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January 22nd, 2010
11:00 AM ET

'Hope for Haiti' to dominate the airwaves

Programming Note: Watch "Hope for Haiti" starting at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, January 22, on CNN and CNN Live.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="It took only a phone call from George Clooney to get the "Hope for Haiti" telethon started."]

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

If you're looking to watch "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" on Friday night, you won't have any trouble finding it.

The two-hour, star-studded telethon is set to be one of the most widely distributed prime-time televised benefits in history, appearing simultaneously on more than 25 networks - including CNN, where Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti during the event.

Other networks airing "Hope for Haiti" include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT. The show will even air on the Discovery's eco-lifestyle television network, Planet Green.

MTV is presenting the benefit, which will be helmed by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney in Los Angeles, California, and musician Wyclef Jean from New York. CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti.

Plenty of entertainers have joined the roster to raise awareness about the earthquake in Haiti that has left tens of thousands dead and many more homeless and injured.

Keep reading this story »

Filed under: Entertainment • Haiti
January 22nd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Haiti contributions deductible on 2009 taxes

There is some good news today from Congress concerning your contributions to the relief effort in Haiti.

A new Senate bill allows you to deduct those donations during this tax season, instead of having to wait for next year. Our Gerri Willis has the details.

Filed under: Business • Haiti
January 22nd, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Port-au-Prince tries to move forward

Editor's Note: There's death and destruction almost everywhere in Haiti. But amid all the chaos there are signs – however small – of life trying to return to Port-au-Prince. Our Jason Carroll reports on that part of the story from the Haitian capital.

By Jason Carroll and Justin Dial

We witnessed tense moments at a Unibank just outside the city of Carrefour. People, who had lined up and waited hours for it to open for the first time since the earthquake, were pushed back by armed guards.

Astrid Napoleon had been waiting on line since 7 a.m. for the bank to open. She said she is hopeless because she has nothing at home, no money and nothing to eat. Later, Astrid leaves the line and gives up.

The bank's reopening is just one sign of how some are trying to get Port-au-Prince back on its feet. But the trouble there shows just how difficult that's going to be.

"Its hard to get in and it's crazy out here. ... There's no law and order," says Anderson Bellegarde.

Larger, established stores are hiring private security guards to watch properties damaged in the quake. But most business taking place now is happening on a smaller level, out on the streets.

Makeshift markets are popping up next to destroyed buildings all over the city. People are coming out and starting to sell basic goods such as vegetables, bread and sugar cane.

But some goods are being sold at inflated, post-earthquake prices. That goes for gas too. It has tripled in price, as much as $26 a gallon.

But a haircut at a barber shop we found is still only two U.S. dollars. Now, if the owner could only find customers with money to pay and gas to run his generator.

In the streets, there is a contrast of commerce: someone gets a shoe-shine, and the sadder and much more frequent sight of men trying to keep up with the demand for coffins.

Filed under: Haiti
January 22nd, 2010
07:30 AM ET

The plight of Haiti's orphans

People's hearts go out to Haiti's orphans and Secretary Clinton says the U.S. won't let red tape stand in the way of helping them. But it does have to follow international adoption procedures to protect those children, and those laws did not change as a result of the earthquake.

The State Department says before the earthquake there were as many as 900 parents in the U.S. who had filed paperwork with the Department of Homeland Security saying they intended to adopt from Haiti. There are three groups of orphans the State Department is dealing with:

1. Orphans already in the process of being adopted. 50 of them have been given visas. Most of them have been flown out of the country.

2. Other orphans were in the early stages of adoption. Parents had been identified and those parents had gone through many of the U.S. And Haitian legal procedures. The U.S. now has waived that paperwork and the children have been given humanitarian parole. Several hundred have been flown to the U.S. to meet with the prospective parents. They can stay in the U.S for 2 years where the parents can complete adoption process.

3. Children who have not yet been matched with adoptive parents will not be moved from Haiti, at least right now – unless they have a medical condition. The State Department says it's working with orphanages to find protection for them.

The organization "Save the Children" says the "vast majority of children currently on their own in Haiti are not orphans but simply separated from families." Those relatives could be alive and desperate to find them and "taking children out of the country immediately," they say, "would cause even more trauma" and could allow traffickers to exploit these children.

If you want to adopt a child from Haiti, the State Department says it's best to wait until some of the chaos subsides, but you can get started by checking out their Web site:

If you already are adopting a Haitian child and need help you should send detailed information to: They match it with their information and help get that child out of Haiti.

Filed under: Haiti
January 22nd, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Haiti earthquake: How you can help

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) - Aid is reaching earthquake-torn Haiti, but getting it to the people who need it remains a challenge.

Large quantities of medications, baby formula and other relief supplies are sitting on the tarmac and in warehouses at the Port-au-Prince airport, but no one is moving it out, according to CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

"It's like everywhere we go, just walking through the airport, outside the airport even, people are saying, 'We need supplies,'" Gupta said.

Gupta found pallets of formula, pain medication and antibiotics standing unattended next to the runway.

U.S. military personnel in a warehouse tent at the airport gave Gupta a trash bag full of supplies to take back to a hospital he had visited earlier but couldn't explain why there seemed to be no organized system for distribution. FULL STORY

Latest updates | Twitter | Full coverage | High-res images | Map | Photos

Learn more about the organizations providing emergency aid, shelter, medical help, food and water - and how you can help. Visit Impact Your World.

Filed under: Haiti
January 22nd, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Is bipartisanship obsolete?

By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke

When Republican Scott Brown won the race for Senate in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts, he may have ushered in a new mood of bipartisanship.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Republican Scott Brown won the race for Senate in Massachusetts, a traditionally Democratic state. "]

In a phone call with President Obama, Brown suggested that he and his daughter take on the president in a bipartisan game of basketball. "I said Mr. President, I know you like basketball, I tell you what? Why don't you pick your best player and I take Ayla? And we take you on two-on-two?"

Some in Washington say Brown's gesture was refreshing after a year of partisan rancor. For two longtime lawmakers, Democrat Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Republican Tim Johnson of Illinois, signs like that are proof that bipartisanship is not dead.

The two independent-minded congressmen are often at odds with their own parties. And even while disagreeing with each other on policy, they have found common ground.

"Dennis is one of my good friends in the process," says Johnson. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dennis. We actually agree on some number of issues and we don't agree on others."

Kucinich warns against trapping people by labels. "We're all more than just a label. People here have great depth, they have a sense of humanity and when you connect with that humanity, you connect with people heart to heart."

In an age where lawmakers have become so wrapped up in such party labels – Washington is in a state of ideological warfare. In a recent study, "Congressional Quarterly" said partisan voting in Congress is the worst it's been in 50 years. But it doesn't have to be that way, says Kucinich.


Filed under: Politics
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