World Briefs

First white mayor

NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans has elected its first white mayor in 32 years, ushering in hopes of a new era in a city still trying to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina. Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu

was elected on Saturday to replace outgoing Mayor Ray Nagin, an African-American who led the city during the hurricane, but saw his popularity plunge over the slow pace of reconstruction. “The people of New Orleans did a very extraordinary thing... striking a blow for unity,”

Landrieu said after his nearest rival businessman Troy Henry conceded defeat. Landrieu, a Democrat, becomes the city’s first white mayor since his father “Moon” Landrieu left the office in 1978. The city is 61 percent black.

Internet down in Iran

TEHRAN: Iran said on Sunday its Internet connections will remain slow this week due to technical problems, ahead of anticipated protests by opposition supporters. Connections have been slow since last week and some email accounts have been unavailable for several hours each day. “The cause of the reduced Internet speed in recent days is that part of the fibre-optic network is damaged,” Communications Minister Reza Taghipour told Iran’s state broadcaster. He acknowledged that text messaging in Iran had been disrupted, blaming it on “changing software.” Iran’s anti-government protesters have effectively used the Internet and SMS services to organise rallies and spread news of the demos.