas have come ashore.

Banned trailers used for Katrina victims reappearing along coast

BY Ian Urbina, The New York Times, July 2, 2010

VENICE, La. – Some of the trailers provided to victims of Hurricane Katrina and banned from being used for housing again are showing up back on the coast as housing for oil spill cleanup workers.

Is New Orleans’s Recovery Ever Fun to Watch?

by Joshua Alston, Newsweek, June 30, 2010

Regardless of how you feel about David Simon’s New Orleans post-Katrina series Treme, you probably haven’t had many opportunities to talk about it. Unlike The Wire, Simon’s dramatic treatise on Baltimore, Treme hasn’t quite caught on to the point that you have to be prepared at parties to either discuss it intelligently or give some legitimate excuse—such as hysterical blindness—for not having seen it.

Halliburton Profiting on Gulf Spill Cleanup

by Jason Mark, Earth Island Journal, June 30, 2010

How’s this for a business model? First, you make a bundle of cash by providing essential services to the oil majors as they undertake tricky (and risky) offshore oil and gas extraction. Then, when one of the wells you’re working on blows up, you sneak away from any possible liabilities. And finally, to bring everything full circle, you then rack up additional profits with your oil spill cleanup division.

Gulf Coast tourism officials plead for help

By Bart Jansen, Gannett Washington Bureau, June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON — A $500 million marketing campaign will be necessary to combat public perceptions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that could ripple for years, tourism officials told congressional staffers Tuesday.

Inspector general to analyze New Orleans recovery outlay

BY Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune June 25, 2010

Facing several dozen residents furious about the dearth of recovery projects under way in the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux on Thursday promised to conduct a fiscal analysis of public financing of the citywide rebuilding program.

2009 Harry Chapin Media Awards Winners announced

BY World Hunger Year

The winners of the 2009 Harry Chapin Media Awards were chosen by an independent panel of judges: Books: Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman. Judges’ Award: Let’s Get Free: A Hip Hop Justice by Paul Butler. Television/Film: Trouble the Water by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal Newspapers: "Deadly Detention" by Nina Bernstein (The New York Times) New Media: "Childhood Poverty in Colorado" by Tim Rasmussen (The Denver Post) Periodical: "There Goes the Neighborhood" by Alyssa Katz ( The American Prospect) Photojournalism: "Open Wounds: Bhopal 1984-2009" Alex Masi (The Guardian, Time Online, Vanity Fair Italy and BBC) The panel of judges were: Albert Bozzo, senior news editor in charge of features and special reports at; Jonathan Curiel, journalist and author of "Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots;" LynNell Hancock, reporter and writer specializing in education and child and family policy issues, and a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism; Melanie Mannarino, deputy executive editor of Redbook; Elizabeth McDonald, Stocks Editor, Fox Business Network; Laura Silver, freelance journalist/advocate; Kerry Truemann, co-founder of and a frequent contributor to Huffington Post; and Erica Zolberg, freelance television producer. The winners and finalists will be honored at the Harry Chapin Media Awards Ceremony, presented by WhyHunger and Mediabistro, on Sept. 28, 2010 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York City.

Gulf Needs Concrete Actions That Respect Residents’ Rights

BY Kerry Kennedy Founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Huffington Post, June 11, 2010 08:40 PM

CODEN, Ala. -- When Gulf Coast resident Louise Bosarge heard President Obama refer to her community as "resilient," her response was poetic: "We bounce back. We always bounce back. Bouncing hurts." Along with my daughter Mariah and a team of human rights experts from the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, I spent the last several days in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama speaking with commercial fishermen, deck hands, restaurateurs, ecologists, farmers, service providers, marina workers, hoteliers, kids and more whose lives are directly affected by BP's toxic tsunami swamping the Gulf Coast and wiping out the fishing and tourism industries which have been the mainstays of these communities for decades. "Oil will be all that's left," lamented one long-time resident. "And with the politicians in the pockets of the oil companies, there will be more pressure than ever to drill, baby, drill."

BP Is Destroying Evidence and Censoring Journalists

BY Riki Ott, Alternet, June 12, 2010

While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.

In ‘Treme,’ New Orleans’ Music Is Everything

BY Neil Conan, NPR, June 7, 2010

In David Simon's HBO series Treme, the music is almost as important as the people picking up the pieces after hurricane Katrina.

BP oil spill again severely affects people of color

BY Tammy Johnson, The Progressive, June 2, 2010

If the BP disaster tells us anything, it is that government and corporations can’t be left alone with the public’s business.

Tropical Storm Agatha floods kill 150, cause giant sinkhole in Guatemala City

By Sara Miller Llana, Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010

Villagers have been buried alive in Guatemala. Residents, caked in mud, have searched in the wreckage of their homes for loved ones. Aerial photos show entire swaths of the nation's coffee crop under water. Then, there's the giant Guatemala City sinkhole.

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

BY NOAA, May 28, 2010

An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.

White House: Oil Spill Isn’t Our Katrina

By Brian Montopoli, CBS News, 23 May, 2010

(CBS) White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told Bob Schieffer Sunday that the United States government is doing "everything humanly and technologically possible" to stop the oil leak in the Gulf - despite criticism that it has left too much responsibility to oil company BP and needs to do more.

TN flood responders learned from lessons Katrina taught

By Juanita Cousins • THE TENNESSEAN • May 23, 2010

Most of the lessons learned through Hurricane Katrina were applied this month during the Middle Tennessee floods, said the military official who was given high praise for coordinating relief efforts on the Gulf Coast.

5th officer charged in Katrina shootings cover-up

By MARY FOSTER (AP) - May 21, 2010

(AP) NEW ORLEANS — Another former police officer has been charged with helping cover up the deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina, prosecutors said Friday.

NYT Editorial: A New Chance in New Orleans

BY New York Times, May 18, 2010

The Justice Department described the New Orleans Police Department earlier this year as one of the nation’s worst. There is no doubt about that. The city suffers from one of the country’s highest rates of violent crime and unsolved murders. Its police force is currently the subject of at least eight federal investigations into accusations of brutality and unjustified killings of citizens at the hands of armed officers.

Whistleblower Sues to Stop Another BP Rig From Operating

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, May 17, 2010

A whistleblower filed a lawsuit today to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the company's Deepwater Horizon spill.

DOJ Has ‘Boots on the Ground’ to Evaluate New Orleans Police

By Ryan J. Reilly, Main Justice, May 17, 2010

The Justice Department will immediately begin an evaluation of the New Orleans Police Department that will likely lead to a consent decree, federal officials announced at a news conference Monday.

Gulf oil spill: firms ignored warning signs before blast, inquiry hears

BY Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Thursday 13 May 2010

BP was aware of equipment problems aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig hours before the explosion pumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a congressional hearing was told yesterday .

Protesters Blast Haiti President’s Quake Response

BY The Associated Press, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti May 10, 2010

Police fired tear gas outside the ruins of Haiti's national palace Monday to control 2,000 demonstrators calling for President Rene Preval's resignation in the largest political protest since the Jan. 12 earthquake.

New Orleans Asks U.S. to Help Police Department


Citing the need for “transformational change,” the city’s new mayor, Mitch Landrieu, announced on Wednesday that he was inviting the Justice Department to help restructure the troubled New Orleans Police Department.

Oil Disaster 5X Worse Than Estimated, ‘Churning Slick’ Now the Size of Puerto Rico

BY Alternet, May 3, 2010

The catastrophe continues, as Federal authorities have banned commercial and recreational fishing in a large stretch of water off four states. The view from space indicates that the oil may be leaking at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day, dwarfing the figure of 5,000 barrels that US officials and the British oil giant BP have used in recent days.

Mitch Landrieu becomes 70th mayor of New Orleans today

By Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune May 03, 2010

Appealing to voters weary of rampant crime, a lagging recovery and a strapped city budget, Mitch Landrieu spent his campaign for mayor of New Orleans hammering home this simple message: "I know what to do, and I know how to do it."

Shades of Katrina in oil spill politics

By Politico, Seattle Post Intelligencer May 1st, 2010

Even before the spilled oil reaches shore, the political game of assigning credit and blame is in full swing. The White House Saturday stepped up its efforts to respond to the Gulf Coast oil slick now within days of making landfall in Mississippi and Alabama – designating a new incident commander, introducing a new website detailing their efforts and announcing President Barack Obama himself would visit the Gulf Coast on Sunday.

Former New Orleans police officer Robert Barrios pleads guilty in Danziger coverup

By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune April 28, 2010

A fourth New Orleans police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to participating in a cover-up of the circumstances of the police shooting of six civilians on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

In New Orleans, the Taste of a Comeback

By SAM SIFTON, New York Times, April 27, 2010

IT is the siren call of a magnificent, broken city: “This, here, is the real New Orleans.” Spend any time sweating through a shirt and walking slow and purposeful along Magazine Street toward a Sazerac before dinner, and you’ll hear the cry, in this bar or that one. You’ll hear it on the radio, driving the high-rise bridge over the Industrial Canal, someone spinning funk on WWOZ and talking about New Orleans soul. You’ll see it in the defiant eyes of a man lurching out of a second line in Pigeon Town.

The “Femcee” Problem

By John Schaefer, WNYC Soundcheck, April 23, 2010

Queen Latifah. Lil Kim. Lauryn Hill. Missy Elliott. There’ve been a handful of visible female rappers, but none seem to have inspired a women’s movement in hip hop. Why? We looked at the New Orleans hip-hop style known as “bounce” a few months ago, and one of the striking things about the bounce scene is how strong a female presence (and even more striking, a queer and transgendered presence) that community has.

Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism

By Mark Potok, Intelligence Report, Spring 2010, Issue Number: 137

The radical right caught fire last year, as broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America ignited an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation. Hate groups stayed at record levels — almost 1,000 — despite the total collapse of the second largest neo-Nazi group in America.

Days After Rig Explosion, Well Is Pouring Thousands of Gallons of Oil Into Gulf

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and LESLIE KAUFMAN, New York Times, April 26, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — Officials expect to determine today or Tuesday whether they will soon be able to stop oil leaks coming from the deepwater well near Louisiana or will need months to stem the flow of what is now about 42,000 gallons of oil a day pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.

Mud fails to ruin the fun at Jazz Fest as music lovers go with the flow

By Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune April 26, 2010

The crowds that flocked to the Fair Grounds Sunday afternoon for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell gratefully basked in the warm, sunny weather.

Mayor Ray Nagin leaves office without fulfilling his promises: to rid City Hall of corruption and la

By The Times-Picayune April 25, 2010 (This story was written by Gordon Russell and Frank Donze)

Ray Nagin swept into office in 2002 as the embodiment of a new way of doing business at City Hall. Though the former cable TV executive shared friends and business partners with his predecessor, Marc Morial, he wasn't shy about criticizing Morial's administration and some of the deals those same insiders had finagled.

Obama should appoint first Black woman for Supreme Court, jurists say

By: Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Editor-in-Chief, Monday, April 19, 2010

WASHINGTON (NNPA) — President Barack Obama needs only to turn over in his bed to be reminded of all the Black women who are powerfully qualified to be U.S. Supreme Court justices. If First Lady Michelle Obama was not his wife, some legal scholars say she would be a clear and obvious candidate for the short list to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Fourth New Orleans Police Officer Charged in Post-Katrina Shooting at Danziger Bridge

By Ryan Knutson, ProPublica April 17, 2010

Federal investigators charged another New Orleans police officer in connection to the Danziger Bridge shootings, in which two civilians were killed and four were wounded in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The Danziger Bridge shootings are among a string of violent post-Katrina police encounters we’ve investigated in collaboration with PBS “Frontline” and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Food Access Five Years After the Storm

By Amara M. Foster, Center for American Progress, March 31, 2010

The best strawberry I’ve ever eaten was grown on the Gulf Coast. It was unassuming—a small, burgundy, heart-shaped thing—yet one bite was all it took. The berry was soft, not too juicy, and entirely unlike any out-of-season fruit I’d ever tasted. Thoughts of New Orleans bring to mind Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street, but few know of Louisiana’s agricultural bounty. The state is consistently one of the top 10 strawberry producers in the United States. It ranks number one in production of crawfish, shrimp, and oysters; is the second largest producer of sugarcane; and is the third largest producer of rice.

Federal civil rights chief talks about drastic options for ‘troubled’ NOPD

By The Times-Picayune April 13, 2010

In an interview posted Tuesday with political blog Talking Points Memo, the head of the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division hinted at the possibility of the agency filing a civil lawsuit to prompt systemic change in the New Orleans Police Department.

After Katrina, Staying Afloat With Music

By ALESSANDRA STANLEY, New York Times, April 8, 2010

David Simon’s new HBO series is called “Treme” and the title alone suggests the difficulty of the subject. Treme doesn’t rhyme with ream; it’s pronounced truh-MAY, and it’s the name of an old New Orleans neighborhood famous for music — and, in some parts, for crime. It’s the kind of area sought out by intrepid travelers eager to bypass the tourist traps on Bourbon Street, the kind of place that guidebooks label “authentic.”

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