Hurricane Gustav

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Narrow Ohio Dem Victory Boosts House Majority to 79

Kilroy snatches 21st seat from GOP

(Newser) - The last outstanding contest for the House of Representatives is over, with Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy declared the winner in a tight Ohio contest, boosting the Democratic majority to 79 seats. Kilroy is the first Democrat in a generation elected to the House in her county. Her victory over state... More »

Media Focus Elsewhere Hurts Gulf Coast Relief Efforts

Media coverage pales in comparison to Katrina disaster

(Newser) - Relief organizations are struggling to raise funds for their work in hurricane-battered areas of Texas and Louisiana, a marked difference from 2005, when millions flowed in to help Katrina victims. “The camera and the lights didn't stay on” this time, a Red Cross worker tells MSNBC, distracted by fresher... More »

Hurricanes Prompt Calls to Soften Restrictions on Cuba

Some see aid now as a path toward increased influence, cooperation

(Newser) - The devastation Hurricanes Gustav and Ike wrought on Cuba has prompted the US to offer direct aid for the first time in the 47-year history of its embargo on the island, but even ardent anti-Castro Cuban Americans are pushing for more, the Washington Post reports. While not all favor lifting... More »

Officials: Texas Needs $40B From Feds for Ike Cleanup

Mayors ask Congress to move quickly on relief

(Newser) - Texas officials told Congress today they might need up to $40 billion in aid to rebuild the state's hurricane-hit areas, the Houston Chronicle reports. The state's lieutenant governor sought at least $11.5 billion of aid and as many trailer homes as available to help the 770 communities damaged by... More »

Hurricanes Smoke Cuban Cigar Biz

Double blow from Gustav, Ike to cost billions

(Newser) - Back-to-back blows from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike have the Cuban tobacco industry reeling, reports the Miami Herald. Hurricane Ike alone destroyed half of this year's tobacco plants, more than 3,000 tobacco-drying barns and nearly 9,000 homes for workers. The destruction occurred just days after Gustav had already wreaked... More »

US May Seek World's Emergency Fuel

Feds still gauging disruption to supplies from Gulf hurricanes

(Newser) - The Bush administration may ask the International Energy Agency to release emergency fuel stocks into the domestic market to cushion losses from hurricane-battered oil refineries, Reuters reports. Gustav and Ike temporarily closed a dozen Gulf Coast refineries, though all are in "reasonably good shape" according to an official, resulting... More »

Don't Get Complacent, Big Easy: Officials

Much to be done if New Orleans is to survive next big storm

(Newser) - New Orleans residents may be celebrating Hurricane Gustav's near-miss this week, but that's no reason to get complacent, the New York Times reports. Officials admit that protective infrastructure still isn’t up to par, and there were several close calls when Gustav made landfall. “I want everybody to understand—... More »

Haitians Starving in Hanna Hell

Survivors stranded on rooftops beyond reach of aid workers

(Newser) - Impoverished Haiti is reeling from the devastation of a series of tropical storms and hurricanes, with refugees starving on rooftops in flood-ravaged areas, reports the Guardian. Faced with washed-out roads and winds too strong for helicopters, UN aide workers are using inflatable boats to reach at least some survivors. The... More »

Officials Worry About Staying Power in Gustav Tales

Those who partied in New Orleans could influence evacuees to remain next time

(Newser) - As the thousands who rode out Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans boast about the hardy, and sometimes boozy, camaraderie to neighbors who paid in frustration for following evacuation orders, authorities are hoping those tales won’t keep residents from heeding warnings next time around, the Christian Science Monitor reports. “... More »

Global Warming Makes Storms Worse: Study

Scientists argue whether climate change strengthens hurricanes

(Newser) - Global warming is causing intensifying hurricanes around the world, a new study shows. Scientists analyzed 2,000 “tropical cyclones” occurring from 1980 to 2006 and found that the “strongest storms are getting stronger, especially over the Atlantic and Indian Oceans,” USA Today reports. Warmer water “has... More »

New Orleans Residents Head Home

But blackouts and shortages await returning evacuees

(Newser) - All Hurricane Gustav evacuees are being allowed back into New Orleans after Mayor Ray Nagin abandoned a more drawn-out reentry plan, the Washington Post reports. Those returning had trouble locating supplies, and officials warned power outages would add to difficulties. "We'd like to say welcome back, but it's not... More »

Gustav Histrionics Were Irresponsible

Gustav prep was 'responsibility avoidance': Furedi

(Newser) - The way media and the state reacted to Gustav wasn't responsible behavior, but rather "responsibility avoidance ... motivated by a desire to avoid blame," Frank Furedi writes in Spiked. He says official overreaction diminishes a sense of community and individual resilience, rendering people passive to the whims of politicians... More »

New Orleans Residents Cleared to Return Tonight

Other Louisiana parishes allowing residents back today

(Newser) - People are returning to their southern Louisiana homes in the wake of a weaker-than-expected Hurricane Gustav, but New Orleans residents will need to wait until one minute before midnight, reports the Times-Picayune, running on an emergency generator. Mayor Ray Nagin warned the city is still "vulnerable" due to lack... More »

5 GOP Convention Viewing Tips

Assuming Palin's shadow doesn't obscure everything, that is

(Newser) - With the Republicans set to turn on all the lights at their convention tonight, Martin Kady II of Politico runs down five things to watch for:
  • Palin’s shadow: “The theme of tonight’s convention is ‘service,’” Kady notes, “and the trick for the GOP
... More »

Rally Fizzles Despite Oil's Drop

Traders becoming more focused on economic strength than fuel

(Newser) - An early rally faded today and the markets closed with mild losses, the Wall Street Journal reports. Oil fell $5.75 as Gulf Coast oil-production facilities appeared to have emerged mostly unscathed from Hurricane Gustav, but the news failed to give equities lasting momentum. The Dow closed down 26.63,... More »

As Hanna Nears, Fla. Declares Emergency

Storms keeping Gov. Crist from Republican convention, to boot

(Newser) - Gov. Charlie Crist called a state of emergency today for Florida as Tropical Storm Hanna, currently over the Bahamas, bears down on his state, the St. Petersburg Times reports. With Gustav’s fringe still causing flooding on Florida’s east coast, officials worry even a miss from Hanna—expected to... More »

Gustav Remains Dangerous, Jindal Warns

New Orleans residents shouldn't return yet, mayor cautions

(Newser) - Hurricane Gustav is a tropical depression once more but it is still a “very serious storm,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said today. “We're not quite at halftime,” he cautioned, noting the massive power outages, tornadoes, and heavy rains plaguing the state. “There is a lot, lot... More »

New Orleans Levees Held — but Still Flawed

Industrial Canal, 9th Ward still vulnerable

(Newser) - New Orleans' levee system withstood the power punch delivered yesterday by Hurricane Gustav, but also revealed its continuing vulnerabilities, reports AP. The Industrial Canal flood wall was swamped, flooding again an area devastated by Katrina. The Industrial Canal is considered the system's Achilles' heel. The Army Corps of Engineers is... More »

At Muted RNC, Cindy, Laura Plead for Gustav Aid

Focus on Gustav keeps mood subdued, 'party free'

(Newser) - The GOP convention kicked off yesterday with the most subdued opening anybody can remember, Wayne Slater writes in the Dallas Morning News. The focus was firmly on Hurricane Gustav, Politico reports, and Cindy McCain and Laura Bush stepped in to appeal for aid for storm victims—in lieu of canceled... More »

Cops Nab 100 as RNC Protest Turns Violent

Delegates inside convention asked to donate for Hurricane Gustav

(Newser) - Police arrested more than 100 demonstrators outside the scaled-down Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. A crowd of 10,000 marched peacefully through 90-degree heat until bands broke off to smash windows and harass delegates. Police tossed tear gas and concussion grenades as... More »

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