At the very least, there are two Level-3 biolabs in New Orleans and a cluster of three in nearby Covington. They have been working with anthrax, mousepox, HIV, plague, etc. There are surely other labs in the city. [...] So what happened to these diseased monkeys living outside in cages?
Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a senior US Government official predicts. And, he added, the Bush Administration is covering up the danger.
"Inept political hacks" running the clean-up will imperil the health of low-income migrant workers by getting them to do the work.
Other US sources spelled out the extent of the danger from one of America's most polluted industrial areas, known locally as "Cancer Alley". The 66 chemical plants, refineries and petroleum storage depots churn out 270,000 tonnes of toxic waste each year.
While one can certainly understand the dire predicaments of all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we have learned throughout history, campaigns to disarm the lawful do nothing to disarm the criminal. And in truth, these restrictions make citizens less safe. Despite the valiant efforts of many law enforcement officers and rescue workers, too many of those left in the wake of Katrina are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety and that of their families and loved ones. This is especially true when communication is virtually non-existent and police can't be quickly summoned to respond to calls for help. At these times, lawful gun ownership is paramount to personal safety.
Partly because of the shortage of troops, violence raged inside the New Orleans convention center, which interviews show was even worse than previously described. Police SWAT team members found themselves plunging into the darkness, guided by the muzzle flashes of thugs' handguns, said Capt. Jeffrey Winn.
Oliver Thomas, the New Orleans City Council president, expressed a view shared by many in city and state government: that a national disaster requires a national response. "Everybody's trying to look at it like the City of New Orleans messed up," Mr. Thomas said in an interview. "But you mean to tell me that in the richest nation in the world, people really expected a little town with less than 500,000 people to handle a disaster like this? That's ludicrous to even think that."
Andrew Kopplin, Governor Blanco's chief of staff, took a similar position. "This was a bigger natural disaster than any state could handle by itself, let alone a small state and a relatively poor one," Mr. Kopplin said.
Capt. Winn said the armed groups even sealed the police out of two of the center's six halls, forcing the SWAT team to retake the territory.
But the police were at a disadvantage: they could not fire into the crowds in the dimly lit facility. So after they saw muzzle flashes, they would rush toward them, searching with flashlights for anyone with a gun. Meanwhile, those nearby "would be running for their lives," Capt. Winn said. "Or they would lie down on the ground in the fetal position."
And when the SWAT team caught some of the culprits, there was not much it could do. The jails were also flooded, and no temporary holding cells had been set up yet. "We'd take them into another hall and hope they didn't make it back," Capt. Winn said.
One night, Capt. Winn said, the police department even came close to abandoning the convention halls - and giving up on the 15,000 there. He said a captain in charge of the regular police was preparing to evacuate the regular police officers by helicopter when 100 guardsmen rushed over to help restore order.
I talked with Bobby Lee Huss, whose shipment of medical supplies, including tetanus vaccines, prescription drugs, baby formula, wheelchairs, walkers and other devices, was confiscated yesterday at gunpoint by a Homeland Security checkpoint in Covington, a town on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. [...] He claims he was given all the necessary credentials and Red Cross workers helped him load up his 1989 Dodge Caravan. But not less than 10 minutes later, he found himself staring the barrel of a gun at a Homeland Security checkpoint on the north side of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. According to Huss, a state police officer told him the Red Cross had requested he be detained.
"They are keeping supplies from people who are in need," Huss told me. Huss also accused the Red Cross of hoarding much-needed supplies. Huss is now on his way back to Texas, demoralized and angry. "Tell the people of Algiers I'm sorry," he said.
Louisiana's attorney general filed criminal charges against the husband and wife who own St. Rita's Nursing Home in St. Bernard Parish, where the decomposing bodies of residents were found after Hurricane Katrina swept through the state. [They] are being charged with 34 counts of negligent homicide.
"Thirty-four people drowned in a nursing home when it should have been evacuated," Foti said. "They didn't follow the standard of care of what a reasonable person would follow."
Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.
Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana, and The Mail on Sunday is protecting the identities of the medical staff concerned to prevent them being made scapegoats for the events of last week.
In another gesture symbolizing the continued confusion of the federal response, the man President Bush immediately named to succeed "Brownie," proves to have been the same FEMA official who, two-and-a-half years ago, suggested that Americans stock up on duct tape to protect against a biological or chemical terrorist attack.
He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers. But it is not clear what President Bush does read or wa tch, aside from the occasional biography and an hour or two of ESPN here and there. Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him.