Feds Curtail Major Counterterror Exercise in Washington

Scaled down drill followed new al Qaeda threat to conduct car bombings in D.C., Virginia
Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' magazine

The White House sharply curbed a major counterterrorism drill scheduled for Tuesday in Washington that was designed to test the federal government response to threats of car bombs attacks and a chemical weapons strike on the Metro subway system.

The exercise, code named Eagle Horizon 2014, was cut back instead to small-scale communications checks within federal agencies.

Homeowners Unite Against FEMA

New flood insurance rates protested by homeowners who will see higher premiums
Photo Credit: Mary Lou Byrd

Homeowners protested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and increasing flood insurance rates at rallies across the country on Saturday.

Abandoned

Hurricane Sandy victims struggle to regain normalcy
Hurricane Sandy damage / AP

Frustration has now turned to anger for many Hurricane Sandy victims after living in limbo for more than six months, and they say the slow response and inaction by the Obama administration is taking its toll.

The Revolt Against FEMA

Sandy victims criticize FEMA flood maps, slow progress
Hurricane Sandy aftermath / AP

Some New Jersey hurricane victims are complaining that FEMA is doing more harm than Superstorm Sandy did when it hit over four months ago and washed away their homes and businesses. FEMA issued Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps as a provision of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was signed by President Barack Obama last July.

Another FEMA Misfire

Report: Post-Katrina FEMA funds still unspent seven years later
Audubon zoo after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 / AP

More than seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, federal grant funds marked for a nature center in the city have yet to be spent, leading federal watchdogs to recommend the revocation of some of those funds.

Obama’s Broken Promises
to Sandy Victims

Sandy victims still struggling to find warm housing
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy / AP

Six weeks after Sandy hit the New Jersey and New York coast residents are still struggling and are in desperate need of shelter. Many hard-hit victims are not getting help despite President Barack Obama’s pledge of the full support of the federal government, and they are dealing with red tape that the president said would not be tolerated.

Flailing FEMA

Sandy-ravaged communities dealing with cold and lack of housing while FEMA trailers sit idle in PA
AP

Dozens of residents are still living without heat, hot water, or electricity in condemned structures flooded by both sea and sewer water in the Gerritsen Beach community of Brooklyn after a request to FEMA for temporary housing after Hurricane Sandy was denied.

After Sandy: The Long Road Ahead

Some still without power after two weeks in NY and NJ
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Life is approaching a new normal for many in New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the northeast two weeks ago. Lingering destruction, however, means it may take months to rebuild.

Fakakta FEMA

Disorganized federal workers add to mayhem
AP

“It’s been the worst nightmare possible,” said Vinny Accetta, a Staten Island resident from the flooded Midland Beach area. He, his wife, Devon, and their toddler twins are staying with relatives seven miles from their home. Eight days after Hurricane Sandy, Accetta is still waiting for FEMA to come and assess the damage to his home. After the hurricane, he was given a case number by FEMA. Now he waits in the cold.