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Fortune magazine says, in the year since Katrina, the Big Easy has become the Big Difficult.  State, federal and city coordination has given way to 73 neighborhoods trying to make plans on their own. What’s the role of race in the rebuilding process? Could levees rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers prevent the same disaster from happening again? Plus, Halliburton and Bechtel are among the major contractors in both the Gulf States and Iraq and Afghanistan.  What does the contracting process have to do with the results?   Also, UN Secretary General is in Lebanon, trying to push implementation of the cease-fire.

Making News UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Visits the Middle East 6 MIN

Kofi Annan is back in Beirut, trying to push implementation of the cease-fire in Lebanon. The UN Secretary General has called on Hezbollah to turn over abducted Israeli soldiers, and on Israel to lift its sea blockade. Mohamad Bazzi, Middle East Bureau Chief for Newsday magazine, says there's been some progress.

Mohamad Bazzi, New York University (@BazziNYU)

Main Topic In New Orleans, the Disaster Continues 35 MIN, 3 SEC

Ernesto is now just a tropical storm, but it was the first hurricane of a new season. Meantime, politicians of both parties, including President Bush, are streaming into New Orleans for tomorrow's first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Under direction from Congress, the Army Corps of Engineers has spent a billion dollars to bring the city's flood protection back where it was before Katrina. Despite billions in federal spending, there's not even a plan for rebuilding 12 months after America's worst natural disaster. If there were another Katrina, could levees rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers hold back the water? What does race have to do with the lack of planning? We hear about the slow and painful process of recovery.

Mark Schleifstein, Times-Picayune (@mschleifsteintp)
Elliott Stonecipher, independent demographic analyst
Ivor van Heerden, Center for the Study of Public Health Impact of Hurricanes
John Meador, Deputy Director, Task Force Hope

Reporter's Notebook Disaster Profiteering in the Gulf 7 MIN, 4 SEC

The Army Corps of Engineers is involved in rebuilding both on the Gulf Coast and in Iraq and Afghanistan, as are Bechtel, Halliburton and other major contractors. The contracting process is also familiar, leaving local subcontractors finally doing the actual work with only a tiny amount of the money originally paid by the federal government. That's according to CorpWatch, a nonprofit group that keeps track of the private sector. Pratap Chatterjee is the director.

Pratap Chatterjee, Columnist, Guardian Newspaper


Warren Olney

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