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Flashbacks and fear in New Orleans as hurricane strikes

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — As rain pounded at her windows Tuesday, Dorothy Ellis couldn’t stop thinking about the two days she spent clinging to a tree after her New Orleans home was swallowed by floodwaters. “It was bad, real bad,” 60-year-old Ellis said, as she flipped through photographs of what…

How Google and Apple’s smartphone mapping technology is mapping us

Digital maps on smartphones are brilliantly useful tools, but what sort of information do they gather about us – and how do they shape the way we look at the world? Over the last few years, at the kinds of conferences where the world’s technological elite gathers to mainline caffeine…

In speech, Romney to unveil ‘vision’ for America

TAMPA, Florida — Mitt Romney will tout a “more positive vision for America” on Thursday when he accepts the Republican Party’s White House nomination, a senior aide said. “It will be a clear vision of a Romney presidency, and very much from his heart about America, and why he wants…

Who is the mystery Republican convention speaker?

As the Republican convention kicks off Tuesday in Tampa, one niggling question remains: who is the mystery speaker with a prime time slot just before Mitt Romney accepts the presidential nomination. Aides to the Republican White House hopeful have taken far too much pleasure in teasing frustrated journalists and heightening…

Uneasy New Orleans braces for Isaac, upgraded to hurricane

Isaac was upgraded Tuesday to hurricane status as New Orleans girded for the impact seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the “Big Easy” and killed 1,800 people across the US Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said an Air Force aircraft reported the storm’s maximum winds had increased…

France opens Arafat murder enquiry: sources

French prosecutors have opened a murder enquiry into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s 2004 death near Paris, sources close to the matter told AFP Tuesday. The probe comes after Arafat’s family launched legal action in France last month over claims the veteran Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning. Arafat’s widow…

NATO transition in Afghanistan ‘irreversible’

The transfer of security control from a US-led international mission to Afghan troops has reached an irreversible phase, a top NATO commander said Tuesday, as he outlined moves to stem insider attacks on NATO forces. “We have now reached a phase where the transition is irreversible,” said Germany’s General Wolf…

U.S. consumer confidence plunges in August

US consumer confidence plunged in August to its lowest level in nine months, reflecting rising concerns over business and job prospects across the country, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The board’s consumer confidence index dropped to 60.6 from 65.4 in July, though still well above the 45.2 index level of…

American and European activists to try again with Palestinian visit

US and European activists insisted Tuesday on making a new attempt to go to Palestinian territories, two days after Israel and Jordan barred them from entering the West Bank to deliver aid to students. “We are thinking of going in December to the Palestinian areas to break the siege on…

Rachel Corrie ruling ‘deeply troubling’, says her family

American activist’s family vows to appeal against Israeli court’s ruling that her death was a ‘regrettable accident’ The death of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie was a “regrettable accident” for which the state of Israel was not responsible, a judge has ruled, dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by the family. The…

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