July 10th, 2009
09:17 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Out of Africa

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/10/untitled-1.copy.jpg" caption="Anderson explores Ghana and the 'door of no return' tonight on 360º."]

Anna Duning
AC360º Intern

Anderson is in Ghana where President Obama arrived just a couple hours ago. Tomorrow, Anderson will sit down with the President for an exclusive interview. Tonight, we’ll look at why Mr. Obama chose to visit the West African nation. Anderson joins us from the capital city Accra to share the excitement on the streets. And, he’ll take us inside a centuries-old trading post, a dark and eerie place where African slaves were kept before being shipped across the Atlantic.

We also have new developments on the Michael Jackson death investigation. A friend of Michael Jackson for 30 years says the singer was so weak and frail, he shouldn’t have had to prepare for 50 sold-out concerts in London. Concert prompter AEG says Jackson passed a five-hour medical exam. The friend is also sharing new details on what he says was Jackson’s addiction to prescription drugs.

And, we have a 360º follow from Gary Tuchman. He’s traveled to a small town in Mexico where two Americans who were members of polygamist sect have been shot and killed by drug cartels this week. The victims’ families share their emotional story. They talk about how 25 commandoes in camouflage ran up to their house - and the chaos and heartache that followed.

Also tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta teams up with activist and lawyer Erin Brockovich for a stunning report out of a small town in Tennessee. In December, one billion gallons of oil mixed with toxic sludge spilled over 300 acres. It’s the largest environmental disaster in U.S. Yes, bigger than the Exxon Valdez disaster. Who’s to blame? And, what’s being done to clean up the mess? We’re keeping them honest.

From Ghana to L.A. to Mexico to Tennessee, we give you a 360º view of the world tonight. See you at 10pm ET!

Filed under: Africa • Michael Jackson • President Barack Obama • The Buzz
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Tell The Fact

    Anderson...Great Job. I Think you should find out what was above the dungeon – i.e. the floor above where the slaves where kept – during the slave trade. You would be shocked.

    July 11, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  2. ferdie

    As a Ghanaian, it is a pleasure to see Obama visit Ghana. I am sure it will not be his last. Even better, is the fact that he took his children, because that is the legacy that will linger the longest. They will love it, feel empowered, and someday return to impact the world. I think exposing our children to other cultures at an early age, is what brings the world together fastest. One small step for Obama, a Giant one for humankind.

    July 11, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  3. yosef

    Pres. Obama was very wise to choose Ghana because unlike Eritrea it has a decent Human rights record. It sends a very strong message to dictators and corrupt officials.

    July 11, 2009 at 12:04 am |
  4. taami

    I don't understand the promos that are running on CNN about President Obama's trip to Ghana. The promos make it sound like it's his first trip to Africa. But he was in Egypt in June and made a historic speech from Cairo. Why is CNN trying to pretend that Egypt isn't part of the African continent?

    July 11, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  5. yosef

    I wanted to thank Anderson for all of his hard work and dedication and understanding of various issues. One thing I would like mention in Anderson s interview of Obama in Ghana is Eritrea's human rights record and about the role Aid has played in conflicts and internal politics in Africa.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  6. taami

    I don't get the promos that are running on this visit. This is not President Obama's first trip to Africa. He was in Egypt a month ago. Why are is CNN trying to pretend Egypt isn't on the African continent?

    July 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  7. Pachelia

    Hello Anderson,
    I can't wait to see your interview with President Obama. I like to ask President Obama about his plans and vision for Africa. Would the US help African's leaders taking off guns from the hands of children? The US is the world leading arms supplier to Africans nations. What can he do to stop the guns distribution by the US to Africa?

    July 10, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  8. JKF

    Crimes against humanity have occurred for thousands of years and certainly, the slave trade that occurred for hundreds of years resulting in the involuntary enslavement of Africans is yet another blight on history. For those African-Americans who are descended from slaves who helped to build this country, is it possible to offer thanks to your ancestors for enduring the hardships that allowed you to be born in this country which is truly, the greatest country in the world? Is it possible to think of what life in America is like compared to many of the countries where the slaves were taken away? Certainly, I am not justifying the institution of slavery, but rather, celebrating the contributions that their descendents have made to making the world free for most people ~ but certainly for all Americans, regardless of ones roots.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  9. Dora

    Anderson, Could you ask President Obama to discuss the idea of reparations for the abuse for those African Americans who can trace their ancestry to the slave trade?

    July 10, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  10. stan

    I am a american living in usa my foreparents were from africa.Ive been to cape coast castle as well as goree island in senegal .As well as the castle at elima in ghana.Im glad finally somebody is showing the horrors that were done to africans.The jews show their holocast and remind everyone.But nobody says anything anout the 25 fort castles that africans were imprisioned in before they were shipped.Our film makers rather make films on thugs and booty call movies instead of showing people the real history.I wish they would show what happened to africans before they exported because of money.Oddly enough there is a fort in downtown accra thats afircans were imprisioned in before they were exported and today its used for a prision. I wish new makers would pay more attention to the history of black people and the truth of what happened instead of being obessed with michael jackson and the things that happened to him.Let the man and the family rest .They have had a horrible thing to go through give them peace.Ive been to african and i love ghana.I wish every american of african descent would go there and then they find what home really feels like.When we went there we had lot of ghanians talking to us wanting to learn what america is about.And the first time I went i talked so much my voice left me.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  11. Gwinyai P

    Greetings Anderson,

    In response to the prompt to pose a question to President Obama, wouldyou please ask him the following:

    Given the precedent of dramatic and necessary changes within the US financial system during the last year and a half, what changes with regards to the legacy of un-workable financial and trade arragnements will be made by the US towards Africa?

    July 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  12. Divine Rebel

    It was sad for me at at Basic training when all they ask if i do run and live with monkeysand HIV AIDS. because i they know about Africa was Discovery Channel.
    Africa is not all about hunger and poverty.


    July 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  13. Arnell Kithcart

    Hey Anderson,
    Don't forget to check out the Teshi village (chief Nicholas), downtown Accra. We were there on Medical mission trip March 14 – 25, 2009.
    the scenes will make you cry, given the fact that the village is just down the street from the Presidents house.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  14. joseph adotey

    I know president Obama will be very emotional when he visits the castle .The first lady and the kids will definately weep. All afrcan americans should visit Ghana and see those castles it would definately change their lives.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  15. Ben

    Can you please show the nice places in Ghana we are fed up of seeing the ugly places of Africa all the time.
    Let the Americans stop asking questions" if we live of tress.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  16. Sam

    Hi AC, Glad to see you doing a report from the historical site. I plan on taking a few African-Americans next Panafest (2011)

    July 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  17. Ernest Kabiswa

    The last time I looked at a world map Egypt was and is on the continent of Africa. When CNN says “the first African American President visits African” (Ghana in particle) this is categorically wrong mainly because President Obama was in Cairo, which is in Egypt, and is still on the African continent this past June.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  18. Meti

    In CNN, Is there any one who knows Egypt is in Africa? Since yesterday, I keep hearing you guys saying this is President Obama's first visit to Africa. This is wrong. After he has been a president ,I know he visited Egypt.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  19. Akua Pokuaa

    be sure not to focus on the immense poverty Ghana is a second class country and there is soo much to see and discover – Tema, Trassaco Valley, Osu, and the list could go on !

    July 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  20. AJ Detroit

    Great job Anderson and Donna,

    Anderson ask the president, what has he done to protect the civil rights of the African American descendants of the salves who were shipped from Ghana since he has been elected President.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  21. Judith, Mississauga, Canada

    Keep up the good work AC, I'm your biggest fan

    July 10, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  22. Walter

    Finally. the Africans who were shipped across the Atlantic will be heard. Hopefully, the British, Dutch and other European nations will admit their role in this awful crime. Let's stop call it a trade, it was a crime against humanity

    July 10, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  23. Aliciarenea

    What, if anything has he done to protect the civil rights of the African American descendants of the salves who were shipped from Ghana since he has been elected President.

    Black American Independent former supporter, now disappointed swing voter.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  24. Dena

    Having visited both the Elmina and British slave castles as a business grad student in 1994, I was completely overwhelmed with mix emotions. You have on one hand this thriving fishing town along side a beautiful white sandy beach coastline. Yet, inside the haunting castles were slaves that were standing in the their own feces 24/7. Why? All for economic strength. It blew me away. I prayed that one day the story would be told on a broader American level. Thank you CNN.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  25. ryan kim

    Story from Ghana is sad but the history we all need to learn and remember.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  26. Edward Boakye

    I am Ghanaian base in Virginia, I am glad AC you are reporting from the motherland. I watch your show all the time and you make me feel home.Keep the good work you have been doing.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  27. Elaine

    Question re: Randi Kaye's MJ Story

    She stated AEG Live concert promoters say MJ "passed" a five-hour physical – we keep hearing that over and over again.

    Who administered this physical?

    The same doctor with him when he died...Dr. Conrad Murray?

    That would explain ALOT!

    Thank you!

    July 10, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  28. Louise Lelievre

    Now just how lucky is one to get an interview with President Obama and .. ...in Africa? how on earth does one get such an interview? What will be the main focus of the interview? Louise, Canadian American who lived in LA for 13 years fascinated by the change under President Obama.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  29. Abena Bondah

    @ Susan

    Anderson will come back safe. If there's any safer place you can be right now, it's Ghana.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  30. wonsier

    hi i'm from africa and i'm so happy that the obama are going to ghana i will like to know went will he go liberia that where i'm from their are so many thing that is not right in liberia and you pleace help us

    July 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  31. Missy


    I am also happy that Anderson has received a chance again to visit this continent. However, I think Soledad O'Brien or Don Lemon would have been excellent choices, and not because they are African American (actually I am uncertain if Soledad is part African American) but nevertheless they are both excellent reporters/journalists. Just thought they should have a chance at interviewing the president in Africa as well.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  32. Abena Bondah

    grew up in Ghana, attended high school and Cape Coast and also spent 4 years at the University of Cape Coast and then relocated to the US a few years ago. I am really proud of America and the President for such an honor to choose my country out of the 48 African countries. I am also happy to know that Donna Brazile has taken the journey through the fortress at Cape Coast. She definitely recounted her experience in all facts as I spent countless times visiting those castles and writing articles on them.

    It’s an incredible but emotional experience because everything feels so real and feels like it’s happening all over again. Anyone who visits Ghana should try and visit Cape Coast and Elimina. Ghanaians are very hospitable and genuine and welcome every good heart into the counrty. Long live America! Long live Ghana!

    July 10, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  33. Hanna Raymer

    Thank you Anderson!

    July 10, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  34. Missie

    stay cool; get plenty of H2O

    July 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  35. Marge

    The largest environmental disaster in the history of the US took place 50 years ago in Simi Valley, California. It was a partial nuclear meltdown in a Sodium Reactor, on a 2900 acre facility owned by Rocketdyne and NASA. Lacking any containment structure, radioactive substances were vented out all over the San Fernando Valley for two weeks, and substances like napalm were burned in several pits, thereafter, spreading more toxic substances far and wide in the wind. There were 10 nuclear reactors and also 50,000 rocket engine tests carried out under governement contract.
    This nuclear disaster is considered to be 250 times larger than that of Three MIle Island, and there have been numerous cancer cases resulting. July 13 will be the 50th anniversary of this disaster, and there has still not been a cleanup. Concerned citizens and activist are working hard to ensure a clean up that will reach high standards.
    This would really make an outstanding story for CNN to do.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  36. stephanie


    Enjoy Ghana! The best part of the country is the people – they have lovely souls.

    Also, enjoy the Smithsonian exhibit in Cape Coast. Make note of the excavation in the male slave quarters, and the double door and room for those male slaves which were unruly. You can almost put your hands on the wall and feel the spirit of those who have passed through those portals. I had the opportunity to visit the castle with a dentist from Georgia who knew his family ancestry was through this particular portal. I was able to witness the difficulty and the tears of this man, and the realization that our most of our African-American citizens share a similiar history. Only the strong survived to make it to the shores of the New Americas. I wish for every American who ever has a dark thought regarding race the opportunity to stand where you are standing today. It changes you forever...an experience that we all should be exposed. Interestingly, I also was in attendence with physicians from Nigeria, and interestingly, their experience was similiar to mine – one step removed, obviously their family ancestry was not linked to the slave trade like those with us. I wonder if President Obama's experience is similiar or is a hybrid experience, a blend of the more recent African immigrant and that of his wife's experience. Stay safe, and eat the plantains!

    July 10, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  37. vpn

    While Anderson and CNN are reporting from Ghana and Elmina Castle, please remember that President Obama has no connection with slavery. True, his wife is a descendant of enslaved Africans and I am sure he relates to the experience of those who are descendants, but, we must be careful that we correctly identify his relationship to the continent. He is a true African-American, though.

    Additionally, I wish that reporters would refrain from calling the Africans still on the continent "slaves". Nobody went to Africa and found "slaves", they were Africans.

    July 10, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  38. Christian Boakye

    Looking forward to Anderson's reports from Ghana devoid of negative trivialities like trying to depicts Ghanaians and as such Africans as people without cloths, shelter and are famished.
    So far, great job for showing the world the monumental edifice representing one of the world's darkest days – slave trade! Am proud of the level of welcome President Obama is getting in Ghana. Great work Ghana – for making Africa proud!

    July 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  39. karen swanson

    i condem all that took part in the slave trade, but am i wrong in learning that most of the slaves from africa were sold by their elders, chief of their tribes?we still have the slave trade, some of us are just sick. not everyone owned a slave and now alot do not pertake in the current slave trade. england slaughter most of europe and asia. the spainish slaughtered incas and astecs, europeans and americans slaughtered the american indians. so its not just us white guys, its hispanic, black and all races. what are the blacks doing in africa now? killing other blacks. what are the blacks on the streets doing killing other blacks. what is happing in mexico they are kiiling each other. lets figure out why and deal with instead of blaming?and white just become serial killers or kill thier wives and kids, dog , cats, guyt who cut them off. all of us are wrong lets figure it out asd get it right

    July 10, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  40. Edwina Abloh

    I am very interested in the piece about Ghana. My family is from there and I have been there several times. I have been to Elmina Castle and it is a very emotional and life changing experience. Everyone needs to go on that journey sometime in there life.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  41. Susan N

    Does anyone know if they will visit Kenya?

    July 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  42. Peggy

    The streets of Accra have no doubt been incredibly cleaned up. Beggars are now selling American flags instead of toilet paper. The people are Poor and Hungry and the govt. is corrupt. Anderson should ask Pres. Obama about Buduburum where the UN has crowded thousands of Liberian refugees. The people have no food, no potable water. It is hell there.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  43. Bulou

    What an interesting piece of history .. looking forward to hear more about the Ghana story.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  44. Nana Adwoa

    I await AC's report on the President's experience in Ghana and to the Elmina Castle. This is such a monumental period in the lives of Ghanaian. I only wish I was there to witness it and probably even give the President a tour of the slave site. See I am a Ghanaian femaLe living in the US and we appreciate the US president, the first ever black American president fellowshipping with the only-chosen African country. Its truly an honor and hopefully this will put my country back on the map!

    Obama we welcome you to Ghana

    July 10, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  45. Ida-Maisie Famiyeh

    I always wanted to know more about slave trade, because its so hard to imagine an incident like that taking place. I believe Anderson would provide a great report

    July 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  46. Susan Epps

    Glad AC's doing a slave castle piece! Kokomon Clottey, originally from Accra, & his wife Aeeshah, counsellors & musicians in Oakland CA, have taken Americans there to do ancestral healing right in the slave castles. Powerful stuff.

    Come home safe, Anderson!

    July 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  47. SpicaSeven

    CNN- Thank you so very much for bringing this story the light, my God we need to our past if we want to know where we are going in the future. The pictures are amazing to see and to hear the words used to describe what you are feeling and smelling, overwhelms me greatly.

    Peace be with you, travel safe. SS

    July 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  48. odooma

    Hei Anderson,
    I think you are doing a great job. I am ghanaian in atlanta loving your report. I see you are at Elmina and I must say it is a lovely place. Can you visit the Kakum National Park (Rainforest) as well as the Botanical Garden so you can report on those too. They are all in Cape Coast by the University.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  49. CHF

    Hey Anderson,

    I am glad you are in Ghana. I live in Los Angeles but I am originally from Ghana. I watch your show all the time and I am happy to see you in Ghana. Enjoy your visit!!

    July 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    Looking forward to Anderson's reports from Ghana. And the report from Tennessee too – I had hoped you all would eventually report on that situation. Sounds like a good program.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
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