Obama seeks $100M in govt. 'efficiencies'

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Monday ordered his Cabinet to find ways to slice spending by $100 million, but acknowledged it's a 'drop in the bucket' and said there's a 'confidence gap' that he needs to overcome.

Just back from a Latin America summit, Obama told the first formal Cabinet meeting of his administration that vast spending to combat the economic crisis was 'the right thing to do.' But he also said taxpayers still need to know that every dollar they give the government is being spent wisely.

'We also have a deficit - a confidence gap - when it comes to the American people,' he told reporters. 'And we've got to earn their trust.'

Obama said the $100 million would come from 'efficiencies' in agency operations, and would be in addition to future cuts in programs that aren't working.

Katrina flooding victims in court to seek damages

NEW ORLEANS - A coastal geologist testified Monday that he warned the Army Corps of Engineers decades ago about the dangers of the shipping channel that funneled Hurricane Katrina's storm surge into New Orleans.

Sherwood Gagliano, 73, called construction of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, dug in the 1960s, 'one of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the United States.'

He was testifying for the plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit that charges the corps with responsibility for flooding during Katrina, which hit in August 2005.

Lucille Franz, who lost her home and a sister, has joined four other residents and a business who claim the corps owes them damages because Katrina's storm surge washed out levees along the 75-mile-long channel.

Arrest made in killing of Ariz. radar operator

PHOENIX - Authorities have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a man who was operating a state police photo radar unit along a Phoenix freeway, a police official said Monday.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said in a statement that detectives were questioning the suspect and that more information about the investigation would be released later Monday. He did not identify the suspect.

Doug Georgianni, 51, was shot Sunday night while collecting data inside a photo enforcement SUV along a freeway. He died later at a hospital.

Video equipment onboard the SUV, which is marked as an Arizona Department of Public Safety vehicle, recorded a vehicle investigators believe was used during the shooting. Its driver was described as a man apparently in his 60's with white hair and a white mustache.

Report: Mom lost grip on kids after car went in water

PLUMERVILLE, Ark. - A woman whose car plunged off a dead-end road into a lake in rainy, dark weather reportedly told the sheriff she tried to rescue her three young sons from the vehicle but lost her grip on them in the water.

The sheriff, who said the boys drowned, said Monday that investigators were checking her story.

The boys - ages 8, 7 and 2 - were recovered from Lake Brewer after the car went into the water at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, in a rural area of central Arkansas, and they were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Autopsy results were pending for the boys, but Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith said they drowned. Officials did not release their names.

70-year-old man arrested in casino bomb scare

DETROIT - A 70-year-old man was arrested Monday in connection with suspicious objects thought to be pipe bombs left in a parking garage at Detroit's Motor City Casino but later determined to be fakes.

Detroit police spokesman James Tate said the man from the suburb of Eastpointe was arrested about 1 a.m. at home after authorities reviewed security video. Police have not released the suspect's identity, but Tate said he was at the casino.

Vets blame toxin in 21 polo horse deaths in Fla.

WELLINGTON, Fla. - The sudden death of 21 polo horses at a championship event in Florida may have been caused by a toxin in the animals' feed, vitamins or supplements, veterinarians said Monday.

The horses from the Venezuelan-owned team Lechuza Caracas became ill just before a tournament match Sunday, collapsing and dying on the scene or while being treated at vet clinics or transported, officials said.