Murder and mayhem in New Orleans' miserable shelter

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With the rotors of President George W. Bush's helicopter sounding overhead, New Orleans' poor and downtrodden recounted tales of murder, rape, death threats and near starvation since Hurricane Katrina wrecked this city.

Ending days of abandonment since the hurricane struck on Monday, the U.S. National Guard handed out military rations and a bottle of water to thousands of evacuees -- the first proper meal most had eaten in days.

But as the masses lined up outside, herded by Army troops toting machine guns, inside the convention center where these people slept since Monday was the stench of death and decay -- EGAN

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