Indian tribes welcome FEMA trailers
Thousands of mobile homes that were rejected as temporary housing following Hurricane Katrina are finally being put to good use. Nearly six years after the storm, the government has quietly given many of the homes to American Indian tribes in need of affordable housing, many in Oklahoma. The trailers were once a symbol of bungling by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but they're being welcomed by poor families. After 1,300 mobile homes were distributed to tribes during 2008 and 2009, federal officials asked early this year if they wanted more, said Brian Sullivan, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ninety-five tribes responded with requests for 3,000 homes — five times as many as were available. About 550 homes were distributed this spring. Tribal governments paid only to transport them.
Saturn storm crackles away
It began as a bright white dot in Saturn's northern hemisphere. Within days, the dot grew larger and stormier. Soon the tempest enveloped the ringed planet, triggering lightning flashes thousands of times more intense than on Earth. The international Cassini spacecraft and ground telescopes have been tracking the turbulence since December, visible from Earth as a type of storm known as a Great White Spot. "It's still going like crazy," says Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. At the height of the storm, Cassini detected 10 lightning strikes per second. Scientists said the electrical activity emitted by the bursts were 10,000 times stronger than lightning on Earth. The findings are described in two papers published in today's issue of the journal Nature.