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August 25th, 2010
09:24 AM ET

Skeptics worry about post-Katrina levees

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The Army Corps of Engineers says improved walls, levees are much stronger than when Hurricane Katrina hit.

The Army Corps of Engineers says improved walls, levees are much stronger than when Hurricane Katrina hit.

Editor's note: Were government promises to rebuild New Orleans kept? CNN's Anderson Cooper returns to the Gulf Coast to see what has changed since Hurricane Katrina. Don't miss "In Katrina's Wake," an "AC360°" special at 10 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN.

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - We're cutting across the open water to the steady growl of a Coast Guard boat's twin engines. The heat index is somewhere between 100 and 1,000 degrees. Sure, you could cook an egg on the deck, but in this heat who'd want to?

It seems about right, since I've come to see what spurred some of the hottest words in the whole post-Katrina blame game: the flood protection system. Specifically, I'm here to look at the improvements that have been made since the storm, and to say they are substantial would be like saying the Superdome is a nice-size room.

Col. Robert Sinkler chats easily as we travel toward cranes, pilings, and massive concrete structures buzzing with workers in the ridiculous heat. "We're doing about 15 to 20 years of construction work in about 36 months," says Sinkler, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Office.

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Filed under: Hurricane Katrina • New Orleans • Tom Foreman
August 25th, 2010
09:05 AM ET

Alaska Senate race still uncertain after primary elections

CNN Wire Staff

Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is in danger of losing to Tea Party candidate and Sarah Palin-backed candidate Joe Miller.

Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski is in danger of losing to Tea Party candidate and Sarah Palin-backed candidate Joe Miller.

(CNN) - After a night rife with primaries in the far-flung four corners of the United States, plus one in the nation's breadbasket, one race in the far Northwest is still up for grabs.

In Alaska, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski is trailing a political unknown. Joe Miller, with the support of the Tea Party and former Gov. Sarah Palin, is holding a 52 percent to 49 percent lead, according to election tabulations. The numbers are based on 84 percent of precincts reporting.

Miller told CNN's American Morning on Wednesday that high-profile endorsements helped his campaign, which reflects "one central concern, and that is the out-of-control nature of D.C."

"Bankruptcy is crashing down on this country," Miller said. "Unless we end that entitlement mentality, no level of seniority is going to save us from that."

Miller added the problem is a result of a bipartisan "crisis of leadership."

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Filed under: Raw Politics
August 25th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
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