President George W Bush has again rejected accusations his government was slow to react to Hurricane Katrina. While visiting the devastated city of New Orleans, he brushed off suggestions the army might have responded more quickly if tens of thousands of soldiers were not stationed in Iraq.“It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there weren’t troops here, pure and simple,” he stated. The president also denied charges of racism levelled against his administration. “My attitude is this. The storm didn’t discriminate and neither will the recovery effort,” he remarked. Meanwhile the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mike Brown, announced his resignation over the response to the catastrophe. Also on Monday 45 bodies were found at a flooded hospital in New Orleans amid otherwise encouraging signs that the city is beginning to recover.