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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Ross Atkin / September 28, 2005



Michael Brown, the much- criticized former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, defended his efforts in responding to hurricane Katrina in a special congressional hearing Tuesday. Brown also said he regretted not being able to persuade Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) "to sit down, get over their differences, and work together."

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Meanwhile, President Bush made his seventh trip to the Gulf Coast to assess the state of recovery efforts in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. His itinerary included stops in Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles, La., plus an aerial tour of affected areas of the two states. To help compensate for lost oil production, he called on Americans and federal employees to cut back on unnecessary travel. He also suggested that he'd name a federal overseer for reconstruction along the Gulf.

Pfc. Lynndie England, who became the face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal , was convicted on six of seven counts by a military jury at Fort Hood, Texas, Monday, and was to begin the sentencing phase before the same jury. Five male Army officers found England, a reservist serving at the Iraq prison, guilty of maltreating detainees, an indecent act, and conspiracy. An earlier court-martial in May, in which she pleaded guilty to the same counts, was declared a mistrial.

A group of 229 Vietnamese refugees who've lived in limbo for 16 years in the Philippines arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Monday aboard a chartered plane for resettlement in the US. The refugees, whose long displacement is linked to the Vietnam War, are among 1,600 who hope for permanent residence in the US. Working with the Filipino government, the US Senate took action last year to resolve their stateless situation.

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles said it couldn't respond to many of the assertions contained in a published report about acquiring looted Italian works of art because the information relied on "privileged and confidential information" stolen from its files. The Los Angeles Times said it had done nothing wrong in reporting that the institution knowingly obtained illegally excavated or exported objects.

After ignoring warnings from police to keep moving, Cindy Sheehan and hundreds of fellow antiwar protesters were arrested Monday during a sit-in in front of the White House. Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, earlier kept a month-long vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch, where she demanded a personal meeting with the president to discuss opposition to the war.

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