June 29th, 2010
09:47 PM ET

Skimmers Caught in Red Tape: Join the Live Chat

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A lot of people are asking why more skimmers aren't out in the Gulf helping clean up the oil. They're being blocked by red tape. We'll talk it over CNN analyst and New Orleans resident James Carville and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. Plus, an up close look at BP reporters. See how they're spinning the disaster.

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
June 29th, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Saving the Turtles

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, Anderson will be reporting from the Audubon Aquatic Center rehabilitation facility in New Orleans, where oiled turtles are nursed back to health.

The oil gushing into the Gulf can threaten the health of sea turtles, irritating their eyes and skin, and damaging their digestive, respiratory and immune systems. We'll give you an up close look at the work being done to save the sea creatures.

Back on the water, there are allegations that efforts to skim the oil is being slowed by red tape. There are 433 skimmers at work in the Gulf, according to The Times-Picayune. The specialized boats can separate oil from water, and come in many different sizes. The newspaper reports there are more than 1,600 available in the continental United States. So, why aren't more in the Gulf? The answer tonight on the program.

Meanwhile, the skimmers that are available are not allowed on the water due to rough seas. Tropical Storm Alex can be blamed from that development. Chad Myers will have the latest on the storm.

We're also tracking where oil is coming ashore. Tonight, the inlet into Florida's Pensacola Bay is closed as a six-square-mile patch of "dark red tar mats", some as large as 10 feet across, approach the area. There are also new reports of oil hitting land in Mississippi.

The mess is hurting so many people. We've told you about the impact on the fishermen. Tonight we'll talk about what this all means for restaurant owners. Anderson will talk with famed New Orleans chef Susan Spicer. She's suing BP on behalf of at least seven restaurant owners and seafood supplies, claiming the oil spill has damaged their businesses.

Join us for all this and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
June 29th, 2010
05:42 PM ET

Interactive: Using hair to protect a 'magical' place

Robert Johnson

In Fort Walton Beach, FL residents Barbra Johnson and Yente Sehman have organized local volunteers to produce thousands of booms using human and animal hair.

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 29th, 2010
05:13 PM ET

Tar balls reported on Mississippi mainland; Alex heads into Gulf

CNN Wire Staff

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(CNN) - Mississippi officials reported oily tar balls washing up on their mainland shores for the first time Sunday, as authorities throughout the Gulf Coast region kept a wary eye on Tropical Storm Alex.

"It has hit our shores," said Pascagoula, Mississippi, Mayor Robbie Maxwell, adding that tar balls washed up on a nearby stretch of beach during the afternoon Sunday.

"This is what we've been expecting. We had hoped and prayed we would somehow miss this, but it's hit us now. The good news is that for the last five or six weeks we've been preparing to attack it when it hit our shores, and that's exactly what we've done," Maxwell said.

A 23-person crew was out on the beach Sunday afternoon, collecting tar balls, he said.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 29th, 2010
04:58 PM ET

Gulf Coast beaches update

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(CNN) - The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has coastal states and visitors bureaus working hard to keep the public updated and reassure beach-bound travelers.

Here are some of the latest updates from destinations affected by the oil disaster:

Keep reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 29th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Beat 360° 6/29/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan answers questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the second day of her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill June 29, 2010 in Washington, DC. Kagan is U.S. President Barack Obama's second Supreme Court nominee since taking office. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
June 29th, 2010
02:38 PM ET

Donors help Florida animal shelter prep for oil

Katie Ross

When Chris Beatty got word about the oil spill in the Gulf, like many Floridians, she wanted to help - but she wanted to help in a very specific way.

Beatty runs an organization called the Florida Wild Mammal Association (FWMA) in Crawfordville, Florida. The organization houses injured and sick wildlife and nurses them back to health so that they can be released back into the wild. Working very closely with animals, she realized that the region's wildlife could be in serious danger because of the oil spill disaster.

The FWMA takes in over a thousand animals a year - possums, raccoons, deer and birds.

Seeing images of oiled birds and wildlife splashed across the news channels, Beatty wanted to be ready in case they were called upon to take in these animals.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 29th, 2010
02:34 PM ET

New Orleans chef Susan Spicer suing BP

Ashley Fantz
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Famed New Orleans chef Susan Spicer is suing BP on behalf of at least seven restaurant owners and seafood suppliers, claiming that the Gulf oil spill has damaged their businesses.

“I’m proud to be part of a resilient community,” she said. “I also feel strongly that [BP] needs to be held accountable for its negligence.”

Spicer is an icon in the food world. She’s been a Top Chef judge, a James Beard “Best Chef” winner and even inspired a character featured in the HBO’s series Treme, a drama about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Spicer spends her days between several of her Gulf bistros. Her acclaimed Dauphin Street restaurant, Bayona, serves grilled shrimp paired with black bean cake and oysters mixed with Italian sausage gratin with spinach. Her latest venture Mondo, a no nonsense family-style joint, began watering mouths in May with its signature fish tacos.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 29th, 2010
02:28 PM ET

Success in Afghanistan? Not by 2011

Michael Semple
Special to CNN
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The day of the Gen. McChrystal mea culpa last week, an Afghan friend of mine, whom we can call Osman, drove from Kandahar city to his native village. A group of Taliban stopped the car and demanded to search Osman and his companions.

This search has become a fact of life since the movement re-established its control over villages in Panjwai, a district in Kandahar province. The head of the armed group was the 20-year-old son of Osman's tenant farmer. Not far below a superficial politeness, the young Talib fighter deliberately humiliated someone who, according to Kandahari norms, was his senior.

New-generation fighters like the tenant tend to be from the poorer families in their tribes, have little education, have no property and have never held a paying job. The Kalashnikov and motorcycle that come with being a Taliban commander and the moral authority of claiming to be waging a jihad have empowered these tribal outsiders. Ironically, a decade ago, Osman was a senior leader in the original Taliban movement and commanded hundreds of such young men.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Afghanistan • Opinion
June 29th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Video: BP exploited loophole?

Joe Johns | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Joe Johns
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