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Emergency officials in Louisiana requested 25,000 body bags for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and a total evacuation of New Orleans was ordered. Much of the city was still underwater, though several people who lived on high ground objected to the evacuation. “I haven’t even run out of weed yet,” said one woman.The GuardianThe New York TimesHouston, Texas, the headquarters of contractors Halliburton and Baker Hughes, was preparing for a boom; one real-estate firm was offering special financing deals “for hurricane survivors only.”IHTWealthy residents of New Orleans were devising ways to rebuild the city with a minimum of poor people.Raw Story/WSJBarbara Bush visited the Astrodome and said that, given that the evacuees were “underprivileged anyway,” things were “working out very well” for them,Editor & Publisherand Representative Richard Baker gave the hurricane credit for finally cleaning up public housing in New Orleans. [Link] The government began to award no-bid contracts for the reconstruction,WebIndia123.comand President George W. Bush signed an executive order to allow federal contractors working in the wake of Katrina to pay their workers less than the prevailing wage.CNN MoneyWhen questioned by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over his administration’s response to the storm, Bush asked, “What didn’t go right?”USA TodayHe also declared September 16 to be a national day of prayer.BBC NewsDick Cheney toured the South. “Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney,” yelled Ben Marble, a Mississippi physician who lost his home in the hurricane. “Go fuck yourself.” Marble was handcuffed and later released.OpEdNews.comRepublicans promised to probe themselves.Washington Post
It was revealed that evacuees from the hurricane had been flown to Charleston, West Virginia, where no one expected them, instead of Charleston, South Carolina, where accommodations and doctors were waiting.The ScotsmanDoctors in New Orleans admitted that they had euthanized critically ill patients rather than leaving them to suffer. “Those who had no chance of making it,” said an emergency official, “were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die.”Daily MailBob Denver, best known for his role as the hapless, incompetent, shipwrecked Gilligan, died.SFGate.comMichael Brown, director of FEMA, was found to have lied on his resume and was removed from the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and sent back to Washington, D.C., to administer FEMA at a national level. “I’m going to go home,” he said, “and walk my dog and hug my wife, and maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night’s sleep.” He later resigned.CTV.caTimeSFGate.comThe New York TimesFEMA officials asked journalists not to take pictures of dead bodies,Reutersand China announced that the death tolls from natural disasters would no longer be classified as state secrets.BBC NewsGermany surpassed the United States to become the world’s number-one exporter,The Daily Telegraphand California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he would veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.Democracy Now!A large bulge appeared in Oregon.LiveScience.com
Up to 3.7 million gallons of crude oil leaked into the lower Mississippi River.Democracy Now!A car bomb in Iraq killed 16 people,BBC Newsthe last Israeli troops left Gaza,The New York Timesand 32 police officers were injured during riots in Belfast, Northern Ireland.CNN.comRussia announced that it will build a small floating nuclear power station in the White Sea.MOSNews.comThe Pentagon held a “Freedom Walk.” Walkers were forced to register online ahead of time, to march along a fenced-in route, and to listen to Clint Black perform his song “Iraq and Roll.” The Washington PostOracle was buying Siebel, and eBay was buying Skype.Business Week OnlineThe New York TimesYahoo! admitted that it had helped China track down a journalist, Shi Tao, who had anonymously redistributed a message from the Chinese government suggesting journalists be careful about what they write. Shi is serving a 10-year sentence for revealing “state secrets.”The Washington PostIt was revealed that, several months before it issued a warning, the FDA had been aware that the Guidant Ventak Prizm 2 DR heart defibrillator had a tendency to short-circuit.The New York TimesPassport applicants in Britain were being told not to smile for their pictures, because smiles confuse security equipment.The Jamaica ObserverEncephalitis had killed at least 600 people in India,BBC Newsand a typhoon killed at least 21 people in southern Japan.AFPSaparmurat Niyazov, President for Life of Turkmenistan, declared that a zoo for penguins would be built where the Kara Kum desert begins.Mail and Guardian OnlineA Brussels woman urinating in a graveyard was crushed to death by a falling gravestone,Reutersa woman in India was freed from the outhouse where she had been confined for more than 25 years,BBC Newsand a British man died when he fell into a giant blender.BBC News
More from Paul Ford:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands theyâ€™d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for â€śfurtive movementsâ€ť:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature