Tuesday, August 30, 2005

8/29/05 - 9/4/05

Are these really "Natural Disasters" or "Acts of God"?
Few people realize the technologies that exist behind 'black' projects that have capabilities beyond our wildest imaginations. Weather control technology does exist. What better weapon is there than this for accomplishing your agenda? No one gets blamed except God. These globalists are pure racists with genuine Nazi ideologies. You have to wonder if it was coincidence that minority communities are affected by these "natural" disasters. Population reduction anyone?

Hurricane Katrina STEERED for New Orleans? 3000 Louisiana Nat. Guard off in Iraq bogus war
author: impeach the vacationing Bush
OK, I'll say it. I know you are thinking it like I am.
HAARP anyone? --- Bankrupt Venezuela? --- convenient federal FEMA militarization while Louisiana National Guard in Iraq?

Katrina has gone from Cat 1 to Cat 5 in days. It was even briefly downgraded lower than Cat 1 to a tropical storm as it left South Florida! Meterologists admit mystification--or feign mystification--at it. Now, devastation from Katrina is to be around 500x worse than the damage delivered to South Florida. A Category 5 hurricane does not cause five times as much damage as a Category 1. It causes 500 to 1,000 times the damage, hurricane scientists say, because the power of a storm increases exponentially as wind speeds grow.

In 1976 there was a U.N. Treaty, which Nations signed, promising not to affect each other using weather warfare. So...in other words, the technology was available then...to at least some degree.

FEMA's wet dream
summaries of several articles:

1.4m ordered to flee as Hurricane Katrina roars towards New Orleans

The levees intended to protect the city vary in height, from as low as 10
feet above sea level to about 14 feet, he said. They too are vulnerable,
because they are made of earth [and will erode], he said. Katrina could be
especially devastating if it strikes New Orleans because the city sits
below sea level and is dependent on levees and pumps to keep the water
out. A direct hit could submerge the city [for weeks]. Some 25 feet of
standing water is expected in many parts of the city --almost twice the
height of the average home -- and computer models suggest that more than
80 percent of buildings would be badly damaged or destroyed, he said.
Forecasters predicted the storm surge could reach 28 feet; the highest
levees around New Orleans are 18 feet high. About 70 percent of New
Orleans is below sea level, and is protected from the Mississippi River by
a series of levees. Mayor has said the levee will not hold. 20 feet of
water are possible. [Plus, Katrina will strike at high tide, approx. 8
a.m. Monday morning as well. Additoinally, Katrina hit the Gulf's 'loop

In the Gulf of Mexico, all projections had been that the storm would
intensify as it drew energy from the warm waters there, and chance events
favored growth. It churned directly over an oceanic feature that is the
nemesis of gulf state disaster planners: the "loop current," a great, deep
whorl of tropics-hot seawater that pulses in between the Yucatn and Cuba
each year and then stays south of Louisiana into late summer. Often, even
in the Gulf of Mexico, storms weaken as they suck up cool water that lies
stratified beneath the warm surface. But in the loop, even the depths are

Katrina had a central pressure -- a measure of a storm's intensity -- of
902 millibars, which would make it one of the four strongest storms on
record. The Labor Day hurricane of 1935 that hit the Florida Keys, killing
some 600 people, was the strongest with a minimum central pressure of 892
millibars on landfall. "The lower the pressure [number], the stronger the

Category 5 is the most intense on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Only three
Category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since
records were kept. Those were the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, 1969's
Hurricane Camille [that missed New Orleans and still killed 250+ people]
and Hurricane Andrew, which devastated the Miami area in 1992. Andrew
remains the costliest U.S. hurricane on record, with $26.5 billion in
losses. [Katrina is #4]

...at least 100,000 people in the city lack the transport to leave.

The huge storm, packing 160 mph winds [now 175 mph], is expected to hit
the northern Gulf Coast in the next 12 hours and make landfall as a
Category 4 or 5 hurricane Monday morning. The National Hurricane Center
reports that conditions are already deteriorating along the central and
northeastern coast. As far east as Mobile, Alabama, 118 miles away from
New Orleans, authorities warned of storm surges approaching 20 feet. A
statement from the National Weather Service in Slidell, near New Orleans,
Louisiana, warned that much of the affected area "will be uninhabitable
for weeks, perhaps longer."

CNN said officials expect the storm surge to cover the grounds of the
Super Dome itself [one of ten "emergency evacuation" sites], and people
will be there for several days.

There are around 25,000 people in the 100,000 seat Superdome stadium. The second level of the Superdome is around 35 feet from the base, so in the storm, it will be fine. It has been built to withstand at 200-215 mph winds. Katrina is around 175 mph. Unfortuantely, many other "evacuation shelters" are unable to withstand even 175 mph.

And much of FEMA money goes toward emergency response instead of emergency preparation. Much smarter pre-preparation strategies--instead of relying on "emergency aftermath strategies" would of course endanger FEMA lobby budgets... FEMA gets their wish, a test of the concentration camps: "In the French Quarter, the water could reach 20 feet, easily submerging the district's iconic cast-iron balconies and bars, the AP reported. Estimates predict that 60 percent to 80 percent of the city's houses will be destroyed by wind. With the flood damage, most of the people who live in and around New Orleans could be homeless, the AP said. "We're talking about in essence having - in the continental United States having a refugee camp of a million people," van Heerden said." http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?

extremely sobering to think the area is now being faced with a likely
reality that matches a projection like this:

Ninety percent of the structures in the city are likely to be destroyed by
the combination of water and wind accompanying a Category 5 storm, said
Robert Eichorn, former director of the New Orleans Office of Emergency
Preparedness. The LSU Hurricane Center surveyed numerous large public
buildings in Jefferson Parish in hopes of identifying those that might
withstand such catastrophic winds. They found none.

Floodwaters from the east will carry toxic waste from the "Industrial
Canal" area, nicknamed after the chemical plants there. From the west,
floodwaters would flow through the Norco Destrehan Industrial Complex,
which includes refineries and chemical plants, said van Heerden, who has
studied computer models about the impact of a strong hurricane for four
years. "These chemical plants are going to start flying apart, just as the
other buildings do," he predicted. "So, we have the potential for release
of benzene, hydrochloric acid, chlorine and so on." That could result in
severe air and water pollution, he said. In New Orleans, which lies below
sea level, gas and diesel tanks are all located above ground for the same
reason that bodies are buried above ground. In the event of a flood,
"those tanks will start to float, shear their couplings, and we'll have
the release of these rather volatile compounds," van Heerden added.
Because gasoline floats on water, "we could end up with some pretty severe
and large -- area-wise -- fires." "So, we're looking at a bowl full of
highly contaminated water with contaminated air flowing around and,
literally, very few places for anybody to go where they'll be safe."

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guards 256th Brigade serving in Iraq can only watch from Baghdad as Hurricane Katrina bears down on their families and homes in New Orleans... deployed soldiers and their equipment, which includes high water vehicles, Humvees and
generators, will be sorely missed... Bush declared an emergency in
Louisiana and Mississippi and a major disaster in Florida, measures that
allow federal aid and FEMA to be deployed. "We will do everything in our power [sic] to help the people and communities affected by this storm," Bush
said from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Now watch me chop this wood.

At midnight CDT...0500z...the center of Hurricane Katrina was located near
latitude 27.9 north...longitude 89.5 west or about 90 miles
south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 150 miles
south-southeast of New Orleans Louisiana. Katrina is moving toward the
north-northwest near 10 mph...and a turn to the north [toward New
Orleans] is expected over the next 12 to 24 hours. Movement toward...
north-northwest near 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds...160 mph. Minimum
central pressure... 908 mb.

And where is the Louisiana National Guard? Out fighting for Bush crime family Carlyle corporation oil contracts thousands of miles from where by law they SHOULD BE. Out fighting for Cheney investments in Halliburton.

It's all about playing dumb, dumber, dumberer, dumbererer and dumberererer.
Do you still think these guys are out for the welfare of the people of New Orleans or for the citizens of the nation for that matter? YOu would think the country with the most resources in the world could handle this a bit better don't ya think?

CLUELESS....Could the people in charge of managing the catastrophe in New Orleans possibly be more clueless?

George W. Bush, President of the United States, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina: "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, following widespread eyewitness reports of refugees living like animals at the Convention Center: "I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the Convention Center who don't have food and water."

Mike Brown, Director of FEMA, referring to people who were stuck in New Orleans largely because they were too poor to afford the means to leave: "...those who are stranded, who chose not to evacuate, who chose not to leave the city..."

Patrick Rhode, deputy director of FEMA, commenting on his agency's performance after four days of steadily increasing urban warfare, deeply flawed coordination, and continuing inability to evacuate refugees: "Probably one of the most efficient and effective responses in the country's history."

Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, providing needed reassurance to the newly homeless: "It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level....It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed."

This is beyond belief. What's with these people?

Just in case you needed more incompetence
Here it is...
But hey, I thought the Iraq war was to PROTECT the American people???!!

Why the Levee Broke

By Will Bunch

Washington knew exactly what needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans from disasters like Katrina. Yet federal funding for Louisiana flood control projects was diverted to pay for the war in Iraq.

Even though Hurricane Katrina has moved well north of the city, the waters continued to rise in New Orleans on Wednesday. That's because Lake Pontchartrain continues to pour through a two-block-long break in the main levee, near the city's 17th Street Canal. With much of the Crescent City some 10 feet below sea level, the rising tide may not stop until until it's level with the massive lake.

There have been numerous reports of bodies floating in the poorest neighborhoods of this poverty-plagued city, but the truth is that the death toll may not be known for days, because the conditions continue to frustrate rescue efforts.

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Newhouse News Service, in an article posted late Tuesday night at The Times-Picayune Web site, reported: "No one can say they didn't see it coming. ... Now in the wake of one of the worst storms ever, serious questions are being asked about the lack of preparation."

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to this Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness:

The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.

The Lake Pontchartrain project is slated to receive $3.9 million in the president's 2005 budget. Naomi said about $20 million is needed.

"The longer we wait without funding, the more we sink," he said. "I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest."
On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, told the Times-Picayune: "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

That June, with the 2004 hurricane seasion starting, the Corps' Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."
The panel authorized that money, and on July 1, 2004, it had to pony up another $250,000 when it learned that stretches of the levee in Metairie had sunk by four feet. The agency had to pay for the work with higher property taxes. The levee board noted in October 2004 that the feds were also now not paying for a hoped-for $15 million project to better shore up the banks of Lake Pontchartrain.

The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in decades. In spite of that, the federal government came back this spring with the steepest reduction in hurricane- and flood-control funding for New Orleans in history. Because of the proposed cuts, the Corps office there imposed a hiring freeze. Officials said that money targeted for the SELA project -- $10.4 million, down from $36.5 million -- was not enough to start any new jobs. According to New Orleans CityBusiness this June 5:

The district has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects are included in a Corps line item called Lake Pontchartrain, where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. Naomi said it's enough to pay salaries but little else.

"We'll do some design work. We'll design the contracts and get them ready to go if we get the money. But we don't have the money to put the work in the field, and that's the problem," Naomi said.
There was, at the same time, a growing recognition that more research was needed to see what New Orleans must do to protect itself from a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. But once again, the money was not there. As the Times-Picayune reported last Sept. 22:

That second study would take about four years to complete and would cost about $4 million, said Army Corps of Engineers project manager Al Naomi. About $300,000 in federal money was proposed for the 2005 fiscal-year budget, and the state had agreed to match that amount.

But the cost of the Iraq war forced the Bush administration to order the New Orleans district office not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money, he said.
The Senate was seeking to restore some of the SELA funding cuts for 2006. But now it's too late. One project that a contractor had been racing to finish this summer was a bridge and levee job right at the 17th Street Canal, site of the main breach on Monday. The levee failure appears to be causing a human tragedy of epic proportions: "We probably have 80 percent of our city under water; with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet. Both airports are underwater," Mayor Ray Nagin told a radio interviewer.

The Newhouse News Service article published Tuesday night observed, "The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. ... In its budget, the Bush administration proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need."

Washington knew that this day could come at any time, and it knew the things that needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans. But in the tradition of the riverboat gambler, the Bush administration decided to roll the dice on its fool's errand in Iraq, and on a tax cut that mainly benefitted the rich. Now Bush has lost that gamble, big time.

The president told us that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives here at home. Yet -- after moving billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf -- there are bodies floating through the streets of Louisiana. What does George W. Bush have to say for himself now?

Ever since I first read about this bird flu several months ago, I ‘ve always been hoping that it was a fluke and nothing would come of it. I’ve been tracking this from the beginning and it started out as an innocent little virus that only affected birds. Next thing you know it was mutating, people were contracting this from birds, people in Asia were then getting sick, there were reports of the virus having mutated to the point where it could be spread human to human. Now this news of a formal announcement. Actually I still hope it does turn out to be a fluke… but this story will just not go away. In fact, it appears to be gaining momentum.

Formal Announcement Of
Bird Flu In Europe Expected
Co-circulation of H5N1 And H7N7 Bird Flu In Europe?

By Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
The announcement of bird flu in a seagull in Oulu, Finland on Friday will probably be followed by an announcement that H5N1 has indeed invaded Europe. Evidence from southern Siberia suggests H5N1 wild bird flu is in northern Siberia, and birds from northern Siberia migrate over Finland, so addition sightings will probably be reported next week (see map). Although tests of the current isolates are projected to last 3 weeks, sequencing of the HA cleavage site is routine, and such a sequence will almost certainly show the 6 basic amino acids (RRRKKR) that are diagnostic for H5N1 from Asia. and HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza), a reporable disease.

H5 has been detected in Europe previously, and the H5 sequenced previously at Chany Lake in 2003 and Primorie in 2001 has many markers found in H5 in Europe. The European H5 reassorted with H7N7 in 2003 to generate H5N7 that was isolated from a mallard duck in Denmark, A/Mallard/64650/03(H5N7).

Because H5N1 from Asia has a multi-basic HA cleavage site, it more easily infects birds, including wild birds such as mallards. Reasortants are created when the same host is infected with two different viruses and H5N7 arose from H5 and H7N7 infecting the same host. The poly-basic cleavage site in H5N1 from Asia gives it a selective advantage and it will probably replace most of H5 from Europe.

The dual infection can also generate recombinants, which involve a mixing or portions of genes. The H5N1 from Qinghai Lake has acquired sequences from European swine via recombination, and its presence in Europe this year will lead to more dual infections and more recombination.

Co-circulation of H5N1 and H7N7 is particularly dangerous, because H7N7 is efficiently passed from human to human. Thus, H5N1 could acquire sequences allowing efficient human-to-human transmission, and this acquisition could happen in mallard ducks, which are known to be infected with H5 from Chany Lake, A/Anas platyrhynchos/Chany Lake/9/03(H5N3), or Primorie, A/duck/Primorie/2633/01(H5N3). Birds infected with H7N7 have also led to isolates from the Netherlands, A/avian/Netherlands/065/03(H7N7).

Although 30 million birds were culled in 2003 to halt the spread of H7N7, its potential return is quite real as is the possibility that H5N1 is already in Scandinavian countries, including Finland.

This potential co-circulation in Europe is clearly cause for concern.

H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Outbreaks August 2005

Color coded circles for wild bird H5N1:
May = Blue
June = Orange
July = Yellow
August 15 - Green
Current = Red

Green or Red squares are unconfirmed bird deaths

Hurricanes around this time of year are nothing new but this one that hit New Orleans is worth noting. Gas prices are already at an all time high but this will make it even worse because of the oil tankers that were re-routed and the refineries that were shut down. Consumers will start to feel the pinch in the immediate future.
From the looks of it, the devestation seems unbelievable. Natural disasters are a major part of the signs of the end times. As bad as this one was, we aint seen nuthin yet.

Heating, gas prices to feel storm's fury
Oil rigs abandoned, refineries closed, tankers turned away

By Robert Manor, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune wire services contributed to this report
Published August 30, 2005
Hurricane Katrina howled through the nation's energy markets Monday, forcing petroleum prices higher and almost certainly raising the cost of gasoline and home heating bills in the days ahead.

Oil spiked to $70.80 a barrel in overnight trading, before closing at $67.20 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.07 but short of the record close of $67.49 set Thursday. Prices for wholesale gasoline and natural gas leaped as well.

"This is unmitigated bad news for consumers," said Peter Beutel, an oil analyst with Cameron Hanover.

Some analysts estimated retail gasoline prices could rise by as much as 20 cents a gallon. That would be bad news for drivers in Chicago, which has among the highest gasoline prices in the nation, according to the AAA gas survey. Monday, regular gas in the city averaged $2.805 a gallon, above the state average of $2.703.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to "immediately" launch an investigation of potential price gouging at gas stations in Illinois, and Blagojevich and others have asked the federal government to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Bush administration said it would consider lending oil to refiners that request it.

Energy prices could increase more if damage to the petroleum infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico is severe.

Kevin Kerr, president of Resource Trader Alert, said "$75 to $80 crude oil would certainly be possible if disruption was significant, and it appears it could be with Katrina."

When Katrina came ashore near New Orleans, she struck at one of the world's great centers for importing, producing and refining petroleum and the source for much of the nation's natural gas.

At least nine refineries in the Gulf of Mexico were closed. Together, they account for 12 percent of the nation's refining capacity. Scores of offshore oil and gas platforms were abandoned.

The extent of their damage will not be known for at least several days and may take weeks to assess.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the country's largest terminal for receiving imported petroleum, closed Saturday. It ordinarily handles 11 percent of U.S. imports.

Meanwhile, tankers bearing crude and liquefied natural gas from around the world were forced to detour away from ports in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

"Until the workers who were evacuated can go back to the platforms and refineries, we really won't know how bad the damage is," said Doug MacIntyre, a senior oil market analyst with the federal Energy Information Administration.

MacIntyre noted that Hurricane Ivan, a weaker storm than Katrina, did much more extensive damage than first thought when it plowed through the gulf last year. U.S. oil production fell to its lowest level since 1950 as a result of Ivan, and gas prices were higher for months.

Any long interruption of refining and oil and gas production in the gulf could have serious consequences for the nation. There is little spare capacity elsewhere in the world to produce and refine crude.

"The [refining] industry was operating at 95 or 96 percent capacity over the summer," said Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. "That doesn't leave much room for problems."

The gulf produces a major share of the nation's natural gas and is home to one of the few ports in North America that is able to accept liquefied natural gas from abroad.

September gasoline futures climbed 7 percent Monday, to $2.0606, in NYMEX trading. Natural gas contracts for September delivery jumped 11 percent, to $10.847. Trading in some natural gas futures was halted for a time because of reports of damage to facilities near New Orleans.

Utility companies like Peoples Gas and Nicor are buying and storing natural gas now for winter use. Ordinarily, this saves consumers money because natural gas is typically cheaper in the summer. That has not been the case this year, however.

Although Katrina hit in the Gulf of Mexico, the effect on natural gas prices will be felt here.

"We do know this will affect our customers," said Peoples spokeswoman Elizabeth Castro. "We don't know the exact extent at this time. I am already expecting a high gas bill."

Katrina's effect on energy prices could have been worse, however. The storm was downgraded from a Category 5, the fiercest of hurricanes, to a Category 4 as it came ashore.

"If the storm had been Category 5 all the way through, it could have been a devastating blow to the U.S. oil industry," said Phil Flynn, energy analyst for Alaron Trading Corp. of Chicago. "It could have had a devastating effect on our economy."

Katrina may cost insurers record $25 billion
Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:33 AM ET
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina may be the most expensive hurricane ever to hit the United States, costing insurers as much as $25 billion, a storm modeler said on Monday.
Shares of many insurers and reinsurers, which provide insurance for insurers, fell, although analysts say regulators often let insurers charge higher premiums after bad weather results in big payouts.
"We expect the bulk of damage to be wind-related, but there is significant flood risk to commercial insurers," said Thomas Larsen, senior vice president at the modeler, Eqecat Inc. of Oakland, California.
Katrina made landfall this morning about 65 miles south-southeast (105 kph) of New Orleans as a Category 4 storm with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the National Hurricane Center said.
In morning trading, Allstate Corp. fell $1.10, or 1.9 percent, to $56.85; Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. fell 81 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $73.90, and St. Paul Travelers Cos. fell 62 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $44.12.
In Europe, Munich Re shares fell 0.7 percent and Swiss Re fell 0.6 percent.
On Sunday, with Katrina bearing down on New Orleans, Eqecat said losses could top $30 billion, but then the storm weakened slightly and veered east. "The track shifted east 25 miles, which relieved some pressure on New Orleans because it put the city on the weak side of the storm," said Larsen.
Eqecat now estimates a maximum $25 billion payout, which would make Katrina more expensive than Hurricane Andrew, the costliest U.S. hurricane ever, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
It often takes days or weeks after a major storm to assess damage, and several insurers on Monday said it was too soon to estimate losses. Katrina may have generated $2 billion in claims when it tore through Florida on Friday, analysts said.
Bob Hartwig, the insurance group's chief economist, said payouts to homeowners may top those for business interruption, "given that the eye did not go over New Orleans."

This guy's seriously is going off the deep end. If an average Joe made these claims people would think he was totally off his rocker and needs help immediately. But hey, since he’s been in movies, he would be considered a deep, mysterious, spiritual person who connects with his inner self. Talk about double standards. Tom Cruise is being used to promote the new age movement which is setting the foundation for the new world religion.

Star's bizarre claim
By Ian Markham-Smith
TOM CRUISE reckons he has lived before and was even more talented and successful in his previous lives.
The eccentric War Of The Worlds star told a press conference that he is "old beyond reckoning".
And despite all his wealth and fame, he believes his current life is "probably one of the least satisfying" he has led.
Cruise, a devoted follower of the bizarre Church of Scientology, said: "I was much happier in previous existences when I wrote plays, composed music, conquered nations, discovered continents and developed cures for diseases"I only took my present form because Bingodulla, whom all Scientologists worship as the Supreme Thetan, selected me to spread the gospel of Scientology to the glib, uninformed masses.
"I really would have preferred being a brain surgeon or a research scientist in this life."
Cruise, 43, told how he has known and loved his latest fiancee, Dawson's Creek star Katie Holmes, "many times in many lives before".
He said: "When I was languishing in prison before being sent to exile, she used to send me notes hidden inthe collar of her pug dog. She's my eternal soulmate."
Cruise said the"sheer joy"of finding Katie again in his current life was something non-Scientologists could never understand.
He added: "I know the history of this woman.Other people don't.
"Until you've been with a partner in countless past lives, you'll never know the joy of rediscovering that partner in your present life. It's a joy I wish for all of you."
Cruise hit the headlines in June when he criticised Brooke Shields for seeing a psychiatrist and taking anti-depressants to get over post-natal depression.
And at his news conference, a Scientology-themed event with selected reporters from his fan club's newsletter, he claimed that Brooke was the lover of the founder of modern psychiatry, Sigmund Freud, in a previous life.
He said: "I could tell you stories about Brooke.
"She was the mistress of Sigmund Freud, you know. Is it any wonder she promotes his discredited theories? She's so confused.

Are they getting ready for something here? I smell something fishy.

The Daily Record

August 28, 2005

Britain's elite get pills to survive bird flu
Sarah-Kate Templeton and Jonathan Calvert

MEMBERS of Britain’s elite have been selected as priority cases to receive scarce pills and vaccinations at the taxpayers’ expense if the country is hit by a deadly bird flu outbreak.
Workers at the BBC and prominent politicians — such as cabinet ministers — would be offered protection from the virus.

Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, has already spent £1m to make sure his personal office and employees have their own emergency supplies of 100,000 antiviral tablets.

If there is an avian flu pandemic in the coming months there would be enough drugs to protect less than 2% of the British population for a week.

The Department of Health has drawn up a priority list of those who would be first to receive lifesaving drugs. Top of the list are health workers followed by those in key public sector jobs.

Although senior government ministers would be among the high-priority cases, the department said this weekend that it had not decided whether to include opposition politicians.

BBC employees would be protected because the corporation is required to broadcast vital information during a national disaster.

Politicians and the media have been placed before sick patients, heavily pregnant women and elderly people by government planners.

Yesterday, leading BBC presenters were surprised to learn that they would be given preferential treatment. Jeff Randall, the BBC’s business editor, said: “Are you really telling me that I am on a priority list for bird flu jabs? Marvellous. I always knew there would be an advantage from working at the BBC.”

John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said: “I think if I were offered the jab I would probably pass it on to someone 40 years younger than me.”

Nick Clarke, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s World at One, said: “I’m sure I wouldn’t qualify. My programme has news and comment and the one thing you can do without in a pandemic is comment . . . They would want to have Huw Edwards and reassuring newsreaders on radio.”

Fears that a “doomsday” virus may sweep the world have been heightened by the recent spread of the lethal strain of avian flu, H5N1. The death toll, estimated at 120, has been of people whose work brought them into close contact with infected birds. Scientists have warned that millions could die if H5N1 mutates.

The Department of Health would not currently be able to cope with such an onslaught. Although it has ordered 14.6m doses of Tamiflu, an antiviral drug thought to be effective against the H5N1 strain, only 900,000 doses are in stock so far. The full supply will not be delivered until March 2007, at a total cost of about £100m.

Besides the NHS and BBC, firemen, police and the armed forces are among those listed in the two top-priority groups to receive the vaccine.