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Signs of the Times for Thu, 30 Mar 2006

By ANGELA K. BROWN
Associated Press
Wed Mar 29, 11:54 PM ET
HOUSTON - Seven months after taking in about 200,000 Louisiana residents left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, Houstonians aren't feeling so hospitable anymore.

Many people in the nation's fourth-largest city complain that the influx has led to more murders and gang violence, long lines at health clinics and bus stops, and fights and greater overcrowding in the schools. Some of those claims are debatable, but the sentiment is real.

"We still feel sorry for them. We still want to help them, but it's to the point where enough is enough," said Torah Whitaker, 25, of Missouri City, a Houston suburb.

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By E&P Staff
September 05, 2005 7:25 PM ET updated 8:00 PM
NEW YORK - Accompanying her husband, former President George H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, "This is working very well for them."

The former First Lady's remarks were aired this evening on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program.

She was part of a group in Houston today at the Astrodome that included her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son, the current president, to head fundraising efforts for the recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama were also present.

In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I've talked to says we're going to move to Houston."

Then she added: "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."


Comment: It seems old Babs has let the cat out of the bag. All the talk of the Bush government letting the poor people of New Orleans rot both before and after Katrina struck doesn't seem like a "conspiracy theory" anymore, does it?

RJ Eskow
Huffington Post
03.29.2006
He said it on March 24, and March 22 -- and on March 16. And March 9. Oh, and March 13. Did I mention March 21? (He said it four times that day.) He said it March 28. And an "unnamed official" said it on March 29.

He said it at a press conference.

He said it after a cabinet meeting. He said it in Wheeling, West Virginia. He said it at the "Mike Sodrel for Congress and Indiana Victory 2006 Reception." He said it at the National Republican Congressional Committee Dinner. He said it at the Georgia Republican Party President's Day dinner. (The "unnamed official" said -- well, the reporter who gave him cover wouldn't say where he said it.)

In all these comfortable, safe, even plush locations, he said it. But he didn't demonstrate it. What was he talking about? "Nerve."

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Julian Borger Washington
Thursday March 30, 2006
The Guardian
The Pentagon stalled efforts to clean water supplies contaminated by a carcinogenic chemical despite evidence that it posed a significant health risk to millions of people, it was reported yesterday.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the solvent, trichloroethylene, extensively used on military bases, after significant quantities were found in water supplies. In its report, published in 2001, the EPA found it to be 40 times more likely to cause cancer than had been previously thought, and recommended tough safety standards to limit public exposure. There was also evidence the chemical played a role in birth defects.

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Comment: Ah yes, this must be the "compassionate conservatism" that they talk about.

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
AMMAN - A leading U.S. security firm has offered to provide forces for any counter-insurgency mission around the world.

J. Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater USA told the Special Operations Forces Exhibition (Sofex-2006), that his company could supply private soldiers to any country. Black, a former U.S. State Department counter-terrorism coordinator, said Blackwater has been marketing the concept of private armies for low-intensity conflicts.

"About a year ago, we realized we could do it," Black said.

Click to Expand Article

By Will Dunham
Reuters
Wed Mar 29, 5:02 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army, which missed its recruiting goal last year, has relaxed its policy banning certain types of tattoos in a bid to attract new soldiers who otherwise would have been barred from serving.

The Army will now allow new recruits and all its current soldiers to have tattoos on their hands and back of their necks as long as they are not "extremist, indecent, sexist or racist," Army officials said on Wednesday.

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Comment: Recruiting problem? What recruiting problem??

By Mimi Hall
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department is losing top managers and rank-and-file employees in a brain drain that could affect morale and the nation's safety, according to members of Congress and labor experts.

Homeland Security is "hemorrhaging on the front lines and higher up," says New York University professor Paul Light, an expert on the federal workforce. The turnover comes amid renewed threats of terrorism and as the department readies itself for another hurricane season.

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By Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - Problems using voting machines in the Texas and Illinois primaries this month have reinforced fears that the 2006 elections may be beset with glitches.

"There's a lot of evidence that some of those fears are coming to pass," says Doug Chapin, president of Electionline.org, a non-partisan group that studies elections. "The theory that new technology results in error seems to be borne out early in the process."

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Thursday March 30, 2006
(AP)
A 13-year-old boy who authorities originally said threatened President Bush actually made the threat against a school, not the president, police said.

Police Capt. Linny Cloyd said Tuesday that the teen was being investigated for making threats against Bush, the city of Florence and a school in e-mails sent to the mayor. Bush is scheduled to travel to nearby Cincinnati next week.

On Wednesday, Cloyd told the Cincinnati Enquirer the student did not make a direct threat against Bush. Instead, the teen is charged with terroristic threatening for the alleged threat against the school, Cloyd said Wednesday.


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