Red Cross gets poor marks for storm work
By wire services
Published April 5, 2006
The American Red Cross' response to Hurricane Katrina was poorly planned, relied too heavily on inexperienced managers and often failed to meet the needs of victims, say reports by international Red Cross officials who were dispatched to assist their American counterparts.
The unusually harsh reports, prepared in late summer and the fall, detailed mismatches between the needs of victims and the supplies the Red Cross had arranged, the absence of a plan to guide the distribution of supplies and a lack of record-keeping, which allowed inventory to go astray.
"What is clear is that the basic needs of the beneficiaries are not being met," Mike Goodhand, head of the international logistics division of the British Red Cross, wrote on Sept. 15.
The reports were obtained by the New York Times.
As river rises, N. Dakota city braces for flooding
FARGO, N.D. - The Red River began cresting in Fargo, N.D., Tuesday afternoon, only 2 feet shy of the 1997 flood, the city's worst in a century.
The river, which runs north along the North Dakota-Minnesota line, was peaking in Fargo at 37 feet, or 19 feet above flood stage, about 5 p.m.
Swollen with melting snow and heavy rain, the river has spread across its broad valley, leaving farm land under water and city residents stacking sandbags.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it had finished with emergency levee construction in Fargo, and engineers planned to walk the dikes late Tuesday and early today to ensure their stability.
Justices not ready to allow cameras into high court
WASHINGTON - Two Supreme Court justices said Tuesday that cameras are fine in the House and Senate - but not at the high court.
Lawmakers are considering proposals intended to put justices' sessions on television for the first time.
Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas provided the first reaction since the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a plan last week. A House bill is pending.
"It runs the risk of undermining the manner in which we consider the cases," Thomas told a House appropriations panel that was meeting to consider the Supreme Court's budget request. "Certainly it will change our proceedings. And I don't think for the better."
Count shows decrease in child abuse, neglect cases
WASHINGTON - About 872,000 American children faced abuse or neglect in 2004, a statistic the government said shows improvement, but brought little cheer to child advocacy groups.
About 1,500 of those children died, according to the report released Tuesday.
The rate of abuse and neglect represents a slight improvement from the previous year.
The report found about 11.9 per 1,000 children were victimized. The rate marks the fourth consecutive year of declines.
[Last modified April 5, 2006, 00:38:13]
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