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Week in Review
Scripps Howard News Service


September 11, 2005

Floodwaters drop in New Orleans

Floodwaters began slowly receding in New Orleans. The Army Corps of Engineers used sandbags and rocks to plug a 200-foot gap in a levee that burst and inundated New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the first of the city's pumps returned to operation. But health officials warned that the toxic water could spread disease, and natural gas was leaking all over. Mayor Ray Nagin ordered law officers and the military to evacuate all holdouts for their own safety.

Bush, Congress pledge to investigate

Both President Bush and Congress vowed to investigate what went wrong with the federal response to the Katrina disaster. Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown was removed from his role as manager of relief efforts and called back to Washington. He was replaced on the Gulf Coast by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., called for FEMA to be made independent of the Department of Homeland Security.

Katrina could cost 400,000 jobs

Hundreds of thousands of people who fled Katrina started putting down roots in new places. School districts across the country enrolled thousands of students from the devastated Gulf Coast. The Congressional Budget Office reported that Katrina could reduce employment this year by 400,000 jobs and could slow the economy's expansion by as much as a full percentage point.

Rehnquist dies at 80

Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a staunch conservative who helped turn the Supreme Court to the right but never quite pulled off the constitutional revolution friends and foes predicted during his 33-year tenure, died at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 80. Rehnquist had been suffering since October with thyroid cancer. Amid rumors that he would retire, he took the unusual step this summer of announcing that he would continue to serve as long as his health permitted and continued to work at the court as recently as this last week. He died on the eve of confirmation hearings for his former law clerk, John Roberts, who was nominated to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Roberts nominated to succeed Rehnquist

President Bush renominated Roberts to succeed William Rehnquist as chief justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed his confirmation hearings until after Rehnquist's funeral. Roberts had been selected to replace the retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Bush's decision to nominate Roberts as chief justice would ensure a full nine-member court when it reconvenes in October, because O'Connor has said she will remain on the job until her replacement is confirmed.

California lawmakers vote to allow same-sex weddings

Five years after Californians overwhelmingly voted to limit marriage to a man and woman, the state Assembly approved legislation to permit gay weddings. It would make California the first state to sanction gay marriage without court intervention. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office said he would veto the bill.

Final report issued on oil-for-food program

An independent committee investigating the Iraq oil-for-food program released its final report, concluding that the United Nations' top officials stood by as Saddam Hussein stole more than $10 billion. In the report, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's team recommended reforms that included establishing an independent auditing board to review U.N. programs.

Egypt holds election

President Hosni Mubarak was declared the winner of Egypt's first contested elections with 88 percent of the vote. Only 23 percent of Egypt's 32 million registered voters went to the polls. Ayman Nour of the opposition Al-Ghad party came in second with 7.3 percent of the vote.

Paisley, Womack lead country nominees

Brad Paisley and Lee Ann Womack led the Country Music Association Awards nominees with six apiece, including single of the year for their hits "Alcohol" and "I May Hate Myself in the Morning." Keith Urban and Toby Keith had four nominations each. Gretchen Wilson, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts and George Strait each had three. The awards will be presented on Nov. 15 for the first time from New York's Madison Square Garden.

Jerry Rice retires

After two record-setting decades, Jerry Rice - perhaps the best wide receiver in NFL history - retired rather than stand on the sidelines for the Denver Broncos. The 42-year-old receiver was a first-round draft pick out of Mississippi Valley State in 1985. He retired with 38 league records, including most career receptions (1,549), yards receiving (22,895) and touchdowns receiving (197).


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