March 22, 2009 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Obama criticizes detention efforts


President Barack Obama says in a broadcast interview that the U.S. hasn’t done a good job sorting out who should be released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Obama said some of the people released from the facility in Cuba have rejoined terrorist groups. He also said U.S. officials have not always been effective in determining which prisoners will be a danger once they are let go.

But he said the Bush administration’s policy of holding detainees for years on end with no trials is “unsustainable,’ and has only fueled anti-American sentiments.

In a taped interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” he also disputes former Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim that plans to close Guantanamo will make America less safe.

CBS released excerpts Saturday from the interview. The show will air this evening.

Fargo, N.D.

Fargo prepares for record flood

The city of Fargo is racing to fill 1.5 million sandbags to prepare for record flooding as a nearby river is expected to crest more than 20 feet above flood stage.

Volunteers were being bused to a city utility building the size of a football field where they will fill sandbags, officials said. The city also bought two machines that resemble large spiders and can produce about 5,000 sandbags an hour.

“It looks a little ‘Star War’-ish in here,” said Bruce Grubb, Fargo’s enterprise director.

The National Weather Service projected that the Red River would crest between 37 feet and 40 feet between March 28 and April 1. That’s about 22 feet above flood stage and about a half-foot higher than the 1997 spring flood that swamped several homes. A storm also was expected to drop one or two inches of rain in the Red River Valley starting Sunday.

“If we go to 40 feet, we’re going to be tested,” said Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker.

From wire reports

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email