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'Me and Mama are gonna die': Dispatchers saved desperate Katrina callers

Current News / News & Features /

BILOXI, Miss. -- The Biloxi, Miss., dispatchers have avoided lists that name Hurricane Katrina's dead, but they can still hear the voices of people who called 911, trapped in the storm.

The wind shrieked as the water climbed steps, covered floors, mounted countertops, reached ceilings, poured into attics.

Even police officers caught in the ...Read more

In Mississippi, Hurricane Katrina altered landscape, lives

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BILOXI, Miss. -- The desperate voices on the phone told emergency dispatchers Hurricane Katrina was much worse than anyone imagined -- "We're drowning!" -- but until Desiree Hernandez stepped from the windowless bunker at a Biloxi, Miss., fire station into the air outside, she had no idea.

"I looked down to Highway 90 and there was nothing ...Read more

Many Latinos who came for Katrina work stayed and thrived

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PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- Many hard-working Hispanics with skills in construction and roofing poured into the Gulf Coast for jobs after Katrina, joining other Hispanic nationalities.

They would sleep in their trucks in parking lots, in tents and on the bare ground because there were no rooms to rent. They helped tremendously in rebuilding the Coast....Read more

Hurricane Katrina's first responders risked all to save others

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BILOXI, Miss. -- Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney studied the face of each resident he and other first responders found dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

He did so, he said, to make sure he would do what he could to "never let it happen again."

Boney was among the hundreds of other South Mississippi police officers, firefighters and other...Read more

Australia's efforts to lift California ban on kangaroo products under scrutiny

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- An animal rights activist has filed a complaint with California's ethics agency against the Australian government, alleging that it did not properly register its lobbying activities as it seeks to eliminate the state's ban on kangaroo products.

The decades-old ban, which has been suspended since 2007, is set to go back ...Read more

Erika heads toward southwestern part of Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- South Florida prepared for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Erika this weekend, although the projected path of the storm continued to veer toward the southwestern part of the state.

The region remains within the storm's possible routes as it heads north, with Erika expected to come closest to South Florida late ...Read more

Kenyan man nabbed by Miami FBI gets 15 years for backing terrorists

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MIAMI -- A Kenyan man caught in an FBI counterterrorism operation was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday for supplying thousands of dollars to U.S.-designated terrorist organizations linked to al-Qaida.

Rather than go to trial in Miami, Mohamed Hussein Said cut a plea deal in May on a single conspiracy charge of providing "material ...Read more

KC officer shoots at car that rammed his motorcycle; bullet wounds infant's toe

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City police bullet apparently wounded an infant in the toe Friday when an officer shot into a car that had rammed the officer's motorcycle.

The child was a passenger in the car that hit the motorcycle near 53rd Street and Wabash Avenue about 9:30 a.m., police said.

"It is horrible that an infant was involved and ...Read more

After Katrina, a Mississippi family held close to rebuild

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The photograph was a snapshot of desperation: a tawny-haired boy wearing nothing but a muddied pair of shorts, sitting on top of a collapsed fence in Biloxi, Miss. Mounds of debris filled the frame around him. He held his head in one hand, and a soggy teddy bear lay facedown at his feet.

The image, which ran Sept. 1, 2005, on the front page of ...Read more

Legionnaires' disease case at San Quentin prison prompts shutoff of water

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Officials turned off the water at San Quentin State Prison on Friday and temporarily trucked in portable toilets after an inmate was hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease and more than two dozen other prisoners showed signs of the illness.

The state corrections department, in conjunction with medical and health ...Read more

GOP senator says State Department bypassed ethics officers on some Bill Clinton speeches

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WASHINGTON -- Aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appear to have bypassed State Department ethics officials in turning down invitations for her husband to speak in North Korea, the Congo and to a U.S.-China energy summit, a senior Republican senator said Friday.

Appearing in Minneapolis on Friday, Hillary Clinton said her husband...Read more

Kentucky county clerk asks Supreme Court to shield her from issuing same-sex marriage licenses

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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The same-sex marriage protest of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, which has drawn national attention to Kentucky, is entering its endgame.

On Friday, Davis filed an emergency application to the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a stay in the Aug. 12 injunction handed down by U.S. District Judge David Bunning that ordered her to ...Read more

Rhetorical abuse over Iran deal is troubling, Obama tells Jewish groups

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Friday that he and other supporters of the Iran nuclear deal have received more rhetorical abuse than they've dished out in the debate over the agreement.

Speaking to two Jewish groups in a live webcast from the White House, Obama said he had to "challenge a little bit the idea that there's been an ...Read more

Research finds link between girls' birth order, weight

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Bad news, big sisters: A new study finds that firstborn girls are more likely to be overweight or obese than their second-born sisters.

The findings are based on data collected from more than 13,400 pairs of sisters born in Sweden.

According to the study, older sisters are 29 percent more likely to be overweight and 40 percent more likely to ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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LOS ANGELES -- When an actress and her boyfriend pleaded no contest to charges stemming from an arrest last September, there was a catch: They had to apologize to the Los Angeles police officers they accused of mistreating the actress because of her race.

Three months later, Daniele Watts -- best known for her appearance in "Django Unchained"...Read more

At Democratic Party meeting, Joe Biden's the elephant not in the room

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MINNEAPOLIS -- It was a meeting of Democrats, their heroes, their hopes and their neuroses.

All were there under one roof but one -- Vice President Joe Biden, whose deliberations over making a late entry in the presidential race injected unexpected intrigue into the party's summer meeting in Minneapolis this week. Hillary Rodham Clinton's ...Read more

Joel Fort, iconoclastic psychiatrist who testified in Patty Hearst case, dies at 86

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Joel Fort, an iconoclastic psychiatrist who was an early advocate for decriminalizing marijuana and who gave expert testimony on drugs and brainwashing in the Patty Hearst case and more than 300 other criminal trials, has died. He was 86.

His death Sunday at his home in El Cerrito, outside San Francisco, was caused by cancer, his daughter ...Read more

Clinton seeks to assure Dems: I'm trying to do a better job

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Hillary Clinton battled to position herself at the Democrats' summer meeting as the party's strong, inevitable presidential candidate, but she couldn't escape the furor over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Clinton didn't mention the emails during her 25-minute speech to the Democratic National ...Read more

Scott Walker and Marco Rubio attack Obama on foreign policy

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WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accused the Obama administration of abdicating American leadership in back-to-back foreign policy speeches Friday intended to put their presidential campaigns back in the national conversation about next year's election.

Though Rubio focused on China and Walker focused on ...Read more

China's market missteps tripping up others

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BEIJING -- Not long ago, global markets were fixated on a nation in the throes of financial upheaval. Its equities markets were crumbling, its debts sky-high. Media pundits, investors and foreign governments began to question the long-term viability of its political-economic model.

Sound familiar? That country was the U.S., and the year was ...Read more

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