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AP: U.S. Government Secretly Collected Telephone Records From AP Employees

Aired May 15, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, HOST: A terrorist plot, leaked information, secret record- gathering -- and that`s just the first story on this Wednesday`s show.

Hi, everyone.

I`m Carl Azuz.

This story involves a news organization and the U.S. Justice Department. The Associated Press says the government agency secretly collected two months of telephone records from AP employees. The president of the AP said, quote, "These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources and disclose information about AP`s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know."

The AP reported that the government hasn`t said why it wanted the records, but officials said they were looking into how details of a foiled bomb plot were leaked last year.

Attorney General Eric Holder runs the U.S. Justice Department. He says he wasn`t involved in the decision to collect phone records, but he said the leak put the American people at risk. Trying to determine who`s responsible for it required, in his words, "very aggressive action."

You know that the U.S. has freedom of the press. It`s in "The Constitution." But that freedom doesn`t necessarily cover everything the press does.

CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin says there`s no law that allows reporters to protect their sources. Toobin says what the U.S. Justice Department did was legal, but it`s also farther than any presidential administration has gone before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just the Facts -- Bangladesh is a country in Southern Asia. It`s home to more than 160 million people. The country struggles with poverty, overpopulation and political instability. But its economy has been growing in recent years. Its garment industry makes up nearly 80 percent of the country`s exports.

AZUZ: The people who make those clothes do so at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the salary of what it takes to make them in the US. Minimum wage in Bangladesh, less than $40 a month.

A recent tragedy has brought a lot of attention to the bad conditions that many Bangladeshis work in. A day after cracks appeared in a nine story building near Bangladesh`s capital, employees of its garment factories were told to come to work anyway. When the building collapsed on April 24th, more than 1,100 people were killed.

In the weeks since, more than 2,400 were rescued from the rubble. The nation`s army ended its recovery effort yesterday. The owners of the building and its factories have been arrested and the government says it will improve conditions for Bangladeshi workers, though some are calling that too little too late.

Pressure is on internationally, as well. Many companies in the U.S. and Europe have clothes manufactured in Bangladesh. They`re being pushed to make sure conditions for workers are safe.

Different cultures around the world approach education differently. Earlier this week, we talked about Sierra Leone and how girls there haven`t traditionally been given access to education.

In South Korea, the issue isn`t getting an education, it`s more about how well you do in school. And what some students are doing to succeed is having an impact across the entire country.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): South Korea`s education system is so competitive, many children spend evenings, weekends, holidays at cramming schools like this. But amid the clamor to get better grades, it appears some have been cheating in the all-important SAT tests to get into U.S. universities.

(on camera): So far, prosecutors have raided 12 cramming schools in this area of Seoul alone. They`re looking for evidence of cheating. They`re investigating a number of scams, including one where middlemen sit SAT tests in Thailand a few hours before the same test was given here. It gave students a heads-up as to which questions would be in the paper.

(voice-over): The organizations that run SATs in the U.S. have canceled May`s test for the whole of South Korea. But at one cramming school not implicated in the scandal, a teacher tells me parents are paying for their kids to cheat.

BYUNG YOON, CRAMMING SCHOOL TEACHER: Just from the grapevine, I`ve heard maybe tens of thousands of louters (ph) for access to these tests. A lot of the parents know where to go. The owner of the hugyuan (ph), or the cramming school, would basically say I have access to these certain tests. And so a lot of the part -- parents are actually making the ultimate decision.

RIVERS: At South Korea`s most expensive boarding school, modeled on an elite school in London, pupils are entirely innocent of cheating, but they`re caught up in the aftermath of the scandal all the same.

HENRY KIM, STUDENT: We`re getting penalized for -- for the fact that other guy -- other people cheated or tried to cheat.

NICK KIM, STUDENT: That could affect my whole future.

RIVERS: The teacher that broke the news to them, Toby Waterson, has helped them make alternative plans to sit the SATs abroad.

TOBY WATERSON, TEACHER: I just worry about the tarnish that Korean SAT centers have received in this whole process and I worry, therefore, about the -- about the university places that are going to be offered to our students.

RIVERS: Students who are under enormous pressure to succeed.

YOON: We get a lot of tiger moms and tiger cubs. And that`s why all this hyper competition is happening. And -- and that`s why people are finding ways to, you know, skirt the system.

RIVERS: And in the process, tarnishing honest students who`ve worked hard to make the grade.


AZUZ: A high school track meet in Washington doesn`t sound like a typical setting for a family reunion, but that`s where two sisters came together. What`s crazy is it was the first time they had ever met.

Here`s their story.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Imagine finding your long lost sister after 17 years and living in the same town. That`s exactly what happened to Robin Jeter and Jordan Dickerson, two sisters born nine months apart, separated as infants and living only 10 miles away.

JORDAN DICKERSON, FOUND HER SISTER: At first, I didn`t know I had any siblings. I only thought I had one sibling. I didn`t know I had any more.

ROBIN JETER, REUNITED WITH SISTER AFTER 17 YEARS: You know, I had already known about my adoption and I knew that my last name is Jeter.

ROMANS: After 17 years, the two found each other at a high school track meet when teammates alerted Jordan of their striking physical similarities.

JETER: My team was like, she looks exactly like you.

ROMANS: Somehow, their paths had never crossed. They`re now making up for lost time and in search of other siblings separated from them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s Shoutout goes out to Mr. Taylor`s business classes at South Atlanta Educational Complex in Atlanta, Georgia.

Which of these is a name for a group of jellyfish?

You know what to do.

Is it a pod, murder, school or smack?

You`ve got three seconds. Go.

A group of jellyfish is sometimes called a smack.

That`s your answer and that`s your Shoutout.

AZUZ: If you ever think about jellyfish, you probably think of them as flexible -- no bones, loose tentacles, just kind of floating blobs. Sure, the ones you find in nature, but when you`re building a robot jellyfish, like the one in our next report, it`s going to have a sturdier shape. And if the engineers who designed it have a say, it might help lay the smack down in the spy world.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (voice-over): This jellyfish may not sting you, but it could one day be used in military sting operations. Meet Cyro, the 5-foot-7, 170-pound robotic jellyfish.

ALEX VILLANUEVA, PH.D. STUDENT, VIRGINIA TECH: It`s a big guy. But once it`s in water, it`s almost naturally buoyant. So it doesn`t float, it doesn`t sink. It just kind of stays there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The life-like autonomous robot was created by a team of research and engineering students at Virginia Tech. It`s part of a $5 million project funded by the U.S. Navy.

VILLANUEVA: The idea is to these jellyfish-inspired vehicles for underwater surveillance of ocean waters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s got eight arms and a flexible silicone covering to mimic the way a jellyfish swims.

VILLANUEVA: So this is actually the mind of our robotic jellyfish. And we house all our sensory components in here and the battery housing, as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This jellyfish prototype can swim for about four hours using a battery, but they`re looking at other energy sources to make it last longer.

VILLANUEVA: In the future, we`re trying to be able to leave this robot in the ocean for weeks and months at a time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These robots could be used for military surveillance and to clean up after oil spills or monitor schools of fish.

VILLANUEVA: They might not be the faster swimmers, but they`re definitely known to be very efficient swimmers. Using multiples of them, you can cover even more group and perhaps achieve missions that are even more complicated.


AZUZ: All right, they`re warning, if you`re afraid of heights, our last video probably won`t be your favorite. But this was too good a view to pass up.

You know that warning when you`re looking up high not to look down.

Oops, this bird`s eye view of New York City is thanks to a camera someone attached to a spire to the new World Trade Center. The camera captured the moment as the spire ascended to the top and made this building the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.

Always nice to have video of that kind of towering achievement. In order to avoid anyone from calling it a tall tale, these puns might have set a new high barb.

That`s it for today.

We`re going to start building from the ground up.

We`ll be back with more stories tomorrow.

See you then.