American Morning

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July 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Madonna's new girls' school

Editor's Note: In an American Morning original series, “Big Stars, Big Giving,” Alina Cho looks at celebrity philanthropy and how these big stars can make a big impact. Through one-on-one interviews with Elton John, Ben Stiller, Madonna, Martha Stewart and Richard Branson, she shares what causes have become their passion, and how you can get involved. Originally posted December 23, 2009.

By Alina Cho, CNN

Madonna has spent most of her life being provocative about almost everything; above all, her personal life.

These days nothing is more personal than her two children, adopted from Malawi. It’s a small African nation where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, and where more than a half million children are orphaned by AIDS.

“I would love to take them all home, yes, if I could,” Madonna tells me.

Because she can't, and because she's Madonna, she made a documentary, called I Am, Because We Are, about Malawi.

“People always ask me why I chose Malawi, and I tell them, ‘I didn't. It chose me.'"

She also founded the charity Raising Malawi, to help feed, educate and provide medical care to some of Malawi's orphans – the ones she can't bring home.


July 5th, 2010
05:51 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Chat with us during the show

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each week day. Join the live chat during the show by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. You have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend of plowing the Gulf of Mexico."]

Skimmer vessel plows Gulf over weekend, test results may be in Monday

(CNN) – Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend spent plowing the seas atop the undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.

The converted cargo ship A Whale spent the weekend attempting to separate crude oil from seawater in a 25-square-mile area north of the ruptured BP oil well at the heart of the disaster. If the test is successful, the massive vessel could play a key role in efforts to clean up the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Initial results from tests are expected Monday, Bob Grantham, spokesman for the company that owns the ship, said.

The ship, which swallows water with oil then separates it, can skim about 21 million gallons of oil a day. That's at least 250 times the amount that modified fishing vessels currently conducting skimming operations have been able to contain, according to Taiwanese company TMT shipping, which owns the vessel.

Meanwhile, BP said Monday that the cost of its response to the Gulf oil disaster now totals approximately $3.12 billion. That includes containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs, the oil giant said. Read more

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