May 6th, 2010
02:44 PM ET

Reporter's Notebook: "Exxon Valdez revisited"

Dan Simon | BIO
CNN Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/06/large_cordova,.ak.3.copy.jpg caption="Simon: we headed north to Cordova, Alaska, a small fishing community most affected by the the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster" width=300 height=169]

With the oil leak in the Gulf, we wanted to see what things are like two decades after the worst spill in U.S. history. So we headed north to Cordova, Alaska, a small fishing community most affected by the the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.

It’s clear the community is still living with the aftermath. Residents tell us the financial and emotional stress brought on by the spill resulted in divorces, suicides and alcoholism. We spent some time with a guy named John Platt. He’s a third generation commercial fishermen and says the last 21 years have been a nightmare. He and other fishermen here relied on the area’s booming herring fisheries. But a few years after the spill, the herring disappeared and haven’t returned since. Incomes plummeted. Platt says the misery nearly cost him his marriage. Last year, he got his final payout from Exxon-- about a half million dollars. That sounds like a lot of money, except most of it went to paying off liens for his fishing permits and boats.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/06/large_cordova,.ak.1.copy.jpg caption="Fisherman John Platts says the last 21 years have been a nightmare." width=300 height=169]

Cordova has a science center basically dedicated to the spill. When you walk in, visitors are greeted by several jars of oil. It’s residue from the spill. I was surprised to learn it can still be easily found. We got the sense that residents were grateful for the new round of publicity. They don’t want to be forgotten. As fisherman John Plott told me, “I think the general perception is that we were compensated a long time ago– that everything is rosy… that's not the case.” Indeed it isn’t.

See Dan's photo gallery here...

May 6th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Photo Gallery: Exxon Valdez revisited

Dan Simon | BIO
CNN Correspondent

With the oil leak in the Gulf, we wanted to see what things are like two decades after the worst spill in U.S. history. So we headed north to Cordova, Alaska, a small fishing community most affected by the the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. It’s clear the community is still living with the aftermath.

Cordova, Alaska fisherman John Platt still struggles daily with the effects, both financial and psychological, of the Exxon Valdez oil spill some 21 years later.


May 6th, 2010
02:06 PM ET
May 6th, 2010
12:34 PM ET
May 6th, 2010
11:50 AM ET

Oil spill costs: What will BP really pay?

Steve Hargreaves
Senior Writer, CNN Money.com

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2010/05/06/news/economy/BP_liability/oil_spill.gi.top.jpg caption="Alabama National Guard members worked this week on a containment barrier to protect the coastline from the leaking oil spill." width=300 height=169]

The Gulf oil spill is going to cost billions to clean up, a tab BP has publicly pledged to pay in full.

But thanks to the unpredictable nature of the oil slick and the legal maze surrounding maritime law, what BP will pay and to whom is very much an open question.

Start with the costs. Estimates to clean the spill and compensate other parties for the economic damage run from $2 billion to $14 billion. One politician even said it could run into the hundreds of billions.

The truth is that no one has any idea yet.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
May 6th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Stop profiling on terrorism and in Arizona

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/06/navarrette.profiling.others/tzleft.ruben.navarrette.sdut.jpg caption="Navarrette: Many people have no trouble condoning profiling when it's done to other groups" width=300 height=169]

Michael Bloomberg is out a quarter. That's how much New York's mayor, who has an estimated net worth north of $15 billion, wagered that he knew exactly what type of person would try to set off a car bomb in Times Square.

I'm sorry for Bloomberg's financial setback. But he can take comfort from the fact that he taught Americans a valuable and timely lesson about the dangers and limits of profiling.

The lesson: Profiling - especially of the racial and ethnic variety - isn't just wrong. It's also imperfect. It can lead police to focus on the wrong people while the right ones get away.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Opinion • Ruben Navarrette Jr.
May 6th, 2010
11:41 AM ET

Fate of 12-year-old killer?






Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

A jury in Detroit this week convicted a 13-year-old boy of a murder that he committed when he was 12.

Demarco Harris was found guilty of felony murder, armed robbery, and felony firearm and curfew violation. An earlier trial in January ended in a hung jury.

Harris shot to death Trisha Babcock, 24, last August 1 as she sat in a parked car. The defendant, who was 12 at the time, was attempting to rob Babcock when he shot her in the chest.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/21/art.crime.trish.babcock2.jpg caption="Steve Babcock holds a senior portrait of his daughter, Trisha Babcock, who was 24 when she was killed in Detroit on Aug. 1."]

"We believe that based upon the facts and evidence in this case that the jury reached the correct result," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy in a statement.

Harris, who is being held in a juvenile detention center, will be sentenced on June 1, the prosecutor's office said.

The judge has three options at the time of sentencing, Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, told CNN. She said Harris can be sentenced as a juvenile, sentenced to prison as an adult, or a combination of the two.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
May 6th, 2010
11:19 AM ET

How dome will cap oil spill

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/05/06/gulf.oil.spill/smlvid.oildome.cnn.jpg caption="Containment dome arrives on site above source of massive oil spill" width=300 height=169]

A four-story containment vessel arrived Thursday morning at the site of the Gulf of Mexico's gushing oil well, according to a spokesman for BP.

BP will attempt to lower the container onto a ruptured deep-water pipe later in the day, spokesman Mark Salt said.

"If all goes according to plan, we should begin the process of processing the fluid and stop the spilling to the sea on Monday," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer.

But he added: "It's very complex, and it will likely have challenges along the way."

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Tom Foreman
May 6th, 2010
10:45 AM ET
May 6th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Video: Still buying guns on terror watch list?

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

Filed under: Drew Griffin • Terrorism
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