Anderson is on the water, up close, along miles of marshland soaked in oil. The question is where are the clean-up crews? We're keeping them honest.
Want to know more about our live coverage from the Gulf? Read EVENING BUZZ
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There’s plenty to report from the Gulf Coast tonight. BP says it spent the day evaluating the results of the first round of its so-called “top kill” effort to plug the massive mile-deep oil well leak off the Louisiana coast. The company’s chief operating officer said BP temporarily stopped pumping drilling fluid into the well just before midnight and resumed the effort a short time ago. Tonight we’ll take a close look at how well the top kill is working.
Meantime, we learned today the spill is worse than first thought–much worse. A new estimate shows it’s the largest in U.S. history, surpassing the Exxon Valdez spill. Also today, the National Weather Service issued its hurricane forecast. It predicts eight to 14 storms this season, with as many as seven reaching category three or higher. That forecast is adding to the sense of urgency along the Gulf Coast
President Obama today defended the government’s handling of the spill. He says he’s on top of the crisis. He also ordered work to be suspended on exploratory drilling in the Gulf and cancelled or deferred some future wells around the country. This, as the head of the Mineral Management Service, Elizabeth Birnbaum, resigned.
We also heard from some the families of the 11 men killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. They testified before Congress, urging lawmakers to hit BP and everyone responsible for the disaster where they’ll feel it most—in their wallets.
Anderson and his team on the ground in Louisiana also heard an earful from locals who say they’ve received very little compensation from BP so far. They’re skeptical BP will make good on its promises to reimburse everyone’s losses from the spill.
Then there are the victims with no voices. How many animals—from fish to birds to dolphins—have already died? How many species are being threatened by the spill? Incredibly, it seems there’s an effort to keep that information hidden. But why?
We’ll cover all of these angles tonight in our live coverage from the Gulf.
See you at 10 p.m. eastern.
One Simple Thing features people who through small yet innovative ways are making a difference in education, energy, the environment, and the use of the planet's resources.
San Clemente, California (CNN) - Joey Santley's flip-flops rhythmically clap as he strolls through San Clemente's surf ghetto, a cluster of boxy surfboard-making businesses.
This chatterbox entrepreneur spouts out ideas like big waves churn up foam.
Surfing is a sport with a black spot on its eco-friendly soul, and Santley thinks he found a way to cleanse it.
"We're going to take the biggest pile of trash that our industry makes and we are going to figure out a home for it," Santley explains.
The shaping and making of surfboards for decades has produced a chemical residue, a toxic white dust that can be found all over the surf ghetto.
Santley grabs a plastic bag inside the major surfboard manufacturer Lost, and points down at a pile of polyurethane powder, excess foam that sprinkled from a surfboard-shaping machine.
"I'll come in here and clean up all this stuff," explains Santley, using a broom and dustpan to put the polyurethane dust into a plastic garbage bag. "They can keep cranking [producing surfboards] because it gets too full in here.
"They love it because they don't have to clean up. And I love it because I come and get material for my boards. And if I wasn't doing this, the dust would be going into the landfill over the hill."
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:
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (2L), Slovenian Prime minister Borut Pahor and OECD secretary General Angel Gurria (R) gestures at the issue of OECD ministers meeting at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters on May 27, 2010 in Paris.
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.
Beat 360° Winners:
All paper again! Another tie. Well, one of our countries has to bail out Greece.
Robbi from New York:
Then I got a call from Costanza Modeling.
Program Note: Watch Randi Kaye’s full report tonight on AC360° at 10p.m. ET.
CNN AC360° Correspondent
As Memorial Day approaches, it got us wondering here at Anderson Cooper 360 about all those folks who pretend to be veterans.
Many of them come out especially around this time of year and flaunt their fake credentials and medals, hoping to impress friends or get better treatment at the Veterans Administration. But the case of “Stolen Valor” as it’s called that we are reporting on for AC360 tonight is unlike any other.
In this case, a 26-year-old man from Texas duped the United States Army! Yes, the top military in the world was fooled! The guy’s name is Jesse Johnston and he used a standard form resume required by the military, known as a DD-214, to stretch his credentials. On it he claimed he had four years experience in the Marine corps, combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a bronze star and a purple heart.
Turns out it’s all a lie. All the Army had to do to verify Johnston's record was call the Marines - that's what we did! Instead, it gave him the rank of Sergeant. If checked, the Army would have discovered, just as we did by calling the Marines, that Jesse Johnston had never even been through boot camp. Yet the Army gave him a leadership role in a combat unit of the Army Reserves.
CNN Senior Correspondent
(CNN) - An online movement to boycott BP for its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is growing at a rate of better than 25,000 names a day.
"I won't buy their gas any more. I won't patronize a company that's destroying our planet," New Jersey resident Patricia Jarozynski told CNN, one of 118,000 fans of the "Boycott BP" Facebook page as of this writing.
"I think they should pay a price," said Sue Kemper, another "Boycott BP" Facebook fan.
Anger is growing along with the size of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's environmental catastrophe has Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group, also calling for a boycott against the oil giant, the first time it's taking such action against an energy company.
"The boycott sends a clear message that we as American consumers are not going to tolerate corporate illegal activity," said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program. "We're not going to tolerate a company that has a clear demonstrated track record of willful negligence."
David Gewirtz | BIO
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute
American politics hasn't always been dominated by the Democratic and Republican parties.
The Democratic Party didn't arrive on the scene until 1828 and it took until 1854 for the early "modern" Republican party to enter the game.
Strangely enough, from 1792 to 1824, there was actually a "Democratic-Republican Party". That would almost be like having Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner on the same side. It boggles the mind.
Founding father John Adams famously described political parties as "the greatest political evil." Adams was a wise man.
Although Democrats and Republicans have been around for a long time, we've also had other major parties - including Federalists, Whigs, and even Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose party.
And now we have the Tea Party and/or the Conservative Party.
What are the chances that the Tea Partiers or Conservatives will form a viable third party? And if they did, where would they get their strength from? And who would they hurt?
Louisiana - We spent the last two days embedded with the National Wildlife Federation. First we surveyed some wetlands and islands hit directly with oil. Seeing 100s of brown pelicans and white herons nesting on oil stained islands (surrounded by an ineffective boom) was disturbing to say the least.
Most of the oil had retreated. The slick is dynamic. Constantly moving. Breaking up into patches then reforming in whole chunks. Reminds me of the old movie "The Blob," but this is real … and more scary.
On Wednesday, we ventured into the gulf with a team of scientists wanting to get water/oil samples. Didn’t take long to hit oil. Thick oil. Only 12 miles offshore. We saw sea creatures in the slick - some struggling, some dead.
The problem with marine wildlife in the open ocean - they’re called “pelagic” - is that most that die from this environmental disaster will not wash up on shore but rather sink to the bottom and never be counted. New estimates put the oil spewing from the well at over 12K barrels/day. Now this spill is bigger than Exxon Valdez. But that one happened at the surface … near shore. We could see the damage and we could see dead wildlife.
Here in the Gulf of Mexico, what we DON’T see will likely be much much worse.
BTW: I’m working with an amazing duo - field Producer Tracy Sabo and photojournalist Dominic Swan. Talented, tireless and two of the best in the business!
There's no end in sight for the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Anderson Cooper reports live tonight from the region as BP attempts to stop the leak. Watch "AC360°" tonight at 10 ET on CNN for the latest on stopping the leak.
Venice, Louisiana (CNN) - The Gulf of Mexico undersea gusher has already spilled more oil than the Exxon Valdez disaster - possibly more than twice as much, making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history - government scientists said Thursday.
Scientists observed 130,000 to 270,000 barrels of oil on the water's surface on May 17, and think a similar amount had already been burned, skimmed, dispersed or evaporated.
That would mean 260,000 to 520,000 barrels had been leaked as of 10 days ago. The Exxon Valdez leaked about 250,000 barrels into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.
The estimate came as an underwater tussle between oil and mud unfolded in BP's latest attempt to cap the runaway leak. But whether mud is able to defeat oil won't be known until later Thursday.