Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tuesday 11 October 2005

FEMA Rushes Aid To Earthquake Victims Within Hours of Strike

"I don't think the ground stopped shaking, and FEMA was there"; "We screwed up, but that's okay," says Paulson

Already under heavy criticism, and a congressional investigation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent food, water, medicine and equipment, in error, to earthquake-ravaged Pakistan and they did it in record time.

"I don't think the ground stopped shaking, and FEMA was there already …," said Pakistan Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf.

"They're already in some of the mountain regions, the hard-to-reach places. We haven't even had time to get our own people in there."

The 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck on Saturday, centered near Kashmir and the death toll estimates continue to rise, over 20,000 today and well over 50,000 injured. The quake also caused extensive damage in neighboring India and Afghanistan

"I had the television on - I always have it on, after, you know … - and I heard the words 'earthquake', " said FEMA Director R. David Paulson. "I just grabbed the phone and gave the greenlight to get everything out … I didn't stop to check the location."

"We screwed up, but that's okay," said Paulson. "It's a good screw up. The President would have been sending aid over anyway, we just jumped the gun."

World aid has been pouring into the region, from Britain, China, South Korea, Turkey, Spain, Iran, Russia, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

So far, the Bush Administration has sent much-needed helicopters, eight from the United States, including five Chinook transports.

"We sent considerable more aid." said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, "than we had planned, thanks to FEMA."

The White House wouldn't say if the President will be adding Pakistan, or India and Afghanistan, to his disaster itinerary. The President, accompanied by the First Lady, is in New Orleans today, his eight trip to the hurricane-stricken area.

There is also Guatemala, which was hit by Hurricane Stan and has suffered catastrophic damage, with thousands believed dead after a mountainside collapsed, burying a village in over 20-feet of mud.

"We hear," a source close to the White House said, "that he may send his brother Jeb to Guatemala. Jeb speaks Spanish."

What tipped Paulson off to the mistakenly-sent aid, was when he received the request for translators.

"From when our teams hit the ground," offered Paulson, "We start the clock and we have checklists. One of the first req's we received was for translators and it was only then that we realized we sent the aid out in error. It was beautifully executed but it was a mistake."

"Lose the guy with the taxi doors and meet me in my room in fifteen-minutes ...

With Red Sox and Yankees Bounced, MLB Postpones Playoffs

Unsure On Next Step, How To Proceed; Television Exec's Voice Pressure For Ratings

Anticipating, and expecting, a world-shaking rematch for the American League Championship, Major League Baseball is stunned today, as both the Boston Red Sox, defending World Series Champions, and the New York Yankees have been eliminated in the divisional playoffs.

Commissioner Bud Selig this morning, announced that the playoffs, the two league championship series, have been postponed, as baseball executives evaluate the situation and look at the options on how best to proceed.

The Yankees lost the deciding fifth game last night to the Los Angeles Angels, of Anaheim and Orange County, California, United States of America, while the Red Sox were swept by the Chicago White Sox last Friday.

Reports are circulating the television executives from Fox Sports and ESPN are livid and applying pressure to baseball's front office to do something. Both networks fear, with neither the Red Sox or Yankees still playing, ground-scrapping ratings, equaling lost revenues.

"This is a bad situation," says Fred Bouchard, editor of 'Glued To The Tube', an industry newsletter that monitors television and rates the ratings.

Selig would not confirm or deny the rumors that baseball was considering passing a special rule that will extend the divisional playoffs, currently a best-of-five series to a best-of-seven match, allowing the Red Sox and Yankees the opportunity to climb back in.

Fans in both cities, Boston and New York have mobbed Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, hoping, if baseball does extend the series, to purchase tickets.

"With Game 6 and 7 at the Stadium," gushed Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman, "I'll take that any day. I like our chances."

"We'd love the chance to play again," said Theo Epstein, Red Sox General Manager. "It would be alittle unusual, but if they give it to us, we'll take it."

Red Sox fans had been riding a high, since their stirring comeback last year and World Series sweep, breaking the longtime "curse" in winning their first title in 86-years. Since the loss last Friday, a small, but vocal group has kept vigil outside of Fenway Park, chanting "Wait 'till last year".

Epstein added that he is eager to have the playoffs continue, regardless of who remains playing.

"I have my scouting to conduct. There's one player that we're looking at and we need the World Series to end to make that move."

Speculation is running that the Red Sox will go after whoever makes the final out of the season.

In 2004, Edgar Renteria, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals made the final out that gave the Red Sox the series. A few months later, Epstein engineered a trade to bring Renteria to the Red Sox. Ironically, Renteria also made the final out in the Game 3 loss to the White Sox.

If the issue isn't solved this afternoon, and the baseball playoffs remain postponed, both Fox Sports and ESPN say they will run Texas Hold'em Poker shows in place of the baseball telecasts.

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