July 16th, 2009
10:43 AM ET

Morning Buzz: At home in Ghana, the Pres makes history and the final frontier

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.ghana.aa.woman.jpg caption="Anderson speaks with Imahkus Okofo, a former resident of America who moved to Ghana over 15 years ago to lead education efforts on the slavery history of Ghana."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

When Anderson met up with the President in Ghana this past weekend, he ran into African Americans who have taken up permanent residence in Ghana. One woman, from New York, went to visit Ghana 20 years ago and was so moved by the history of the region that she never left. She started a guest house where many African Americans go to visit. She guides them through what can often be an emotional visit to places like the Cape Coast Castle, which was once a dungeon for enslaved Africans bound for the western hemisphere.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us more about what many consider to be modern-day slavery in Haiti. He went to look into the lives of Restaveks – young children whose poverty-stricken parents send them to live with families in urban areas. The children work as domestic servants in exchange for food and shelter. But the reality for the majority of these children is grim. Watch his report about a day in the life of a Restavek tonight.

The President makes history today as the first African American President to address the NAACP. The organization is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. Does the NAACP continue to be as relevant as it once was? How do you think it will evolve? CNN will be tweeting from the convention and we’ll link to it on our site.

More details continue to unfold in the murder case in Florida. Authorities are now charging an eighth person, Pamela Long Wiggins, in connection with the slaying of Byrd and Melanie Billings, a couple who adopted special-needs children. Many investigators, including members from the DEA, are involved. We’re monitoring this story closely and will keep you posted tonight.

We’re following the fourth day of confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor on Capitol Hill today. Yesterday, she seemed to dodge questions about her personal beliefs but was adamant about her adherence to the law. Two New Haven firefighters will testify today – given Judge Sotomayor’s decision on the New Haven firefighter’s case, it will be interesting to hear their remarks.

The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off into orbit last night and on this date 40 years ago Apollo 11 launched into space. Are you old enough to remember where you were on that day in 1969? What are your hopes for the space program?

What else are you following today? Let us know and tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Veronica

    Will the AC360 segment from Ghana that was suppose to air on 07/17/09 at 10:00 pm be shown at a later date? Is there any way I can get a copy of it. My daughter Taylor Stewart was interviewed for that segment. Please advise.

    July 29, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  2. Monique Plummer

    I am glad that President Obama took his family to Africa. It is essential that our leader interact positively with other countries. I believe if Americans would stop acting like they are better than everyone else, our country would be seen in a better light.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  3. Carolyn Jones - Hawthorne, California

    On Africa; I realize it is hard for others to realize why an Afro-American would move to Africa – to sum it up – we do not have heritage in America – here we are on the "lowest" of status poles – no matter the education; we are always considered last every immigrant who arrives in America is placed above us.

    In Africa, we become equal – we become one – we are able to see heritage.

    July 16, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  4. Barbara Reyes-Sims

    I believe President Obama should be paying more attention to the sad situation this country of ours is, and the deem future it faces. The stimulus plan seems to have never reached the dire people that are in so much need in the State of Florida. The President should talk to the people, not to the bunch of criminals so called city government that run this State. He should go to the people, those people who have no jobs, no hopes, and are destitute–it is time to stop traveling here and there and worrying about other countries and focus his energy in this country of ours, which in my humble is on its way to become a third world country in a not too far future. Thank you.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  5. Eugenia - San Francisco, Ca

    These sightings are significant because they come from places so far south. When noctilucent clouds first appeared in the late 19th century, they were confined to latitudes above 50o N (usually far above). The latitude of last night's Colorado sighting is only 39° N. No one knows why NLCs are expanding their range; it's one of many unanswered questions about the mysterious clouds.

    Things like this should not be ignored, it means something!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  6. Tammy, Houma, LA

    The interview sounds interesting. It takes a lot of dedication to move away and become the voice of something so important. Pretty inspiring and I haven't even heard her yet.

    I have photos my parents took of the first moon landing on TV. I was one year, three months old when it happened. My parents claimed I was watching it with them. Not that I remember. The space program needs to continue with exploration and research to understand earth and our relation to the vastness that is so much bigger.

    Still watching the situation in Honduras. I heard the curfew was put back in place. Updates, please.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  7. Theresa, Des Moines, IA

    I'm interested in hearing more about the Restaveks. Dr. Gupta's report earlier this week was informative. It's troubling that this kind of state sponsored child abuse can occur so close to the United States.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  8. Cindy

    I'm really looking forward to seeing Anderson's interview with Ms. Okofo. I found the small portion of what was shown last night to be very touching. It seems as if she was and still is very moved by the castle and the history of that place.

    It is sad that still in this day and age that we still have people treated so ridiculously and most of us just turn a blind eye to it. We could easily eradicated slavery if we just stood up to it united as a world but we don't for some ungodly reason. Looking forward to seeing more from Sanjay tonight.


    July 16, 2009 at 10:58 am |

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