Article: Baseball in the Time of Cholera

Olivia Wilde wrote a piece for the Huffington Post yesterday about Haiti and her new documentary, “Baseball in the Time of Cholera”.

Since 2009, when I first started traveling to Haiti, I have had more than a few glimpses into the gruesome effects of poverty. The first time I walked through the halls of the general hospital in downtown Port au Prince, I stopped short of knocking into a cart of dead children, recognizable by the tiny hands sticking out from under a sheet the size of a newspaper. I have handed out bags of government-issued rice to a roaring crowd of hungry refugees, surging in a swell of anger and despair. I’ve loaded bodies, sometimes four at a time, into body bags as part of an effort to provide a proper burial to carcasses rotting in the hot, nightmarish city morgue.

By far the most infuriating tragedy I have witnessed in Haiti is a child succumbing to cholera after a sudden and merciless sickness that wrings the body of fluids and, eventually, life itself. I am branded by this memory. The little girl (I can only guess she was three, small for her age like most kids here) was one of 500,000 sick from a disease raging through the country like wildfire. Volunteer doctors, on yet another 24-hour shift, scrambled to drill holes in her bones, her veins too collapsed to accept IVs. As she wailed in agony, I looked down at my sneakers, which I will dip in chlorine on my way out of the tent where she will die, and cursed the capacity for human stupidity that allowed this to happen to this child, as beautiful and fragile and trusting as Haiti herself.

By now, a year and a half after cholera appeared in Haiti, the first time in a century, it is widely accepted that the Nepalese UN soldiers brought the disease to the country due to sheer inept sanitation management. To put it simply, they allegedly let their contaminated shit run into the water source for the entire nation. And so, a country already savagely crippled by the quake was thrust into yet another crisis all because a group of soldiers, sent to maintain stabilization, was never tested for a highly contagious deadly disease endemic to their own nation. It was a staggering example of dangerous laziness, on par with tossing a lit cigarette while pumping gas.

Despite this pathetic failure to enact simple preventative measures, the UN tried everything to wiggle out from underneath the thumb of justice, even as outraged Haitians rioted outside their headquarters. Even their own UN expert report issued last May cited “overwhelming” evidence that the cholera originated in South Asia, and posits two different ways that waste from a UN base likely leaked into Haiti’s largest river system. Their fault is established fact at this point, and yet 7,000 people are dead and the UN has yet to issue an apology, or prioritize prevention of another outbreak.

Haiti is the third-largest UN peacekeeping operation in the world, though the country hasn’t seen a war in our lifetimes. Their mission in Haiti, known locally as MINUSTAH, has an annual budget of 800 million dollars, and yet, shockingly, there has been no large-scale reallocation of funds to cholera treatment and prevention. Providing clean drinking water for all Haitians — the only way to control the epidemic — would cost 746 million to 1.1 billion dollars. It would take only 18 days of their operating expenses to fund a cholera vaccination campaign that would cover the entire country. It seems obvious that this should be an immediate mandate for the UN, but, according to human rights lawyer Brian Concannon, director of the institute of Justice & Democracy in Haiti, “The UN fills many important roles that no other organization could fill, but one thing the UN does not do well is respond fairly when it does something wrong.” Such a sordid reputation is dangerous in a country whose survival depends upon the peaceful cooperation of foreign aid organizations and the local population.

Concannon is representing Haitian survivors of the epidemic in their case against the UN. They are asking for an apology as well as the infrastructure necessary to control the epidemic, and compensation for the victims and their losses. Concannon is one of the many experts appearing in a documentary I produced, premiering at Tribeca this week, called Baseball in the Time of Cholera, which follows the effects of the outbreak on a young Haitian athlete named Joseph, and the scandal surrounding the UN’s involvement. Joseph, an enthusiastic Little League pitcher, has found a foothold in life as he rebuilds a sense of normality with his family after the earthquake, only to be shoved back into the pit of chaos by a sudden foreign sickness that kills his mother, Marie Claude.

Directed by David Darg, and Bryn Mooser, both aid workers living in Haiti, the film is uniquely personal in its perspective and bold in its assertions, and is an important piece of advocacy in the struggle to stop another devastating outbreak of cholera as the rainy season descends this month. We made this film because it is simply not an option to let the 7,000 men, women and children killed disappear into the cold swamp of statistics. I felt gutted by helplessness watching a small child die of cholera, but with this film, and with our collective voice, we have a chance to save thousands of lives by forcing the UN to make clean water and sanitation their priority in Haiti.

To sign a petition adding your voice to the call for action, go to www.undeny.org.

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Olivia Wilde admits she is dating someone

Actress Olivia Wilde has confirmed that she is dating someone – but won’t reveal who.

The 27-year-old star has recently been romantically linked to several men, including actors Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper, since she split from her husband Tao Ruspoli in February after nearly eight years of marriage.

When asked if she is currently dating, Wilde told British OK! magazine: ‘Yeah. I like it if the guy possesses creativity and doesn’t take me to a boring restaurant or a boring whatever but comes up with an interesting location. I like to be surprised, for sure.’

Olivia also discussed the break down of her marriage, revealing that she has learnt a lot about herself since she split from Tao.

The Cowboys & Aliens star added: ‘Well, it’s [divorce] traumatic and humbling, and for the first time I’m a bit rickety. But I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to learn how to be alone and not be defined by another person. ‘But still, you don’t feel so good – more like you’ve failed. I’m afraid that people think I didn’t try enough or something, or I don’t live up to any sort of ideal.’

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Olivia Wilde says Cowboys & Aliens co-star Daniel Craig is the most beautiful man on earth

olivia wilde Olivia Wilde has admitted that she and other women developed a crush on English actor Daniel Craig, who is preparing himself for his third James Bond movie, while filming her latest movie Cowboys & Aliens.

Olivia Wilde, who played Dr Remy “Thirteen” Hadley in TV medical drama House, stars opposite Craig in Jon Favreau’s comic book adaptation and says that female fans will definitely enjoy the film.

“He is the most beautiful man on earth,” Wilde told E! Online. “He really is.”

Wilde joked that as production on the film went on, the producers seemed to find more and more ways to exploit Craig’s sex appeal.

“They kept making (his chaps) tighter,” she revealed.

“You could tell we had female executives because he kept getting tighter pants and he would have random shirtless scenes.

“We were like, ‘Yes, finally the ladies are in charge!'”.

Cowboys & Aliens is to premiere in US cinemas on July 29, and in Australia on August 18.

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Olivia Wilde ignores romance rumours

Olivia Wilde doesn’t listen to rumours about her love life, preferring to “keep her head down”.

The actress split from her husband Tao Ruspoli in February after seven years of marriage and is currently rumoured to be dating Bradley Cooper. The 27-year-old hasn’t commented on the speculation though, and explained she never pays any attention to gossip.

“Well, I just try to focus on work,” she said. “I love to work. I’m in a very lucky position to be able to have roles now that I really enjoy working on, so I focus on that and keep my head down and try to do that.”

This week Olivia Wilde was honoured for her charity work, which is something she’s happy to discuss. Olivia Wilde attended organisation Fresh Air Fund’s Salute To American Heroes event in New York, where her dedication to helping people was praised. For the actress, being able to bring exposure to charities which mean a lot to her is one of the biggest perks of the job.

“I’m representing Artists For Peace and Justice, which is an organisation based in Haiti that provides education to the poorest kids of Haiti, and our [Fresh Air Fund and Artists For Peace and Justice] goals are very similar – to bring education and joy to kids who are desperately in need of those things,” she explained.

Fresh Air Fund gives children who come from cities the chance to experience life in the country.

Meanwhile, it’s been reported Bradley Cooper and Olivia Wilde are to team up on the big screen. It’s claimed they will appear alongside each other in The Words, where Bradley is set to portray a writer who steals another’s work. However, Olivia’s role is smaller and they apparently don’t have scenes together.

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‘House,’ ‘Glee,’ ‘Leverage,’ ‘Royal Pains’: Find out what’s next in the Spoiler Room

It’s hot in New York right now. Not awful… but getting there. And watching the premiere of Leverage, where the team heads to Alaska for a case, not only made me wildly jealous but provided just the escape I was craving. That’s summer TV for you! And we’re gearing up for the bulk of it, readers. So send in your scoop requests to spoilerroom@ew.com (that’s two r’s) or Tweet them to me @EWSandraG. I’m also accepting random questions about finales, questions for EW staffers, and your general TV musings. (I read them all when I run out of TV to watch, which happens more often than you think.) Thanks, as always, Roomies!

‘HOUSE’: CHASE AND THIRTEEN: IS IT ON?

There’s so much change going on at House, it’s both terrifying and a little exciting. Exciting because there’s no way to predict how the post-Cuddy world will shift this show. One option currently being explored? The advancement of the Thirteen/Chase chemistry we’ve all picked up on.

“I think the fact that Chase confessed to her about the Dibala incident from last season is a very [important statement]. I think they have a powerful bond. I hope we only explore that further in the future,” executive producer Greg Yaitanes told EW after we screened the episode “After Hours.”

Of course, the future of this possible couple depends on Olivia Wilde’s commitment to the show next year, which is currently up in the air. Creator David Shore says anything can happen. “We’ve got lots of options and lots of things we’re stewing about. But we won’t know for sure until we start digging into season 8. But that was a nice surprise toward the end of the season, seeing the two of them together.”

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Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on House, Fringe, Psych, Castle, Dexter and More

Ask Ausiello has some scoop about Olivia Wilde and her character Thirteen on “House”.

Question: Now that Lisa Edelstein has opted not to return for House‘s eighth season and Jesse Spencer appears to be a lock to come back, should we be prepared for any other long-term castmembers leaving? —Melinda
Ausiello: The only remaining question mark is Olivia Wilde. Although she’s under contract for Season 8, her flourishing movie career will likely translate into another leave of absence — if not a permanent exit altogether. Exec producer David Shore concedes that there remains a great deal of “ambiguity” about the extent of Wilde’s involvement next season. “I expect she’ll be back,” he adds, “but I’m not sure how much she’ll be back.”

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