2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Embattled FEMA chief resigns NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal
Emergency Management Agency
director Mike Brown resigned yester-
day, three days after losing his onsite
command of the Hurricane Katrina
relief effort. The White House picked
a top FEMA official with three
decades of firefighting experience as
R. David Paulison, head of FEMA's
emergency preparedness force, will
lead the beleaguered agency, accord-
ing to three administration sources
who spoke on condition of anonym-
ity because the announcement had
not yet been made.
Paulison is a career firefighter
from Miami who was among emer-
gency workers responding to Hurri-
cane Andrew in 1992 and the crash
of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida
Everglades in 1996, according to a
biography posted on FEMA's Web
site. He also has led the U.S. Fire
Administration since December
2001, according to the site.
As chief of the Miami-Dade Fire
Rescue Department, Paulison led
1,900 personnel under a $200 mil-
lion operating budget. He was also
in charge of Dade County's emer-
gency management office, accord-
ing to his biography.
Paulison will lead an agency that
has been under fire for its response to
the Katrina disaster. Local officials
and members of Congress have cited
confusion and a lagging response to
the Gulf Coast devastation.
Brown had taken much of the heat.
and was relieved of his onsite com-
mand on Friday. In an interview yes-
terday with The Associated Press,
Brown said he resigned "in the best
interest of the agency and best inter-
est of the president." He said he feared
he had become a distraction.
"The focus has got to be on FEMA,
what the people are trying to do down
there," Brown said.
His decision was not a surprise.
Brown was abruptly recalled to
Washington on Friday, a clear vote
of no confidence from his superiors
at the White House and the Home-
land Security Department. He also
was accused of padding his resume,
which Brown has denied.
The president ducked questions
about Brown's resignation. "Maybe
you know something I don't know.
I've been working," the president
said to reporters on an inspection
tour of damage in Gulfport, Miss.
Bush said he planned to talk with
Brown's boss, Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff, from
Air Force One on the flight back to
"There will be plenty of time to
figure out what went right and what
went wrong," Bush said.
Polls show most Americans
believe Bush could have done more
to help Katrina's victims, though
they also blame leaders of Louisiana
and New Orleans. Bush's overall job
approval rating is at the lowest point
of his presidency.
House Democratic Leader Nancy
Pelosi said Brown's departure wsas
"His resignation is the right thing
for the country and for the people of
the Gulf Coast states," Pelosi said in
Brown, who said he last talked to
Bush five or six days ago, said the res-
ignation was his idea. He spoke Sat-
urday to White House chief of staff
Andrew Card, who did not request
his departure, according to Brown.
ead at hspital
RAFAH, Gaza Strip
Gazans celebrate Israeli pullout
Joyous Gazans flooded into empty Jewish settlements yesterday and Pales-
tinians climbed ropes and clambered over walls dividing this border town to
join a chaotic celebration of the end of 38 years of Israeli military rule over the
Plans by Palestinian police to bar crowds from the settlements quickly dis-
integrated. Militant groups hoisted flags, fired wildly into the air and set aban-
doned synagogues ablaze, illustrating the weakness of the security forces and
concerns about their ability to control growing chaos in Gaza. The pullout is
widely seen as a test for Palestinian aspirations of statehood.
Among those crossing were purported members of the radical Islamic group,
Hamas, who waved the group's green flag on Egyptian territory, raising imme-
diate concern over Egypt's ability to meet Israeli demands to prevent militants
from leaving Gaza.
Egyptian security forces stood by and let crossings in both directions take place,
describing it as a "humanitarian" gesture to let people separated for years reunite.
TAL AFAR, Iraq
Blast outside popular restaurant kills 170
In Baghdad, a huge car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in
the upscale Mansour neighborhood last night, witnesses said. Hospital
officials reported at least two people were killed and 17 were wounded.
A doctor at Yarmouk Hospital said most of the victims were women.
The offensive "was a great shock to al-Qaida. They were thrown off bal-
ance and issued this threat. We will be on the lookout," Interior Minister
Bayan Jabr said at a news conference.
Militant positions were found mainly deserted Sunday, and the invading
force discovered a network of tunnels below the city through which the
insurgents were believed to have fled to the surrounding countryside.
The offensive exacted a heavy toll on the insurgents, leaving almost
200 suspected militants dead and more than 315 captured, Iraqi military
Utility error blamed for LA blackout
Utility workers connected the wrong wires and caused a blackout across
major portions of Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, trapping people in ele-
vators and snarling traffic at intersections, authorities said. About 2 mil-
lion people were affected by the resulting power surge and outages, which
were reported from downtown west to the Pacific Coast and north into the
San Fernando Valley.
The electricity was knocked out shortly before 1 p.m. in the area, which
encompasses hundreds of thousands of residents and thousands of businesses.
Los Angeles International Airport lost power, but its emergency genera-
tor kicked in promptly, and no flights were affected, said Harold Johnson,
an airport spokesman.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The
bodies of 45 patients have been
found at a flooded-out hospital, a
state health official said yesterday
amid otherwise encouraging signs
large and small that New Orleans is
climbing back two weeks after it was
slammed by Hurricane Katrina.
The bodies were found Sunday at
317-bed Memorial Medical Center,
which was abandoned more than a
week ago after it was surrounded by
floodwaters, said Bob Johannesen,
a spokesman for the Department of
Health and Hospitals.
The Louisiana death toll rose to
279, up from 197 on Sunday, Johan-
Meanwhile, more than half of
southeastern Louisiana's water treat-
ment plants were up and running
again yesterday, and business own-
ers were issued passes into the city
to retrieve vital records or equip-
ment as New Orleans continued to
stir back to life.
Also, President Bush got his first
up-close look at the destruction in
New Orleans yesterday, taking a
tour that took him through several
flooded neighborhoods. Occasional-
ly, he had to duck to avoid low-hang-
ing electrical wires and branches.
In Washington, Federal Emer-
gency Management Agency direc-
tor Mike Brown announced he is
resigning "in the best interest of the
agency and best interest of the presi-
dent." Brown has been vilified for
the government's sluggish response
to the tragedy. Last week, he was
stripped of responsibility for over-
seeing the cleanup and was abruptly
recalled to Washington.
As for the discovery of the bod-
ies at the hospital, Johannesen said
he had no further information,
and Police Chief Eddie Compass
declined to answer any questions,
including whether police received
any calls for assistance from those
inside Memorial Medical Center
after the hospital was evacuated.
"I can't say nothing," Compass
said, referring questions to a spokes-
woman for Mayor C. Ray Nagin who
did not immediately return a mes-
sage seeking comment.
Dr. Jeffrey Kochan, a Philadel-
phia radiologist volunteering in New
Orleans, said he spoke Sunday night
with members of the team that recov-
ered the bodies. He said they told
him they found 36 corpses floating
on the first floor.
"That's what they were talk-
ing about last night," Kochan said.
"These guys were just venting. They
need to talk. They're seeing things no
human being should have to see."
BELFAST, Northern Ireland
Protestant crowds block city roads in protest
Crowds of Protestant hard-liners blocked key roads in Belfast and rioted for a third
straight night yesterday in a long-building explosion of frustration at Northern Ireland's
At least 50 officers were wounded over the weekend when extremists fought riot
police and British troops in the worst Protestant violence in a decade.
The British governor and the territory's police chief said two outlawed Protestant
paramilitary groups mounted machine-gun and grenade attacks on police.
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