July 12th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Reporting Live from Haiti: Join the Live Chat

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Tonight on 360°, Anderson reports live from Haiti on the six month anniversary of January's massive earthquake. Billions of dollars were pledged to save Haiti. We're asking where did the money go? Where's the help? Has Haiti been forgotten? Plus, we have breaking developments on the new containment cap put in place this evening on the broken oil well in the Gulf.

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
July 12th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Haiti Six Months Later

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/12/c1main.sanjay.haiti.gi.jpg caption="Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Anderson Cooper and others report live from Haiti tonight on AC360°." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Six months ago today a massive earthquake hit Haiti, killing 230,000 people. Six months later Anderson and our team of reporters/producers back in Port-au-Prince tell us not much has changed.

"It still looks like a bomb just dropped on this city," said CNN's Ivan Watson.

Tonight, we're trying to find out why, after six months, life hasn't improved for the people of Haiti.

Today, Anderson asked former President Bill Clinton why more hasn't been accomplished on the ground. Don't miss the 360° exclusive interview. Clinton met separately today with Haitian President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Clinton, who is the U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti, partnered with former President George W. Bush to establish the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to help quake victims.

You'll also hear from actor/activist Sean Penn, whose J/P Haitian Relief Organization is running one of Haiti's biggest refugee camps. The U.N. estimates 1.5 million people are still homeless in Haiti. That's roughly one in nine Haitians.

We'll also catch up with some of the people we first introduced you to six months ago. Back in January we showed you the rescue of a young girl named Bea. Tonight see how she's doing now. We also have an update on a little girl named Jenna, who was was at an orphanage when the quake hit. Since then she's moved to the U.S. to live with her adoptive mother.

Back here in the U.S., we continue to follow developments in the Gulf oil spill. This evening a new containment cap was placed on the broken well. BP hopes the cap will completely contain the oil spilling from the well. We'll have the latest from the Gulf.

See you at 10 pm. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
July 12th, 2010
05:55 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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Six months after an earthquake devastated Haiti, not much has changed. Sean Penn and his organization the J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been in Haiti since January. He will join Anderson tonight to talk abut the recovery effort and the challenges he has faced in trying to help the people of Haiti. What questions do you have for Sean Penn? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!

Filed under: T1 • Text 360
July 12th, 2010
05:31 PM ET

Beat 360° 7/12/10

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:

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks during the Nevada Republican Party 2010 State Convention at the Green Valley Ranch Station Casino July 9, 2010 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/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
July 12th, 2010
05:17 PM ET

Haiti's kids need the chance to do great things

Samuel Dalembert
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/11/dalembert.haiti.children/tzleft.dalembert.sam.courtesy.jpg caption="As Haiti recovers from January quake, children bear a heavy burden, says Samuel Dalembert" width=300 height=169]

On January 12, I went to basketball practice and then spent time with a kids' basketball league. The whole time my phone was in the car. When I finally looked at it, I had about 50 messages saying, "Have you been watching the news about Haiti?"

It still haunts me to think that, as I went about my business that day, my homeland shuddered, crashed, and crumbled. More than 220,000 of my fellow Haitians died. Another 1.6 million were instantly left homeless - most with nothing but the clothes on their backs. About 800,000 of them are children.

Haiti has never been an easy place to be a kid. When I was growing up in Port-au-Prince, I felt lucky because I always had at least one meal a day. Some of my friends were starving. But we all shared what we had with each other.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Opinion
July 12th, 2010
04:46 PM ET

Video: Clinton says Haiti could emerge stronger from quake

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Program Note: See the full interview tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET. AC360° will be live from Haiti.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Bill Clinton • Haiti Earthquake
July 12th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Sean Penn to join Anderson Cooper tonight

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Tonight Sean Penn will talk to Anderson about how relief is reaching Haitians and whether or not the situation has improved. Penn has been working in Haiti since the earthquake with his organization, the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.

The mission of J/P HRO is to “save lives and bring relief to the Haitian people quickly and effectively.”

Learn more about what the organization is doing in Haiti here..

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake
July 12th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

A Haitian orphan, adapting to her new life in America

Justine Redman
AC360° Producer

Program Note: Six months after the earthquake in Haiti, are things any better? Anderson Cooper will be reporting live from Haiti tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET

Jenna was an orphan, one of Haiti's thousands. She lived in an orphanage on a hillside on the outskirts of Port au Prince. Her mother was still alive, but she gave her baby away, keeping only Jenna's older sister.

Elizabeth was a single woman, caucasian, living beneath the mountainsides on the outskirts of Denver. She had a Phd in child development. She went to Haiti, met Jenna, and decided to adopt her. Then Elizabeth went home, and started the process, filing all the papers, making the applications.

But then the earthquake struck. Elizabeth didn't know what happened to Jenna. The phones didn't work, nobody could make a call to put a prospective mother's mind at rest.

Two days later, CNN  stumbled on Jenna's orphanage. Our camera captured Jenna, Elizabeth saw the report on TV and could see for herself: Jenna was safe. The orphanage was a strong house, made of stone. An outside roof collapsed, but the children weren't hurt.  Nonetheless their caretakers took them outside and camped with them on the driveway, scared of what the aftershocks might bring.

Very soon, Jenna was on a military plane to America. The expediting of her adoption was the silver lining of Haiti's tragedy.

Six months later, Jenna is an energetic, friendly, and bright little girl, going to pre-school and living a comfortable, privileged life with her adoptive mother in Colorado. She wears pretty dresses, and likes to talk authoritatively on her toy mobile phone. But alongside this happiness, this is also the time when Jenna's pain begins to unmask itself. She's starting to have tantrums so vicious that they scare her mother. Elizabeth says  the process of figuring out how trauma affects a two year old has been challenging.

"That's proving to be harder than I expected," Elizabeth says on a hot summer's day in the playground. "When you're two and you can't verbalize it, you don't know how it's affecting her. But she's starting to hit a lot and get angry a lot at little things. What we've heard from other [adoptive] families is that a lot of the kids, six months later, are starting to act out and kind of in their own way say, 'I gotta tell you this terrible thing that happened to me while I was in Haiti, and I'm ready to tell you that because I trust you now."

But while the world is focused on the horrors of Haiti's earthquake, for young children like Jenna, the trauma they have experienced in their short lives runs deeper than the fault lines. The quake may actually be the least of her worries.The reality is that Jenna wasn't hurt by the quake, she didn't experience the fear of having a building collapse around her. We don't know how much she noticed of the moments in which the city crumbled.  But we do know that she was a baby separated from her mother. We know she was put in an orphanage that was better than most on Haiti, but which could never duplicate a parent's love. And we know that she went in a flash from the poorest nation in the hemisphere to the richest, and found herself suddenly in a world she never knew existed.

That's a lot of trauma packed into two years.

"Two weeks ago  she had a temper tantrum which was kind of like the second night she was here, where she was just flailing like a fish, and just...out of body. She had been kind of hitting me, I was trying to understand what she needed," Elizabeth recalls as an affectionate Jenna climbs onto her mother's lap. "Even her eyes go blank, and you can't even hold her. We just put her on the ground until she started to cry and reach for us, and then we held her and protected her and let her know she was safe. It's happened a couple of times, and both those times it was really scary. I have PhD in child development, and I'm proud to say, I'm not prepared to help her. I love her, and we're going to be great, but it's unchartered territory."

Jenna climbs back down off Elizabeth's knees, and runs to play on the swings. She's smiling and happy, and could be any toddler going through their "terrible two's." Her tantrums, Elizabeth says, are only a fraction of who her daughter is.

"The rest of her day, as you see, she's amazing. She makes people fall in love with her wherever she goes.... She has made my life so much richer... It's like she's always been here."    

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Haiti Earthquake • Justine Redman
July 12th, 2010
01:26 PM ET

Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds

Dr. Sanjay Gupta | BIO
AC360° Contributor
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Program Note: Six months after the earthquake in Haiti, are things any better? Anderson Cooper returns to Haiti with exclusive interviews with former President Bill Clinton and actor Sean Penn. Don't miss 'AC360' tonight at 10 ET, only on CNN.

It was hard to know what to expect a half-year after the Haiti earthquakes. Driving through the town of Port Au Prince a few days ago, rubble seemed to have been merely swept off the streets, and into alleyways. Debris and garbage had simply shifted around the city, more out of sight, but still present. It was like a college kid, knowing his parents were coming to visit, sweeping things under the rug and throwing things into closets. Things were frighteningly familiar.

I looked out the window, expecting to see the most awful and indelible images that I remembered during the first days after the earthquake. The bodies stacked high, in front of homes with parents searching frantically for a place for their dead children. At that time, children were seen everywhere, doing the same for their deceased parents. Thankfully, those images are for the most part gone.

Editor's Note: The video below was shot in Bernard Mevs Hospital in Haiti.

In medicine, we think of things in the acute phase: stop the bleeding. The intermediate phase: recovery and follow up. And, in the chronic phase, it is about rehabilitation and building up. The acute phase is coming to an end, but without adequate resources and money, the intermediate phase will never happen. Talking to large relief organizations, it seems they are planning for the long-term chronic rehabilitation of the country, which may explain why only a small percentage of the money donated has actually been put to use. (see the breakdown here by organization). The concern, though, is that rehabilitation cannot happen, unless the resources are there to let the patients, and the country adequately recover.

For a while, there was a venting of compassion. At General hospital, the largest public hospital in Haiti, there was at one point too many doctors and too many supplies. People saw the need, and they opened their pocket books and booked their flights. I was often asked, "what can I do to help?" I said "wait 6 months, because too many people will forget, yet the need will still be there." When I visited General hospital yesterday, there was hardly anything happening there. The operating tables that were donated looked desolate, and the rooms were empty. A handful of diligent Haitian nurses, who haven't been paid in months, were trying to do the best they could with hardly any resources.

The largest private hospital in the city, which serviced the small percentage of Haitians that could pay for their health care, has chains on the doors and is shut down for business. Six months later, the need is still here, and in many ways, things are worse than ever.

It is true that clean water now exists in many places, and the predicted widespread outbreak of disease hasn't happened. There are food distribution stations in many of the larger camps, and even schools that are starting up this summer. It is also true that many amputees are now walking around the rough roads of Port Au Prince with newly obtained prosthetic legs. But, too much has remained the same.

I saw a 6 month old girl, born just before the earthquake, who lay dying at Bernard Mevs hospital. She developed an infection, that untreated, turned into meningitis. Her head became large, as fluid had started to build up inside her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. She didn't receive antibiotics in time, and now she was beyond treatment. The same stupid story. Six months later. Needless deaths, despite the generosity of millions all over the world.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Sanjay Gupta
July 12th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Spy swap was a mistake

Gene Coyle
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/09/coyle.spy.swap/tzleft.coyle.gene.arthur.courtesy.jpg caption="Ex-CIA Russian expert says the quick spy swap will be seen as sign of U.S. weakness" width=300 height=169]

The Obama administration's rush to sweep the recent Russian spy scandal off the table as quickly as possible with this swap is a bad move on several counts.

It is understandable and correct that President Barack Obama values the overall U.S.-Russian relationship above the question of whether a few Russian spies spend years in jail.

The "reset" campaign was an excellent idea; too bad no one in our Department of State knew how to correctly spell the word in Russian when Secretary Hillary Clinton presented the "button" to the Russian Foreign Minister. However, there is a line between seeking a mutually beneficial relationship and delusional pandering.

The history of U.S.-Russian relations shows that dealing respectfully but firmly is what works best. Most importantly, Moscow only agrees to anything that it perceives to be at least 50 percent in its self-interest, not because we've been nice guys. The only thing releasing all of these deep-cover Russian intelligence officers within a matter of days is going to teach Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, an old KGB officer, is that Obama is a pushover - overly focused on making sure not to offend Russia.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Russian Spies
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