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The Latest from Haiti

Aired January 14, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Thanks, Hala. We will be keeping you up to date throughout this hour with the latest from Haiti and hearing from CNN correspondents in the country.

This hour on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, a fragile economy now lies in pieces. Why Haiti needs aid more than ever before. We'll hear from the vice president of the World Bank in Latin America, and a filmmaker who has just returned from the island.

And searching for freedom, Google waits to hear it if still has a business in China.

And -


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We want our money back, and we're going to get it.


FOSTER: President Obama calls in the debt he says banks owe to the people.


FOSTER: Well, the earthquake in Haiti deals a devastating blow to an economy which was already in tatters, and decades of political instability and the succession of hurricanes have left Haiti with the unenviable title of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Take a look at this: 80 percent of Haiti's 9 million population lives below the poverty line, more than half of the population live on less than $1 a day, and two-thirds of all Haitians depend on farming for their livelihoods. Unemployment is widespread. We do not have exact figures. And many people simply don't have formal jobs.

Now, GDP was just $7 billion for the whole of 2008. To put that into context for you, that is the equivalent to what Wal-Mart makes in less than a week. 2008 storms killed 800 people, left 1 million of the 9 million population homeless. And it wiped out 15 percent of the economy. Imagine what is going to happen this time around. Now, Haiti is extremely dependent on foreign aid. The U.S. has been Haiti's largest donator since 1973. It provides $302 million to country and that was for fiscal 2009.

Haiti also received more than $1 billion in debt relief from the World Bank in July. And the World Bank is now pledging $100 million in extra aid. It is going to need all of it.

Now, the first rescue team to reach Haiti, wasn't from the United States, or any other nearby country. But it was from a tiny, distant, and economically crippled nation. And that nation was Iceland. Iceland's foreign minister explained to me exactly what happened there.


OSSUR SKARPHEDINSSON, FOREIGN MINISTER, ICELAND: We have a very experienced team and we are prepared. We have been in these circumstances before. We were in Turkey some years ago. And these are very well-trained people and we were sort of all -we are sort of always on an alert.

They had the initiative. They contacted me as soon as the news was coming through. And I gave my permission, provided the money. And we also had the airline cooperating with us. So, it was a joint effort. And I think it was very good for Iceland to be able to show the world that even a little nation can contribute. This was the right thing to do. And all credit to my very able team.

FOSTER: What is incredible about this, is there has been some criticism that the Americans, who aren't far away, haven't got there quickly enough. And yet, you half a world away got there. You were the first team there, weren't you?

SKARPHEDINSSON: Yes, I think we were the first team to land. Well, as I say, these are people that are prepared and they are always on alert. And you know, I am just very, very happy that Iceland could contribute in this way. And I would urge any nation to do their utmost to help the Haitians.

FOSTER: This isn't something that you can necessarily afford, either, right? Because your country is obviously in massive crisis.

SKARPHEDINSSON: Well, Haiti is in much greater crisis and I think it is the right thing to do, even for a poor nations, and we are not poor. We are pulling through. But I think it is right for every nation to do what it can in circumstances like this. And it just so happens that Iceland is a country that is also geologically active and we are always well-prepared. We have very able here on the ground and strong infrastructure. So, I'm very happy that we could contribute, and also make an example for other nations.


FOSTER: Now, in the U.S. it is not just the government, but also the people who are pledging generous help. They are the big, big aid givers. Iceland was there first, but it is not on a huge scale. The filmmaker Joe Berlinger, has just returned from Haiti, where he was filming with Wyclef Jean. Now he was shocked by the poverty even before this disaster. But he questions why it takes an earthquake for people to really help out like this.

JOE BERLINGER, FILM DIRECTOR: The small silver lining is that we have the -or Haiti has the world's attention. But why does it take a crisis like this? You know, why are we, as Americans, content to have a country, you know, 90 miles off our shore to be living in utter squalor? I mean, why does it take these kinds -you know, right now everyone is texting, and sending in donations and doing everything they can, which is fantastic, but why does it take this kind of crisis? These are people who, you know, were barely getting by to begin with.

Haiti is a beautiful country and a beautiful locale, and people shouldn't be living the way they were living, that I saw, you know, just two weeks ago.


FOSTER: Joe Berlinger there.

Well, disaster has not only brought awareness of Haiti's plight, of course, it has also stimulated an innovative search for ways to lend a hand. Jim Boulden, now, looks at the many ways that you can make a difference.


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It has never been easier to donate after a disaster, governments and people around the globe have responded to Haiti quickly, using many means.

In the United States, people are being urged to text.

BEN STILLER, ACTOR: Text "Haiti" to 90999: And that is a direct donation to the Red Cross. They have already raised about $1.7 million over the last 24 hours. So, it is making a huge difference. And everybody that talks to UNICEF or anywhere, says this is what they need right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go right now and text "Yele" 501501 and start making donations right now.

BOULDEN: That is exactly what most charities ask for in these times, money. So they can make the decision what supplies are needed and when. Christian Aid says, it uses the money to buy supplies as close as possible to the disaster. It has received more than $300,000 of donations through its web site in just the first 24 hours.

(On camera): Despite all the ways to donate online and through your mobile phone, Christian Aid says it is still a good idea to hit the streets with the bucket.

RUTH RUDERHAM, CHRISTIAN AID: Lots of people are giving online. Lots of people are giving by text, but people still love putting money into the bucket. And it is a fantastic way, just to be right there and give people the opportunity to give.

BOULDEN: The World Food Program is shipping in food from its Central American base. While the U.K.-based Shelterbox puts together a self- contained box that helps victims soon after disasters.

Donators can track the box's location online. They include tools, mosquito nets and a 10-person tent.

JOHN LEACH, SHELTERBOX: The tents will last for up to and onward two years. We have had tents up for longer than that. Again, they are earthquake proof, so they are going to be safe, secure, and give people some warm and dignity in their hour of need.

BOULDEN: First responders to these types of disasters are governments. From France to China to Cuba, to the United States. Countries have sent supplies, doctors and search and rescue teams to Haiti. The charities, many of which were already there, are using Facebook and Twitter to update their progress getting aid in and as another way to raise awareness and funds.

Jim Boulden, CNN, London.


FOSTER: Well, CNN has extensive teams on the ground in Haiti all the time. They bring us incredible stories. And we are going to join one of those stories right now on our sister network CNN USA.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: . being rescued, Ivan.

IVAN WATSON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Don, right behind me. And you can hear her voice sometimes, but there is an 11-year-old girl named Annai Casand Luis (ph). She is pinned underneath this rubble. And the volunteers here are snaking through a hose right now to give her some drinking water. She is 10 feet away, and you can see the braids of the little girl's hair. I talked with her. She is wearing glasses, and she is crying. She is in a lot of pain right now. She is terribly scared.

This little girl -


WATSON: It is kind of heartbreaking to this hear this, because she's pinned there, Don. Her right leg is underneath the concrete, and her hands are free, and her leg is free, and she is talking to us. They are trying to give her some drinking water right now. They have given her some food already. They only discovered her today, two days after the earthquake. They think there are several dozen other people trapped under the rubble, probably did not survive.

But desperately trying to figure out how to get her out. They are thinking to cut her leg, but they have anesthetics, but they don't have blood to help her if they have to cut the leg off to get her out. So they don't know what to do right now.

LEMON: Ivan?

WATSON: We have seen other cases like this -

LEMON: Ivan, we will stick with you for a little bit, because again, we know it is heartbreaking, but this is really the reality of what is happening there.

Ivan I am trying to get someone who speaks French. I, myself, do not. So they can tell us. If you speak French, what is she saying, Ivan, as they are trying to remove her? You said she is calling out.

WATSON: Yeah, she is calling out, she is for father. When they cut with the saw, she doesn't like it at all. It hurts a lot. They have put a little Bible next to her. You know, there is a pretty little girl with braids, she has black reading glasses, and a chipped front tooth. And we were talking to her. She is terribly scared right now and her mother is beside herself.

What is -- this is just one case here. You know, we were on a neighboring hilltop and there were two little French girls trapped under a building there, and only one French fireman working to try to help them out. And he was passing them water. This is something that is probably replaying itself all across Port-au-Prince , and there is just not enough rescue workers to help.

The guys, they say, if they could just get the right equipment they need, they could perhaps lift some of this and get her out without cutting the leg. They don't have the equipment. So they want to cut the leg, but they don't have the blood supplies to keep her alive if they have to amputate.

And she is calling out again, and it is hard to hear and to listen to this.

On the neighboring hill, there is a hotel, a posh hotel, a lot of foreigners were staying at. There, there are dozens of Americans, French, and Chilean rescuers. There they are working to rescue at least one woman named Sarah (ph), who is trapped.


WATSON: She is saying it is pretty painful right now, Don. Anyway, back to you.

LEMON: So, Ivan, we know this is tough for her, obviously. And for the people who are her rescuing her, and for you, and the folks who are watching, so if you will continue on to tell us what the rescuers are saying, and what she is saying, and then I will jump in every once in a while if we need to move things along, but we are going to listen, and if you can just sort of tell us what is going on there.

WATSON: Well, right now -- oh!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of a dead body.

WATSON: They have pulled -- we don't want to really show that. They have pulled a piece of a dead body -- this is very difficult, that was next to her. And they are trying to free out some area around this little girl.

And we understand that there are perhaps some 30 other relatives and neighbors who were trapped underneath the rubble. This is just one house. We are seeing scenes like this all over this city. These men say they do not have the equipment they need to do this operation properly.

LEMON: Hey, Ivan, standby just for a second, here and you can continue to listen to them, and not me.

But if you are just joining us on CNN, our Ivan Watson is in Port-au- Prince, and a building has collapsed. He is live on the scene there. There is an 11-year-old girl who is trapped and we believe she has trapped her leg. And right now, this is what the rescuers are dealing with. They don't have the equipment, the right equipment, to free this young lady. So they are contemplating what to do next.

In all honesty, and it is terrible, do they cut her leg off in order to get to her?

The picture now is frozen. We are going to try to get that back.

So, what do they do? And how do they get the equipment in to save this little girl's life? And there are hundreds, we are told, of similar situations happening all over Haiti. We are on top of it here on CNN. A very sad moment, but that is the reality. Back in a moment.


FOSTER: Well, there you have it. That is the real impact of this story. And 11-year-old girl stuck. Not enough blood supplies to help her, as they cut her leg to release her. Even bodies being pulled out to release her. Unbelievable story there, on our sister network, CNN. We have the teams on the ground bringing those stories.

But even before all of this happened Haiti couldn't survive without foreign aid and it needs a great deal more of it now and rescue efforts exactly like that. Pamela Cox is the vice president for Latin America at the World Bank. She joins me now from our Washington bureau.

I don't know if you caught any of that. But it is a harrowing story of just one rescue effort, as Ivan was saying, being mirrored across the country. What sort of level of aid, do you think, we actually need in this country? And we need right now?

PAMELA COX, PRESIDENT FOR LATIN AMERICA, WORLD BANK: Well, certainly Haiti does not have the resources to respond to this crisis. We at the World Bank have pledged $100 million, many other countries, organizations, are pledging money. And that is very important, but what we have to remember is the short-term money is very important right now in the crisis. But it is going to take hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars to do the reconstruction following this tragedy.

FOSTER: Yes, well, I want to ask you about that. Because in previous disasters we have had this nasty lesson learned, which is that pledges are made and they are not followed through. What are you going to do to make sure that doesn't happen this time around?

COX: Well, one of the things we at the Wolf Bank are putting forward is setting up a Haiti reconstruction fund. We did this very successfully in the tsunami, in Indonesia in the earthquakes in other countries, in deed in Central America, with Hurricane Mitch.

This is a way to get funds pledged into a major trust fund that can be administered together with the Haitian government it coordinates aid very well. But it also makes sure that those pledges are paid in.

FOSTER: OK, we have to leave it there. Thank you very for joining us, Pamela Cox from the World Bank.

All right, next we are turning to China. And Google says it can't go on doing business by Beijing's rules. Stay with us to find out how Chinese officials are responding. And what the wider repercussions could be.


FOSTER: China says it is standing by its laws controlling Internet use just a day after the web giant, Google threatened to axe its China- based site. Google claimed this week its site had been attacked in China and used to accessed the personal e-mail accounts of dissidents. It said it would no longer censor web search results to suit the Chinese authorities and accepted that might mean its Chinese service Google.CN would have close. China said Google's claims raise serious concerns and stressed its laws prohibit hacking.


JIAN YU, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): I want to stress that China's Internet is open. Chinese government promotes the development of Internet. We promote an environment adequate for a healthy development of the Internet. China's law prohibits any sort of hacker attacks.

China, like many other nations, manages the Internet according to the law. Our measures to manage the Internet are in accordance with international practices. I also want to stress that China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China, according to the law.


FOSTER: Google's readiness to quit China makes it quite a rarity amid a scramble by overseas companies to get a share of the huge and growing market there. Joining me now is Linda Yeuh. She is a fellow in economics at Oxford University.

Thank you so much for joining us. We had better set the store, first of all, and that stall is that Google isn't a giant in China that it is in other parts of the world, right?

LINDA YEUH, ECONOMICS FELLOW, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: No. It isn't. It only has about a third of the market share. A Chinese search engine, Bidu (ph) is the largest provider of searches.

FOSTER: So it is not dependent on the Chinese market, it could survive without it, right now? YEUH: It could. I think the revenues are something like about $200 million last year. So it is not a very - it is not a huge slice, but certainly it is a fast-growing one.

FOSTER: What do you make of the statements that Google has made about this?

YEUH: I think Google has raised some serious issues about censorship. And when they went into China, in 2006, they certainly agreed the parameters to do this, with the Chinese authorities. But I think when you look at the statement more closely there are signs that they are also very upset about the hacking. And it goes, I think, slightly beyond just hacking into the e-mails of the dissidents that they are very unhappy about, but also theft of proprietary information, pointing to larger problems of Chinese law, and thus the response of the Chinese authorities, saying hey, our laws actually prohibit that.

FOSTER: So, this isn't about censoring the search results, you don't think, as much as the fact that we are basically being hacked into?

YEUH: I think that the latter is driving quite a lot of this. I'm sure that Google is uncomfortable about being in China, but I think that we have to look much more closely at what is underlying it.

FOSTER: We're going to come back to you, Linda. We are going to cross to CNN USA with another story. Gary Tuchman is in Haiti live for us, right now.

FOSTER: Hi, Gary, can you hear me OK. Can you just describe where you are and what is going on exactly where you are.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, I hear you now, perfectly.

We have a drama underway, where I'm standing. This is the Caribbean Market, the Caribbean Market is a place in Port-au-Prince, a lot of people know about it, who live here, stores, shops, restaurants. It is only three years old. The building has collapsed, many people died inside this building, many of the bodies were taken away the first day. There are still bodies inside.

But there is one woman who is inside this building now, definitely alive. They hear her knocking. They are able to communicate with her. And right now, search and rescue officials are inside the building.

And the person who is in charge of the effort -- in charge of the safety effort here is Mikael Olafson.

Mikael is from Iceland with the Iceland Search and Rescue. He's representing a team from Iceland.

There's also workers here from the United States, from Spain, from Belgium, from Venezuela.

Mikael, first of all, thanks for talking with us.

Are you going to be able to get this woman inside?

She's deep inside right now behind -- under tons of concrete.

MIKAEL OLAFSON, ICELAND URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM: From our training, we know we are able to get there, it's just a question of time. Luckily, she is entombed, not caught.

TUCHMAN: So she's not trapped, she's just stuck. She can't get out because she's surrounded by walls.

OLAFSON: Yes. That's the reason. And that's why we are very positive when we are getting her alive out.

TUCHMAN: OK. But right now we're talking -- it's almost been 48 hours. According to my watch, it's been about 46 hours since this earthquake.

How long can she survive without water?

We presume she doesn't have access to water.

OLAFSON: The book says three days, but, of course, there are cases where people have lived much longer. And because we can communicate with her, we are much more helpful and keep up her spirit to survive.

TUCHMAN: Now, earlier today, two other women were rescued and brought out of here.

Were they also entombed?

OLAFSON: Yes. They were only entombed and so they couldn't actually walk out. A woman was entombed next to a candy store or a candy rack. She was very healthy when she got out.

TUCHMAN: She was -- and Mikael was telling me this before earlier. She was able to eat candy while she was trapped. It sounds kind of funny, but you'll look for anything to laugh about in this situation, because it's so horribly tragic.

Are you sure you'll be able to get this woman out?

OLAFSON: We are never sure. We could always have another earthquake -- an aftershock. But we are positive that we have the knowledge and the equipment to get her out.

TUCHMAN: Mikael Olafson, good luck.

OLAFSON: Thank you very much.

TUCHMAN: Thank you very much for talking to me. You guys do great work.

OLAFSON: Thank you.

TUCHMAN: It's really quite amazing.

I mean that's the thing we're dealing with here. There are no guarantees. Since we've been here, over the last -- I will -- I will put it this way, over the last 12 hours, we felt six aftershocks and we've heard buildings creaking, we've heard a lot of movement. And they're very concerned.

Right now, there are four workers inside. We can't get inside. They're not allowing us inside. And they're not allowing most of the workers here inside. There's four workers inside constantly communicating with her, about 150 meters behind me, behind these huge concrete walls.

You heard what he said -- there's no guarantee. But she is communicating. She says she isn't hurt. So we have this drama that's playing out right now -- Max, back to you.

FOSTER: Gary Tuchman, thank you so much for that. A huge aid effort -- international aid effort being organized to help exactly with those sort of examples that Gary was talking about right there.

We're going to get more on that now with Hala -- Hala.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much.

We'll get back to you in a second there, Max, in London.

Here's more on the aftermath of that quake in Haiti.

Nations and aid agencies from around the globe are rushing personnel and relief supplies to Haiti two days after that earthquake. But on top of everything else, there are new problems at the airport and harbor in Port- au-Prince.

The Haitian government is not allowing charter flights into the airport for now because it's overcrowded and there's no fuel available to fuel the planes that are on the ground right now and have them go back on their way. And the pier used for cargo delivery was knocked out of commission by Tuesday's tremor, as well.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued a ground stop for charter flights leaving the U.S. for Haiti. And those already in the air are stuck in a holding pattern, circling right now above the city. It has to be enormously frustrating for people who are waiting for those aid to deliver -- deliveries.

Guillermo Arduino is tracking this for us.

And you have a map that shows very clearly...


GORANI: ...the flights that are still over Haiti wanting to land but that can't land.

ARDUINO: Well, that -- down here. If we remove the banner, maybe Mark (ph) can do it.

But you see there is the plane there that is over Haitian territory or Haitian air space. And according to "The New York Times," there are no flights allowed into Haitian air space. But maybe that plane is going into the Dominican Republic.

But here in Turks and Caicos, we have three. They are smaller planes, as you see. This a Gulfstream that left Opa-Locka. That's outside Miami/Fort Lauderdale over here. And this is a small plane, too, in Opa- Locka again.

This one down there is a 732 and 400, so it's much larger.

But you see that they are circling around. You see the route that they were taking over there over Turks and Caicos. So maybe they are hanging around there to see what's going on.

No room at the Port-au-Prince airport. All civilian flights halted, according to "The New York Times," requested by the Haitian government.

Now, another piece of information that is important is that the weather is doing OK. You know, in those pictures that we were showing before, you saw clear skies. In the evening we see -- we may see some rain showers, but the weather may not be a big factor -- Hala.

GORANI: Yes. And what people need to understand, Guillermo, it's not that aid is not getting in. Some aid is getting in. But these supplies are aboard the planes...


GORANI: The planes are parked and they just need to offload them. But then they don't have fuel...


GORANI: refuel the planes so that they can take off again and make room for the...

ARDUINO: And -- and you may say...

GORANI: ...for the other flights.

ARDUINO: You may say, well, but they don't have enough fuel, but how come?

They can come and go. They can go to Australia with it. But they only load the plane with a certain amount because they -- they would restrict themselves from loading the plane with people and the -- and the relief medical equipment because of the weight. That's why they don't have so much fuel.

But I understand -- I imagine that here in Turks and Caicos or somewhere in the Dominican Republic they would be able to get some fuel.

GORANI: Right. It's the ones on the ground.

In any case, Guillermo, thanks very much.


GORANI: It gives us one more perspective there on that earthquake in Haiti and its aftermath and how many challenges people are facing.

One of the many challenges -- perhaps the biggest one -- hospitals have collapsed. The hospitals that are still standing overwhelmed with the injured right now. People are using pickup trucks as ambulances. They're actually taking doors off their hinges and turning them into stretchers.

One nurse in Haiti describes the extent of people's injuries.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've had body parts missing. We've had scalp lacerations that are down to the brain. We've had many, many, many people dying. Just things that I have not seen before in my nursing career -- people with their -- you know, faces half off. It's not a pleasant sight.


GORANI: There you have it, a nurse, a medical professional, telling one of our reporters there what she's seen firsthand.

This time, more than any other natural disaster, survivors, concerned relatives, even officials -- and high level officials at that -- are turning to social media for answers and also to tell the world what they're doing.

Michael Holmes is standing by right now at our special Haiti Desk with that story -- hi there, Michael.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Yes, Hala, very busy around here, as you can imagine.

One thing I want to update you on is we've been talking a lot about the iReport Web site where people have been posting photographs of missing loved ones -- husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, family members and friends. You know, I was doing -- about 18 hours ago, I was standing here, we had 20 pages. There's about 12 on each page -- cases. There's now 210 pages. There's more than 2,000 people who are posting cases like this. This was one good news one. It was posted and we've received information that this girl Gina (ph) has been found. Other people are still missing -- missing -- missing.

So you can -- you can see that there is an enormous amount of interest in this Web site.

Now, one thing I can also tell you, too, is that we have changed this now and provided people with a search function. You can now search by name if you've got a loved one that you're looking for on this Web site and get the latest that's being posted on

It's been a huge thing for -- for CNN and getting involved with -- with people trying to track their loved ones.

I've got to bring Earl Casey in here, because I want to give people a sense of how things are being pulled together in the field.

I know you're busy, but just -- just tell us how we're -- we're working here with the International Desk to bring all of this up to air.

EARL CASEY, CNN: Everybody in here is talking to one of the correspondents or one of the teams out in the field and they're trying to find out several things.

Editorially, what are you going to cover?

What's the situation there in that area?

What's your safety and security situation?

Are you OK?

Do you have food to drink?

What's the story that's unfolding in front of you?

HOLMES: And then you -- and then you direct them to one of our networks. Because a lot of the time we're waiting for them to call us, aren't we?

CASEY: Oh, yes. The -- the phone communications are terrible.


CASEY: This is -- this will horrify any modern generation, but when your BlackBerries are down and your cell phones are down, those are the people that we're trying to talk to. We're doing it by satellite phones, by happenstance, 15 second, 30 second conversations that happen before a network may drop out.


CASEY: So you're doing hurried, rapid conversations...


CASEY: ...trying to extract meaning.

HOLMES: And a bunch of crews, too. We've got a lot of people down there.

CASEY: A lot of people. Dozens wouldn't even go into the numbers.


CASEY: But it's like maintaining a small city. We have to remember that we're strangers in an embattled, shaken environment and we come in and insert ourselves in the middle of that, try to cover, try to help. But still, we're an alien presence.

HOLMES: Exactly. It's a -- it's a difficult thing to do.

Thanks, Bill.

Appreciate that.

Bill Casey there, help run this International Desk, Hala.

And, as you know, it really is a jigsaw puzzle just trying to get this material to air. We've just had Ivan Watson come online here and they're going to direct him to one of the other networks of CNN.

So very busy down here. A lot going on -- Hala.

GORANI: Well, what's the -- what's the one thing -- you've been up at that desk and you started, by the way, covering this story from the very few minutes after the earthquake struck.

What's the thing that you remember the most that struck you the most in the last few days?

HOLMES: Well, in terms of how the -- the story has evolved, obviously, I'll tell you three things that strike me. On a personal level, the stuff that we're starting to see out of Haiti has made me go right back to 1994 in Rwanda, after a genocide there, and in particular in Goma, in Zaire, when people started dying of cholera post-genocide and the bodies on the streets and the dump trucks taking them away to mass graves.

This is what's starting to happen in Haiti now. And you -- you never forget what that smells like, too. So that's one thing that struck me on it, first of all.

The other thing that struck me was, as you said, this broke on a "BACK STORY" and we've covered it from the beginning -- has been the -- the role of social media. I was standing right here, actually, one of -- one of our assignment editors said the first pictures -- actual photographs -- were coming in from Haiti. It was on Facebook. Somebody in Port-au-Prince had managed to get online and was posting photographs on Facebook.

I mean that was just stunning.

Then Twit Picks starting coming in before any gender -- you know, traditional media had gotten involved. And -- and that was -- that was something that was huge. They had the first pictures, Facebook.

GORANI: You know what's interesting, too, when I went home that night, I listened to a live stream on of Nation TV (ph). A lot of it was in Creole. I couldn't understand it. But then every once in a while you'd have someone say something in French.


GORANI: And it was the clearest kind of information, the most direct information from the ground that we'd gotten. This never would have happened 10 years ago.

HOLMES: Absolutely. And -- and, in fact, that -- that same night, the first interview I did on this was sitting over there via Skype with -- with a radio D.J. at his house in Port-au-Prince, talking to us on Skype. And it was so low tech, I was holding a -- a headphone up to one ear. I had a hand microphone pointing it at the -- at the speaker to get his sound.

But, you know, you're right, 10 years ago, unthinkable to have gotten this sort of information, level of information and visuals out of this sort of situation.


HOLMES: You're right there, Hala.

GORANI: And let's hope, based on what you showed us there on, that people are able to get information on their loved ones, because it must be agony for them.

HOLMES: Oh, yes.

Could you imagine people (INAUDIBLE)...

GORANI: Outside of Haiti, not knowing, not being able to figure out whether or not they're safe.


GORANI: In any case, thanks very much.

HOLMES: Thank you, Hala.

GORANI: We'll see you a bit later on "BACK STORY," Michael.

Many of you have been asking how you can help the quake survivors. We're gathering all sorts of resources for you on our Impact Your World Web site. You can go to to find out about aid groups helping in the relief operation. And there you can pick your own organization and then decide, based on the description of the organization, who you'd like to help and how much you'd like to send them -- Max in London, back to you for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

FOSTER: Good stuff.

Thank you very much, Hala.

Now, we're going to keep you up to date, of course, on the latest developments coming out from Haiti, as the situation there continues to develop all the time.

And if you thought the worst was over for the global economy, it might be too early to relax just yet. We'll tell you why in just a moment.


FOSTER: Well, the financial crisis may be over for now, but the global economy still faces severe risks. And, according to the World Economic Forum, it could cost us trillions of dollars. The Forum's Global Risks Report says the situation today is more dangerous than in the past, because we're now also interconnected. It says many countries borrowed at unsustainable levels to get them through this financial crisis and now they risk folding under those massive debts. The report identifies a collapse in asset prices as the -- as the most likely and potentially the most severe risk of all. And the Forum says the extra cash being pumped into economies may be artificially boosting asset prices.

And China is a major concern. Its rapid growth is based on credit, which may be fueling asset price bubbles, just like it did in the West. A slowdown in China could hit the value of all kinds of investments. And it all goes to show just how fragile our recovery really still is.

Sheana Tambourgi is the editor of the Global Risk Report and the head of Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum.

She joins me now.

Thank you so much for coming in.


FOSTER: A lot of people would like to see this report, because it's actually quite realistic in their eyes, because things feel as if they got too good too quickly.

Is that fair to say?

TAMBOURGI: I think we want to see a bit of confidence coming back in. I think that's a good thing for everybody. But what we're stressing in the report that the environment is very fragile. We're looking out over a 10 year time horizon in this report we're working on at the Forum. And we believe that now is a big opportunity to make things better, but you need to remain focused. You need to remain cautious.

FOSTER: Let's talk about the fragility.

What could knock it sideways?

TAMBOURGI: Well, as you've mentioned in your introduction, we looked at the -- the risks, particularly the long shadow of this crisis. So the fiscal positions that we're seeing in advanced economies, which are really risk (INAUDIBLE)...

FOSTER: Basically, they're in a lot of debt.

TAMBOURGI: They are in a lot of debt. And they were squeezed, in many cases, before the crisis. The pension bills, the health bills that these countries and economies are facing over the next decades are considerable, the sort of generational accounting that we're seeing.

But what they've also now met, of course, is that they've had to pump money into their economies. They've had to restore confidence. It's the right thing to do. But going forward, they need to manage the situation carefully.

FOSTER: If there's an unexpected financial crisis of some sort, the global economy isn't going to be able to handle it, is it?

TAMBOURGI: We've had one test. We managed to scrape through it. We believe that it is more fragile. We believe that the level of cooperation that we've seen, particularly at the G20 level, has been an important signal that this is what's happening in the future. But a lot of the regulatory discussion is still just that, it's still discussion. And things may be moving on much faster in the markets than they are in terms of regulation at the -- the decision-making level.

FOSTER: So what do world leaders need to do right now to protect us against an even worse financial crisis?

TAMBOURGI: Well, what we stressed in the report is that they need to keep the long-term perspective. Clearly, they are in difficult situations. The decision-making capacity is there, but the political will needs to be there to follow. You make tough decisions, sometimes unpopular with the -- the electorate in different economies.

They need to stick to a long-term strategy when they look at, for example, the suggestions around capital for banks, around making sure there's greater transparency among systems internationally, greater harmony where that's necessary, and keeping some flexibility in the system so that it has the resilience to shocks.


Sheana Tambourgi, thank you very much, indeed, for coming in...

TAMBOURGI: Thank you very much.

FOSTER: speak to us about that.

We're going to show you some live pictures now coming into us from Port-au-Prince. We have a huge team on the ground there bringing you all the latest stories for you.

This is just one scene, actually, in Port-au-Prince, because it's a rescue scene, which is being mirrored across the capital and across large parts of the country. The video is actually frozen there. It's moving slowly but you can see there's someone trying to get under a collapsed building, obviously trying to find someone, fearing something, perhaps, trying to do something.

But this scene really does sum up the whole crisis there right now. So what you've got is a collapsed building, someone caught under it and nearly two apparently local people standing by, trying to do something about it.

Rescue teams are heading there from all over the world, but there simply aren't enough right now. There will be, probably, eventually. This is a huge rescue effort, largely being organized by the U.S. But they're not there now. So now, people are having to deal with what they (INAUDIBLE) right there.

We were hearing earlier about this horrendous story about a young, 11- year-old girl caught in some rubble, screaming in pain because she was having to have her leg cut off to release her and there weren't -- there wasn't the medicine or the blood there to do it properly. So it was a race against time.

We don't know what's happening in this house, but clearly they're -- they're waiting there, perhaps hoping to hear something. But apparently they're working on something, because there are so many enormous objects and tasks out there right now. I'm sure they'd be (INAUDIBLE) on something else if they felt that there wasn't any hope here.

Look at the state of that building. It's just leaning over. I'm not quite sure what (INAUDIBLE), but it looks like it could fall over at any point. And it really does -- we -- OK, Susan Candiotti, it seems, is actually there for us right now, I'm told. And these are the live pictures coming into us from their live camera.

We're taking what images we can when we can, because the communications, as you can imagine, are absolutely dreadful out of that area.

And that scene really explains it, doesn't it?

Quite how these immensely brave people are coping with this rescue effort, you can't quite imagine. There's a man just sort of rummaging around under a building which looks completely precarious.

Look at the car there on the right, right next to him. It's actually been crushed.

Was somewhere -- someone in that car at the time or was it, hopefully, empty?

We don't know.

Who is he trying to rescue underneath?

Who could have got caught underneath that building?

We don't know. But certainly someone could have been in the car. Maybe it's something linked with that car.

Susan is there at the scene for us. We're trying to get a hold of her so she can explain a bit more about this. But right now, we're just dealing with the images coming into us. Every had so many images coming into CNN over the course of the last 24 hours.

It's unimaginable what people are going through there. This is a country hit by natural disaster after natural disaster over the last couple of years. It's in desperate financial, dire straits. They can't afford this rescue effort, which is why the world is coming to the rescue.

We heard earlier on the program, on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, from a filmmaker who was there just two weeks ago. He was there because he wanted to highlight the poverty there and how extraordinary it was -- the extraordinary resilience of a -- of a nation dealing with all these disasters and no money to deal with them, dependent entirely on aid, effectively being run day to day on a logistical basis on the United Nations, the last part of which, the operation there, was wiped out itself by this dreadful disaster that's hit this country.

But this is a country that now needs help internationally more than ever before. An extraordinary story earlier from the program, as well, from the finance minister of Iceland. Istan -- Iceland the unlikely first country to land a rescue team in Port-au-Prince -- a country in its own financial crisis, but one with special specialist teams, the kind of which are vital at this rescue phase of the mission. And they sent a rescue team, which is used to working in disaster situations in Iceland.

I'm just understanding that the Red Cross is telling us that something like 45,000 people plus has been killed in this disaster.

Susan is there. You can see her. Hopefully, she can hear me -- Susan, can you hear me?

Just take over.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ...trapped underneath that building. They've been working on him since yesterday afternoon, to free him.


CANDIOTTI: How do -- how do I know if they can hear me?

Would they be able to talk in my ear?

I mean I...

FOSTER: Susan Candiotti at the scene for us.

Communications extraordinarily bad for us. You can understand why when you see scenes like that. The whole communications system pretty much wiped out. We're relying on satellite information, satellite communications supplied by us. And they're not great, but we're bringing you what we can. An unbelievable situation.

We're going to keep you updated.


Stay with CNN.

We have the biggest team on the ground in Haiti.