American Morning

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September 14th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
September 14th, 2010
11:23 AM ET

REPORTER NOTEBOOK: In Pakistan, a life can be saved in 15 minutes

By Kaj Larsen, Correspondent

Editor's note: Kaj is covering the aftermath of the flooding in Pakistan. Watch his reports on AMERICAN MORNING at 6:00AM Eastern.

We awoke at 0515. Breakfast at 0700. Conducted interviews from 0800 to 0900. Our caravan rolled out to a remote area of southern Punjab at 0930. By 1100 we had set up a remote clinic.

By 1115, our team had saved a life.

Now I use that phrase pretty liberally. It was really Dr. Eduardo Dolhun, the lead physician on Team Rubicon, who saved a life.

I’m currently embedded with Team Rubicon in Pakistan, where I have the privilege of working alongside them while covering the flood disaster for American Morning. It allowed me to see the effects of the natural disaster through a humanitarian lens.

When we arrived at the impromptu clinic, we began to set up our equipment and see the first patients. Almost immediately, a crowd formed. Americans in this part of the world attract a ton of attention, and the people of this area, which had been severely impacted by the floods, were in dire need of medical attention. Even as we made our way to the staging area for delivering medicine, we crossed rivers and washed out homes, and saw hundreds of people living in tents and makeshift shelters along the side of the road. Bottom line, the need was great.

The military members of Team Rubicon fanned out and tried to organize the crowd while Dolhun and another Rubicon paramedic examined patients. I noticed that all of the patients were men. I had seen this before in rural Afghanistan. In highly conservative rural Muslim societies, often women would wait to be treated until the men were gone.

While the rest of the team held security, I surveyed the area. Under the shade of a tree, I found about 50 women and children sitting, waiting to be seen. In the extreme heat and humidity, many of the children were lying around or sleeping, but earlier in the day Dolhun had briefed us to be especially attentive to babies that were “floppy.” At the time, I thought to myself that floppy didn’t sound like a proper medical term. Aren’t all babies kind of floppy? Sure enough, among the dozens of children, one woman was holding her listless baby who appeared exactly how the doctor described—a little “floppy.” His eyes were rolled back in his head, and when I shook him or played with his arm there was no response.

I grabbed another Rubicon member who brought a translator over to the child. We were told that the baby had been vomiting for days and would not drink or eat anything. At that point we grabbed Dolhun.


Filed under: American Morning • Pakistan
September 14th, 2010
07:01 AM ET

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Rangel faces five primary opponents amid ethics scandal

New York (CNN) - He's served in Congress for almost 40 years, but Tuesday's primary in New York will be unlike any other for Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel.

The 80-year-old Rangel is fighting five challengers and an ethics trial in the House later this month on 13 alleged violations.

In years past, his re-election has been a slam dunk. While he is expected to win again, Rangel's taking nothing for granted.

On the eve of the primary, robocalls using former President Bill Clinton's voice went out telling voters: "We need Charlie to go back to Washington, to work with President Obama to say, 'Yes.' "

In July, Obama called the allegations against Rangel troubling and said in a CBS interview that he hoped the embattled congressman could end his career in dignity.

Of Rangel's five opponents, Adam Clayton Powell IV has the biggest name recognition. He is the son of the late U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, who served from 1945 to 1971 and was defeated by Rangel after a scandal-plagued career.

Despite Powell's recognition, The New York Times editorial board said the assemblyman has done little in Albany and instead endorsed Joyce Johnson, a former business executive and educator who has run for state offices. Read more.

Tell us what you think:
What are Charlie Rangel's chances to win his primary? Does this affect what happens in November mid-term elections for the nation?

Obama to push kids to work hard in 'back-to-school' speech
(CNN) - President Obama will deliver his second "back-to-school" message to the nation's students Tuesday, but this year, no one's complaining.

The speech - to be delivered at Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - encourages students to make the most of their education opportunities.

"Nobody gets to write your destiny but you," Obama will say, according to a text of the speech released Monday night by the White House. "Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing - absolutely nothing - is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to work hard. So long as you're willing to stay focused on your education."

Obama goes on to emphasize the importance of education in the text, saying it "never has been more important."

"I'm sure there will be times in the months ahead when you're staying up late cramming for a test, or dragging yourselves out of bed on a rainy morning, and wondering if it's all worth it," he will say, according to the prepared remarks. "Let me tell you, there is no question about it. Nothing will have as great an impact on your success in life as your education."

Last year, his first as president, Obama's plan to deliver a similar message prompted an unexpected backlash from conservatives who worried he would push students to support his political agenda. However, the speech Obama delivered at a Virginia school included no political references and was welcomed by conservatives. Read more.

Tell us what you think:
How is the president's speech different this year from the last? If you're a parent, what would you like to hear the president tell your children?

Filed under: American Morning • LIVE Blog