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Record flooding on the Mississippi and its tributaries has already led to stark choices between rich farmlands and more heavily populated towns and cities. Downstream, there's much more to come. Has the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a system that depends on unacceptable trade-offs? Also, Senate Democrats rake oil execs over the coals. On Reporter's Notebook, troves of information captured from Osama bin Laden's hideout are already leading intelligence agents to report some surprising conclusions.

Banner image: City workers load sandbags to be used in re-enforcing a levee gate onto a boat May 11, 2011 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Making News Senate Democrats Rake Oil Executives over the Coals 7 MIN, 26 SEC

Executives from the five biggest oil companies told the Senate Finance Committee today that ending their $2 billion in tax breaks would hinder development of energy supplies. Katie Howell covered the hearing for Greenwire, an online news service that covers energy policy and the environment.

Katie Howell, Greenwire

An Unnatural Metropolis

Craig E. Colten

Main Topic Has Flood Control Led to a False Sense of Security? 34 MIN, 58 SEC

The Mississippi watershed is the world's third largest after the Amazon and the Congo. Since record flooding in 1927, the Army Corps of Engineers has spent billions of dollars on an intricate 2000-mile system of levees, spillways and flood zones designed to allow homes, farms and industrial development to thrive along the river and its many tributaries. Now that system is being severely tested, as the Corps is faced with opening spillways to devastate some places in order to save others. At stake either way are homes, businesses, billions in property damage and entire communities. Is the river untamable after all? We hear from the Corps and its critics and from the Mayor of Vicksburg, Mississippi, one city that's bracing for a catastrophe.

Paul Winfield, Mayor of Vicksburg
George 'Thatch' Shepard, US Army Corps of Engineers
Michael Grunwald, Politico magazine (@MikeGrunwald)
Craig Colten, Louisiana State University
David Welky, University of Central Arkansas

Reporter's Notebook Bin Laden Was Bent on Attacking US Again, Journals Show 8 MIN, 12 SEC

CIA translators at a secret facility in Northern Virginia are pouring over the equivalent of millions of pages from more than 110 flash drives, laptops and other digital storage devices as well as piles of paper, all captured from the Osama bin Laden hideout in Pakistan. According to today's Washington Post, after talks with unnamed US intelligence officers, "bin Laden was preoccupied with attacking the United States over all other targets, a fixation that led to friction with followers." Greg Miller co-wrote the story.

Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)

The Interrogators

Chris Mackey

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