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Week of 5.19.06

"The Big Uneasy" & "Lockdown"

Nearly nine months after Hurricane Katrina struck one of America's favorite cities, NOW returns to New Orleans to talk to residents hit hard by the storm about who they believe will be the best man to run the beleaguered city.

The issue of reconstruction is central to the election -- between incumbent Ray Nagin and Louisiana's Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu -- as many homes and businesses still lie demolished throughout the city.

"When people say, why are you crying? You can't help it. I still cry about it," Catherine Britton told NOW. Britton and her family have returned to the largely demolished Ninth Ward of New Orleans to rebuild their home.

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Forecasters are predicting another active hurricane season this year and the Army Corp of Engineers has just announced that it will not make the June 1 deadline to have the levees ready for this year's storms.

Just ahead of the elections, NOW looks at how far New Orleans has come and her tough road ahead with a new hurricane season just around the corner.

More From This Week's Program: The Latest on the New Orleans Election, Interview: J. Celeste Lay, NOW's Full Katrina Coverage

Lockdown: Detainees in the "War on Terror"

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This week we also return to the issue of how our government is treating detainees of the global "war on terror."

In recent months the Pentagon has been forced to release thousands of documents, including transcripts of Guantanamo Bay hearings, giving the public more clues as to how detainees are being treated.

A number of detainees claim they have been subjected to torture and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. military, a charge the Pentagon firmly denies. Only ten of the estimated 480 prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay -- a U.S. naval base in Cuba -- have been formally charged.

"... You can't just lock people up and throw away the key without some process and some reason for holding them," Tom Wilner, who represents several Guantanamo prisoners, told NOW.

New photographs documenting alleged torture at the now-infamous Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib have also surfaced in recent months on the online magazine website

So how is the Bush administration responding to calls to improve its treatment of detainees? Next time on NOW.

More From This Week's Program: U.N. Report on Torture, Guantanamo Bay's Peculiar History, Related Resources on Detainee Treatment, A Few Bad Men (April 29, 2005)