New Orleans Mayor Rethinking Decision

Victims of Hurricane Katrina
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The mayor of New Orleans may be having second thoughts.

His spokeswoman says Ray Nagin is now re-thinking the timetable for bringing people back to the city. She says that's because of "external factors," such as a tropical storm that's headed toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier, Nagin bristled at what he suggested was federal interference. He said the federal official in charge of the recovery effort, Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, was acting like "the newly crowned federal mayor of New Orleans."

Allen, and then President Bush, voiced concerns about Nagin's decision to allow people back into New Orleans one neighborhood at a time, starting today. They both suggested that New Orleans might still be unsafe, and that it couldn't yet support a large-scale return of residents.

The mayor has scheduled a news conference at mid-afternoon.

Meanwhile, residents who've been returning to the Algiers neighborhood, across the river from the French Quarter, have been assessing the relatively moderate damage to their homes.