Tonight on 360°, the firestorm that Arizona's new immigration law sparked. Lawmakers in at least five other states are now pushing for similar legislation, giving police the power to stop anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Critics saying they'll boycott Arizona. Plus, breaking news on the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and more.
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It's not what you expect to see in the Gulf of Mexico: a massive wall of flames and thick smoke. But that's what could happen as crews today began a last-ditch effort to burn up an oil spill before it hits land and potentially causes an environmental disaster. They did a test burn this evening. We expect to see the first video of the burn any minute now and we'll check in with Chad Meyers for breaking news details on how this dangerous work is being done.
The spill continues to grow as 42,000 gallons of oil leaks from an underwater well that was broken open when a drill rig exploded and sank last week. 11 workers are believed to have died in the blast. Their bodies have never been recovered.
The slick stretches for about 100 miles across the north-central gulf and is about 30 miles wide at some points.
It's within 16 miles of the mouth of the Mississippi, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.
Efforts to cap the well using remote-controlled submarines have failed. Louisiana officials fear the oil could reach the state's shoreline late Friday or early Saturday and damage shellfish and wildlife.
BP, which owns the oil well, is spending $6 million a day trying to control the spill. The company's CEO said today the explosion could have been prevented and he's putting them blame on the rig owner Transocean Ltd. A spokesman for Transocean has declined to respond to BP's comments. But Transocean's Vice President has said the oil rig had no signs of a problem before the blast.
We'll also take you inside a new adoption controversy tied to Russia. A Virginia couple is suing an adoption agency claiming they lied and deceived them. They say the boy they took home from Russia is severely ill and violent. They don't want to send him back to Russia. They want financial help to care for his special needs.
Also tonight, the rising costs of medical fraud. Harry Markopolos, the financial analyst who flagged the Bernie Madoff scam before anyone and was ignored, is now focusing on the health care industry.
Join us for these stories and much more tonight at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association
The United States spends more than $2 trillon on health care every year. Of that amount, NHCAA estimates conservatively that at least 3%–or more than $60 billion each year–is lost to fraud.
This loss directly impacts patients, taxpayers and government through higher heatlh care costs, insurance premiums and taxes. Additionally, health care fraud often hurts patients who may be subjected to unnecesary or unsafe procedures or who may be the victims of identity theft.
See tips from the NHCAA on how to spot fraud, how to stop it from taking place and how to report it here.
Police in Iowa have ruled the death of a college student found leaning over the side of a bridge as a homicide.
Benjamin Backstrom, who was a sophomore at Drake University, was “the victim of an off-campus crime,” said school President David Maxwell in a statement. “I want to express sincere condolences to the family and friends who shared in Ben’s life.”
According to investigators, a 911 call with a report that a man was learning over a bridge on Highway 65 outside of Indianola, Iowa, was reported early Tuesday morning.
Police officers who arrived at the scene transported Backstrom to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
We have received no official notification that adoptions of Russian orphans by Americans have been suspended, but it is clear the recent controversy has slowed down adoptions in some parts of the country.
The United States is sending a delegation to hold talks with Russian officials, now scheduled to take place on April 29 in Moscow. The United States plans to emphasize the importance of intercountry adoptions between our two countries, and will discuss our mutual concerns about how to better protect the welfare and rights of children and all parties involved in the intercountry adoption process.
Program Note: Be sure to watch AC360° at 10 p.m. ET. for our story on the rehabilitation of a child adopted from Russia with fetal alcohol syndrome.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. For more information on fetal alcohol syndrome, read NOFAS' fact sheet here.
Program Note: Adoption specialist Dr. Jane Aronson will speak about how to cope with a troubled adopted child tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET. as part of our story on the rehabilitation of a child adopted from Russia with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Worldwide Orphans Foundation
Dr. Jane Aronson's Worldwide Orphans Foundation addresses the medical and developmental needs of children living in orphanages abroad. As the Director of International Pediatric Health Services in New York, she treats adopted children both from inside the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about the work of the WWO and Dr. Aronson here.
A Border Patrol officer inspects vehicles this week at a checkpoint in Tombstone, Arizona, near the Mexican border.
Arizona State Legislature
See here for full details on the controversial SB1070 bill recently signed in Arizona, including an overview, a list of sponsors, proposed amendments and video clips of readings in the Arizona House and Senate.
Haiti will recover with the right international support, the UN said today.
Program Note: Don't miss actor Sean Penn, who will give us the latest on the battle to beat the rains in Haiti tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
The coming year will be a very challenging one for Haiti as it seeks to recover and rebuild from January’s tragic earthquake, but with the right international support the country can embark on a new era of stability and growth, the top United Nations official there said today.
“I believe the next 12 to 18 months are a period of great challenge and risk in Haiti, but one which we can help the Government to weather,” Edmond Mulet, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), told a Security Council meeting.