FROM Gwen Filosa
Shutting the Door to Public Housing in New Orleans? More than two years after Katrina, public housing in New Orleans has become an issue on Capitol Hill and in the presidential campaign. Despite a shortage of low-income housing, the federal government wants to destroy thousands of apartments in New Orleans' four biggest public housing projects. Some former residents say they'll be glad to have newer, safer places to live, but a tent-city full of protesters has sprung up across from City Hall. They insist that some of the buildings could be saved, along with social networks and the mostly African-American culture that has made New Orleans unique and important. With a shortage of places for low-income people to live, should public housing projects be restored or destroyed to make way for mixed-income developments? Would it mean better living for poor people or the loss of neighborhoods, social networks and the culture that's made the city unique? Is there an underlying effort to make New Orleans a smaller -- and whiter -- city?
Is New Orleans Safe for Anyone? Immediately after Katrina, violent crime all but disappeared from New Orleans as the city lost about half of its pre-hurricane population. But the police chief says that 80% of its criminals have come home, and a headline in last week's Times-Picayune read " Killings bring the city to its bloodied knees ." Recent murder victims include Dinerral Shavers, a 25-year old high school teacher and drummer for the Hot 8 Brass Band , gunned down in broad daylight driving his car with his family. Another was Helen Hill , a filmmaker and wife of a doctor, shot to death when she answered a morning knock on her door in a Bohemian neighborhood near the French Quarter. In the aftermath of such high-profile murders, citizens are ready to march on City Hall. We visit a devastated city that's under siege. Will New Orleans be safe for Mardi Gras less than six weeks from today?
Public Housing and FEMA Vouchers in the 'New' New Orleans After Katrina, President Bush said, "We will do what it takes" to make "this great city... rise again." The Army Corps of Engineers promised to rebuild a safer New Orleans. Today, New Orleans is less than half as big as it was before Katrina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency may or may not restore rent subsidies that could help more residents to return. Meantime, rents are rising and what little public housing remains may be converted to mixed-income townhouses poor people can't afford. Today's New York Times reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has lost its sense of urgency to rebuild a city safe for enough business and jobs. Is the federal government abandoning a major American city? Are blacks the biggest losers?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.