June 9th, 2010
12:48 PM ET

Children's quality of life declining, says report

Elizabeth Landau

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/06/08/children.wellbeing/t1larg.homeless.gi.jpg caption="About 21 percent of U.S. children will be living below the poverty line in 2010" width=300 height=169]

About 21 percent of children in the United States will be living below the poverty line in 2010, the highest rate in 20 years, according to a new analysis of children's well-being released Tuesday.

The study, funded by the private philanthropy Foundation for Child Development, found that families' economic well-being has plummeted to near 1975 levels, said Kenneth Land, project coordinator and professor of sociology and demography at Duke University.

"Virtually all of that progress is wiped out through job losses, through declines in real income, and other aspects of family economic well-being," Land said.

The Child and Youth Well-Being Index Project at Duke University bases its predictions on 28 indicators of well-being that encompass economic well-being, safe and risky behavior, social relationships, emotional and spiritual well-being, community engagement, educational attainment and health. Researchers predict that although the index is at a low for the decade this year, it will start edging up.

"There are lots of kids out there whose quality of life has already and will decline as a result of the impact of this recession," Land said.

About 15.6 million children are estimated to be living in poverty this year, but study authors say this number will start going down.

This year, as many as 500,000 children may be homeless in the United States, according to the report.

Children living in families in which neither parent has secure employment will rise to about 20 million this year, up 4 percent from 2006.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Economy
June 9th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

Opinion: Drone war hitting its targets

Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/09/bergen.drone.war/tzleft.split.bergen.tiedemann.courtesy.jpg caption="Co-authors say data shows drone strikes getting more accurate, killing fewer civilians" width=300 height=169]

Last week the U.N.'s senior official for extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, argued in a critical report and remarks delivered in Geneva, Switzerland, that the United States should explain the legal rationale for the CIA's campaign of drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, which he characterized as "a vaguely defined license to kill" that has created "a major accountability vacuum."

Alston is also urging the Obama administration to disclose the number of civilians killed in the drone strikes. That is a controversial matter among the Pakistani public, less than a tenth of whom support the strikes, because of their perceived high civilian death rate.

The drones' latest important victim is Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an Egyptian founding member of al-Qaeda who served as the group's number three and was in charge of overseeing the group's plots, recruitment, fund-raising and internal security.

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June 9th, 2010
12:31 PM ET

Opinion: Our lack of attention is killing the oceans

Chevy Chase and Jayni Chase
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/08/chase.oceans.day/tzleft.chase.chevy.gi.jpg caption="The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface, and we hardly know anything about it." width=300 height=169]

These past six weeks, we've been thinking a lot about the ocean.

But there's a deeper story than this one oil spill. Unfortunately the Deepwater Horizon disaster is a pretty typical example of the way we think about the ocean: We just don't worry about stuff that happens out there.

The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface, and we hardly know anything about it. We humans are creating big problems because of what we don't know.

We take fish from the ocean to eat without really knowing where they came from, or what they eat, or how many of them there are, or if we're maybe taking the last one. We dump whatever we like in the ocean and watch it float away - to where? Who cares?

The ocean is a massive, unexplored area of our planet, and in the U.S., we spend less on getting to know it than we spend on getting to know outer space.

And our lack of attention is showing. Ocean fish are shrinking in size from year to year; coral reefs are being scraped away, and glorious ocean habitats are dying. But because it happens in the blank blue part of the globe, we don't hear about it or if we do, we don't pay attention.

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Filed under: Opinion
June 9th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

At wildlife rehab center, oiled pelicans get a second chance

Dugald McConnell

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/video/us/2010/06/09/todd.pelican.rescue.station.cnn.640×360.jpg caption="Workers are planning to build more receiving pens to handle increased influx of birds."]

Buras, Louisiana– The sign out front points the way: birds, please enter to the right; humans, enter on the left.

Huddled in a pen and covered in brown streaks of oil, a dozen pelicans await treatment after exposure to the pools of crude on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Increasing numbers of birds are arriving at the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in this coastal Louisiana town as the environmental disaster in the Gulf stretches on. At least 50 birds were treated on Tuesday alone.

Wildlife workers say the birds get oiled when diving for fish. Their efforts at preening sometimes worsen the coating of crude on their feathers.

The lucky ones are found by state workers and volunteers in time to save their lives.

"The animals that are coming in are covered in oil," the center's Rebecca Dunne says. "But they are pretty healthy animals. So that makes us feel like like we have a chance to save them. We have been pretty successful so far."

While around 200 birds have been dead on arrival at the center, so far none of the 400 birds brought in alive have died.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Dugald McConnell • Gulf Oil Spill
June 9th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Women sweep high-profile races in Tuesday primaries


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/video/politics/2010/06/09/am.women.win.big.primaries.cnn.576×324.jpg caption="Women win big in primaries" width=300 height=169]

Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas won the Democratic primary Tuesday, beating back a challenge from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, whose campaign was fueled by unions and liberal activists.

Voters in 12 states held primary elections Tuesday night, but the outcomes of two contests in South Carolina will be delayed by another two weeks. A runoff will be held June 22 for the Republican gubernatorial nomination as well as for a GOP congressional seat in the northern part of the state.

California Republican voters chose two women to vie for two of the state's highest offices: Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman will face Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former governor, for the governor's office, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will take on Sen. Barbara Boxer for her seat.

And in Nevada, Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle beat the GOP establishment candidate to earn the right to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November.

At the same time, embattled Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, a Republican, became the state's first incumbent governor in 100 years to lose a primary race.

The South Carolina GOP gubernatorial contest captured national attention because of accusations of extramarital affairs.

The candidates are vying to succeed scandal-plagued Gov. Mark Sanford, a fellow Republican. A year after Sanford made national news for disappearing and then admitting to an affair with a woman from Argentina, allegations of infidelity surrounded state lawmaker Nikki Haley.

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Filed under: 2010 Elections • 360° Radar
June 9th, 2010
09:51 AM ET

Video: Hi-res video of oil leak released

Joe Johns | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Joe Johns
June 9th, 2010
09:44 AM ET

Video: How much oil is leaking?

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Tom Foreman
June 9th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

Letters to the President #506: 'Let my people go!'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TRAVEL/06/08/oil.spill.beaches/t1larg.pensacola.gi.jpg caption="Foreman: My advice? Turn loose the citizens of the Gulf; get behind their efforts; and don’t let anyone get in their way." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: President Obama is probably sick of hearing about spilled oil. Problem is, there are a lot of good people who are sick of it too, but they have no choice because it is in their backyard. Here’s my daily letter...

Dear Mr. President,

I’m down in New Orleans and trying not to be upset, but that’s like trying not to break my diet while here. (btw: Excellent po-boy for lunch, and good red beans and rice for supper!) Everywhere I go, folks are just shaking their heads over this whole oil spill mess: over BP, over your administration, over the sheer inconceivability that our country can’t handle this problem, even though we’ve gone to the moon, filled our homes with computers strong enough to run small airports, and survived the rise and fall of the leisure suit.

Worse, many Gulf residents say they are effectively being barred from doing anything to stop the advance of oil. How is that possible? Remember what happened after Katrina and 9/11 as well? The very clear message that we citizens were given by our government was that we should not count on the feds to come and save us when disaster strikes. We were told to buy duct tape, develop contingency plans, spay the dog, and stockpile food and water.

And yet here we have an actual catastrophe happening, and up and down the coast people are being told “Well now hold on. No, you can’t come up with your own plan to stop the oil even if there is no sign of us coming to help; no, you can’t rescue wildlife that is dying before your eyes, you have to wait for the professionals to do that (as if!) and no, you can’t rally your community to save itself from the spill, because it’s too risky, too hopeless, too something…”.


June 9th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

Gulf oil hearings continue on Capitol Hill

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/09/gulf.oil.spill/c1main.beachcleanup.gi.jpg caption="The House and Senate tackle issues ranging from safety and cleanup to liability" width=300 height=169]

Capitol Hill will be awash in oil disaster hearings Wednesday as the House and Senate tackle issues ranging from safety and cleanup to liability.

Three committees and two subcommittees will discuss matters related to the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico and the oil industry.

The hearings come as President Obama announced that he will make a fourth trip to the Gulf region next week and as environmental groups plan to hold a vigil later in June protesting offshore oil drilling.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
June 9th, 2010
01:45 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 6/8/10

Editor's Note: After Tuesday's show, feedback was overwhelmingly about the oil disaster. Many wrote in with their suggestion on how to stop the flow of oil into the gulf. Questions were asked about how much oil is still flowing now that the new video feed in HD is being shown. Viewers thanked Anderson for his “compassion and intelligence” as a journalist. What do you think?

Anderson, Can you please help put the new HD video into perspective by telling your audience the measurement of some part of the 'tube' such as a bolt or the diameter overall please. Its difficult to ascertain the scale otherwise.

It would be fitting to have circus music playing when talking about BP's handling of this disaster.

You are doing a great job covering the Gulf crisis. Your compassion and intelligence make you a good journalist. And thank you for having Billy Nungesser on your show. He is fantastic!


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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