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June 18th, 2009
11:38 PM ET

How to donate to UNHCR

The fighting in the Swat Valley region in Pakistan has forced thousands of civilians to abandon their homes.

The fighting in the Swat Valley region in Pakistan has forced thousands of civilians to abandon their homes.

Program Note: The U.N.H.C.R. released their annual report on the refugee crisis Tuesday. Tune in tonight for special coverage of World Refugee Day tonight at 10 p.m. ET. And learn more about how you can help by visiting Impact Your World.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The number of people forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution worldwide stood at 42 million at the end of last year amid a sharp slowdown in repatriation and more prolonged conflicts resulting in protracted displacement. The total includes 16 million refugees and asylum seekers and 26 million internally displaced people uprooted within their own countries, according to UNHCR’s annual “Global Trends” report released today.

The UN refugee agency relies on contributions for some 97 percent of its income. The additional 2-3 percent of funding we receive from the United Nations is spent entirely on administration costs – meaning more of YOUR money goes to where it is needed most.

Go here to learn more about donating.

June 18th, 2009
10:18 PM ET

Photo Gallery: The refugee crisis around the world

Program Note: Tune in tonight for special coverage of World Refugee Day tonight at 10 p.m. ET. And learn more about how you can help by visiting Impact Your World.


Saima, age 12, carrying her 10-month-old sister Sana. They walked 20 kms across mountain paths to escape fighting in their village.


A displaced child in the Chota Lahore camp, Swabi District, Pakistan.


This child, weary and pale, has lost his appetite after a long journey away from home. His mother, Khanum Jan (age 23) worries for her nine children: "Added to our miseries I do not understand the reason why my children have lost their appetite," she frets.


Many children in the IDP camps have eye infections due to the hot weather and the unsanitary environment in which they now live.


A displaced girl now living in a host community, facing everyday challenges.


Imam, one of 37 others that fled fighting and took refuge in Rizwar Ali's home.


Displaced woman affected by Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar


Filed under: 360° Radar • Impact Your World
June 18th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog 6/18/09

Tonight on 360°, a Continental jet lands safely at Newark airport, with the first officer at the controls. Passengers say that's when they learned the 60-year-old captain had died during the cross-Atlantic flight, apparently from natural causes. A doctor on board was called to help. Should the crew have told all the passengers what was happening?

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

And take a look at our live web camera from the 360° studio. Watch the WEBCAM


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
June 18th, 2009
09:18 PM ET

Clinton blazes trail on same sex benefits

Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

Yesterday's groundbreaking move by President Obama to provide some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees came to fruition in large part due to Secretary of Clinton, who first put the issue on the table.

It is unclear whether the Obama administration came to office planning to offer government-wide benefits to domestic partners of civil service employees, but Clinton, a longtime advocate of gay rights, was on it day one. Since President Obama named her as his pick for Secretary of State in November, Clinton's transition staff and the State Department had been working with members of the American Foreign Service Association and the group GLIFAA (Gays & Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies) on what could be done to extend benefits to domestic partners of diplomats serving abroad.

At her very first senior staff meeting Clinton instructed the State Department to review whether she had the authority to extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners. About a week later a gay employee asked Clinton during a town hall with employees to eliminate discrimination against same sex partners. The Secretary of State drew loud applause when she said the issue was "of real concern" to her, and that she was already working on it.

FULL POST

June 18th, 2009
07:56 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and World Refugee Day

Cate Vojdik
AC360º Writer

Tonight on 360º, you’ll hear Angelina Jolie bring to life the plight of 42 million people whose individual stories of terror–and survivorship–are often untold. In an interview months in the making, she talks to Anderson about some of the men, women and children she’s met as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has a deep passion for the work that takes her far from Hollywood and her own family. Just today, the U.N. announced that Jolie and her partner Brad Pitt, have donated $1 million to help Pakistani refugees. Tonight, hear why Jolie is especially concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan.

Plus, we’ll have the latest from Iran, where tens of thousands of protesters marched in the streets for a sixth day. Iran’s government is still doing its best to silence reporters and control the airwaves. We’ll bring you all the images and information we can, including i-reports and amateur video from Facebook and YouTube.

Also tonight, we continue our weeklong series “America’s High: The Case for and Against Pot.” You may not realize it, but marijuana turns out to be a growth industry in this recession. The collapse of the housing market has turned cheap property into pot houses—and they may be operating on your street.

And we’re learning more about the death of a Continental pilot during a cross-Atlantic flight today. The 60-year-old captain with more than three decades of flying experience apparently died from natural causes. The jet landed safely with the first officer at the controls. Only then, did passengers learned what had happened. Randi Kaye has been working the story and will have details at 10 p.m. eastern.

 See you then..


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
June 18th, 2009
06:12 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/18/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrives for testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee June 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

UPDATE: Check out our Beat 360° Winners!

__________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
June 18th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

World Refugee Day: Honoring resilience and generosity

Saima, age 12, carrying her 10-month-old sister Sana. They walked 20 kms across mountain paths to escape fighting in their village.

Saima, age 12, carrying her 10-month-old sister Sana. They walked 20 kms across mountain paths to escape fighting in their village.

Program Note: Tune in tonight for special coverage of World Refugee Day tonight at 10 p.m. ET. And learn more about how you can help by visiting Impact Your World.

Chris Webster
World Vision

In the past year alone, I’ve worked among displaced people in Myanmar, eastern Congo and Pakistan. While the role of aid agencies and the public to raise awareness and funds is absolutely critical, I continue to be humbled by the strength and generosity of host communities caring for their neighbors.

I am currently in Pakistan helping support relief efforts for World Vision as we attempt to provide aid to just some of the 2 million people who have been displaced.

Wherever I’ve been, whether people are displaced by conflict or natural disaster, I have always been witness to glimpses of extraordinary generosity and resilience by both the refugees and the host communities.

I left Myanmar a year ago today. I had been deployed to work on World Vision’s response to Cyclone Nargis, the massive storm which left 2.4 million people severely affected. Even as I left, I took heart in having seen the resiliency of the people. Communities and villages banded together and began rebuilding immediately after the storm. There was no self-pity.

There was no waiting for help. Despite their immeasurable grief and loss, I witnessed the resolve of a people who refused to let themselves be overcome.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Global 360° • Impact Your World
June 18th, 2009
04:51 PM ET

Video: Refugees aren't numbers

Program Note: Tune in tonight for special coverage of World Refugee Day, and an interview with Angelina Jolie tonight at 10 p.m. ET. And learn more about how you can help by visiting Impact Your World.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Angelina Jolie • Impact Your World
June 18th, 2009
04:49 PM ET

Report highlights plight of war zone refugees

Program Note: Tune in tonight for special coverage of World Refugee Day tonight at 10 p.m. ET. And learn more about how you can help by visiting Impact Your World.

Pakistani displaced battle severe winds and dust at Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar.

Pakistani displaced battle severe winds and dust at Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar.

CNN

The number of uprooted people across the world dropped slightly last year, but new displacement this year in conflict zones like Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka so far "has already more than offset the decline," the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

"Today, we are seeing a relentless series of internal conflicts that are generating millions of uprooted people," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a news release.

This is one of the main points in Global Trends, an annual report by the U.N. agency on developments regarding refugees, internally displaced people, asylum seekers and stateless people.

The number of "uprooted people worldwide" in 2008 was 42 million, a drop of about 700,000 from 2007, according to the report.

"In 2009, we have already seen substantial new displacements, namely in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia," Guterres said.

"While some displacements may be short-lived, others can take years and even decades to resolve. We continue to face several longer-term internal displacement situations in places like Colombia, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia. Each of these conflicts has also generated refugees who flee beyond their borders."

Keep reading...


Filed under: 360° Radar • Impact Your World • United Nations
June 18th, 2009
04:06 PM ET

Why the fight in Pakistan is different now

Authorities beefed up security of sensitive locations in Punjab province after a suicide attack.

Authorities beefed up security of sensitive locations in Punjab province after a suicide attack.

Program Note: Watch Nic Robertson report on his trip to Pakistan and the growing refugee crisis on AC 360º 10 P.M. ET.

Nic Robertson
CNN Senior International Correspondent

Every time I come to Pakistan these days I see more security.

This time is no exception. On the road from the airport to my hotel I counted nearly a dozen police checkpoints. Two years ago, there were none.

Some police run thorough checks, look inside the trunk, under the hood, peer inside the back of the car, even open the window and ask if I'm OK - apparently concerned I might be an unwilling passenger, a kidnap victim being taken away. Other police posts are lax, waving traffic through with nothing more than a cursory glance.

It would be foolish to think these are an effective defense against a determined bomber. Indeed, the traffic jams caused by some stop and searches are themselves a target for attackers who seem as willing to murder civilians as they are soldiers, policemen and politicians.

The reality is, a simple knowledge of the back streets is enough to bypass most police barricades. And so it is for the wider military offensive. So vast are the areas the Taliban influence that pinning them down and boxing them in is nearly impossible.

The Taliban and their supporters have become so entrenched in the Pashtu speaking lands bordering Afghanistan and wrapping northwards around the capital Islamabad that no single or even multi-pronged military offensive is going to stop them quickly.

So it is no surprise to come back after an absence of about seven weeks to discover the Taliban have organized themselves in the wake of the government crackdown against their expansionist operations in Swat.

Keep reading...


Filed under: Global 360° • Keeping Them Honest • Nic Robertson • Pakistan
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