TIME Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina Survivors Reflect on Their Might and Recovery

"New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken," says New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

(NEW ORLEANS) — With prayer and the somber ringing of church bells, residents in Mississippi and Louisiana gathered Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina slammed into their states — causing deadly and costly havoc.

Addressing dignitaries at New Orleans’ memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified dead, Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke of the dark days after the monstrous storm and how the city’s residents leaned on each other for support.

“We saved each other,” the mayor said. “New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken.”

In Mississippi, meanwhile, churches along coastal Hancock County tolled their bells in unison Saturday morning to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that Katrina made landfall in the state.

Eloise Allen, 80, wept softly into a tissue and leaned against her rusting Oldsmobile as bells chimed at Our Lady of the Sea Catholic Church just across a two-lane street from a sun-drenched beach at Bay St. Louis.

She said her home, farther inland, was damaged but livable. Her daughter lost her home in nearby Waveland. Many of her friends and neighbors suffered similarly.

“I feel guilty,” she said. I didn’t go through what all the other people did.”

In Biloxi, clergy and community leaders were to gather later at MGM Park for a memorial to Katrina’s victims and later that evening the park will host a concert celebrating the recovery.

The hurricane’s force and flooding ultimately caused more than 1,800 deaths and roughly $151 billion in damage across the region. In New Orleans, wide scale failures of the levee system protecting the city left 80 percent of New Orleans under water.

Katrina’s force caused a massive storm surge that scoured the Mississippi coast, pushed boats far inland and wiped houses off the map, leaving only concrete front steps to nowhere.

Glitzy casinos and condominium towers have been rebuilt. But overgrown lots and empty slabs speak to the slow recovery in some communities.

In the evening, former President Bill Clinton will headline a free concert-prayer service-celebration at the city’s Smoothie King Center. In addition to the former president the event will feature performances by the city’s “Rebirth Brass Band,” award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien and Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias.

The city has framed the 10th anniversary as a showcase designed to demonstrate to the world how far the city has come. In a series of events in the week leading up to the actual anniversary, the city has held lectures, given tours of the levee improvements and released a resiliency plan.

Many parts of this iconic city have rebounded phenomenally while many residents — particularly in the city’s black community — still struggle.

Read next: New Orleans, Here & Now

TIME Crime

Houston Sheriff’s Deputy Killed in Gas Station Ambush

Authorities are questioning a person of interest

(HOUSTON) — Authorities said Saturday they are questioning a person of interest in the death of a uniformed sheriff’s deputy who was shot several times while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station.

Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, authorities said.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said officials are speaking with a person of interest in connection with the shooting and have obtained a search warrant for the two-story brick home where the person lives. No arrests have been made, Gilliland said. A news conference is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Nine patrol cars, including one with the words “crime scene unit” on the side of the vehicle, were parked near the home, which is about a quarter-mile from the gas station in Copperfield, a middle-class to upper middle-class area of Harris County that is unincorporated.

Police described the suspect as a male with a dark complexion, about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts and driving a red or maroon pickup-style truck with an extended cab. Authorities did not say what race they believe him to be.

Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the force, had a wife and two children, according to Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman.

“In my 45 years in law enforcement, I can’t recall another incident so cold-blooded and cowardly,” Hickman said, who added no motive had been determined.

An impromptu memorial had begun Saturday morning at the Chevron station pump that Goforth was using on Friday night, a pile of balloons, flowers, candles and notes, including one that said, “Gone but never forgotten R.I.P. Deputy Goforth.” The gas station was open, but that pump was closed.

Brian McCullar knew Goforth because the deputy had patrolled his neighborhood, which is about two miles from the gas station, and spoke often.

“He was passionate about what he did,” the 49-year-old said, adding, “We’re still in shock. … It’s a huge loss for his family. It’s a huge loss for this area.

“You’re talking about a guy that made a difference.”

Goforth had traveled to the Chevron station after responding to a routine car accident, Gilliland said.

“He was pumping gas into his vehicle and the male suspect came up behind him and shot the deputy multiple times,” Gilliland told the Houston Chronicle. “The deputy fell to ground. The suspect came over and shot the deputy again multiple times as he lay on the ground.”

Detectives were checking security camera video for possible clues.

“I can tell you with diligence and justice the suspect will be caught,” Gilliland told the newspaper. “And he will be brought to justice … This is a very callous individual.”

Harris County Sheriff’s deputies and homicide investigators joined officers from other agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Houston Police Department, in the search.

“This is a very tough moment right now for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office,” Gilliland said. “Keep us in your prayers and in your thoughts.”

Bob Goerlitz, president of the Harris County Deputies Organization, said the incident was “shocking.”

“We’ve been warned of things like this, because of public sentiment nationally and events over the last few years … It’s just horrific. That’s the only way to describe it.”

TIME Thailand

Police Arrest Foreigner in Bangkok Shrine Bombing

The man was arrested Saturday in Nong Jok on the outskirts of the capital

(BANGKOK) — Thai authorities arrested a foreign man Saturday they said had been holed up in a suburban apartment with bomb-making equipment and stacks of passports, the first possible breakthrough in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine nearly two weeks ago.

All television channels broadcast a televised announcement Saturday evening on the suspect’s arrest, which came 12 days after the bombing that authorities have called the deadliest attack in Thailand’s modern history.

Police and soldiers raided the apartment in an eastern Bangkok suburb and found bomb-making materials that matched those used in the Aug. 17 blast at the Erawan Shrine in central Bangkok, national police spokesman Prawuth Thavornsiri said in the televised statement.

The blast which killed 20 people and injured more than 120 was followed a day later by another explosion at a public ferry pier, which caused no injuries but exacerbated concerns about safety in the Thai capital, which draws millions of tourists.

“Our preliminary investigation shows that he is related to both bombings,” Prawuth said, as he showed photographs of what police seized, including detonators, ball bearings and a metal pipe that police believe was intended to hold a bomb.

Police chief Somyot Poompanmoung later told reporters that “the bomb materials are the same, similar or the same type” as those used in both bombings.

Police also found “a number of passports from one country,” Prawuth said. He did not name the country but photographs shown during the broadcast showed stacks of passports that appeared to be Turkish.

Earlier, Prawuth said that authorities had not yet determined his nationality and dismissed Thai news reports saying he is Turkish. Images of a Turkish passport with the apparent suspect’s picture were posted on social media.

“The passport you see is fake,” said Prawuth, referring to the online photos. “We don’t know if he is Turkish or not.”

A photograph of the suspect showed a young man with short brown hair and a light beard and mustache.

Asked what could be the motive for the bombing, the police chief told reporters, “it’s a personal grudge .. not international terrorism.” He did not elaborate or give a clear explanation.

Somyot said the suspect had traveled in and out of the country since January 2014.

The blast at the Erawan Shrine was unprecedented in the Thai capital, where smaller bombs have been employed in domestic political violence over the past decade, but not in an effort to cause large-scale casualties.

The shrine is a popular tourist destination, particularly with Chinese visitors, who are an important segment of the lucrative tourist market. At least six of the dead were from China and Hong Kong. It sits on the corner of a busy traffic intersection with a nearby overhead walkway in a neighborhood full of upscale shopping malls and five-star hotels.

Soon after the bombing, police released an artist’s sketch of a man seen in a security camera video leaving a backpack at a bench then walking away from the open-air shrine. A separate camera showed the man, wearing a yellow T-shirt, on the back of a motorcycle taxi leaving the site.

The man seen in the video was believed to have carried out the bombing, which police said was likely planned by a group of people. They indicated in Saturday’s news conference that the man arrested was not the bomber seen in the video.

“We believe he is a culprit in the same network. More details will be given later,” Prawuth said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, sparking a variety of theories into who might be behind it.

Possible suspects include parties seeking to avenge Thailand’s forced repatriation of ethnic Uighurs to China. Uighurs are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a large Uighur community.

Other theories included Muslim separatists from southern Thailand, opponents of Thailand’s military government and feuding factions within the security services.

Police have been criticized for releasing conflicting statements and rapidly hosing down the crime scene at the shrine before all forensic evidence was recovered. Many accused authorities of rushing to clean up the bomb scene to reassure the public — especially foreign tourists — that security in the city was back to normal.

Police say they have been handicapped by low-quality and broken surveillance cameras and a lack of sophisticated image-processing equipment to clarify the fuzzy images in security videos, which were the only firm evidence they had.

___

Associated Press journalist Papitchaya Boonngok contributed to this report.

Read next: Greece Appoints Its First Female Prime Minister

TIME Malaysia

Large Crowds Are Gathering to Demand the Ouster of Malaysia’s Prime Minister

Hostility towards the beleaguered Najib Razak is heightening as a massive financial corruption scandal comes to light

Thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian cities on Saturday to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Popular discontent with Najib’s leadership has rapidly escalated since early last month, when an exposé in The Wall Street Journal revealed that his private bank accounts held over $700 million in funds purportedly siphoned off a struggling state investment fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Najib has firmly denied malfeasance and penalized those who have alleged it. He has threatened to sue the Journal for libel; more controversially, he sacked his deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, in a cabinet reshuffle in late July after Muhyiddin called for transparency in the matter.

Today’s planned rally, which the authorities have deemed unlawful, is the latest exercise in political discontent within this once-promising Southeast Asian state. The engine of this discontent is an unofficial pro-democracy, anti-corruption coalition called Bersih, which in Malay simply means “clean.” Though the recent allegations of corruption have galvanized the demands for Najib’s removal from power, many Malaysians see the scandal simply as one visceral incident within an endemically broken system.

“He’s dropped the economy,” a taxi driver in Kuala Lumpur tells TIME. “Everyone is very scared.”

“It’s very simple: the Malaysian people are suffering right now,” Ravin Kabhi, a Malaysian man who recently moved to Australia, said. “Look at our currency at the moment — it’s 4.2 to the dollar. I’m a recent graduate, and there are no jobs, because multinational corporations don’t want to spend money in periods of instability.”

Malaysia has long sought to fashion its global image as a crucible of progressive politics and economic stability in Southeast Asia, and for many years, the portrait was compelling. Regular elections offered a facsimile of democracy. The construction of the Petronas Towers in 1998 — the tallest skyscrapers in the world until Taipei 101 opened in Taiwan six years later — provided an internationally recognizable emblem of the country’s capitalist triumph during the last two decades of the twentieth century.

The controversies that have surrounded Najib’s leadership since his narrow election in 2009 have exposed the weaknesses in this narrative. Najib leads the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the right-wing Malay nationalist party that heads the incumbent National Front coalition and derives most of its support from ethnic Malays who benefit from its policies. In September 2013, Najib’s government fortified longstanding laws that reserve education benefits, government jobs, and entrepreneurship opportunities for the ethnic Malay population.

“I support their right to do this, to protest,” ethnic Malay student Ziela Rahim said, gesturing to the yellow-shirted protesters who loitered beneath the metro tracks above Jalan Tun Perak. “But [Najib] is my prime minister, and so I think he has the right to do what he feels is right for us.”

But those same pro-Malay policies, political and economic experts contend, have encouraged hostility and also weakened the economy, because they have encouraged Malaysia’s marginalized Chinese and Indian populations to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Najib has also become increasingly strident in his dismissal of the growing opposition, even as ethnic Malays — the bulwark to his political legitimacy — join its ranks. On Saturday morning, the state held a full dress rehearsal for the country’s independence day celebration on August 31. The practice, held in the same public square where the anti-Najib protesters are to gather later in the day, was one of pomp and circumstance: military marching bands played the national anthem, which was amplified over loudspeakers; organized civilians in red t-shirts marched in lockstep, holding small Malaysian flags; military jets roared overhead.

Outside of Merdeka Square, some members of the opposition, dressed in Bersih’s yellow shirts, had started to gather in anticipation.

“Whether or not [today] has an effect on the political process isn’t important. It’s my duty — our duty — to align with the cause,” Lui Tuck, a 45-year-old factory manager from Kuala Lumpur, said. “The current government is disgusting. You want to tell lies, tell proper lies. If you want to take our money, take our money, but at least tell convincing lies that let us sleep at night.”

TIME Crime

Third Victim of Virginia Shooting Is Awake and Talking, Family Says

She lost a kidney and part of her colon in shooting that killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Vicki Gardner, the third woman who was hurt during the on-air shooting of two TV journalists in Virginia this week, has survived two surgeries and is awake and talking, her family said in a statement Friday.

Gardner was being interviewed by WDBJ journalist Alison Parker when Vester Flanagan fired the shots that killed both Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Gardner was shot once in the back. Her family says Gardner’s response to the shooting and subsequent surgeries revealed her strength and determination to survive. “After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened,” they said in a statement to WDBJ.

Gardner endured two surgeries: one to address her life-threatening injuries, and the other to repair the damage done by the bullet. She lost her right kidney and had to have a portion of her colon removed, but her family said she is alert and talking.

Her family also expressed condolences to the families of Parker and Ward, and said they are “heartbroken” at their loss. “Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun,” they wrote.

TIME politics

The ‘Jorge Ramos Effect’ Could Hurt Donald Trump

A new study finds that watching Spanish-language news doubles the likelihood that Latinos will vote

Donald Trump may chalk up his scuffle with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos Tuesday night in Iowa as yet another win in taking on the media. When Ramos insisted on asking questions about Trump’s immigration proposal, Trump declared “Go back to Univision,” and security escorted Ramos out of the room. But for Latino voters, it’s much more meaningful. Jorge Ramos is not just another news anchor—he’s the most trusted source of information among Latinos, according to Latino Decisions polling during the 2012 election.

Donald Trump’s confrontation with Ramos is the latest example in a long list of actions that have antagonized Latino voters. In June, when he announced his intention to run in the GOP presidential primary, he suggested that the real threat to America was Mexicans crossing the border. Mexico is sending people with “lots of problems,” people who were “bringing drugs,” and people who were “rapists,” he said.

Since then, Trump has continued to make immigration issues a centerpiece of his campaign. He has proposed building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border and somehow making Mexico pay for it. He says he will deport all undocumented immigrants, including U.S.-born children, whom he plans to deport with their parents: “We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go.” He also wants to deny U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children.

It is precisely this anti-immigrant rhetoric that has resonated so profoundly among certain pockets of GOP voters and keeps Trump as their frontrunner. As Christopher Parker, associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, has written, “people who are highly identified with the Tea Party are anxious about Latino immigrants taking over ‘their’ country.”

Trump is clearly not popular among Latinos. A recent Gallup poll tracking the GOP candidates reports a net favorable score of negative 51. (The next lowest are Ted Cruz and Rick Perry at negative seven. Jeb Bush is the highest, with 11.) Attacking Ramos likely won’t help.

In a new academic research paper, I find that Spanish-language media plays an important role in socializing and mobilizing Latinos to vote, and that exposure to Spanish TV news significantly increases interest in voting and campaign involvement. (The opposite is true for Latinos who are frequent consumers of English news media.) The findings show that being a frequent consumer of Spanish-language news more than doubles a person’s likelihood of voting. We call this the “Jorge Ramos effect.”

For many Latinos, Spanish news media represents both a trusted source of information, as well as a socializing vehicle. Ramos is leading this effort, asking tough questions to politicians about the issues most important to the Latino community. In addition, he participates in an extensive public service announcement campaign called Ya es hora imploring Latinos to register and vote to make their voices heard.

According to the research findings, Spanish-language political news clearly mobilized Latino voters in 2012. The “Jorge Ramos effect” was present not only in heightened interest in voting, but also in direct engagement with campaigns. Research also finds a direct connection between Mitt Romney’s comments that undocumented immigrants should practice self-deportation and the record Latino voter turnout for Barack Obama in 2012. And let’s not forget the failed U.S. Senate campaign in Nevada by Republican Sharon Angle, whose campaign depicted Latino immigrants as gang members and criminals. A post-election analysis proved she won less than 10% of the Latino vote.

Running on anti-immigrant rhetoric and fighting with Ramos is unlikely to go without consequences for Mr. Trump. It may just spark Latino involvement in politics even earlier than expected in 2016.

Read next: Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump

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MONEY Autos

Tesla Broke the Consumer Reports Rating System

Yes, we're serious. Apparently, it's that good.

The new Tesla Model S P85D broke the Consumer Reports rating system by scoring 103 out of 100. Consumer Reports said it had to overhaul its rating system to accommodate the P85D’s combination of performance and efficiency. The model can go from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds without using a single drop of gasoline. It gets the equivalent of 87 miles per gallon without sacrificing any horsepower. Despite the better-than-perfect score, the Tesla isn’t a better-than-perfect car. “The interior materials aren’t as opulent as other high-ticket automobiles, and its ride is firmer and louder than our base Model S,” Consumer Reports reported.

TIME Food & Drink

Watch These Kids Try Dark Chocolate for the First Time

See their bitter, sweet expressions

If you were not craving chocolate before reading this post, then make sure there is some nearby.

A new ad for Elite’s Splendid Chocolate, a brand from Israel, claims to show little boys and girls trying dark chocolate for the first time. Judging by their faces, it is much too bitter for them, a far cry from the chocolate they’re used to. But the whole point, of course, is to show that some day, they will grow up to love it.

Now kids, if someone gives you a piece of chocolate or anything else that you do not like, then note the proper way to respond:

 

MONEY Opinion

Amazon Is Right to Give Up on the Fire Phone

The Fire Phone was too late to market and didn't have any compelling features to set it apart from entrenched competitors.

Amazon’s AMAZON.COM INC. AMZN -0.07% foray into smartphones was always destined to fail. The e-commerce giant was simply way too late to the market. The Fire Phone didn’t have any compelling differentiating features (Dynamic Perspective was little more than a novelty gimmick) while it stuck with conventional pricing, putting it in direct competition with entrenched rivals.

It’s tempting to pin the blame on Jeff Bezos since he was reportedly “obsessed” with the Dynamic Perspective feature, which required incredible development resources and delayed the device for years, according to a former executive. It was hardly a surprise when Amazon took a $170 million inventory charge mere months later because the Fire Phone just wasn’t selling.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Amazon is giving up on Fire Phone. Despite the fact that it’s only been a year, it’s about time.

Fire Phone crashes and burns
Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers at its hardware division, Lab126. The company has also restructured Lab126, consolidating two hardware development departments into one. A large-screen tablet may also be shelved as well as a few other odd devices like an image projector. Amazon is still hard at work on other hardware projects, though, like a computer that can take orders via voice commands or a different spin on a 3D interface meant for a tablet.

The layoffs run counter to a Reuters report last year that Amazon was actually planning to dramatically expand its Lab126 head count over the next five years, even after it took the Fire Phone writedown and realized the product was a flop. For once in its life, Amazon seems averse to plunging an endless amount of money into a new initiative. Cost cutting is largely how Amazon crushed analyst estimates last quarter, posting a $92 million profit and sending shares soaring.

What about tablets?
Once upon a time, the Kindle Fire tablet was the best-selling Android tablet. Amazon was one of the first companies to launch a smaller tablet, but once it enjoyed demonstrable demand, the traditional players all jumped in. These days, Amazon’s position in the tablet market has weakened significantly. IDC estimated that unit volumes in Q4 2014 fell by a whopping 70% to 1.7 million. Amazon disputed those figures, but naturally declined to provide any hard data to substantiate its claims. Amazon is not included in the top five vendors for IDC’s Q2 2015 figures. Technically, Huawei and LG tied for fourth and fifth with 1.6 million units each.

The WSJ also says that Amazon’s product mix is heavily skewed toward the lower-end versions of its e-readers and tablets, which also makes plenty of sense. But competition at the low end is particularly intense, while the iPad has a 76% share of the premium tablet market in the U.S. (priced at $200 or above). Amazon will likely shift development resources toward these lower-end tablets, while focusing on new product categories like Echo.

Why that’s the right call
Strategically, Amazon’s hardware has always served as a form of shopping portal, a gateway into Amazon Prime, if you will. For the longest time, Amazon’s strategy was to sell hardware at cost and profit later when people purchased digital content or physical products. That’s why Fire Phone’s pricing was so Un-Amazon because the company was hoping to profit up front (and later on).

If the value in Amazon’s hardware lies in its ability to sell more stuff, then first-party smartphones and tablets are decidedly not the best use of developmental resources. People already have smartphones and tablets with Amazon’s app loaded on them, so third-party devices are already shopping portals. Instead, new categories and form factors are where the real opportunity lies, such as the $5 Dash buttons or Echo or any other type of centralized order-taking machine.

These types of hardware products are true differentiators that also support the core e-commerce business, and we all know how much Bezos hates “me-too” devices.

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TIME Louisiana

George W. Bush Returns to New Orleans for 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Former President and his wife paid a visit to the oldest public school in the city

(NEW ORLEANS) — Former President George W. Bush returned Friday to New Orleans — the scene of one of his presidency’s lowest points — to tout the region’s recovery from the nation’s costliest natural disaster on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

He and Laura Bush visited the oldest public school in the city — Warren Easton Charter High School, which was closed for a year because of storm damage and then reopened as a charter school. Bush visited the same school on the storm’s first anniversary, and the library foundation of his wife helped rebuild it.

The Bushes met with students and were greeted by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, who fought hard to get federal aid during Katrina. Laura Bush wore a purple dress to honor the school’s colors.

The school’s success is a rare bright spot from what was an extremely trying time for Bush, who was vilified for his administration’s lackluster response to the catastrophic storm.

His record was marred by initially flying over New Orleans in Air Force One without touching down to show his support in the flooded city, to his “Heckuva job, Brownie” praise for his Federal Emergency Management Agency director, Michael Brown.

The monster storm set off a “confluence of blunders” that Bush’s approval ratings never recovered from, said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University and author of “The Great Deluge,” a detailed account of the first days after Katrina. “That’s when I think his presidency started on a downward trend.”

Bush and his team were so deeply resented and mocked in New Orleans that Carnival paraders displayed him in effigy for years afterward.

At Warren Easton, at least, Bush could point to a success story.

“We have fond memories of his last visit,” said Arthur Hardy, a celebrity in New Orleans for his expertise in all things Mardi Gras and Carnival, the city’s signature festivity. Hardy graduated from the high school in 1965.

After New Orleans, the Bush family will visit Gulfport, Mississippi, to attend an event with state officials, including Gov. Phil Bryant and former Gov. Haley Barbour, a staunch Bush ally who was governor when Katrina hit.

The event in Mississippi will serve to thank first responders who helped after the hurricane.

Bush has deep ties to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans — both as an eastern Texan and as president. His administration oversaw more than $140 billion in spending to help the region recover from the disaster, his office said.

Bush largely took a hands-off approach, frequently saying that rebuilding was best left to locals. Much of the work was overseen by his appointees, however, and he’s made frequent trips to the region since Katrina, his office said.

In 2006, Bush picked Warren Easton as an example of the city’s comeback spirit.

The school had been badly flooded and had been facing closure before Bush’s visit back then. Nearly every student who attended was considered homeless, living in FEMA trailers or sleeping on couches, school officials said.

Back then, Bush advocated for school reforms, supporting the city’s efforts to expand charter schools and break up what was widely seen as a failing neighborhood school model. The old public school system was riddled with broken buildings, failing grades and pervasive corruption.

Since Katrina, New Orleans has become a living experiment for a city-wide charter system, with many schools reporting greater diversity and steady academic gains.

Read next: New Orleans, Here & Now

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