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Donations pour in from around world

Mon., Sept. 5, 2005

Cairo, Egypt Donations to Hurricane Katrina relief poured in from around the world Sunday, with Kuwait offering $500 million and other Mideast countries offering aid and condolences despite widespread opposition to U.S. policies in the area.

The European Union and NATO also stepped up to provide aid following rare requests for help from Washington, while the 22-member Arab League urged countries across the Middle East to “extend aid to the United States to face the exceptional humane circumstances.”

Spain, Belgium, Britain, Germany and Italy announced they had started or were about to send aid and experts. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Sunday the government would send 500,000 ration packs. Germany and Italy sent flights of supplies, including food rations, bed supplies, inflatable dinghies and water purifiers.

Two police officers take their own lives

New Orleans There may be no better way to explain the desperation on the city’s ravaged streets than this: In the past few days, two police officers took their lives with their own weapons and dozens have turned in their badges.

Deputy Police Chief W.J. Riley on Sunday identified two officers who committed suicide as Sgt. Paul Accardo, the department’s spokesman, and Patrolman Lawrence Celestine. He called both “outstanding cops” and friends.

Several dozen of the city’s 1,600 police officers have failed to report for duty, and some have turned in their badges. Published reports put the number as high as 200, but Riley declined to comment on those figures, saying more than 100 officers may have been trapped in their own homes or unable to reach command centers.

Surrounded by death, a Superdome newborn

Braggs, Okla. As the Superdome descended into violence and chaos in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Lynette Lewis’ labor pains began.

Amid the misery of thousands of people who had lost nearly everything, and without medication for Lewis, little Rochelle was born at a triage center in the adjacent New Orleans Arena.

She would spend her first days of life there and then aboard a bus in search of shelter. Rejected by some shelters already full in Texas, her family ended up in northeastern Oklahoma at Camp Gruber, a remote National Guard training site with some 1,450 evacuees.

“I want everybody to see a survivor,” Roman Coats said Sunday, proudly holding his newborn daughter at the shelter.

Cost to rebuild roads at least $1.5 billion

Washington

It will cost at least $1.5 billion to rebuild highways in the Gulf Coast region that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said Sunday.

Mineta said that amount would be necessary just to restore Interstate 10 and U.S. 90, two major arteries leading into New Orleans.

Interstate 10 can’t be used because the ramps are under water. U.S. 90, a hundred-mile stretch of road that runs along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Pascagoula, Miss., was basically destroyed.

Mineta’s estimate didn’t include the costs of restoring bridges and local roads in and around New Orleans, as well as roads in Mississippi and Alabama that Mineta said were “basically wiped out.”

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department continued what Mineta called the largest airlift ever on U.S. soil, bringing supplies into New Orleans and flying evacuees out.

“More than 20,000 people have been flown out of New Orleans in the last 72 hours,” Mineta said. The evacuees have been moved to facilities across the country, from Utah to Georgia, he said.

The secretary said 15 flights per hour were arriving and departing from New Orleans International Airport by Sunday afternoon. Fifteen carriers, including three cargo shippers, were participating in the airlift, he said.


 

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