June 25th, 2008
04:57 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: What a long strange trip

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

The situation in Zimbabwe is unbelievable and frightening. Hundreds of Zimbabweans are seeking refuge at the South African embassy today, help they see as a matter of life and death. They support Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who dropped out the presidential run-off earlier this week, because he feared for his supporters’ safety.

Many Zimbabweans are reporting rapes, maiming and other “intimidation tactics” from militias loyal to Robert Mugabe, the man who has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980… and who clearly is not ready to give up that power.

CNN.com has put together a special section dedicated to the situation in Zimbabwe, with updates not only on the political struggle, but also on how citizens are dealing with the increasingly difficult day-to-day situation.

In New Zealand, a huge settlement for the Maori. Seven indigenous Maori tribes signed a $319 million agreement with the NZ government, to return 435,000 acres to the tribes.
When European settlers arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century, the Maori lost precious land, forests and fisheries. This settlement addresses some of those grievances, but the issue is not fully settled.

It’s good to see some recognition, however, for taking away the land, lifestyle and livelihood of indigenous peoples. If you’ve ever read “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”, you know what a painful past the U.S. has in this department.

I admit, I still haven’t finished the book, although I’ve been reading it for a couple of years now. It is heartbreaking and emotionally draining, but such an important history lesson.

On Easter Island, the Maois are in danger… thanks to tourists. This is a fascinating read.

On a completely different note now… hookers on demand.

The Brothel Bus was apparently doing a pretty good business in South Beach. Miami Police say Christina Morta was behind the operation – a bus with five prostitutes on board offering lap dances and various sex acts. When cops arrested Morta (who they say was also one of the prostitutes), they also found a missing person. Wow.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Renee

    I read bury my heart at wounded knee when I was a freshman in high school, my big brother is the one that got me to read it. I'm not an emotional person, far from it, but yes it is a definite must read. It pulled at my heart like very few things could. Finish it, and then pass it on to someone who hasn’t read it yet. This knowledge must be passed on so it doesn’t happen again

    June 26, 2008 at 7:45 pm |
  2. Lee

    @Pyson: Erica had her own show. She left it to co-anchor 360.

    June 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  3. William Courtland

    On second viewing that came out wrong, but it was graven and someone's elses useless toil anyway, so...

    June 25, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  4. pyson

    hi, erica i think you are so smart n sexy ...... when are u getting your own show ?

    June 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  5. Janna

    Maoris and Maois, wow. Today's news note was both a mouthful and enlightening, Erica. It seems that Easter Island needs to use some of the tourism money to increase security around those amazing sculptures. They can't avoid mother nature's wrath but certainly have the capacity to supervise the tourists! As for South Beach, of which I'm currently a resident of, I must state the obvious....Of all the neighborhoods to actively solicit passerbys, they pick the police precinct?! ...not so bright.
    I'm just glad I never passed this vehicle on the way to the beach with my 3yo...

    June 25, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  6. CaseyJPS - California

    That brothel coach is a BRILLIANT BUSINESS PLAN! Parked near a police station and not disturbing a soul. How come the pics didn't take us into the VIP "room?" If they move the coach to the seaside, do you have to pay more for an ocean view? Instead of arresting a small business owner trying to make an honest living, they should be giving the owner an award as entrepreneur of the year!

    June 25, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  7. CaseyJPS - California

    If you're truly interested in Moais, check out tikicentral.com...it's a whole sub-culture tied to tiki pop culture (and some history thrown in as well). Very cool...

    June 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  8. Bill in Nebraska


    Hookers on demand... What next, are we going to be able to access them via the DVR box we get with cable? Oh well, Guess everyone has to make a living.

    Try to have a good night tonight with the crew. I will DVR it for later.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm |
  9. Annie Kate


    Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee is a great but very sad book. When I read it I was ashamed I was white; that i was descended from people who supported the government's policy to push the Indian off their and and ever closer to extinction. I saw a report that Obama had met with some of the western tribes here in the US and promised them to go back and review the broken treaties and finally make good on them. I'm not sure that can be fully accomplished but I hope for the tribes that they can get something that will help them have a future instead of the dismal poverty most have now.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 25, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  10. Franky

    You know Erica, is probably tough for someone to help me out BUT if it's a girl, I think I could be send over there....

    I say you can help me out Erica!! Use your skills and I know they'll listen to a girl instead of a crazy guy.....I mean, I will, LOL!!!

    Na'h, I'm just playing Erica. Just wanted to share a little laughter, if it worked.

    Later guys!

    June 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  11. Reuben

    Hi Erica,

    Thanks for having a 'Zimbabwe Section". The world needs to know what is happening in that beautiful country. Mugabe is a murderer of the highest degree and the world isn't batting an eye.

    June 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  12. Janet Madison

    Idi Amin revisited yet again.
    Right, NO OIL there, so why bother intervening?
    Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you now that we need you comes to mind...
    Someone send Mugabe a copy of The Last King of Scotland, please! Do you even think he'd 'get it'???
    Not a chance.
    Time for SOMEONE to act and take this despot out for good. Exploding cigars, anyone?

    June 25, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  13. Alexander

    Erica, it is good to see that they received compensation for land taken away from them years ago by European settlers, in reference to the New Zealand story. I find it a bit hard to believe that such compensation such as receiving back land that once was lost is a reality. But, nonetheless, hopefully they can regain some sense of loss that their ancestors may have felt. In any case, I am glad to see your news note. Now that you left Prime News I don't get my news updates like I used to.; ) Take care.: )

    June 25, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  14. JC- Los Angeles

    I bet the brothel bus had an endless stream of drivers.

    June 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  15. Tracey - Boston

    Regarding New Zealand: at least they are trying. Although a different country remember when the Prime Minister of Australia said 'Sorry' to the Aboriginal People. Baby steps.

    I'm a history major and just completed three semesters. I wrote a paper about Manifest Destiny. My initial thought was to find it in the past before America, how it shaped the country and where do we go from here. I learned so much about how Americans pushed everyone that wasn't Anglo Saxon out of the way to gain the power we have obtained.

    I'll have to check out the book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”.

    Thank you Erica.

    June 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  16. GF

    @ Missy what's wrong with Erica posting on the same subject as Anderson? She has every right to express her opinion too.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:49 pm |
  17. Kent, Illinois

    Bush does nothing just like his daddy did nothing to help the Kurds when they left their country during Daddy Bush's Presidency. This is no surprise. Baby Bush doesn't see anything he wants to steal from Zimbabwe..................I guess they have no oil.........................

    June 25, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  18. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Erica!
    A mobile prostitution ring. Isn't that convienient?
    I hope these "ladies" have to do community service. Let me make a suggestion: They should have to turn their mobile prostitution bus into a mobile spay/neuter clinic for homeless animals and needy pet owners.
    Don't you agree? 😉

    June 25, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  19. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    We are so much of a global communtiy, yet are miles apart when it comes to helping fellow neighbors of this world. Some say, we should keep our nose out of the world affairs, butt out of their business. However, does that mindset really help those that need that intervention. No it doesn't. I guess all of us in the world have to make a choice. Are we in this together or is "we" just a buzz word that has no meaning. Take Care

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  20. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    It is sad that intimidation is the only way they can keep control.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  21. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, yes, Anderson blogged about Zimbabwe today. I expressed my frustration of the lack of action by the U.N. and powerful countries. Whenever I talk to my friends about helping oppressed countries, I can’t believe the reaction of some of them. It’s as if they think we shouldn’t help at all. To which I talk back: “If you were treated/abused like these people, how would you feel?” And they get quiet. But they’ve never been poor or oppressed in their lives, so they don’t know how it feels. I say before you turn your back on somebody, think again. That person could very easily be you. This is actually a very hot button for me. I hope your broadcast tonight will talk about Zimbabwe and the struggles of its people.

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  22. GF

    We're so lucky in this country to have the opportunity to vote even though a lot of people choose not to. The situation in Zimbabwe is very sad but it goes to show how determined the people are to change their future despite all violence to stop it.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  23. Rich, Phoenix, AZ

    Umm, I could be wrong about this, but isn't it the nature of hookers that they are pretty much ALWAYS available on demand?

    June 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  24. Missy

    Erica, did Anderson write your blog for you? Because he posted on the same subject.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm |