USA

Saying, "You can drive anywhere" in New Orleans, a US Army Corps of Engineers spokesman announced that only puddles remain in the city that was 80 percent under water from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Temporary repairs to the levees and canals responsible for the flooding also are almost complete, he said. Still, residents complained that city crews were ignoring mounds of fly- and tick-infested trash in front of their homes as tree removal appeared to be a higher priority.

New Orleans ranks second on a new list of cities with the highest concentrations of poverty, after Fresno, Calif., according to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution. A summary of its findings said, in part, that poor planning has concentrated public housing at the core of such cities while new developments, jobs, and schools mushroom out of reach in the suburbs, deepening the divide between "haves" and "have-nots." Rounding out the top five on the list: Louisville, Ky.; Miami, and Atlanta.

More rain was falling on areas of southern New Hampshire that are experiencing the worst flooding in decades, and forecasters said the outlook for the rest of the week "is not good at all." Three people in the state are confirmed dead, and at least four others have been missing since Sunday. Rescue and relief efforts in Alstead, the worst-hit town, were complicated because all police radios, and computers were destroyed when floodwaters reached the ceiling of the station.

Attorneys for US Rep. Tom Delay (R) of Texas subpoenaed the prosecutor who indicted him for money-laundering and conspiracy, seeking to compel testimony on his relationships with grand juries. Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earl (D) refused to sign for it but said he accepted it "voluntarily" anyway. DeLay accuses Earl of attempting to coerce grand jury members who refused to hand up indictments and says the prosecutor's actions are politically motivated.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles bowed to legal pressure Tuesday and released personnel files on 126 priests accused of sexual abuse dating back more than 70 years. The records show that accused clergymen often were shuttled between therapy and new assignments and that euphemisms such as "boundary violations" were used to describe their conduct.

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