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Diplomatic trafficking: the story that won’t go away
Dema Ramos, a Filipina woman allegedly trafficked by Kuwaiti diplomat assigned to the U.N. looks at family photos.
June 19th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Diplomatic trafficking: the story that won’t go away

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – The story of diplomats bringing domestic workers to the United States and treating them like slaves is not new, but it keeps coming back.

It keeps coming back because diplomats believe they have life-long immunity from prosecution – even when they break the law.

Just last month, immigration agents helped two Filipina women escape a house rented by high-ranking members of the Saudi military just outside Washington DC. The women said their Saudi employer held them captive and abused them.

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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Soundwaves • Stories
The data insiders who 'hold the keys'
June 11th, 2013
10:42 AM ET

The data insiders who 'hold the keys'

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) –  You may know that Edward Snowden was a system administrator for the NSA contractor he worked for – Booz Allen Hamilton.

You may even know that system administrators are responsible for nearly a third of the data breaches committed by insiders, because, as computer security expert Robert Richardson puts it, “they hold the keys.”

But here’s one thing you might not know: Snowden didn’t need the authority and access that he had to do his job.

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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories • Technology
Freedom of the press
A police officer stops to look at flowers laid close to the scene where Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed in May.
June 6th, 2013
02:26 PM ET

Freedom of the press

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - The divide between the U.S. and the U.K. over press coverage of crimes is about as wide as the Atlantic.

Cases in point: George Zimmerman, who’s accused of shooting Trayvon Martin last year in Florida – and the cases of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the two Muslim converts who are accused of butchering to death British soldier Lee Rigby in South London last month.

Zimmerman’s lawyer has used the courts – and the Fourth Amendment – to try to reshape the image of Trayvon Martin, says defense attorney Ron Kuby. He’s done it by getting the press to cover his requests to enter evidence that would link Martin, in the jury’s mind, with the idea of guns, and marijuana and violence.

[:44] “O’Mara’s purpose in releasing all this information he knows can’t come into evidence is to dirty up Trayvon Martin….to portray him in the minds of the jurors as a vaguely menacing young black man,” Kuby told CNN

In other words, O’Mara’s using the court – and the press – “trying to eliminate that image of a totally innocent teenage boy armed with Skittles and iced tea.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Media • Soundwaves • Stories
Terrorism or criminal act?
Notes and shirts sit outside Woolwich Barracks on May 23 – after a Muslim extremist killed an off-duty soldier who was wearing a "Help for Heroes" shirt when he was killed.
May 30th, 2013
09:03 AM ET

Terrorism or criminal act?

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Remi Brulin loves tracking the way America thinks about and talks about terrorism. He’s been doing it for years. He’s a visiting scholar at NYU’s Journalism Institute.

[1:47] Most people sort of agree on what terrorism should be. There’s violence of course, or the threat of violence. There’s the political aspect of it – and then there’s the issue of the target. Most people would agree the targets have to be civilians or non-combatants. There is a sort of agreement – until you start applying it to particular cases.

Then, Brulin says, all bets are off.

One reason is, no one can quite agree on a definition. A corollary of that is: it’s hard to keep politics out of it.

Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert who’s director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies, remembers following the media coverage when Chechen terrorists laid siege to a school in Russia in 2004.

[3:34] All of the newspapers went out of their way to avoid using the word ‘terrorists’ and to call them fighters, militants, separatists. And I thought to myself, Gosh, if a bunch of armed people taking over a school with children – forcing children and their parents and their relatives and their teachers to live in horrible conditions for days on end, threatening them with death – I mean, if that’s not terrorism, what is? And yet, almost no newspaper of record or major media would call them terrorists.

That’s because the Chechens were fighting Russia – and at the time, Russia was no friend of the U.S.

Now, Hoffman says, terrorism has become a subjective term. He thinks there’s almost a fear of using the word and triggering a reaction – that’s a legacy of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

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Filed under: Crime • International • Justice • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
Drawing the line between being sick and being human
May 17th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

Drawing the line between being sick and being human

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LibbyLewisCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – It used to be, if you were gay, you were considered mentally ill.

It’s a good example of how the lines are drawn between what we decide is illness, and what we decide is just being human.

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Filed under: Health • Soundwaves • Stories
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