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Newsflash: Obama Visits NOLA, ISIS Intelligence Maybe Flawed, Migrants Rescued

Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

President Obama heads to New Orleans today to mark the 10th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. During his stop he plans to speak at a newly built recreation center in the city’s Lower Ninth ward. Nearly 2000, mostly African American people were killed when New Orleans flooded after the hurricane hit in 2005. The Bush Administration came under global criticism for its mishandling of the disaster and what many characterized as a racist response. Obama will also address those failures today saying, “What started out as a natural disaster became a manmade one – a failure of government to look out for its own citizens.” But the President also plans to laud the recovery, addressing the city’s residents: “You are an example of what’s possible when, in the face of tragedy and hardship, good people come together to lend a hand, and to build a better future…”This is a city that slowly, unmistakably, together, is moving forward.” A new poll by Louisiana State University found that most white residents of the city felt that they had recovered while most Blacks felt they had not. Click here for a Hill.com article about the story.

The New York Times yesterday reported anonymous military sources of an internal investigation in the Pentagon over allegations that intelligence related to the ISIS war might be deliberately skewed. According to the Times, “at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command … were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama.” The Daily Beast corroborated the report with statements from their own anonymous sources within the military and intelligence community. According to the Daily Beast’s sources, “Assessments on ISIS should comport with ‘the leadership consensus,’ that is, top policymakers’ view, that the U.S.-led campaign against [ISIS] is paying dividends.” Click here for a New York Times article and here for a Daily Beast article about the story.

A Swedish ship participated in yet another rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea. The Italian Coast Guard was also involved in the operation which found 3,000 migrants packed onto boats, fleeing war and poverty from Africa and the Middle East. At least 55 bodies were found on the boats. Added to the death toll over the entire year, more than 2,000 people have died in the Mediterranean trying to escape desperate circumstances. European countries are struggling to come up with a solution to the mass migration crisis. Of course, European policies, hand-in-hand with US policies, have contributed directly to the violence of war and poverty that is pushing people out of their countries. Most migrants hail from war-torn Syria, Libya, and Eritrea. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.