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April 8th, 2010
11:53 PM ET

Dispatch from Port-au-Prince: Waiting for the rains

Program Note: Don't miss Gary Tuchman's report from Haiti tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Justine Redman and Gary Tuchman
AC360°

It rained the other night. Everyone here's been waiting for the rain...fearfully. Once the rainy season is here, life in rubble-strewn Port-au-Prince will change for everyone.

For two hours we watched the downpour, and wondered what it was doing to the tent cities, where thousands and thousands of people sleep on bare dirt, under shelters made out of any bit of plastic they could find, liable to wash away in a mudslide. No matter where you are in this city, rain will spread mud and disease through the often unpaved streets where a sewer system is a dream, and most people do not have running water. The city stinks already, and it's going to get worse.

But the next morning, we found ourselves back in a dust bowl. The previous night's shower was nothing more than a taste of what's to come. We went to a track of land in the countryside which is being prepared by bulldozers for the resettlement of many of the residents of those tents cities, the people who have nothing left to go home to, but can't keep living where they are.

AC360° producer Justine Redman, Sean Penn and AC360° Gary Tuchman in Haiti.
AC360° producer Justine Redman, Sean Penn and AC360° Gary Tuchman in Haiti.

The land is barren and scrubby, the ground is deep with dust. It's desert, but we were almost relieved by the harshness; this weekend Haitian and international authorities are hoping to start busing hundreds of tent city inhabitants out here to pitch their tents. What a welcome it would be to land in mud past your ankles. Instead, bulldozers and dump trucks raced the clock, spreading rocks and gravel over the dust, trying to build a sturdier base for the thousands of new homes.

FULL POST


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti Earthquake • Justine Redman
April 8th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Bristol Palin's Abstinence Message: Join the Live Chat

Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol, stars in a new PSA promoting teen abstinence.  Her baby son also appears in the ad. We'll give you an up close look.  Plus, saving Haiti. What's being done to get survivors of January's earthquake out of tent cities with rainy season now here.

Want to know what else we're covering? 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 $#&*)


Filed under: Live Blog • T1
April 8th, 2010
09:13 PM ET

Excerpt: Too Big To Fail

Editor's Note: A financial crisis inquiry commission held its second day of hearings today to investigate the cause of the financial crisis. Former Citigroup executives are testifying today. Tonight at 10 p.m. ET Anderson talks to Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of a book on the financial crisis, ‘Too Big Too Fail,’ about what happened, who knew what and who’s ultimately responsible for the near-collapse of the financial industry.

PROLOGUE

Standing in the kitchen of his Park Avenue apartment, Jamie Dimon poured himself a cup of coffee, hoping it might ease his headache. He was recovering from a slight hangover, but his head really hurt for a different reason: He knew too much.

It was just past 7:00 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, September 13, 2008. Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, the nation’s third largest bank, had spent part of the prior evening at an emergency, all-hands-on-deck meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with a dozen of his rival Wall Street CEOs. Their assignment was to come up with a plan to save Lehman Brothers, the nation’s fourth-largest investment bank—or risk the collateral damage that might ensue in the markets.

To Dimon it was a terrifying predicament that caused his mind to spin as he rushed home afterward. He was already more than two hours late for a dinner party that his wife, Judy, was hosting. He was embarrassed by his delay because the dinner was for the parents of their daughter’s boyfriend, whom he was meeting for the first time.

“Honestly, I’m never this late,” he offered, hoping to elicit some sympathy.

Trying to avoid saying more than he should, still he dropped some hints about what had happened at the meeting. “You know, I am not lying about how serious this situation is,” Dimon told his slightly alarmed guests as he mixed himself a martini. “You’re going to read about it tomorrow in the papers.”

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Finance • Wall St.
April 8th, 2010
07:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Sex Education is a Crime?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Is teaching sex education to kids a crime? One Wisconsin prosecutor cautions the answer could be yes. In a March 24 letter, Scott Southworth, the Juneau County district attorney, warns five school districts if they proceed with new state sex education courses teachers could face criminal charges for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

Since under Wisconsin law minors can't legally have sex, teachers would essentially be endorsing the behavior and could be held liable, Southworth said in the letter.

Southworth also said the law could convert sex education classes "into a radical program that sexualizes our children as early as kindergarten."

"While it is true that some children will wrongly choose to engage in sexual behavior before entering adulthood, our school districts should never promote illegal activity," Southworth wrote.

The D.A. says forcing schools to instruct students on how to use contraceptives encourages them to engage in sexual activity.

"It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks," Southworth wrote in the letter.

The new sex education program take effect this fall. But Southworth is calling on school leaders to suspend the classes until the state legislature amends or repeals the new mandates. The law took effect in March, after approval in the state assembly and senate by a slim margin with no Republican support.

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison, a co-author of the legislation called the D.A.'s letter "irresponsible", in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "His purpose is to intimidate and create enough panic in the minds of school administrators that they'll turn their backs on young people and their families," she said.

The new law still allows parents to remove their children from sex-ed classes and schools can offer to not off the instruction.

Tonight on 360°, you'll hear from district attorney Scott Southworth. We're keeping them honest.

We're also following the investigation on Capitol Hill into America's financial crisis. A congressional panel criticized two former leaders of Citigroup today for failing to understand the risks it took with mortgage-backed securities that led the company to lose an estimated $30 billion dollars and forced it to take a $45 billion bailout from the government.

Charles "Chuck" Prince, the former CEO of Citigroup and Robert Rubin, a former board member and top adviser at Citi were grilled by the panel. Rubin was also Treasury Secretary under Pres. Bill Clinton. Both men argued nobody saw the crisis coming. It's something we hear regularly from those who held leadership roles when the meltdown began. Tonight you'll hear from Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of "Too Big To Fail", who gives raw insight into the financial crisis and how it happened. Sorkin says Prince and Rubin offer "no real apologies." We'll see if he thinks the reform measures in place and those still being debated have any teeth.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
April 8th, 2010
05:18 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/8/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:

US President Barack Obama (L) and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev sign a landmark treaty at the Prague Castle in Prague on April 8, 2010. Obama and Medvedev signed a landmark treaty committing their nations to major nuclear arms cuts. Under the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the former Cold War foes will be allowed a maximum of 1,550 deployed warheads, about 30 percent lower than a limit set in 2002. It also imposes limits on the air and submarine-borne intercontinental ballistic missiles that carry warheads.

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.


Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
April 8th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

Impact Your World: How to help in Haiti

AC360°

The devastating earthquake affected 3 million people – one-third of Haiti's population. Considered the most vulnerable are the Haitian children that survived the catastrophe. These organizations have created specific programs to protect these children, meet their medical and nutritious needs and help them recover from the trauma of this disaster.

How you can help:
Child Hope International – Caring for orphans
Friends of the Orphans – Pediatric Care
Jean R. Cadet Restavek Foundation – Helping children in servitude
Kids Alive International – Sheltering orphans
Meds & Food for Kids – Feeding malnourished children
Mercy Corps – Comfort for kids
Save the Children – Child-friendly spaces
UNICEF – Protecting children
World Food Programme – Feeding orphans
World Vision – Child-friendly spaces

Learn More here...


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Impact Your World
April 8th, 2010
04:53 PM ET

DA's memo to teachers: Teach Sex Ed and get arrested

A district attorney in Juneau County, Wisconsin is threatening to arrest teachers who teach state mandated sexual education.
A district attorney in Juneau County, Wisconsin is threatening to arrest teachers who teach state mandated sexual education.

AC360°

A district attorney in Juneau County, Wisconsin, sent a letter to teachers stating that if they taught the state mandated sexual education curriculum they could be arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a minor. You can read the full memo here.

You can read the full memo here.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Education
April 8th, 2010
04:28 PM ET

Raw Data: Humanitarian & recovery funds to Haiti


Residents make their way down a path a debris strewn with debris March 30, 2010 in the Bel Air section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Editor's Note: It's been nearly three months since the January 12 earthquake struck Haiti. Last week, at the U.N. donor conference, the international community pledged more than $5 billion to support Haiti over the next 18 months and $10 billion for the next five years. This is on top of aid already pledged and donated to the country.

Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti
United Nations

Go here to see recent numbers on money pledged, committed and disbursed for humanitarian and recovery in Haiti.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti Earthquake
April 8th, 2010
04:22 PM ET

'Too Big To Fail': Still a Problem Too Big to Solve?

A proposed financial reform bill could create a team of regulators with the authority to shut down troubled institutions.
A proposed financial reform bill could create a team of regulators with the authority to shut down troubled institutions.

Stephen Gandel
Time

Too big to fail, it appears, may be too big to solve.

Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd's recently proposed financial reform bill creates a team of regulators with the authority to shut down troubled institutions. It calls for capital and liquidity requirements. It requires banks to fund a $50 billion bailout fund, as well as draft so-called living wills — detailed plans drawn up in advance of how the firms should be shut down if they run into trouble.

Yet, policy experts and economists from both ends of the political spectrum say the bill does little to end the problem of banks becoming so big that the government is forced to bail them out when they stumble. Some say the proposed financial reform may even make the problem worse.

Read more...


Filed under: Citigroup • Finance • Wall St.
April 8th, 2010
03:22 PM ET

Video: Miner left note before fatal explosion

John Roberts | BIO
Anchor, American Morning

CNN's John Roberts speaks to a woman who lost her son, brother and nephew in the West Virginia mine explosion.


Filed under: John Roberts • Mine Blast
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