May 13th, 2008
09:07 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 5/13/08

Two hours live tonight!

The polls are closed in West Virginia and Sen. Hillary Clinton is the winner. What impact will her victory have on the race for the nomination and what do the exit polls tell us? We'll have analysis on that from the best political team on television. We'll hear from both candidates tonight and take a look at their options and strategies moving forward.

We'll also go live to China. John Vause and his CNN crew have made it to the worst of the damage from yesterday's earthquake. China's government says more than 12,000 people were killed. The numbers could get much higher.

Anderson and Erica are blogging tonight. Check them both out on our live web camera from the 360° studio. We'll turn it on at 945p ET and turn it off at midnight ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We'll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at midnight ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
May 13th, 2008
06:08 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Grim tallies

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

When I logged on this morning and saw the headlines – 18,000 trapped, 12,000 dead in China – the numbers took my breath away. It doesn’t seem like they can be real. In one school alone, hundreds of students were trapped. Amid the pain and shock, fireworks have been heard with alarming regularity. Used to ward off evil spirits, they’re a sign another child’s body had been found.

The information coming out of China is especially disturbing given that this tragedy comes on the heels of the cyclone in Myanmar/Burma. CNN’s correspondent there – who is not being identified because of safety concerns - talks of seeing international aid distributed in big cities, and seeing small villages completely forgotten. "They have no drinking water whatsoever," the correspondent said. "When you don't have drinking water and you are forced to drink out of puddles and drinking reservoirs contaminated by dead bodies... It is a very dire situation."

US Admiral Timothy Keating met with Myanmar’s senior leaders, and in his words “pressed hard” for them to accept aid. FULL POST

Filed under: Erica Hill
May 13th, 2008
04:04 PM ET

Beat 360° 5/13/08

Hey Bloggers!

Ok, I'm callin' it... 'Beat 360°,' corner pocket....

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s 'Beat 360°' pic of the day: Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, plays pool at Schultzie's bar in South Charleston. W.Va., Monday in anticipation of the state's primary election Tuesday.

Beat 360°

Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

– David M. Reisner, 360° Digital producer

Filed under: Beat 360°
May 13th, 2008
03:20 PM ET

Ghosts of loved ones, and fear this might happen again...

Editor’s note: World Vision is a Christian-based humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide. Some of the aid workers dispatched to the region share their experiences helping the victims of the Myanmar Cyclone. Because of the inherent danger in Myanmar, World Vision is witholding their names.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/13/art.sheltercamp.jpg]

From World Vision aid worker

"I've met people who walked for days to get to Yangon from the Delta. They told stories of sleeping on the roadside, of bloated corpses floating on swollen rivers and of bodies strewn across the road. It had been days since they’ve had clean water to drink...

The travelers on foot told me about a 12-foot tidal wave that wiped out an entire village after hours of intense wind and rain...Disaster preparedness would have saved lives. World Vision deployed staff members to northern communities where the cyclone was first predicted to make landfall.

We were working with communities to prepare them for strong winds and heavy rain. Then the storm suddenly changed directions and headed south...

The people in this area had to escape by sea in small boats. I am told many drowned, unable to move through the violent waves fast enough...Many of us did not prepare our selves for the possibility that this storm could ruin our homes and steal innocent lives...The shock of losing loved ones, crops, livestock and homes can be deep and lasting.

I wonder if this will make people afraid to stay, afraid to sit with the ghosts of their loved ones and the fear that this might someday happen again."

How you can help

Filed under: Aid workers • Cyclone • Myanmar
May 13th, 2008
01:01 PM ET

Hillary Clinton's line-in-the-sand issue

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/13/art.hillary.crowd.jpg]

William Schneider
Senior political analyst

Something Hillary Clinton said at a children’s hospital in Portland, Oregon, last week caught my eye:

"How can anyone run for Democratic nominee for President and not have a universal health care plan? This is a huge, huge difference and one I feel passionately about.’’

With that, she defined her biggest issue difference with Obama. In fact, one of her only issue differences with Obama (unless you count the gas tax holiday, which is silly).

This could be the line-in-the-sand issue Clinton takes to the convention, demanding a platform plank calling for universal health care as a victory for her campaign.

Reagan did that in 1976, demanding that the Republican Party repudiate the Nixon-Ford policy of détente (it did).

Kennedy did that in 1980, demanding that the Democratic Party endorse a big jobs program (it didn’t).

Ford and Carter both went on to lose.

May 13th, 2008
11:36 AM ET

"How quickly can you get on a plane to Bangkok?"

Editor’s note: World Vision is a Christian-based humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide. Laura Cusumano Blank works for the organization. Here is how she found out she would be traveling to the region to help the victims:

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/13/art.waitingforaid2.jpg caption="Waiting to receive aid"]

Laura Cusumano Blank
World Vision emergency communications officer

Last Wednesday morning began with a 7:15 a.m. wake up call and the question – "How quickly can you get on a plane out of JFK to Bangkok?" I pulled my suitcase out of the closet, grabbed my passport, and started throwing some clothes into my bag. Jeans, boots, t-shirts, granola bars.

Within an hour, my boss called back. My ticket had been booked – with no return date – for the next flight leaving for Bangkok. I would be meeting up with a team of communications staff from around the world – Laos, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada – to help coordinate World Vision's media response to the cyclone in Myanmar.

17 hours later, I found myself in the middle of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, exhausted but eager to get started. I had traveled to Bangkok two years ago for vacation, but I never thought I would get the chance to return – and certainly not under these circumstances. Our office, on the 13th floor of a downtown high-rise, has a wall of windows that overlook the city. The sun would set and rise again before I got to sleep that first day.

In my first three days in Bangkok, I slept just 9 hours – and worked 63 hours. Tonight, I'm hoping to get at least 6 before coming back to work. The work is constant and draining – but exhilarating, too. From the moment I landed, I felt like I had been made for this job. My background as a journalist and my interest in humanitarian work had led me to World Vision, and World Vision led me to Bangkok. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

How you can help

Filed under: Aid workers • Cyclone • Myanmar
May 13th, 2008
05:53 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...

It's PRIMARY DAY...the people of West Virginia head to the polls today to vote for the democratic nominee. Most believe it is a slam dunk for Hilllary Clinton, the latest CNN political polls show her with almost a 40 point lead....but can a win convince the party and superdelegates that she is indeed the better candidate? She claims "you cannot win the general election without West Virginia." West Virginia is another state, like Pennsylvania and Ohio, that is filled with the white working class vote...a major voting block across the country that Clinton claims Obama cannot win.

BUT while Obama NOW leads in superdelegates, the outcome of West Virginia's primary Tuesday may best be foretold by where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama plan to spend the day. Clinton is expected to be in Charleston, West Virginia, to celebrate what should be her large victory. Obama has no plans Tuesday night, but he is spending the late afternoon at a campaign event in Missouri. Missouri has already voted this primary season but is considered a swing state that Democrats and Republicans have in their sights this November...So Obama is already thinking about November and a match up with John McCain....

Soooo tune in tonight at 7 pm and CNN will have all the results and all the analysis. AC360 takes over at 10 pm with John King, Bill Schneider, Soledad O'Brien, Wolf Blitzer, Suzanne Malveaux and the best political team on TV...

Filed under: The Buzz