US President Barack Obama held out the people of New Orleans as an extraordinary example of renewal and resilience 10 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, while visiting residents on tidy porch stoops and sampling the fried chicken at a corner restaurant.
Obama on Thursday spoke to hundreds of residents assembled at a bustling new community center in an area of the Lower 9th Ward that was once under 5.2m of water.
“There’s something in you guys that is just irrepressible,” the president told the crowd. “The people of New Orleans didn’t just inspire me, you inspired all of America.”
Obama held out the city’s comeback as a metaphor for what is happening all across a nation that has moved from economic crisis to higher ground.
“Look at what’s happened here,” he said, speaking of a transformed US city that was once “dark and under water.”
Still, Obama acknowledged that much remains to be done.
After walking door to door in the historic Treme section of a city reborn from tragedy, he said that “just because the housing is nice doesn’t mean our job is done.”
Areas of the city still suffer from high poverty, he said, and young people still take the wrong path.
There is more to be done to confront “structural inequities that existed long before the storm happened,” he added.
In his remarks at the community center, Obama blended the same themes of resilience and renewal that he drew from encounters with the sturdy residents he met along Magic Street and at other locations.
Nearly 2,000 people died, most in New Orleans. Video of residents seeking refuge on rooftops, inside the Superdome and at the convention center dominated news coverage as Katrina came to symbolize government failure at every level.
In his speech, Obama said Katrina helped expose inequalities that long plagued New Orleans and left too many people, especially minorities, without good jobs, affordable healthcare or decent housing and too many kids growing up in the midst of violent crime and attending inefficient schools.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since