February 26th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Video: Haiti slows relief supply flow

Soledad O'Brien | BIO
CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent

Haiti has imposed a new protocol that will slow the flow of earthquake relief supplies. CNN's Soledad O'Brien reports.

Filed under: Haiti • Haiti Earthquake • Soledad O'Brien
February 26th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Interactive: Primary care physicians by state

Kaiser State Health Facts

Data are for December 2008. U.S. total includes territories and persons from the Pacific Islands.

Nonfederal physicians represent 98% of total physicians. They are not employed by the federal government and include allopathic physicians (MDs) and osteopathic physicians (DOs). Data include retired and inactive doctors (approximately 12% of all nonfederal physicians.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
February 26th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Marvel at wild animals - from a distance

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/02/25/florida.seaworld.death/story.dawn.brancheau.cnn.jpg caption="Animal trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed Wednesday at SeaWorld Orlando." width=300 height=169]

Chris Palmer
Special to CNN

I've spent more than 25 years making wildlife films, many of them about powerful and dangerous predators such as killer whales. It is easy to see that in their own environments, little prevents such creatures from yielding to their natural impulses, as they should.

Wednesday's tragic accident at SeaWorld Orlando shows that we need to reconsider keeping wild animals in captivity for our entertainment and take a hard look at our own understanding of the natural world.

The stakes have been raised for those who argue that the pros of performing animals in captivity (protection and conservation of wild animals, public education) outweigh the cons (forcing animals into confinement, risking critical or fatal human injuries).

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
February 26th, 2010
03:10 PM ET

Biologists: Killer whales 'neurotic' in captivity

Trainers at SeaWorld are taught to reinforce the whales' good behavior with rewards and to not react at all to bad behavior.

Elizabeth Landau

Killer whales can weigh up to 22,000 pounds, and may be as long as 32 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They often travel in groups of up to 50, being highly social.

Confining such an enormous animal in an aquarium tank leads the animal to display neurotic behavior, experts say.

"They get very stressed out," marine biologist Nancy Black of Monterey Bay Whale Watch said on CNN's "Larry King Live."

SeaWorld whale trainer Dawn Brancheau, 40, died Wednesday from "multiple traumatic injuries and drowning" after a whale called Tilikum grabbed her ponytail and pulled her underwater at Shamu Stadium, the Orange County Sheriff's office said Thursday.

An orca can travel easily 100 nautical miles every day, and to put them in a pool where they swim around in circles continually, and kept away from their families, "takes a toll on their brains," said Jim Borrowman, who has worked with whales for 30 years and runs Stubbs Island Whale Watching on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
February 26th, 2010
03:04 PM ET

Afghan leader Karzai is playing games

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/20/afghanistan.election.fraud/art.karzai.afp.gi.jpg caption=" Afghan President Hamid Karzai, here in the photo, has long been considered by his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai to be an American puppet."]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

Coalition forces have scored gains on the Afghan battlefield. Taliban leaders are on the run in neighboring Pakistan. But there's no sign of political progress in Afghanistan, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

He said Afghan President Hamid Karzai's assertion of control this week over a watchdog group that seeks to ensure fair elections is "just one more reminder that we have a very difficult alliance with Karzai."

Zakaria said, "You notice that even though the coalition gave Karzai enormous control over the military operations in Marjah, he has yet to publicly endorse them. He has twice publicly criticized them for civilian casualties without pointing out that the Taliban makes conscious use of civilians as human shields. So overall his recent actions have all reminded us that he is playing political games rather than providing real leadership."

NATO-led and Afghan troops have gained ground in a major offensive in the southern province of Helmand, but also have stirred protests about civilian casualties that are believed to have claimed more than 50 lives in two weeks. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal apologized for an airstrike in which 27 civilians were killed.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Fareed Zakaria
February 26th, 2010
03:01 PM ET

Welcome to D.C.! Passport, please

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/22/art.capitol.dome.cnn.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

I spent the week in Austin amid barbeques, Longhorn fans, and strangers who greeted me more warmly than some of my friends do. Of course that’s to be expected. My friends know me. Nonetheless I was struck by how very odd the shenanigans in Washington, D.C., must look to someone from another country. For example, America.

It does appear at times that we and our leaders live in utterly different worlds. Our latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found overwhelming numbers of us think our government is broken, and almost 60 percent are not even happy with how our democracy itself is working. I suspect that’s partially because the Capitol power crowd so often ignores our calls for action on important issues as if we are babbling in Czech.

Polls say most Americans are now ok with gays in the military, for instance, but for some reason that can’t be settled. On the other hand, the same polls (or others like them) show most Americans are worried about the provisions in health care reform legislation, and yet there is a hell-for-leather effort to jam it through.


February 26th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

Red tape, bad traffic, no power: 'That's Haiti'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/02/24/obrien.haiti.notebook/story.line.haiti.cnn.jpg caption="People line up for food in Port-au-Prince, Haiti." width=300 height=169]

Soledad O'Brien and Rose Arce

You hear it all the time in Port-au-Prince: "That's Haiti," people tell you when things move slowly, when the electricity goes off or traffic mysteriously comes to a halt. Some say it was like that even before a devastating earthquake reduced most homes to a few hours of power from a generator and made some streets impossible to pass.

Today we followed a group of American relief workers to the airport to pick up several tons of donations. They were expecting tents, food, heavy equipment to help them rebuild and repair. Relief supplies had been flowing freely from the airport since the earthquake. Rescue workers had been able to avoid customs delays and taxes imposed on foreign imports.

But when we arrived at the airport, the whole system had been upended. A doctor from Milwaukee was screaming through a fence at customs officials. She had come for six days with plans to treat 300 patients a day. She had been in Haiti three days and her medicine was still being held. "We were bringing in medical equipment as well as medicines and we have nothing. We don't have anything to see the patients we're supposed to see," she said.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
February 26th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Dear President Obama #403: Bored? Yeah, me too

Reporter's Note: President Obama spent a day listening to his fellow Democrats and Republicans talk about health care. Hmm…I thought he was against torture? I suppose if he can endure that, he can put up with another one of my letters.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.obama2.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

So how do you think the big health care summit went? From the outside, I guess I’d give it a C. No offense. Not a reflection on you. It’s just so hard to get the Washington crowd on board for any kind of reasonable chat. Seriously, I think I’d rather run naked through a cactus patch than be stuck at a party with that bunch.

I can’t even write about it without nodding off.

Here is an idea, you being sort of the tech president and all: Next time have a laptop in front of you. Tell everyone it’s for access to important information, or insurance amortization tables, or the webcam in the CBO’s kitchen. Whatever. Anyway, just let it sit there for a while, and then when Boehner starts droning away about something, or Pelosi goes off on one of her rants, you can knit your brow and start clicking like you’re really looking into what they have to say.

But in reality you’ll be checking Facebook (have you friended me yet?), going on The Onion site, ordering clothes from J. Crew, or even YouTubing. BTW- you’d better score some discreet earbuds if you are going to check out videos; if you accidentally tip off the crowd , they’ll all get into it. You know how they are. Can’t you just imagine McCain? “Hey, Mr. President, check out this link. It’s a singing dog! Hey, you want to go on the e-Bay?”


February 26th, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Free the killer whale

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/02/25/florida.seaworld.death/story.dawn.brancheau.cnn.jpg caption="Animal trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed Wednesday at SeaWorld Orlando." width=300 height=169]

Jane Velez-Mitchell

When it comes to animal exploitation - follow the money. Using animals for entertainment is big business, plain and simple. The killer whale Tilikum has helped SeaWorld sell millions of dollars worth of tickets.

In the process this highly intelligent, social creature has gone through what we can only assume is hell. The hell is called confinement. Veteran whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed February 22 when the 12,300-pound killer whale dragged her into a tank at the park and held her underwater long enough to drown her. It happened in front of a crowd, just as she was rubbing the whale after a show.

As talking heads debate this avoidable tragedy, few pause to reflect on where it all started. It began in the oceans off Iceland. That's where Tilikum was born. He was born free, free to swim up to 100 miles a day, as killer whales are known to do in the wild.

His idyllic life turned into a living hell in 1983. That's when he was captured. Capture of a wild animal is invariably traumatic. He was put in a small pen. After a stint in a Canadian aquarium that ended in tragedy when a trainer was killed by Tilikum and two other whales, the animal was transferred to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
February 26th, 2010
11:22 AM ET

Scandal over Paterson aide


Did New Jersey Governor David Paterson abuse power to help an aide accused of domestic abuse? CNN's Mary Snow reports.

Filed under: Mary Snow
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