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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 »

Bush Surveys Gustav Aftermath

(Newser) - President Bush flew over flooded fields and downed trees today as he kept a close watch on the Hurricane Gustav recovery —in contrast to his administration's bungled response to Katrina 3 years ago. Aboard Air Force One, Bush received a briefing from FEMA director R. David Paulison, who said... More »

This View Zaps Stress, Naturally

Study finds plasma TV images no substitute

(Newser) - For stress relief, there is no substitute for views of nature, the Seattle Times reports. A University of Washington study found that students who faced a stressful task returned to a normal heart rate most quickly while looking out the window at trees and grass. More »

Blocked US Ships Will Abandon Myanmar Aid

Junta refuses aid 15 times

(Newser) - US warships laden with aid for Burmese cyclone survivors will sail out of the region tomorrow still carrying their loads, Reuters reports. Burma's military junta has refused 15 requests to allow American forces to deliver aid supplies to the disaster zone, according to the admiral in charge of the operation. More »

Burma Rips 'Chocolate Bar' Aid; US Ships Threaten to Sail

Junta rails on stingy pace of int'l donations

(Newser) - Burma's military junta ripped international cyclone relief efforts today, slamming demands for access to the disaster zone and proclaiming "The people from Irrawaddy can survive without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries," Reuters reports. The slam comes a day after a US admiral threatened to yank warships from... More »

Report Bares Child Abuse by Peacekeepers

Watchdog should be appointed to protect kids, charity urges

(Newser) - A shocking number of children as young as 6 are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers sent to protect them, a top global charity has found. Children are “suffering sexual exploitation and abuse in silence,” fearful of speaking out, said a representative for Save the Children.... More »

Burma Agrees to Accept All Aid

Junta drops opposition to aid workers entering country

(Newser) - Burma has agreed to let international disaster relief workers into the country to help with the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Bloomberg reports. The junta's about-face came after  UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who flew in yesterday, met the nation's  reclusive military leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe. The UN hopes to ramp... More »

Excoriated by China, 'Miserly' Firms Defend Quake Aid

Mickey D's forking over 40,000 meals

(Newser) - Mega-companies are defending themselves against harsh criticism on Chinese websites that they’ve done too little to help earthquake survivors, AP reports. Companies such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Nokia were labeled “International Super-Misers” on one site. "We've been involved in helping and responding since day one,”... More »

China Death Toll Nears 40,000

Foreign medical workers arrive as focus shifts toward aiding survivors

(Newser) - The official quake death toll climbed to nearly 40,000 in China’s Sichuan province today, the Guardian reports, as foreign medical teams and equipment arrived on the scene. Relief efforts began shifting away from finding survivors to aiding the more than 200,000 injured and 5 million left homeless.... More »

'Disaster Fatigue' Shuts US Wallets

Burma, China donations pale compared to tsunami, Katrina charity

(Newser) - Americans’ donations to disaster relief this year fall far short of money given to victims of the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina—and it’s likely due to “disaster fatigue," say experts. With tragedies like Burma’s cyclone and China’s earthquake quickly piling up, people may feel... More »

Pirates Hijack Relief Ship Off of Somalia

Attack is third within weeks off the coast long plagued by pirates

(Newser) - Pirates hijacked a Jordanian relief ship off the Somalia coast early yesterday, reports the BBC, and its 12-member international crew are now traveling north with its cargo of 4,000 tons of sugar. Jordan is reportedly working with the Danish embassy in Mogadishu, near where the boat was seized, to... More »

133K Dead, Missing: Junta

Military admits full impact of storm

(Newser) - Nearly 78,000 are confirmed dead and another 56,000 missing in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, Reuters reports. Torrential rains continued to pound Burma today, complicating rescue efforts. The EU’s chief aid official met with military leaders to press for increasing foreign rescue workers' involvement, but he met... More »

Girl Pulled From Quake Rubble After 50 Hours

But Chinese now race to stabilize nearly 400 damaged dams

(Newser) - A girl was rescued from school dorm rubble last night after 50 hours trapped in the wreckage from China’s earthquake, CNN reports. She was calling “uncle, save me," said a rescuer. "The voice could haunt me for the rest of my life.” The rescue was... More »

Thailand, UN Seek Aid Route as New Burma Storm Builds

Latest tropical storm likely to become a cylcone

(Newser) - Thailand and the United Nations are working to open a land route from northern Thailand into Burma to get desperately needed help to cyclone survivors, reports the Wall Street Journal. The frantic efforts to deliver aid quickly have been stepped up as the UN's weather center is warning that another... More »

Rain Lashes Cyclone Survivors, UN Lashes Junta

UN chief 'immensely frustrated' by Burmese junta's lack of swift action

(Newser) - Two more American relief planes were scheduled to take off for Burma today, but the nation's military junta came in for another UN pounding for refusing to allow more desperately needed supplies to cyclone-stricken regions. "We are at a critical point. Unless more aid gets into the country very... More »

As US, Burma Talk, Volunteers Say Junta Is Selling Aid

American troops stand ready to help relief

(Newser) - A US admiral met with Burma's military command today in continued attempts to persuade the government to allow US servicemen into the country to assist in relief efforts, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, a Burmese volunteer operating his own supply effort tells the Daily Telegraph that government officials are commandeering... More »

US Aid Plane Lands in Burma

Official death toll at 32K; observers say it could be triple that

(Newser) - After days of negotiating, a US aid flight landed today in Rangoon, the BBC reports. It’s the latest sign Burma’s military junta might be relaxing its restrictions on foreign aid—a French charity’s plane also touched down—but relief workers still aren’t allowed in to distribute... More »

US Aid Finally Winging to Cyclone Survivors

But relief effort remains minimal with a million at risk

(Newser) - The first US aircraft laden with relief supplies for Burmese cyclone survivors was finally allowed to take off from Vietman today, Reuters reports. Desperately needed international aid has largely been blocked by Burma's military junta. American officials hope the flight, carrying water, blankets, and mosquito nets, will be the first... More »

UN, US Again Blast Burma's Reluctance With Help

Insular state disappoints would-be donors; 1.5M could be affected

(Newser) - Officials the world over are expressing dismay at Burma's apparent disinterest in swift international aid to victims of the devastating cyclone that has 1 million homeless and perhaps more than 100,000 dead, Reuters reports. The US ambassador to the UN said today he was “outraged by the slowness... More »

Up to 10,000 Dead in Burma Cyclone

Toll continues to rise as relief officials gain access to hard-hit areas

(Newser) - As many as 10,000 might have died in the cyclone that struck Burma on Saturday, a government official told foreign diplomats today, and that number could rise yet higher as aid workers pick through the rubble. The death toll, originally estimated at 351, had already been raised to 4,... More »

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