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President Obama touched down in New Orleans today, and the Big Easy seemed to be saying, "It's about time." We hear about reconstruction, flood protection, race and political partisanship. Also violence creates chaos in the the cultural hub of Pakistan, and it's not a women's movement, but something is going on in Saudi Arabia.

Banner image: Water sprays out of a levy wall on the Industrial Canal in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 1, 2008 as water begins to seep through the levee after Hurricane Gustav slammed into the US Gulf Coast, almost exactly three years after the city was catastrophically swamped by Katrina. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Pakistan Hit by Coordinated Attacks 7 MIN, 25 SEC

Lahore, the cultural hub of Pakistan, was paralyzed by a series of attacks today that killed at least 38 people. The targets included the Federal Investigation Agency, a police training school and a police commando training center. Ahmed Rashid is a journalist based in Lahore. His most recent book is Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of National Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist

Descent into Chaos

Ahmed Rashid

Main Topic Obama's Quick Trip to The Big Easy 34 MIN, 22 SEC

As a Senator, Obama went to New Orleans five times to criticize then-President Bush for failing to rebuild the city or protect it from future flooding. He campaigned on the claim that George W. Bush had failed to rebuild New Orleans after Katrina or to invest enough in future protection. Now, with 65,000 homes still abandoned, no public hospital and levees that remain vulnerable to flooding, Obama’s being criticized for not doing enough. Today, he made his first visit as President, with only enough time for a box lunch, before going on to a fundraiser in San Francisco. Has his administration been good for New Orleans? Can the Army Corps of Engineers prevent another disaster? What about politics in a city focused on race in a state focused on partisanship?

Jonathan Tilove, Washington Reporter, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Harry Shearer, Political satirist (@theharryshearer)
Ivor van Heerden, Center for the Study of Public Health Impact of Hurricanes
Elliott Stonecipher, independent demographic analyst
Barbara Major, Vice President, Citizens United for Economic Equity

The Storm

Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan

Reporter's Notebook Women Begin to Enter Public Life in Saudi Arabia 8 MIN, 22 SEC

On the streets of Riyadh, women are still wearing black cloaks called abayas, headscarves and veils. But the men of Saudi Arabia may have to get used to change, since inside some glass and steel office buildings, it's a different story. One feminist says, "It's an exaggeration to call it a women's movement," but "something is going on."  That's according to an article in Time magazine by Middle East correspondent Andrew Lee Butters.

Andrew Lee Butters, Middle East Correspondent, Time magazine

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