June 30th, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Nigerians angry at oil pollution double standards

Christian Purefoy
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/30/t1larg_oil_afp_gi.jpg caption="Nigeria has suffered devastating oil pollution in Delta region over 50 years" width=300 height=169]

Nigeria's Niger Delta is one of the most oil-polluted places on the planet with more than 6,800 recorded oil spills, accounting for anywhere from 9 million to 13 million barrels of oil spilled, according to activist groups.

But occurring over the 50 years since oil production began in the Delta, this environmental disaster has never received the attention that is now being paid to the oil-spill catastrophe hitting the U.S. Gulf coast.

"The whole world is trembling and even the president of America had to do a personal visit to the site. The U.S. will have put serious measures in place to stop such situations happening in the future," said Ken Tebe - a local environmental activist who is visibly shaken by what he regards as a double standard.

"It's funny because we've been dealing with this problem for 50 years. I even heard BP will pay $20 billion in damages (for the U.S. spill). When will such hope come to the Niger Delta?" Tebe asked.

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Filed under: Nigeria • Oil
June 30th, 2010
11:40 AM ET

Wall Street reform: Scrap bank tax, end TARP

Jennifer Liberto
senior writer

Lawmakers came up with an alternative plan to pay for Wall Street reform, attempting to save the sweeping measure from falling short of the votes necessary to pass in the Senate.

After key moderate Republicans who had supported earlier versions of reforms threatened opposition, Democrats scrapped an effort to tax big banks and hedge funds to the tune of $19 billion.

Instead, they would come up with $11 billion by ending the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) immediately upon final passage of the bill.

Currently, the repayments and untapped TARP dollars are supposed to pay down federal deficits.

The lawmakers would also hike the premiums that the biggest banks pay for taxpayer-backed federal insurance on their commercial deposits, which would offset roughly $5.7 billion of the bill's costs.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy
June 30th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

Study: More than half of Americans feel negative financial impacts from recession

Stephanie Chen
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/LIVING/06/30/pew.recession.economy.study/t1larg.jpg caption="More than 55 percent of Americans are feeling the impact of unemployment or wage cuts during the recession, a study says" width=300 height=169]

Before the economic recession hit in 2007, Lana Melnik was a college counselor at Northeastern University in Massachusetts guiding hundreds of students towards employment.

Now, at 57, she's been laid off from her school, and she is taking temporary stints as a substitute teacher until she secures a full-time job.

"My friends are asking me, "How are you still managing?" Melnik said. "I tell them I'm still standing."

And she's not alone.

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What do you think? Go here to weigh in and let us know

Filed under: Economy
June 30th, 2010
10:46 AM ET
June 30th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Letter to the President #527: 'No more weather porn'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/30/hurricane.alex/t1main.alex2.gi.jpg caption="My understanding as I write this is that Alex is supposed to swing pretty wide of oil spill land and so should not pose a threat of making things worse, but I’m pretty sure it won’t make things better either"]

Reporter's Note: President Obama must be watching the first hurricane in the Gulf with the same concern that many of us have; and concern about storm watching is the subject of my daily letter.

Dear Mr. President,

A hurricane in the Gulf? Oh great. That’s just what we need, huh? My understanding as I write this is that Alex is supposed to swing pretty wide of oil spill land and so should not pose a threat of making things worse, but I’m pretty sure it won’t make things better either.

Still, maybe we can use the occasion of this first hurricane of the season to make at least one thing better: Let’s not have any weather porn this year.

Let me explain. I used to really like hurricanes. They were interesting to cover. They produced dazzling displays of nature at its worst, with shredding winds, stinging rain, and fistfuls of tornadoes to toss across the land. Standing in a hurricane’s path took a certain combination of nerve, clever planning, and calculation to make sure you captured the story but didn’t get brained by flying masonry in the process.

But that’s when I was much younger, and I had not grown to appreciate how much damage such storms can do. That was before I saw the lives lost, the property ruined, the communities stripped of their sense of well-being and security. That experience has taken a lot of the fun out of storm chasing for me.


June 30th, 2010
09:25 AM ET

Hurricane Alex spins toward landfall

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/30/hurricane.alex/t1main.alex2.gi.jpg caption="Storm continues to move away from oil spill but complicates cleanup efforts"]

Hurricane Alex churned through the western Gulf of Mexico overnight, slowly picking up steam as officials in northeastern Mexico and southern Texas made preparations.

The Category 1 storm, which became the first June hurricane to form on the Atlantic side of the United States since 1995, is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening.

At 5 a.m. ET, Alex was moving west-northwest at 7 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was about 235 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, and 175 miles east of La Pesca, Mexico.

President Obama issued a federal emergency declaration for Texas ahead of the expected arrival of Alex, the White House said Tuesday night.

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Filed under: T1
June 30th, 2010
01:22 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 6/29/10

Editor's Note: After Tuesday's show, feedback was primarily about the oil leak. Viewers thanked Anderson for staying on the Oil Disaster in the Gulf and are still giving suggestions on how to stop it. Some are adamant that blowing it up would seal it and ask why this has not been talked about. Viewers are also asking that more be said about the animals that are caught up in the oil as well as the eco system and what the oil is doing to it.

Thanks so much for sharing about saving the whales and sea turtles. I am an avid animal lover and environmentalist. Keep stressing the need to contain that OIL! Save our planet from drilling. Keep sending out the message. Try to get a walk on Washington this summer. I'd come!

I am wondering why the animals that are being retrieved from the oil and cleaned are being re-released back into the wild while the oil continues to gush from that well? Also, every person in this country needs to start speaking out for our neighbors in the gulf. It’s true the gulf marshes and wetlands are the nurseries for many species and when they are destroyed by this man made catastrophe, the animals will never recover. We are witnessing a forced extinction. We should be screaming from every radio and television station in the country!!

Why can't this well be blown up , collapsed and sealed ? The most important thing is for the oil to be stopped! Then an intense worldwide cleanup effort can begin! ...WHY CAN'T THIS WELL BE BLOWN UP!!!


Filed under: Behind The Scenes
June 29th, 2010
09:47 PM ET

Skimmers Caught in Red Tape: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/28/c1main.sea.turtles.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

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
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