January 15th, 2010
03:42 PM ET

Control Room Report: Covering the Earthquake in Haiti

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Diana Miller
AC360° Line Producer

We go into the control room every night with a plan. But when we’re covering stories like the Earthquake in Haiti, nothing is certain. We’ve been on calls all day with Anderson, Sanjay Gupta, Gary Tuchman, and their producers. Satellite phones were constantly dropping in and out, feeds were coming in at the last minute, and live locations kept changing.

Last night as the show neared, we seemed to be in good shape. Anderson’s shot was up and by 9:45 p.m. we were just waiting for one more piece to feed in. The only problem was that it was Anderson’s lead piece. As the piece fed in we realized there was a problem. Only half of the audio was there.

Our lines coordinator, Brooke, was doing everything he could to solve the problem, but when we were five minutes away from the top of the show, we realized we wouldn’t have the piece ready in time. At the last minute, we moved Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s heart-wrenching story about an injured – but OK – 15 day-old baby up to the first spot and had editors scrambling to put Anderson’s piece together. There is nothing more frustrating for the producers on the ground than shooting all day, editing as quickly as possible, and then having something go wrong at the last minute. I heard the frustration in Anderson’s voice when he heard the piece wouldn’t make it in time, but in the end, the piece aired just a few minutes late, and the impact was as not mitigated at all.


Filed under: Diana Miller • Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Video: Haitian prison destroyed

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

Haiti and the aid puzzle

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

When the earth shook in Haiti, in addition to bringing down thousands of buildings and taking countless lives, it also brought up an old issue for American politicians. How much aid should they, can they, and will they send?

In the rush of early emotion, the answer seems simple: As much as is takes. But the U.S. government has grappled with this question since it first sent disaster assistance overseas after an earthquake hit Venezuela in 1812. And there are no easy answers. A study by the National Research Council decades ago defined many of the complex and competing interests, and there has been precious little change since.

President Obama, for example, must show enough interest, and send enough early aid to fulfill the long-standing American tradition of reaching out to others in distress. But simultaneously, political leaders have to recognize that domestic needs will soon enough come into play, especially in a tough economy like the one we face now. As weeks and months pass, voters who initially supported the relief will likely start grumbling about all the money and attention going to another land.


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Opinion • Raw Politics
January 15th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

TPS must be granted now for Haitian nationals in the U.S.

Editor's Note: Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

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Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D- FL)
Special to AC360°

The Haitian people are certainly no strangers to adversity. Haitians, both in Haiti and in our own country, have long suffered through natural destruction, persistent poverty, repressive regimes, and the inequitable policies of the United States. While I certainly applaud our government’s generous contributions of humanitarian aid and the administration’s decision to temporarily halt deportations, we must go further. This most recent disaster emphasizes the vital need for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals currently residing in the United States.

It is not enough for Haitians to know they will not be sent back until a future, arbitrary date. They must be afforded some protection and allowed to work while their nation regains some semblance of stability. TPS designation temporarily halts deportations and grants permission to work, allowing Haitians currently in the United States to contribute to their nation’s recovery until such time when it is safe for them to return home.

The Haitian Diaspora has always played a pivotal role in assisting Haiti. Many Haitians send remittances to support family and others travel home to lend their expertise toward economic development and humanitarian efforts. Designating Haiti under TPS status would preserve and increase these remittances – currently totaling approximately a third of Haiti’s GDP – which are vital for welfare, survival, and recovery.


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Orphanage: Adoption plan needed for Haitian children

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Melissa Gray

Foreign governments should urgently accept Haitian orphans on humanitarian grounds following this week's devastating earthquake, an orphanage director in Haiti and adoptive parents said Friday.

Emergency visas and passports could help push through adoptions that were stalled after the quake, and would open up beds for children who lost their parents in the disaster, said Dixie Bickel, director of God's Littlest Angels orphanage just outside Port-au-Prince.

Paperwork for adoptions that were under way when the earthquake hit Tuesday night may now be buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings and lost, said Bickel, whose orphanage cares for 152 children, including 84 babies.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Haiti
January 15th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Video: Quake hospital tour

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Filed under: 360° Radar • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
10:01 AM ET

Video: A successful rescue

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360 Correspondent

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Video: 'I'm very grateful'

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360 Correspondent

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti Earthquake
January 15th, 2010
09:59 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Rescue efforts continue

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Rescue efforts continue in earnest in Haiti today. Disaster and emergency experts warn that time is critical, as most people killed in an earthquake die within the first 72 hours.

So far the relief efforts have been chaotic due to a lack of resources and infrastructure. Emergency workers face a race against the clock to save people who are still trapped under the rubble. But as you saw in reports from Anderson, Gary Tuchman, Ivan Watson and Dr. Sanjay Gupta last night, there can still be some good news amid the devastation and tragedy. One woman trapped for 50 hours under the rubble was rescued and freed last night.

Today, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will arrive on the coast of Haiti, carrying 19 helicopters and 30 pallets of relief goods, according to an Air Force General. Between 2,000 and 5,000 U.S. Marines will help the international peacekeepers who have served as police in Haiti.


Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
January 15th, 2010
08:15 AM ET

Dear President Obama #361: Don't be timid in Haiti

Reporter's Note: President Obama continues to push for a strong and effective response to the tragedy in Haiti. And as I note in my daily letter to the White House; it can’t happen soon enough.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Here is something I have learned in chaotic situations, from war zones, to hurricanes, to earthquakes: There is almost nothing more dangerous and wasteful than uncoordinated effort. And right now, it appears that may be the biggest threat to the rescue in Haiti.

While it is wonderful to recognize the autonomy and input of the dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of agencies and governments weighing in with help, the situation appears to be crying out for decisive, strong leadership.

Here is the equation: Help, in the form of food, water, blankets, clothing, doctors, medical supplies, engineers and heavy equipment, is roaring toward Haiti in massive amounts; but it is in perilous danger of being stopped a scant few miles from the very people who are quite literally dying for it.


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