From NPR News in Washington, I'm Nora Raum.
The Gulf Coast is still not recovered from Hurricane Katrina, which struck five years ago today. President Obama spoke at Xavier University in New Orleans a short while ago and made this promise.
"On this fifth anniversary, I wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: My administration is going to stand with you — and fight alongside you — until the job is done, until New Orleans is all the way back, all the way."
The president said there are still too many vacant and overgrown lots, still too many students attending schools in trailers, and too many people unable to find work. But he said New Orleans is blossoming once more.
The president's speech was one of several events in the region to mark the anniversary. NPR's Mandalit del Barco attended a memorial service in one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods.
In the Lower Ninth Ward, mourners gathered at the very spot the levees broke in flood in New Orleans. Beside rebuked floodwaters, they prayed and read the names of those who died.
Five years after the floods, tall weeds and swamps have replaced demolished homes. Near abandoned lots, there are blocks of new eco-friendly homes built up high to withstand future storms. Melba Leggett Barnes lives in one of the architectural gems built by actor Brad Pitt and his foundation.
"It was devastating. I had made up my mind not to come back, but then Brad opened these doors for me, and we came back. Thank God."
Other New Orleanians will mark this day with second line parades, jazz music and Mardi Gras Indian ceremonies. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, New Orleans.
Hurricane Danielle is now bringing dangerous rip currents to the East Coast. Another hurricane is threatening the eastern Caribbean. Earl achieved hurricane status this morning and could make landfall over the northern Leeward Islands as soon as tonight.
Some Pakistanis are upset with their government's response to month-long floods, where hundreds of people died and millions were left homeless. NPR's Julie McCarthy watched people in the southern part of the country block roads to show their displeasure.
There's a standoff here on this bridge as water rises around us. People are angry and they’re upset and they want government action and they're not getting it. They have the police telling them don't wait for the government; engage in self-help. Self-help is the watchword here throughout the Sindh province and has been since the flooding began. The government in many places is absent and people feel it’s definitely absent here this morning as the water rises around them.
NPR’s Julie McCarthy in Pakistan.
NATO officials say seven US troops have died in attacks in Afghanistan this weekend. Also today, officials say the bodies of five kidnapped campaign workers have been found. The workers had been campaigning on behalf of a female candidate.
You're listening to NPR News from Washington.
The Obama administration has not yet decided whether it'll revive a popular tax credit program for first-time homebuyers. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was interviewed this morning on CNN's "State of the Union". He said it's too early to say whether the tax credit will be revived, but the administration will do whatever it can to stabilize the housing market. The 8,000-dollar tax credit expired several months ago. It helped boost home sales, but analysts fear there could be another sharp drop in housing.
The Primetime Emmy Awards are being presented tonight. NPR's Tamara Keith reports several of the shows competing for top honors are new comers.
NBC's 30 Rock has taken the best comedy series award three years in a row, but it has tough new competition this year from Fox's Glee, which has 19 nominations, and from Modern Family on ABC. Its ensemble cast brings humor to everyday events, like taking a family portrait.
"This took me forever to put together, so I don't really care who kissed who and who is got a pimple on her head, and who is wearing outrageously inappropriate dress. We are going to get together and act like a normal family for one tenth of a freaking second. We're going to do it right now."
The Office, Nurse Jackie and Curb Your Enthusiasm round out the comedy category. Tamara Keith, NPR News.
At the movies, the studios estimate there are two films in a photo finish to win the top spot at the weekend box office. The Last Exorcism has a narrow lead over Takers, but that could change after the final numbers are released.
In baseball, it's Hawaii versus Japan in the Little League Championship today in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Americans have won the last five titles.
I'm Nora Raum, NPR News in Washington.