Sunday, September 11, 2005

NEW ORLEANS - Various sources place the total number of deaths from the 1853 epidemic from 7,000 to 12,000

These are but a handful of the tens of thousands of lost souls who crowded the cemeteries as wave after wave of epidemic ravaged the city in the last century, giving New Orleans a reputation as graveyard of the nation.



Armed Dolphins Said Set Loose in Gulf by Katrina

By Bill Christensen

posted: 26 September 2005
08:48 am ET

In a story that brings the real world way too close to safely science-fictional events, armed dolphins may be loose in the Gulf of Mexico, freed by hurricane Katrina. This story may be so close to fiction that it actually is fiction, but read on.

Experts who have studied the U.S. Navy's cetacean training exercises fear that as many as 36 escaped mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Dolphins, considered one of the species with intelligence second only to man's, now threaten divers and surfers. The U.S. Navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Accident investigator Leo Sheridan, 72, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the U.S. government's marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.

"My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire," Sheridan said.

The Navy started the Cetacean Intelligence Mission in 1989, outfitting dolphins with harness and electrodes, and teaching them to protect Trident subs in harbor. Dolphins have been used to detect mines near an Iraqi port. It is apparent the government has been working on using dolphins as weapons.

In the worst plague years, from 1851 to 1855, up to 10 percent of the people who didn't flee town died in the epidemics - the mortality rate was about 60 percent for those caught not only Bronze John, but also smallpox, maleria and cholera. As thousands died in the brief months of the plague season, New Orleans' already scarce burial space was jammed beyond capacity. Many of the cemeteries that are now tourist attractions are crammed with victims of the plague . . . in some cases buried in mass graves. There was a rapid expansion of cemeteries as they struggled to stay ahead of the growing demand.

September 9, 2005

To: CNN Staff

From: Jim Walton

In response to official statements earlier today that news media would be excluded from covering the victim recovery process in New Orleans and surrounding areas on the suggestion that what is reported may offend viewers’ or victims’ sensibilities, CNN has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prohibit any agency from restricting its ability to fully and fairly cover this story.

As seen most recently from war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, from tsunami-ravaged South Asia and from Hurricane Katrina’s landfall along the Gulf, CNN has shown that it is capable of balancing vigorous reporting with respect for private concerns. Government officials cannot be allowed to hinder the free flow of information to the public, and CNN will not let such a decision stand withouT challenge.


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