Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22
Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now
,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
“Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.
All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.
Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.
Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.
Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.
- Cyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
- Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
- Meanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
- But George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.
Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.
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Mail Online/Niall Firth & Claire Bates—Dr David Morrison, who runs the space agency’s ‘Ask an Astrobiologist‘ service, says he has received more than a thousand emails from those worried that the world is due to end in 2012.
Doomsday? The film 2012 will inflame existing fears about the possible end of the world
In an article published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Dr Morrison has answered the top 20 questions in an attempt to assuage these fears.
According to the theories on the internet, the calendar used by the ancient civilization of the Mayans is due to come to an end in December 2012.
Luckily for conspiracy theorists, this coincides neatly with predictions by an obscure sci-fi author, who wrote about the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, that a planet named Nibiru will collide with the Earth on that date.
The Mayan calendar ends in 2012, but Dr Morrison said this did not mean the world would end
Fears have been further inflamed by an apocalyptic film called ‘2012‘ starring John Cusack, which is out this November. A quick search on Amazon reveals there are 175 books listed that deal with 2012 doomsday.
First off Dr Morrison dismisses the possibility that the planet Nibiru even exists.
He writes: The bottom line is that Nibiru is a myth, with no basis in fact.
‘To an astronomer, persistent claims about a planet that is “nearby” but “invisible” are just plain silly.’
And Dr Morrison laughs off suggestions that the government has been complicit in hiding its existence from the public.
Nasa scientist Dr. David Morrison
‘Even if they wanted to, the government could not keep Nibiru a secret,’ he says.
If it were real, it would be tracked by thousands of astronomers, amateurs as well a professional. These astronomers are spread all over the world.
‘I know the astronomy community, and these scientists would not keep a secret even if ordered to. You just can’t hide a planet on its way to the inner solar system!’
He also addresses the concerns of those who worry that the Mayan calendar is due to end in 2012.
Ancient calendars are interesting to historians, but they cannot match the ability we have today to keep track of time, or the precision of the calendars currently in use.
The main point, however, is that calendars, whether contemporary or ancient, cannot predict the future of our planet or warn of things to happen on a specific date such as 2012.
‘I note that my desk calendar ends much sooner, on December 31 2009, but I do not interpret this as a prediction of Armageddon. It is just the beginning of a new year.’
He added although many believe prophecies by the sixteenth century seer Nostradamus predict the end of the world in 2012, there is no evidence he has correctly predicted anything.
He also tackles the belief circulating on some internet forums that an alignment of planets in our galaxy the Milky Way could in some way disrupt the Earth’s gravitational field or reverse the Earth’s rotation.
‘A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. It has never happened and never will,’ he said.
He added that although the magnetic polarity of Earth does take place around every 400,000 years scientists don’t believe it will take place for another few millennia and there is no evidence it would do any harm.